This course provides an in-depth description of biopsychological concepts of brain function. It will cover elements from functional neuroanatomy, neurophysiology and psychopharmacology as they are applied to brain and behaviour research. The students will first review the macro- and microanatomy of the brain, and also neurochemical and neurobiological mechanisms related to neurotransmission. Special attention will be paid to basic cellular processes leading to disturbances in the brain. The students will discuss questions such as: How do the chemicals in our brain influence neurons? What is the specific role of second messengers in these processes? Additionally, the students will deal with the biological mechanisms of neurogenesis and cell differentiation, and how this may be linked to behaviour. Next, the students will discuss the role of hormones in behaviour and cognition and discuss questions such as how do hormones determine our gender, and why do males tend to be more aggressive than females? With respect to specific cognitive functions, descriptions will be given about processes underlying the effect of acute stress on memory. Students will discuss how the brain regulates memory and can even improve cognitive performance under stress. Finally, the students will discuss aspects associated with the physiological processes of motivation and addiction.
Doelstellingen van dit vak
Knowledge of: Electrochemical processes in neurons, second messenger systems, hormones and gender differences, biology of acute stress, effects of stress on cognition, neurobiology of motivation.
Journal articles, book chapters, research reviews.