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© Boardworks Ltd 20141 of 7 The biological approach and treatment
© Boardworks Ltd 20142 of 7 Learning objectives By the end of this section students will be able to: Identify and explain key features of the biological approach to psychopathology Evaluate the biological approach to psychopathology Icons key: For more detailed instructions, see the Getting Started presentation Teacher’s notes (in Notes Page) Extension activity SoundVideo Accompanying worksheetFlash activity (not editable) Web links
© Boardworks Ltd 20143 of 7 Brain lateralization The brain is divided into two hemispheres. These are joined by the corpus callosum, which is a bundle of nerve fibres that transmits information between them. Brain lateralization is the division of function between the two hemispheres of the brain. The left hemisphere specializes in vocabulary and analytical thought whilst the right hemisphere specializes in intuition, emotions and intonation of speech. Lateralization increases the efficiency of brain activity but most people are dominated by one hemisphere. This is called brain dominance. The dominant hemisphere can affect the behaviour of individuals, for example, left- brained people may be more analytical.
© Boardworks Ltd 20144 of 7 Left brained or right brained?
© Boardworks Ltd 20145 of 7 The central nervous system The CNS processes sensory information and coordinates the body’s responses to stimuli. The spinal cord conducts sensory information from the peripheral nervous system to the brain. It also conducts motor information from the brain to muscles and glands. The central nervous system (CNS) is the largest part of the nervous system and includes the brain and the spinal cord. The CNS controls behaviour, so the biological approach focuses on how abnormalities in the CNS cause psychopathology.
© Boardworks Ltd 20146 of 7 Biological approach to psychopathology
© Boardworks Ltd 20147 of 7 Evaluation of the biological approach Denies responsibility: people are not held responsible for their actions or treatment. Recovery is more effective when affected individuals hold responsibility. + Strengths- Weaknesses Physiological evidence: the approach is supported by evidence from brain scans and post-mortems. No blame: sufferers feel no guilt for their illness. Reductionist: the behavioural approach breaks down complex behaviour into brain activity and does not take into account external factors, like the environment.
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