WHAT IS Psychobiology by muhammadazeemsahib


									                  What is Psychobiology

Psychobiology is the study of the brain, human or animal behavior
and     the    relationship    between      the    two.    Also   called
behavioral neuroscience, psychobiology applies biology facts and
principals to mental, emotional and behavioral processes in humans
or animals. Those who study this subject seek to find out which types
of behavior are caused by biological processes.
The term psychobiology may have been officially used for the first
time in the 20th century; studies of biology and psychology as
separate fields have been around for much longer. Scientists may
have studied it for centuries, however, without giving it a formal
name. For example, Avicenna (980-1037), a physician and
philosopher, is credited with looking for a relationship between certain
illnesses, psychology and biology. He asserted that a high-moisture
content, referred to as humidity, inside a person’s head could cause
mental conditions to develop. Through the years, scientists have
continued to look for ways to explain behavior with physical causes.
To study psychobiology, scientists use special equipment that helps
them learn more about the brain. For example, psychobiologists may
use electroencephalograph (EEG) equipment to measure a person’s
brain waves. By attaching specially designed electrodes to a person’s
scalp, a scientist can record a person’s brain waves and determine
how they affect things like behavior and health.

Some scientists have studied the relationship between brain waves
and criminal activity and concluded that those prone to criminal acts
may have slower brain waves than others. Such studies may expose
why some criminals are able to fool lie detector tests or show whether
head injuries can contribute to a person’s likelihood of engaging in
criminal acts. Some researchers even hypothesize that vitamin
deficiencies can play a role in criminal behavior.
Psychobiologists may also study how biology can contribute to or
even cause certain mental illnesses. For example, a person’s genes
may influence whether or not he is likely to be diagnosed
with schizophrenia. Other mental conditions may be influenced by
such things as hormonal fluctuations and even differences in brain
structure. Researchers may use brain scans to learn more about
depression and bipolar disorder, for example.
Often, studies of psychobiology involve the use of animals for
research. Animal subjects may be more readily available for certain
studies than human beings, and studying animal brains can give
scientists important clues about how the human brain may work.
Animal studies can be particularly important, for example, in studying
the effects of medications on mental processes, behavior and certain
conditions. They may also prove useful for studying the effects
alcohol and illicit drug use may have on the brain.

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