Why Study the Brain?
Jul 29, · Throughout most of human history, it seemed an obvious, and perhaps even necessary, truth that our thoughts must be part of conscious awareness, and that the mind . Psychology and the human mind are inextricably linked. Indeed, the word psychology is derived from the Greek words psuche, meaning mind or soul, from which the term psyche arose; and logos meaning study or discourse.. Combining these words gives you a literal translation of psychology as being study of the mind.. It is unsurprising, therefore, to find the concept of the mind at the heart of.
By Dr. Saul McLeodupdated Psychology is the scientific study of the mind and behavior, according to the American Psychological Association.
Psychology is a multifaceted discipline and includes many sub-fields of study such areas as human development, sports, health, juman, social behavior and cognitive processes. Psychology is really a very new science, with most advances happening over the past years or so.
However, its origins teh be traced back to ancient Greece, — years BC. Philosophers used to discuss many topics now studied by modern psychology, such as memoryfree will vs determinismnature vs. In the early days of psychology there were two dominant theoretical perspectives regarding how the brain hukan, structuralism and shudy. Structuralism was the name given to the approach pioneered by Wilhelm Wundtwhich focused on breaking down mental processes intro the most basic components.
The term originated from Edward Titchener, an American psychologist who had been trained by Wundt. Wundt was important because he separated psychology from philosophy by analyzing the workings of the mind in a more structured way, with the emphasis being on objective measurement and control. Structuralism relied on trained sudy, a research method whereby subjects related what was going on in their minds while performing a humzn task. However, introspection proved to be an unreliable method because there was what is private registration services godaddy much individual variation in the experiences and reports of research subjects.
Despite the failure of introspection Wundt is an important figure in the history of psychology as he opened the first laboratory dedicated to psychology inand its opening is usually thought of as the beginning of modern experimental psychology. An American psychologist named William James developed an approach which came to be known as functionalism, that disagreed with the focus of Structuralism.
James argued that the mind is constantly changing and it is pointless to look for the structure of conscious experience. Rather, he proposed the focus should be on wjat and why an organism does something, i. James od that psychologists should look for the underlying cause of behavior and the mental processes involved. This emphasis on the causes and thf of behavior has influenced contemporary psychology. Structuralism and functionalism have since been replaced by several dominant and influential approaches to psychologyeach one underpinned by a shared set of assumptions of what people are like, what is important to study and how to study it.
Psychoanalysis, founded by Sigmund Freud was the dominant paradigm in psychology during the early twentieth century. Freud believed that people could be cured by making conscious their unconscious thoughts and motivations, thus gaining insight. The classic contemporary perspectives in psychology to adopt scientific strategies were the behavioristswho were renowned for their reliance on th laboratory experiments and rejection of any unseen or unconscious forces as causes of behavior.
Later, the humanistic approach became the 'third force' in psychology and proposed the importance of subjective experience and personal growth. During the s and s, psychology began stuy cognitive revolutionadopting a rigorous, scientific, lab-based scientific approach with application to memoryperceptioncognitive developmentmental illnessand much more.
The four main goals of psychology are to describe, explain, predict and change the behavior and mental processes of others. Describing a behavior or cognition is the first goal of ehat. This can enable researchers to develop general laws of human behavior. For example, through describing the response of dogs to various stimuli, Ivan Pavlov helped develop laws of learning known as classical conditioning theory.
Once researchers have described general laws behavior, the next step is to explain how or why this trend occurs. Psychologists will propose theories which can explain a behavior. For example, classical conditioning predicts that if wjat person associates a negative outcome with how to do a good speech presentation stimuli they may develop a phobia or aversion of the stimuli.
Once psychology has described, explained and made predictions about behavior, changing or controlling a behavior can be attempted. For example, interventions based on classical conditioning, mund as systematic desensitization, have been used to treat people with anxiety disorders including phobias. Kuhn argues that a field of study can only legitimately mlnd regarded as a science if most of its followers subscribe to a common perspective or paradigm. McLeod, S. What is psychology?
Toggle navigation. What is Psychology? Saul McLeodupdated Psychology is the scientific study of the mind and behavior, according to the American Psychological Association. Psychology aims to be able to hte future behavior from the findings of empirical research.
If a prediction is not confirmed, then the explanation it is based on might need to be revised. How to reference this article: How to reference this article: McLeod, S.
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The Beginnings of Psychology as a Discipline
Philosophy of mind is the branch of philosophy that studies the nature of the mind, mental events, mental functions, mental properties, consciousness and their relationship to the physical body. Psychology is the scientific study of the mind and behavior, according to the American Psychological Association. Psychology is a multifaceted discipline and includes many sub-fields of study such areas as human development, sports, health, clinical, social behavior and cognitive processes. Sep 17, · The human mind is the most complex machine on Earth. It is the source of all thought and behaviour. How do psychologists study the mind? But how can we study something as complex and mysterious as.
The brain is the most complex part in the human body. This three-pound organ is responsible for our intelligence, interpreting sensation, initiating body movement, and controlling all of our behaviors. The brain and the rest of the central nervous system are composed of a variety of cells, but the primary functional unit is a cell called a neuron. All sensations, movements, , memories, and feelings are the result of signals that pass through neurons of differing shapes, sizes, and functions.
Over hundreds of years, scientists have learned much about the brain, including the countless methods through which information is transferred from neuron to neuron at a junction called a synapse, and how hundreds — even thousands — of neurons can function together to form a larger circuit responsible for any given activity.
All human brains share basic anatomical circuits and synaptic interactions, but the precise pattern of connections and interactions are highly variable from person to person—and therein lies the source of the remarkable variation we see in human behavior — from the breathtaking dance of a ballerina, to the elegant craftsmanship of a master carpenter, to the shrewd judgment of an expert trader.
Remodeling its circuitry with each new experience — our brain makes us who we are, enabling us to perceive beauty, teach our children, remember loved ones, react against injustice, learn from history, and imagine a different future. However, due to the vast complexity of the brain, much remains to be discovered. Researchers continue to explore the mechanics behind a healthy brain that functions quickly and automatically — at the speed of thought. Truly understanding a circuit requires identifying and characterizing the component cells, defining their connections with one another, monitoring and recording their activity patterns — and we are still at the point where much work remains to identify the key differences in a vast array of unknown neurons.
In the longer term, new treatments for devastating brain diseases are likely to emerge from a deeper understanding of brain circuits. The analysis of circuits is not the only area of neuroscience worthy of attention, but advances in technology are driving a qualitative shift in what is possible, and focused progress in this area will benefit many other areas of neuroscience as well.
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