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PS403 Biological Psychology Assignment Example NUI Galway Ireland

This module will provide students with a good understanding of the biopsychological basis for behavior. It covers how our nervous system is organized and functions, as well as its modes of communication (and interactions) with other systems within the body, and how it impacts behavior. The goal of this research is to better understand the biopsychological basis for schizophrenia and sleep, as well as how it affects memory.

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In this course, there are many types of assignments given to students like individual assignments, group-based assignments, reports, case studies, final year projects, skills demonstrations, learner records, and other solutions given by us.

Upon completion of this module, students will be able to:

Assignment Activity 1: Describe the structure and functions of the nervous system, in particular the brain, and elaborate on the deficits that may ensue as a result of brain damage

The nervous system is responsible for sending and receiving messages between the brain and the rest of the body. The brain is divided into three parts: the cerebrum, the cerebellum, and the brainstem. The cerebrum is responsible for thinking, learning, and controlling movement. The cerebellum controls balance and coordination. The brainstem controls basic functions such as heart rate, breathing, and digestion. The nervous system is made up of billions of nerve cells called neurons.

Neurons send messages to the brain and to the muscles and organs in your body, informing them what to do. A neuron consists of a cell body with dendrites protruding from it. Their function is to receive information sent through chemical neurotransmitters, which allows the transfer of signals between neurons. The dendrites carry the messages to the cell body, which then sends them along as an electrical impulse down the axon toward the end of the neuron that connects with other neurons or muscles and organs. If there is damage, such as a stroke or accident, to one part of this system, both physical and/or mental problems can occur.

For example, a person with damage to their cerebellum may have trouble walking or balancing, and someone with damage to their hippocampus may have difficulty forming new memories. The nervous system can be damaged by physical injuries, such as a head injury, or by diseases, such as Alzheimer’s disease. Damage to the nervous system can result in deficits such as difficulty with movement, balance, coordination, thinking, learning, and basic functions.

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Assignment Activity 2: Discuss the modes of communication within the nervous system and the nature of the interaction of drugs with these systems

The nervous system is composed of nerves that communicate through electrical impulses. Nerves are made up of cells called neurons. Neurons contain structures known as dendrites and axons. The dendrites branch off the cell body, carrying messages toward the cell body where they are passed along to the next neuron via an electrical impulse down the axon. This system of communication is known as a neural network. The nervous system can be damaged by physical injuries, such as a head injury, or by diseases, such as Alzheimer’s disease. Damage to the nervous system can result in deficits such as difficulty with movement, balance, coordination, thinking, learning, and basic functions.

The interaction of drugs with the nervous system can be harmful or beneficial. Some drugs, such as alcohol and cannabis, can interfere with the neural network, disrupting communication between neurons. This can lead to problems with movement, balance, coordination, thinking, learning, and basic functions. Other drugs, such as stimulants and antidepressants, can improve communication between neurons and help to restore function. However, it is important to note that not all drugs have the same effect on every person, and it is important to always consult a doctor before taking any medication.

Assignment Activity 3: Explain the diathesis-stress model of schizophrenia and provide an evaluative account of current theory and research in relation to the biochemical and structural abnormalities associated with this disorder

According to the diathesis-stress model of schizophrenia, individuals with a certain level of predisposition toward developing this disorder will experience an environmental stressor that is sufficient enough to trigger their susceptibility and contribute to its development.

Research in schizophrenia has primarily focused on determining what predisposes individuals to develop this disorder. Some research suggests that abnormalities in neurotransmitters, such as dopamine and serotonin, may play a role. Other research suggests that abnormalities in the structure and function of the brain may be involved. For example, some studies have found that the brains of individuals with schizophrenia tend to have less gray matter than those without the disorder.

However, it is important to note that not all individuals with schizophrenia have the same symptoms and that not all symptoms can be explained by underlying abnormalities. Some research suggests that environmental and sociocultural factors play a role in the development of schizophrenia as well.

More recently, researchers have begun to focus on the impact of early life stressors such as childhood maltreatment and obstetric complications on an individual’s risk for developing schizophrenia. These studies suggest that early life stressors may increase an individual’s susceptibility to developing the disorder. However, more research is needed in this area to determine whether these stressors are actually causal or if they are simply associated with an increased risk for schizophrenia.

There are many factors that can predispose people to develop schizophrenia. These include genetics and other biological factors, psychological stressors (such as trauma), and environmental stressors (such as living in an urban area). While no one factor is solely responsible for the development of schizophrenia, it is believed that the combination of these factors leads to an exacerbation of psychotic symptoms and the development of the disorder. It is important to note that not everyone who experiences stress will develop schizophrenia, and there is still much to learn about this complex disorder.

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Assignment Activity 4: Provide an evaluative account of the role and contribution of the various brain systems that collectively mediate memory

The brain systems that collectively mediate memory play a critical role in the storage and retrieval of information. Damage to any of these systems can lead to problems with memory.

  • The hippocampus is one of the key brain regions involved in memory. It is responsible for the formation and storage of new memories, as well as the retrieval of old memories. The hippocampus also contributes to memory by assigning appropriate emotional and context-related significance to the memory that is being processed. It is believed that damage to the hippocampus can lead to an impairment of long-term memories, as well as difficulty with episodic memory (the memory system that allows for mental time travel).
  • The amygdala is responsible for modulating the emotional valence of a memory. In other words, it assigns memories either a positive or negative connotation. The amygdala also interacts with the hippocampus to influence memory encoding and retrieval. At least some aspects of amygdala-mediated memory can be disrupted by damage to this region.
  • The thalamus is responsible for processing sensory information and relaying it to the cerebral cortex. Damage to this region can lead to memory problems, such as an inability to recognize faces.
  • The cerebellum is relatively small in size, but its contributions to memory (and cognition more generally) are significant. For example, neuroimaging studies have found that when subjects encode new information and attempt to retrieve it later, there is increased activity in the cerebellum. This suggests that the cerebellum plays an important role in memory formation and retrieval.
  • The prefrontal cortex is involved in memory retrieval and reconsolidation.
  • The basal ganglia are responsible for modulating whether memories should be reconsolidated several times or only once.

Overall, these brain systems work together to facilitate the storage and retrieval of information. Damage to any one of these regions can lead to problems with memory.

Assignment Activity 5: Describe the psychobiology of the stress response and demonstrate the impact of long-term stress on the brain and in the development of illness

The stress response is a physiological reaction that occurs in the body when it is subjected to a perceived threat. This response is mediated by the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis, which is responsible for the release of cortisol. Cortisol is a stress hormone that helps to prepare the body for fight or flight (i.e., it increases blood pressure and heart rate). Cortisol has many effects on the body, including immune system suppression and a shift from fat stores to carbohydrate stores.

While the stress response is adaptive in small doses, long-term exposure to stress can lead to problems with mental and physical health. Research suggests that chronic stress can lead to an impairment of memory storage (by way of impaired hippocampal functioning), as well as structural changes (such as hippocampal volume loss) and disruption of neural connectivity. Furthermore, when individual experiences prolonged or severe stress it can lead to a variety of psychiatric disorders, including anxiety and depression. The link between chronic stress and psychiatric illness has been well-established in the scientific literature.

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