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Biological Psychology

Biological Psychology

Second Edition
Additional resources:

November 2019 | 584 pages | SAGE Publications Ltd

The challenge of teaching biopsychology is first getting students up to speed with the basic brain functions and terminology, before this can be applied to psychology, and then finally helping them develop critical thinking about the subject. This book uniquely addresses all three of these issues and provides a resource that supports students at each of these different levels of understanding.

Key features include:

• New video animations for the biology chapters and high-quality illustrations throughout, helping students grasp the basic neuroanatomy and microbiology.

• 'Check your understanding' questions in the book and MCQs online help students test their understanding and prepare for assessments.

• Chapters cover the need-to-know topics for psychology students with 'Insight' and 'Focus on Methods' boxes, highlighting these topics' relevance to the real-world.

• Spotlights build on the chapters, delving deeper into contemporary debates, issues and controversies around topical areas such as post-traumatic stress disorder, obesity and pain.

Chapter 1: What is biological psychology?
Chapter 2: Structure and communication in the nervous system
Chapter 3: Drugs and the nervous system: psychopharmacology
Spotlight 3a: Individual differences in drug responses
Chapter 4: Development, degeneration and recovery in the nervous system
Spotlight 4a: Behavioural genetics
Spotlight 4b: Neurodegeneration
Chapter 5: The importance of experience: learning and memory
Spotlight 5a: Memory persistence
Chapter 6: Sensory systems
Spotlight 6a: Retinal spatial processing
Spotlight 6b: Pain
Chapter 7: Motor control
Spotlight 7a: Mirror neurons
Chapter 8: Emotional behaviours
Spotlight 8a: The neural basis of fear
Spotlight 8b: Too much emotion? Post-traumatic stress disorder and drug addiction
Chapter 9: Motivated behaviours
Spotlight 9a: Sleep disturbances and implications for health
Spotlight 9b: Eating disorders and obesity
Chapter 10: Psychological disorders
Spotlight 10a: Schizophrenia


Click for online resources

Instructor resource

Animations Teaching Guide
PowerPoint slides
Test Bank
PowerPoint of 'Focus on Methods' boxes

Student resources
Chapter by chapter flashcards
Curated list of external videos
Useful weblinks
Watch a sample animation
This short animation introduces psychology students to the different parts of the brain. Just one of many you will get access to when buying a copy of this textbook.

This textbook should be of particular interest to undergraduate students as by reading it they will grasp the fundamentals of  brain anatomy and brain functions and then further progress onto areas such as the effects of drug-taking, learning and memory, movement, eating and sleeping behaviours, psychological disorders and more. The book encourages and emphasises the importance of critical thinking and linking research areas, something that will allow students to access the top band of marks.


Nina Avitabile
Psychology Student, Birmingham University

Very accessibly written, and with some especially interesting and modern "spotlight" chapters, covering controversies and current issues. The book itself is also very colourful and engaging, which is especially important for material that many undergraduate psychology students tend to feel some anxiety around.

Dr Paul Mulcahy
Psychology, University of Limerick
April 28, 2020

Detailed information relating to the subject matter covered in classes. This is one book I generally reach for, clear and concise information.
Topics can be found easy and knowledge gained form reading this.

Mrs Zena Boreman
Social Science, East Riding College
November 9, 2020

This is an in-depth yet extremely accessible text which will enable students to build confidence in their understanding of a topic which many find challenging in Psychology.

Mrs Suzi Smale
Psychology, Petroc College
November 28, 2019

Very detailed, comprehensive and rigorous!

Dr Antonina Pereira
Department of Psychology and Counselling, Chichester University
November 29, 2019

Well set out, easy to follow in sequential order of topics.
Relevant to those who wish to focus on a particular aspect as well being helpful as a source for research project

Mrs Sunita Hensman
Health Education and Care Department, West Herts College
January 4, 2020

This book brings together neurobiology and psychology in a comprehensive and accessible way. I have not come across a text which addresses biological psychology (usually it is either neuroscience or psychology), so this is a very welcome text. Clear colour diagrams, boxes with specific topics, demarkation of specialist terms, exercises, further reading and online resources all help students to get to grips with the material. Two pages at the start explain how to make the most of the book. The text is easy to read and the book stays open when put on a table.
Generally concepts are explained well, but there seems to be a variation between explaining them for level 5 students and assuming a high level of prior understanding. Some topics are introduced without enough detail. For example, page 34 discusses G protein-coupled receptors and metabotropic receptors without enough detail for students to gain understanding. In the index, G-protein is incorrectly allocated to page 35 and metabotropic is not in the index at all, making it difficult for students to find more information. Information about the DMN is important, but it may not be best placed on page 72. Of course these are just examples. On the whole the book does a very good job of introducing a broad and complex field of study.

Dr Hubert van Griensven
School of Health and Social Work, Hertfordshire University
March 10, 2020

This is an excellent and interesting book that goes into an excellent level of detail for students who are learning about the biological perspective in psychology.

Ms Lucy Helen Anacleto
Social Science, Coventry University Scarborough Campus
May 20, 2020

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