Biological bases of behaviour

  • Irene Martin
Part of the Psychology for Professional Groups book series (PPG)


Effective human survival on this earth is achieved by adaptive behaviour, made possible by the evolution of a brain and nervous system which bear the imprint of solutions to survival over millions of evolutionary years. For Man, some large part of his knowledge has been acquired during his lifetime, but for him as for all living creatures there are innate programmes which regulate many functions. Whatever we do — my writing, your reading, our sitting, breathing and wakefulness — involves countless electrical and chemical events within us, most quite beyond conscious awareness.


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Annotated reading

  1. Boddy, J. (1978) Brain Systems and Psychological Concepts. Chichester: Wiley. The chapter on adapting to the environment is a simple introduction to such themes as adaptation, innate behaviour patterns, information storage and behavioural flexibility. The chapter on the need for stimulation deals with themes of optimal arousal, the need for sensory input, effects of enriched and impoverished environments, and related topics. Other chapters in this useful book deal at a more advanced level with the subject matter of the biological bases chapter.Google Scholar
  2. Eysenck, H.J. (1976) Psychology as a bio-social science. In H.J. Eysenck and G.D. Wilson (eds), A Textbook of Human Psychology. Lancaster: MTP. An introduction to psychology as the study of behaviour with special reference to the interaction of social and biological factors.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Gale, A. and Edwards, J. (eds) (in press) Physiological Correlates of Human Behaviour. London: Academic Press. An undergraduate text which approaches physiological processes from the human point of view. There are basic chapters which include a philosophical chapter on the logical bases of physiological psychology and special sections on the correlates of personality and mental illness.Google Scholar
  4. Martin, I. (1976) Emotions. In H.J. Eysenck and G.D. Wilson (eds), A Textbook of Human Psychology. Lancaster: MTP.Google Scholar
  5. Strongman, K.T. (1978) The Psychology of Emotion (2nd edn). Chichester: Wiley. The above two references discuss a number of facets concerning the study of emotion.Google Scholar
  6. Van Toller, C. (1979) The Nervous Body: An introduction to the autonomic nervous system and behaviour. Chichester: Wiley. The chapter on psychosomatic disease, and the ways in which genetic and social factors cause it, is a useful outline of the different approaches to psychosomatic complaints.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© The British Psychological Society 1982

Authors and Affiliations

  • Irene Martin

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