Chapter Two
Biology of Mind
PowerPoint Slides for Chapter 2
PowerPoint Handout for Chapter 2
PowerPoint Slides for Chapter 4
PowerPoint Handout for Chapter 4

Biological Bases of Behavior (8 - 10%)
An effective introduction to the relationship between physiological processes and behavior—including the influence of neural function, the nervous system and the brain, and genetic contributions to behavior—is an important element in the AP course.

AP students in psychology should be able to do the following:
  • Identify basic processes and systems in the biological bases of behavior, including parts of the neuron and the process of transmission of a signal between neurons.
  • Discuss the influence of drugs on neurotransmitters (e.g., reuptake mechanisms).
    Discuss the effect of the endocrine system on behavior.
  • Describe the nervous system and its subdivisions and functions:
    — central and peripheral nervous systems;
    — major brain regions, lobes, and cortical areas;
    — brain lateralization and hemispheric specialization.
  • Recount historic and contemporary research strategies and technologies that support research (e.g., case studies, split-brain research, imaging techniques).
  • Discuss psychology’s abiding interest in how heredity, environment, and evolution work together to shape behavior.
  • Predict how traits and behavior can be selected for their adaptive value.
  • Identify key contributors (e.g., Paul Broca, Charles Darwin, Michael Gazzaniga, Roger Sperry, Carl Wernicke).
  • Discuss the interaction of nature and nurture (including cultural variations) in the determination of behavior.
  • Explain heritability and how it relates to individuals and groups.
  • Describe how evolutionary psychologists use natural selection to explain behavior tendencies.
  • Discuss the key criticisms of evolutionary psychology.

PsychSim: Do NOT submit your answers - use the worksheet.
For these simulations follow the navigational prompts in the bottom right corner of the presentation.
Hemispheric Specialization
Brain and Behavior
Mind-Reading Monkeys

3-D Brain - click on 3D Brain in the upper right hand corner, it's the website version of the app
Review the Lobes

One hypothesis for the cause of autism is that the person has a lack of mirror neurons. Learn more about this in the following articles and video:
Mirrors of the Mind
Broken Mirrors
Mirror Neuron Hypothesis of Autism (this is almost an hour long, make sure you let it load for awhile before starting to watch it)