Updated for 1999
PSY 314 Physiological Psychology
Brooke J. Cannon, Ph.D.
LECTURE NOTES
WEEK 1
Chapter 1

 

Philosophical Roots of Physiological Psychology

Animism - natural phenomena caused by animating spirits
Dualism - mind and body separate
1. foundation of religious beliefs
2. search for soul
Descartes-first physiological model of behavior-hydraulic system
1. soul acted on pineal body, which then tilted, moving fluid from cerebral ventricles to the muscles
2. problem?

Monism - reality consists of unified whole and mind is a phenomenon produced by the workings of the body
1. consciousness is a physiological function
2. determinism vs. free will

Biological Roots of Physiological Psychology

Experimental Physiology
1.  animal organs removed, tested-Johannes Muller, 19th century
Doctrine of Specific Nerve Energies - different nerve fibers convey different information, but that the basic nature of the message is the same
messages to brain occur in different routes

2. Direct experimention on brain
surgical ablation - Pierre Flourens
Broca - studied stroke patients
electrical stimulation of dog cortex - Eduard Hitzig
Helmholtz first to measure speed of conduction thru nerves-90 feet per second

Functionalism: Natural Selection and Evolution-characteristics useful, at least historically
Darwin - spontaneous changes kept by species if adaptive

Contributions of Modern Psychology
Research Goals
generalization - particular behaviors examples of general laws
reduction - phenomena explained by simpler phenomena
physiological psychologists do both