The Psychology of the Brain and Behavior

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Every year, millions of people are affected by disorders of the brain and nervous system including Alzheimer's, Parkinson's disease, stroke, and traumatic brain injuries. These illnesses and injuries highlight the importance of the biological bases for our behavior.

Exploring some of the basics of biological psychology means looking into the biological processes that play a role in how we think, feel, react and behave.

The Basics

The area of psychology that seeks to understand how the brain affects behavior is known as biopsychology, although you may also hear this subject referred to as psychobiology or behavioral neuroscience. 

The Neuron

Neurons are the basic building blocks of life. These highly specialized cells are responsible for receiving and transmitting information from one part of the body to another.

Neuron Anatomy

In order to better understand how a neuron works to transmit information throughout the body, it is essential to know the different parts of a neuron.


You've seen how a cell is structured and how nerve impulses are propagated down the cell, but how does this information travel from one cell to the next?

Communication Systems

Neurons make up only a small part of the human body's complex communication system. The nervous system is composed of two main parts: the central nervous system and the peripheral nervous system. Additionally, the endocrine system plays an important role in communication.

The Brain

Technological advances in recent years have allowed scientists to study the human brain in ways that were not possible in the past.

By Kendra Cherry
Kendra Cherry, MS, is the author of the "Everything Psychology Book (2nd Edition)" and has written thousands of articles on diverse psychology topics. Kendra holds a Master of Science degree in education from Boise State University with a primary research interest in educational psychology and a Bachelor of Science in psychology from Idaho State University with additional coursework in substance use and case management.