Chapter 1: Introduction to Biological Psychology
This book covers a lot of material, but much more material could be included in a course on biological psychology. Some textbooks contain 30 or more chapters. Your teacher may supplement this book with material on additional topics such as movement control, memory encoding, language processing, the neural correlates of consciousness, etc. But hopefully, these 11 chapters provide a solid foundation for understanding links between brain and behavior and pique your interest to continue learning about the brain and behavior in other courses or on your own.
Brain science is an exciting and rapidly developing field with an astounding amount of new information–more than 35,000 papers are published each year in neuroscience journals and the number has been increasing each year (Eagleman & Downar, 2016; Yeung et al., 2107). With so much new information, even trained scientists struggle to keep up with new developments, and students looking to learn more or get into the field often don’t know where to start.
In addition to coursework, motivated students can learn about areas of their interest in many ways. For example, popular press books by leading researchers provide accessible overviews of a research area. More advanced undergraduates may dive deeper and find inspiration in academic books that are aimed at researchers in the field; academic books can be challenging to read, but they can be transformative and expand scholarly horizons (one way to find titles of interesting academic books is by searching the websites of academic publishers like MIT Press or Oxford University Press). Another challenging, but rewarding way to learn about recent big-picture advances is to read review journal articles that consolidate research findings. Some top academic journals specialize in publishing review articles, such as: Nature Reviews Neuroscience, Current Opinion in Psychology, Trends in Cognitive Science, and Trends in Neuroscience. You can find articles by entering your keywords of interest and a journal name into a search engine like scholar.google.com; links to full text articles are often available, and when the article is behind a paywall, you might be able to access it through your university library or another method. Finally, you can learn a lot about the brain from online resources, such as neuroscience-related websites like the Dana Foundation, videos of research talks (e.g., TED talks or seminar presentations such as those archived at the World Wide Neuro website), or from the many great podcasts related to the brain (e.g., The Brain Science Podcast or Brain Inspired ).
May your journey into the brain be interesting, enjoyable, and rewarding.