Biopsychology II

This advanced Biopsychology course is aimed at those wishing to further develop their knowledge and understanding of the brain and its role in behaviour. It is best suited to those who already have some knowledge of brain anatomy and functioning.

Course Code: BPS204
Fee Code: S3
Duration (approx) Duration (approx) 100 hours
Qualification Statement of Attainment
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ADVANCED BIOPSYCHOLOGY 

Build on your knowledge and understanding with this course. If you have a good grasp of brain anatomy, chemicals and processes, then this course will help to expand your knowledge. Find out how drugs and damage to the nervous system affect brain functioning and behaviour. 

DEVELOP A DEEPER UNDERSTANDING OF LIFE

This is a stand-alone course that complements our Biopsychology I module. If you have no previous studies in this area then it is wise to take Biopsychology I first.
Learn about research into complex brain processes such as memory systems, and the effects of brain damage and other factors on those processes. 
 
People working or studying in the areas of counselling, psychology or health will benefit from the deeper understanding of the relationship between our physiological states and our mental processes and how these influence behaviour. 

 

Lesson Structure

There are 7 lessons in this course:

  1. Evolution, Genetics and Experience
    • What is biopsychology
    • The organism's genetic endowment, experience and perception.
    • Adaptation
    • Behavioural genetics
    • The nature nurture debate
    • The human genome
    • Benefits of genetic research
    • Critical policy and ethical issues
  2. Research Methods in Biopsychology
    • Behavioural genetics
    • Methods of investigating the brain: insvasive and non invasive
    • Localisation of function
    • Neuroanatomical techniques
    • Psychophysiological measures
    • Other methods
    • Lesions
  3. Brain Damage
    • Causes of brain damage
    • Frontal lobe damage
    • Damage to other areas and effects
    • Types of brain damage
    • Case study : Phineas Gage
    • Case study: diagnosing epilepsy
    • Case study -Alzeimer's disease
  4. Recovery from Brain Damage
    • Neuro plasticity
    • Stages of recovery: unresponsiveness, early responses, agitated and confused, higher level responses,
    • Case study: Parkinson's disease
    • Parkinsons disease symptoms, diagnosis, prognosis, stages, etc
    • Drug treatments for parlinson's disease
    • Complimentary and supportive therapies for Parkinson's disease
    • Coping with Parkinson's disease
    • Terminology
  5. Drug Dependence and the Brain
    • Drugs
    • Definitions
    • Effects of illegal drugs
    • Other drugs: steroids, barbituates, etc
    • Physiological and psychological effects of drugs: illicits, stimulants
    • Addiction: how drugs work in the brain
    • Central nervous system
  6. Memory
    • Models of memory: multistore model, eorking memory model, levels of processing model
    • Levels of processing model
    • Amnesia and types of amnesia
    • Case study: traumatic amnesia
    • Case study: Korsakoff's syndrome (Alcohol amnesic syndrome)
  7. Language
    • The brain and language
    • Paul Broca
    • Carl Wernicke
    • Aphasia and Diphasia
    • Apraxia

Each lesson culminates in an assignment which is submitted to the school, marked by the school's tutors and returned to you with any relevant suggestions, comments, and if necessary, extra reading.

Aims

  • Understand how evolution, genetics and experience influence behaviour and individual differences.
  • Discuss methods of research used to understand the functioning of the nervous system and behaviour.
  • Explain different causes of brain damage and the resultant effects on brain functioning.
  • Understand neuro-plasticity from the perspective of development, learning and recovery from brain damage.
  • Delineate the effects of drugs on the CNS and to explain biopsychological theories of addiction and reward systems in the brain.
  • Describe memory structures in the brain, theories of memory storage and evidence from different types of amnesia.
  • Describe different models of language localisation and to evaluate evidence for these models.

What You Will Do

  • Discuss how human behaviour is linked to evolution.
  • Explain how dominant traits are passed on to offspring by genetics.
  • Describe the relationship between gene expression and the genetic code.
  • Consider how studies of identical twins shed light on the development of differences among individuals.
  • Explain how CT and PET scans are used to obtain images of the brain.
  • Determine what invasive research methods have been employed to understand the brain and behaviour.
  • Consider how drugs are used to understand neurotransmitters and their effect on behaviour.
  • Explain how gene knockout and gene replacement techniques are used.
  • Outline methods of neuropsychological testing.
  • Determine how studying animal behaviour in the laboratory can be useful in understanding human behaviour.
  • List and define the most common causes of brain damage.
  • Explain the significance of neuron death.
  • Explain what happens during neural regeneration and neural degeneration.
  • Determine the function of slow and rapid neural reorganisation in the mammalian brain.
  • Determine the extent of neurotransplantation of replacement parts in the brain.
  • Explain the relationship between physical dependence on drugs and withdrawal syndrome.
  • Explore the extent to which neural mechanisms may be involved in addiction.
  • Determine what medial temporal lobe amnesia tell us about implicit and explicit memory.
  • Consider cerebral dominance through language lateralisation and left and right-handedness.
  • Consider evidence that suggests that the hemispheres of split-brain patients function independently.
  • Identify what we now know about lateralisation of function in the left and right hemispheres.
  • Evaluate the Wernicke-Geschwind model of cortical localisation of language.

What can Go Wrong with a Brain?

The brain is extremely specialised and complex. Due to this complexity, the slightest damage can have serious consequences. The brain can be damaged in many different ways and it depends on the severity and the area damaged, as to how harmful the damage is. These are some causes of brain damage:

  • Brain tumours are a mass of cells that grow independently from the rest of the body.  More cases of brain tumours are detected now due to sophisticated techniques. The growth of cancerous cells puts pressure onto the brain, which can cause a blood clot or directly cause brain damage due to the pressure of the tumour. 
  • Cerebrovascular disorders Include bleeding in the brain or a disruption of supply to the brain.  Lack of blood to the brain can cause problems for the cells that are associated with the brain. Humans can survive for around four minutes without oxygen, before the brain damage becomes severe, leaving little realistic chance of survival.  A stroke can lead to a blood shortage to the brain, which is caused by a blood clot.
  • Closed head injuries are injuries which do not penetrate the skull. Contusions cause bleeding and are generally caused by the brain slamming against the skull.  A sufficient blow to the head can supersede the skull’s defences (particularly at the temple) and can therefore allow structural damage to occur.
  • Infections of the brain An invasion of the brain by micro-organism is a brain infection, and resulting inflammation is encephalitis. There are two common types of brain infection: bacterial infections and viral infections.    
  • Neurotoxins The nervous system can be damaged by exposure to any one of a variety of toxic chemicals, mercury and lead can accumulate in the brain and permanently damage it producing a toxic psychosis.
  • Genetic factors such as chromosomal anomalies, abnormal recessive genes or faulty dominant genes can lead to a range of disorders such as Down’s syndrome, Huntington’s disease and phenylketonuria.  A dysfunctional hereditary gene could be passed on to offspring preventing the brain from fully developing. 

Psychology Can affect the Physical Body, and vice-versa

Excessive stress for a long period can at first cause unpleasant feelings, but in due course, it can cause physical damage to the body, fatigue, and in extreme situations, ultimately death. Excessive stress that causes physical damage has been called dystress (by Syle). The Greek prefix “dys” means bad. Dystress literally means “bad stress”. Some stress is both inevitable, and in some respects, desirable. Dystress (or distress), however, is not desirable.

There are damaging effects to the human body caused by constant stress. Changes in the physiological processes that alter resistance to disease (e.g. blood chemistry changes) and pathological changes (e.g. organ system break down and ulcers) are both manifestations of stress. The body’s defence mechanisms may be affected both directly and indirectly (by promoting behaviours that weaken these mechanisms or that lead to exposure to pathogens).

Modern humans with their new technology, do less physical work, stimulate themselves when tired (television, food, alcohol), and eat when they are not hungry, etc. This actually goes against all natural feelings "signals from the brain". Humans are actually depriving themselves, and this is a major psychosocial cause of stress. Another psychosocial cause of stress is "adaption" overload where people are being faced by constant or rapid change whether it be social, cultural, technological, etc.


Other Learning Options

If you are not sure if this is the course for you, why not have a look at our other psychology courses? Perhaps Biopsychology I or an Introduction to Psychology if you are new to the subject..


How this Course Might Benefit You

This course builds on studies undertaken in Biopsychology I and assumes students have some understanding of brain structures and functions.  There is greater emphasis on the effects of brain damage and drugs on behaviour and the higher cognitive functions of memory and language are explored in detail.  Graduates of both biopsychology courses will feel confident that they have a thorough grounding in the functions of different brain centres. 

This course may be studied by itself or as part of a certificate or higher level course. The course will be most interest to those working in or planning to work in:

Psychology

Psychotherapy

Teaching

Research

Biological sciences

Health sciences

Health professional

 

 

ACS is a Member of the Complementary Medicine Association.

Member of Study Gold Coast Education Network.

ACS Global Partner - Affiliated with colleges in seven countries around the world.

Since 1999 ACS has been a recognised member of IARC (International Approval and Registration Centre). A non-profit quality management organisation servicing education.


How can I start this course?

You can enrol at anytime and start the course when you are ready. Enrolments are accepted all year - students can commence study at any time. All study is self paced and ACS does not set assignment deadlines.

Please note that if a student is being assisted by someone else (e.g. an employer or government subsidy), the body offering the assistance may set deadlines. Students in such situations are advised to check with their sponsor prior to enrolling. The nominal duration of a course is approximately how long a course takes to complete. A course with a nominal duration of 100 hours is expected to take roughly 100 hours of study time to complete. However, this will vary from student to student. Short courses (eg. 100 hrs duration) should be completed within 12 months of enrolment. Certificates, Advanced Certificates and Awards (eg. over 500 hours duration) would normally be completed within 3 -5 years of enrolment. Additional fees may apply if a student requires an extended period to complete.
If a student cannot submit their assignments for 6 months to ACS, they should advise the school to avoid cancellation of their student
registration. Recommencement fees may apply.

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What do I need to know before I enrol?

There are no entry requirements that you need to meet to enrol in our courses, our courses are for everyone.
If you are under 18, we need written permission from your parent/ guardian for your enrolment to continue, we can arrange that after you have enrolled.

You don’t need to purchase any additional resources to complete our courses.

We aim to teach you the essentials without you having to purchase any specific computer program.
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You sure can. We are here to help you learn whatever your abilities.

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We recommend that you are able to browse websites, send emails and conduct online research. You will need to be able to type and submit your assignments.
If you have limited computer skills, we can make special arrangements for you.

This is possible, it depends on the institution. We recommend that if you would like to use our courses that you contact the institution first. Our Course Handbook is a good resource for this.

Our courses are written in English and we only have English speaking academic staff. If you can read and complete your assignments in English, our courses are ideal for you.

Our courses are designed to build knowledge, hands on skills and industry connections to help prepare you to work in the area, running your own business, professional development or as a base for further study.

This course has been designed to cover the fundamentals of the topic. It will take around 100 hours to complete, which includes your course reading, assignment work, research, practical tasks, watching videos and anything else that is contained in the course. Our short courses are a great way to do some professional development or to learn a new skill.

It’s up to you. The study hours listed in the course are a rough guide, however if you were to study a short course (100 hours) at 10 hours per week, you could finish the course in 10 weeks (just an example). Our courses are self-paced, so you can work through the courses in your own time. We recommend that you wait for your tutor to mark and return your assignment before your start your next one, so you get the benefits of their feedback.

The course consists of course notes, videos, set tasks for your practical work, online quizzes, an assignment for each lesson (that you receive feedback from your tutor from) and ends in an exam (which is optional, if would like to receive the formal award at the end), using our custom built Learning Management System - Login.Training.

Our courses are designed for adults to gain professional development and skills to further their careers and start businesses.

Our custom online learning portal allows you to conduct your learning online. There may be practical tasks that you can do offline. You have the option of downloading your course notes or print them to read later.

There is also the option to pay an additional fee for printed course notes and or USB (availability limited to location and deliverability).

Yes, if you don’t have access to the internet, you can receive the course as paper notes or on a USB stick for an additional fee. We can also make alternative arrangements for you to send your assignments to us.

We offer printed notes for an additional fee. Also, you can request your course notes on a USB stick for an additional fee.

Yes, your tutor is here to help you. Simply post any questions you have in your login.training portal or contact the office and we can pass on a message to your tutor.

We are more learning focussed, rather than assessment focussed. You have online quizzes to test your learning, written assignments and can complete an exam at the end of the course (if you want to receive your certificate). You will not receive a pass/ fail on your course work. If you need to add more details on your assignment, we will ask you to resubmit and direct you where you need to focus. If you need help, you can ask your tutor for advice in the student room.

Each module (short course) is completed with one exam.

Exams are optional, however you must sit an exam if you would like to receive a formal award. You will need to find someone who can supervise that you are sitting the exams under exams conditions. There is an additional cost of $55 (AUS) $50 (O/S) for each exam.
More information is here

There are practical components built into the course that have been designed to be achieved by anyone, anywhere. If you are unable to complete a task for any reason, you can ask your tutor for an alternative.

When you complete the course work and the exam and you will be able receive your course certificate- a Statement of Attainment. Otherwise, you can receive a Letter of Completion.

You can bundle the short courses to create your own customised learning bundle, Certificates or Advanced Certificates. More information is on this page.

Yes, our courses are built to be applicable for people living anywhere in any situation. We provide the fundamentals, and each student can apply their own unique flair for their own interests, region and circumstances with the one-on-one guidance of a tutor. There is also a bit of student directed research involved.

Employers value candidates with industry skills, knowledge, practical skills and formal learning. Our courses arm you with all of these things to help prepare you for a job or start your own business. The longer you study the more you will learn.

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Course Contributors

The following academics were involved in the development and/or updating of this course.

Karen Lee

Nutritional Scientist, Dietician, Teacher and Author.
BSc. Hons. (Biological Sciences), Postgraduate Diploma Nutrition and Dietetics.
Registered dietitian in the UK, with over 15 years working in the NHS. Karen has undertaken a number of research projec

Jade Sciascia

Biologist, Business Coordinator, Government Environmental Dept, Secondary School teacher (Biology); Recruitment Consultant, Senior Supervisor in Youth Welfare, Horse Riding Instructor (part-completed) and Boarding Kennel Manager.
Jade has a B.Sc.Biol, Di

Jacinda Cole (Psychologist)

Psychologist, Educator, Author, Psychotherapist.
B.Sc., Psych.Cert., M. Psych. Cert.Garden Design, MACA
Jacinda has over 25 years of experience in psychology, in both Australia and England. She holds a BSc (Hons) in Psychology and a Masters in Psycholo





Tutors

Meet some of the tutors that guide the students through this course.

Sarah Berry

B.Sc.(Hons)

Sarah completed a Bachelor of Science (Zoology) with Honours from The University of Queensland in 2014. With an honours project focusing on glow worms in Australia, she then moved onto a PhD in Aquaculture from James Cook University working with Australian prawn farmers to grow bigger, better prawns. She has a wide range of scientific experience over the past 5 years in physiology, genetics, ecology, molecular technology, statistics, animal health, care, and nutrition. Sarah is currently continuing her work in research while publishing her PhD work.

Sarah Pirecki

BAnVetBioSc., Dip. ProjMgt (TBC).

A passionate advocate for animal health and welfare. Sarah completed a Bachelor of Animal and Veterinary Bioscience majoring in Animal Health and Disease and is currently completing a Diploma of Project Management. She has a wide range of experience working in agricultural settings, veterinary nursing, assistance dog raising, and animal education.

Davi Ponce

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