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Biological Psychology

Biological Psychology

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December 2014 | 504 pages | SAGE Publications Ltd

Written to guide undergraduate students new to brain and behaviour through the key biological concepts that determine how we act, Biological Psychology provides a comprehensive introduction to the subject. It includes detailed coverage of sensation, movement, sleep, eating and emotions, with further chapters on the biological basis of psychological disorders and the effects of drug-taking.

Uniquely, the authors emphasize the importance of learning and memory as a key thread throughout and include advanced chapters on key research areas that push discussion further and encourage critical thinking, making this book appropriate for undergraduates studying biological psychology at any level.

Key features include:

  • ‘Spotlights’ offering insights into key areas of research that expose the most important developing issues in the field today  
  • A clear structure including roadmaps and key points for each chapter to ease navigation through the book and understanding of the links between concepts
  • Full colour presentation to bring the topics to life through clear and comprehensive illustrations and diagrams
  • A companion website at with a range of materials for instructors and students

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


Click for online resources

For Students:

  • Multiple-choice questions
  • Flashcards
  • Chapter summaries
  • Learning objectives
  • Multimedia links
  • PowerPoint slides
  • Test bank

 For Instructors:

  • PowerPoint slides that can be used in lectures or edited to fit your needs
  • A test bank of multiple-choice questions for each chapter
  • Suggested short-answer essay questions that can be used to stimulate discussion or as assignments

The style is very clear and readable: it made me want to continue reading. I would recommend this for students who find the subject particularly difficult, and who struggle to get a firm grasp of the basics.

Dr Laura Brown
University of Manchester

I really like the writing style – easy to read but contains the necessary information for first- and second-year students. The spotlights are really good and make it possible for interested students to dig deeper.

Dr Håkan Fischer
Stockholm University

Students commencing a university course in psychology are often thought to find the presence of ‘statistics’ the most unwelcome surprise, but it could be argued that the presence of psychobiology can be just as alarming for others. For these students, getting to grips with sophisticated biological science, as well as the complex methods used to measure and assess our biological ability, can be a very challenging matter.
All this is worth mentioning because the book under review deals with such anxiety by explaining things in an admirably clear manner, furnishing excellent examples and moving from the elementary to the much more complex elements in such a way that should see it becoming one of the standard textbooks in this area.

Deaglan Page, School of Psychology, Queen’s University Belfast, Ireland
Psychology Learning & Teaching

Wonderful textbook. Makes very clear all contents allowing to acquire different levels of knowledge. Very relevant images, pictures and schemes.

Dr Florbela Soares Teixeira
Education, Coventry University College
November 19, 2016

The text gives a very good overview of developmental stages related to the lifespan and is easy to read/accessible.

Mr Garfield Conrad Hunt
Arts , Business and Social Science, University Campus Suffolk
February 23, 2016

This is an excellent book - providing a detailed and very current coverage of a range of topics within Biological Psychology. I would recommend this for students who are considering studying Psychology at undergraduate level as a very accessible introduction to what can be a challenging area.

Mrs Suzi Smale
Psychology , Petroc
December 20, 2015

the book is very well written - well structured and easy to read. I recommend this book espescially to students who have difficulties understanding other books on biological psychology. this book at hand provides exzellent supplemental reading.

Mr Julia Zuber
Paedagogik und paedagogische Psychologie , Johannes Kepler University of Linz
March 16, 2015

This clear and concise text provides recent and relevant insights into the field of biological psychology for undergraduate students in a number of engaging and accessible ways.

Each section is introduced with key issues and controversies which immediately engage the reader.

The chapter breakdowns, diagrams, case study examples, key points and chapter summaries all support the process of retention and recall of significant information.

Further readings are provided to extend learning.

This accessible and engaging text will provide the interested reader studying any aspects of 'brain and behaviour' with an insight into complex biological and psychological aspects of development at both introductory and more advanced levels.

Mr Jonathan Reid
School of Education, Oxford Brookes University
March 3, 2015

Excellent. First evaluation.

Professor Michael Klein
Social Work , Catholic Univ of Applied Sciences NW
December 16, 2014

I was very impressed with this manuscript, it deals with complex societal issues in a clear manner but without oversimplifying any material. Higgs puts her valuable knowledge to very effective use.

Mr Matt Kirby
Performance, University College Falmouth
December 10, 2014

Sample Materials & Chapters

Chapter 9: Psychological Disorders

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For instructors

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ISBN: 9780857022622

ISBN: 9780857022615