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October 2019
October 2019

Biopsychology: Fundamentals and Contemporary Issues

Version 1.0 By: Martin S. Shapiro

Key Features:

  • Balanced treatment of research and application, with examples drawn from situations ranging from head injuries in sports and the military to the opioid crisis, the obesity epidemic, genetic engineering and testing, and treatments for neuropsychiatric disorders.
  • Strives to use everyday language when possible, but also ensures students are exposed to the terminology used in neuroscience.
  • Early chapters confirm why it is important to study biopsychology, explain the field’s roots and debunk common myths while modeling critical thinking skills. Basics of neural networks and anatomy are fully explained without overwhelming the reader with details.
  • Excellent and distinct coverage of key or high-interest topics, such as neural networks/connections (Chapter 3); research methods (Chapter 4); imaging techniques (Chapter 4); biofeedback (Chapter 4); genetics (Chapter 5); taste and olfaction (Chapter 6); language and the auditory system (Chapter 7); the chemistry of sleep (Chapter 9); weight regulation and the Brain-Gut axis (Chapter 10); enhancing memories (Chapter 13); smart pills/genetic engineering (Chapter 13); opioids, vaping, sleep and pharmacological agents (Chapter 14); addiction (Chapter 15); traumatic brain injury (TBI) and TBI testing (Chapter 16); Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE) experienced by athletes and others (Chapter 16), and many more.
  • In-text features guide and reinforce learning.
    • “Learning Objectives” lay out the key ideas to be discussed in the following main section.
    • “Key Terms” highlight key terms in a running, marginal glossary.
    • “Key Takeaways” at the end of each main section summarize key ideas in bullet-point fashion. Key Takeaways enable the learner to pause and consolidate the information just read or experienced into a ‘chunk.’ This process enables the reader to better understand and retain the chapter’s content and its key concepts.
    • “Embedded multimedia links”—over 140 carefully chosen short videos streaming within chapter sections (URLs provided in hard copy). Most of these videos are under five minutes and have animated illustrations (e.g.,, 2-minute neuroscience, NOVA) or short interviews with scientists demonstrating their research. These videos are entertaining, often interactive, and scientifically accurate, making the experience of learning much more engaging.
    • Replete with rich visual illustrations, including depictions of key brain structures and nervous system processes that make the unseen apparent to learners.
  • End-of-Chapter features can be used to create excellent homework assignments and facilitate class discussions. They also encourage further exploration and demonstrate the relevance of neuroscience to all careers in psychology.
  • "Contemporary Issues" exposes students to revolutionary changes happening in neuroscience and how these issues might affect the future of the field in the context of compelling topics such as international collaboration projects, brain-computer interface technology, artificial retinas, mind-reading neuroimaging, naloxone and the opioid crisis, hallucinogens as treatment, and many more.
  • "Best Online Content" researched by the author, provides links to rich, online resources for learning more about neuroscience and psychology. Selected for the sense of wonder and engagement they foster, these resources consist of online links to short talks, videos, podcasts, articles, and documentaries from world-renowned experts. Examples include selections from,, Hidden, and Crash Course.
  • "Suggested Popular Science Books" provides references to popular books about neuroscience and behavior written by experts in the field for a general audience. Examples include works by Robert Sapolsky and Oliver Sacks. These suggestions, researched by the author, provide students with another high-interest way to connect with the field.
  • "Short Answer Questions" and "Discussion Questions" for assignment or independent student study highlight key concepts and content in the preceding chapter. These questions stimulate analysis and deeper understanding.
  • A glossary and references organized by chapter provide key term definitions and sources in one place for ease of studying and source checks.

Biopsychology: Fundamentals and Contemporary Issues v.1.0 is an introduction to the biological basis of behavior. It is suitable for introductory or fundamentals courses on biopsychology, physiological psychology, and neuroscience taught at the undergraduate level. It can also be used at the graduate level for those students without a background in neuroscience. Biopsychology courses are offered primarily at four-year and occasionally at two-year colleges and universities.

Biopsychology: Fundamentals and Contemporary Issues v1.0 is a visually rich and lively presentation of the relationship between behavior, mental processes, and biological factors such as the nervous system, biochemistry, hormones, and genetics. Discussions are couched within the larger contexts of psychology, biology, physiology, genetics, chemistry, anthropology, medicine, and computer science. Key goals of this book are to help learners understand the basic functions of the nervous system, including functional anatomy; how neurons communicate; the biological basis of behavior; genetics in neuroscience; dispelling myths about the brain; the mind-body connection; drugs and drug addiction, brain disorders; research methodology; neuroimaging, and new research technologies. This textbook makes neuroscience relevant and approachable for all students interested in behavior and psychology. It is written in a style that is especially sensitive to students without a strong background in science.

  • Dedication
  • Preface
  • Acknowledgments
  • Chapter 1: History and Introduction

  • 1.1 Goals of this Textbook
  • 1.2 History of Neuroscience
  • 1.3 The Many Areas of Biopsychology
  • 1.4 Why Studying Biopsychology Is Important
  • 1.5 Contemporary Issues: The Future and Transhumanism
  • 1.6 End-of-Chapter Content
  • Chapter 2: Functional Anatomy

  • 2.1 Cells of the Nervous System
  • 2.2 Anatomical Orientation and Directional Terms
  • 2.3 Basic Divisions and Structures of the Central Nervous System
  • 2.4 Brain Anatomy
  • 2.5 Contemporary Issues: Big Brain Projects
  • 2.6 End-of-Chapter Content
  • Chapter 3: Neuron Communication

  • 3.1 Neuron Membrane and Polarity
  • 3.2 Action Potential
  • 3.3 The Synapse
  • 3.4 Neurotransmitters
  • 3.5 Contemporary Issues: Connectomes
  • 3.6 End-of-Chapter Content
  • Chapter 4: Research Methods: Histology, Imaging, and Stimulating

  • 4.1 Scientific Method and Animal Research
  • 4.2 Animal Surgical Techniques
  • 4.3 Histology, Staining, and Tracing
  • 4.4 Scanning and Recording
  • 4.5 Brain Stimulation and Modification
  • 4.6 Contemporary Issues: Brain-Computer Interface
  • 4.7 End-of-Chapter Content
  • Chapter 5: Genetics and Evolution

  • 5.1 DNA and Genetics
  • 5.2 Methods for Studying Genetics in Neuroscience
  • 5.3 Genes and Behaviors
  • 5.4 Natural Selection and Evolution
  • 5.5 Eugenics and Intelligence Testing
  • 5.6 Contemporary Issues: Optogenetics
  • 5.7 End-of-Chapter Content
  • Chapter 6: Vision and Chemoreception

  • 6.1 Light and the Eye
  • 6.2 Visual Transduction
  • 6.3 Receptive Fields
  • 6.4 Visual Pathway and the Thalamus
  • 6.5 Visual Cortex
  • 6.6 The Chemical Senses
  • 6.7 Contemporary Issues: Sensory Prosthetics—Artificial Retina and Cochlear Implants
  • 6.8 End-of-Chapter Content
  • Chapter 7: Hearing, Language, and Lateralization

  • 7.1 Sound and the Outer and Middle Ear
  • 7.2 The Inner Ear and Auditory Transduction
  • 7.3 Auditory Perception
  • 7.4 Neurobiology of Language
  • 7.5 Animal Communication and Animal Language Research
  • 7.6 Brain Lateralization
  • 7.7 Hemispatial Neglect, the Wada Test, and Split-Brain Surgery
  • 7.8 Contemporary Issues: Mind Reading
  • 7.9 End-of-Chapter Content
  • Chapter 8: Somatosensory and Motor Movement

  • 8.1 Vestibular Apparatus: Balance, Rotation, and Acceleration
  • 8.2 Skin and the Sense of Touch
  • 8.3 The Cortex and Motor Movement
  • 8.4 Basal Ganglia and Cerebellum
  • 8.5 Moving a Muscle
  • 8.6 Neuromuscular Disorders
  • 8.7 Contemporary Issues: Spinal Cord Injuries
  • 8.8 End-of-Chapter Content
  • Chapter 9: Sleep, Dreaming, and Circadian Rhythms

  • 9.1 Cycles and Circadian Rhythms
  • 9.2 Measuring Sleep
  • 9.3 Anatomy and Chemistry of Sleep
  • 9.4 Why Do We Sleep and Dream?
  • 9.5 Sleep Disorders
  • 9.6 Contemporary Issues: Biofeedback and Wearables
  • 9.7 End-of-Chapter Content
  • Chapter 10: Homeostasis: Hunger, Thirst, and Temperature

  • 10.1 Digestion, Hunger, and Satiety
  • 10.2 Chemical Signals
  • 10.3 Psychological and Social Factors and Appetite
  • 10.4 Problems with Food
  • 10.5 Water Regulation and Thirst
  • 10.6 Thermoregulation
  • 10.7 Contemporary Issues: Microbiome
  • 10.8 End-of-Chapter Content
  • Chapter 11: Hormones, Sex, and Love

  • 11.1 Hormones
  • 11.2 Sexual Dimorphism and Development
  • 11.3 Atypical Development
  • 11.4 Attraction, Love, and Long-Term Bonding
  • 11.5 Contemporary Issues: Matchmaking
  • 11.6 End-of-Chapter Content
  • Chapter 12: Emotions and Stress

  • 12.1 Emotions
  • 12.2 The Biology of Emotions
  • 12.3 Stress
  • 12.4 Human Research on the Physiology of Emotions and Stress
  • 12.5 Contemporary Issues: Health Psychology and Exercise
  • 12.6 End-of-Chapter Content
  • Chapter 13: Learning and Memory

  • 13.1 Learning
  • 13.2 Biology of Learning
  • 13.3 Memory
  • 13.4 Memory Consolidation
  • 13.5 Long-Term Memory Storage
  • 13.6 Problems with Learning and Memory
  • 13.7 Contemporary Issues: Enhancing Memories
  • 13.8 End-of-Chapter Content
  • Chapter 14: Psychopharmacology, Recreational Drugs, Tolerance, and Sensitization

  • 14.1 Routes of Drug Administration and the Synapse
  • 14.2 Recreational Psychoactive Drugs: Alcohol and Nicotine
  • 14.3 Cocaine and Amphetamines
  • 14.4 Opioids
  • 14.5 Hallucinogens and Marijuana
  • 14.6 Drug Tolerance and Sensitization
  • 14.7 Contemporary Issues: Opioid Epidemic and Naloxone
  • 14.8 End-of-Chapter Content
  • Chapter 15: Addiction, Developmental Disorders, and Affective Disorders

  • 15.1 Addiction
  • 15.2 Developmental Disorders
  • 15.3 Depression and Bipolar Disorder
  • 15.4 Anxiety and Stress Disorders
  • 15.5 Contemporary Issues: Hallucinogens as Possible Treatments
  • 15.6 End-of-Chapter Content
  • Chapter 16: Other Neuropsychiatric Disorders, Brain Injuries, and Brain Pathologies

  • 16.1 Schizophrenia
  • 16.2 Neurodegenerative Diseases of Memory
  • 16.3 Seizure Disorders
  • 16.4 Tumors and Strokes
  • 16.5 Brain Injury
  • 16.6 Brain Injury Diagnosis
  • 16.7 At Risk for Brain Injuries
  • 16.8 Head Injuries and Psychology
  • 16.9 Brain Pathologies
  • 16.10 Contemporary Issues: The Immune System and Neuropsychiatric Disorders
  • 16.11 Conclusion
  • 16.12 End-of-Chapter Content
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    Martin S. Shapiro California State University - Fresno

    Martin S. Shapiro (Ph. D. University of Hawaii, Manoa) is Professor of Psychology and Graduate Coordinator at California State University, Fresno. He holds an undergraduate and a master’s degree in biology and was a post-doctoral researcher in the Department of Zoology, Oxford University. From 2007-2016 Martin participated in the American Association of State Colleges and Universities Global Challenge initiative to create curricula focused on the interconnectivity of key global issues. For several years he was the chair of a task force for high-impact practices and project-based learning at CSU Fresno.

    Martin’s primary research interests are in learning, decision making, and neuroscience. His initial research focused on animal learning, choices, and behavior but has evolved to a current emphasis on risky decision making and physiological and emotional arousal in humans. Martin currently manages an active psychophysiology lab measuring heart rate, skin conductance response, facial EMG, electroencephalography, and salivary cortisol while participants make economic and risky decisions. Martin has also worked with students testing brain-computer interface equipment by Emotiv™ and Neurosky™. The interface allows participants to learn to move objects on a computer screen by controlling specific brainwaves using a modified EEG cap and biofeedback. He also collaborates with other departments that are interested in physiological responses related to their areas of interest, such as winemaking and tasting (viticulture) and television and commercials (mass media). Martin believes it is crucial to provide students with opportunities to involve themselves in the experience of research.

    Martin has taught courses in biopsychology and neuroscience for the past 23 years as well as courses in motivation, learning and memory, senses and perception, human physiology, biology, and animal behavior. He has received several teaching awards from CSU, Fresno, including a University Provost award for using technology in teaching, the psychology department’s instructor-of-the-year honor, and the student-selected Faculty Lecture Series Award given to three faculty members at CSU, Fresno each year.

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