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Biopsychology - Intermediate (II)

Statement of AchievementPlease enquire for prices and more information
Course Duration: 100 Hours
DeliveryOnline & Correspondence
Course REF: BPS204

Biopsychology - Intermediate (II) Outline

Excessive stress for an extended period at first will 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.

This course builds on Biopsychology I, with further exploration of research into brain processes such as memory, and the effects of brain damage and other factors on those processes.  Those working or studying in the areas of counselling, psychology or health will benefit from the deeper understanding of the relationship between our physiological condition and our mental condition and behaviour that this course provides.

Lesson Structure

There are 7 lessons in this course:

  1. Evolution, genetics and experience
  2. Research methods in biopsychology
  3. Brain damage
  4. Recovery from brain damage
  5. Drug dependence and the brain
  6. Memory
  7. Language

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.


  • 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.


  • 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.

Biopsychology - Intermediate (II)

Statement of AchievementPlease enquire for prices and more information
Course Duration: 100 Hours
DeliveryOnline & Correspondence
Course REF: BPS204