Introduction to Biopsychology video transcript

Hey it's Professor Dave, I wanna teach you biopsychology. On this channel, we've examined a wide variety of things. We learned about how the universe began and developed. We studied the basic laws that govern the universe. We became familiar with the world of atoms and molecules, the ways these molecules assemble to form large biomolecules, and the ways these biomolecules likely first came together to form living organisms, which then evolved into more complex organisms, including humans.

Next, we studied the structure and function of everything in the human body, and now it is time to take a deep dive into 1 particular organ of the human body, the brain. In this way, together we have gone from the beginning of the universe all the way to the most fascinating and complex object in the known universe. Although it doesn't look like much, the human brain is the thing that produces our consciousness. It is the thing that allows you to perceive and process the words I'm saying right now, along with many other external stimuli, in order to produce a continuous subjective reality. It allows us to think, make decisions, communicate, and learn about everything in the universe, even itself.

It gives us the ability to create art, to feel love, and to dream about the future of our species. Many aspects of consciousness remain unclear to us at the present time, which makes biological psychology and behavioral neuroscience areas of active research. But even with so much left to learn, there is a lot that we already know, so in this series, we will discuss a number of topics regarding the brain and its relation to cognition and human behavior. As we may recall from our brief introduction to the brain in the anatomy and physiology series, the power of the brain lies in the staggering number of neuronal connections it possesses. It is the ability of each individual neuron to generate an electrical signal, coupled with the 100 trillion or so unique neuronal connections, that gives the brain its immense computing power.

But in this series, we will go beyond a study of the mere organization of neurons. As incredible and abstract as it may seem, many aspects of human behavior are readily explained by concrete physical mechanisms, just like the ones we learned about in the biology series. It may be tricky to encapsulate the totality of the subjective human experience in such a rigid manner, but many singular aspects can be largely explained by simple chemistry involving synapses and signalling molecules. Learning, memory, emotions, psychiatric disorders, these and other phenomena can be discussed to varying degrees of success in a reductive way, and they can be probed in a rigorously empirical manner. Furthermore, we are beginning to understand how consciousness itself is very likely an emergent property of matter, removing the former need to evoke non-physical or spiritual realms in explaining consciousness.

This is a huge step for empiricism, as well as our quest to understand precisely what humans are, and why we do the things that we do. In this way, we can see why we call this field biopsychology, because we are investigating the biology of behavior. We will investigate the ways that psychology breaks down to biology, which itself breaks down to chemistry, and thus we will get a better sense of how things work on the molecular level. As we move through this series, we will highlight key features of human behavior and attempt to elucidate their basis in the activity of the brain. We will discuss the ways that experiments can be utilized to test various hypotheses.

And we will discuss areas in which additional research is needed. It is worth noting that biopsychology is a fairly new field, and it is still malleable. Some of what we will discuss isn't quite as set in stone as Newton's laws of motion or other such pillars of science. Our understanding changes as the nature of our discoveries changes, which is influenced by the new technologies we are rapidly creating all the time. Like other areas of science, old data is constantly updated as new and more sophisticated evidence comes to light, especially given the fact that we have only developed the ability to look inside the brain within the last few decades.

But nevertheless, once we are finished here, you will have a much more sophisticated understanding of the brain and how it directs human behavior. So without further delay, let's learn some biopsychology.

Introduction to Biopsychology video

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