Date Posted... Jul 4th 2024



Sixth Form

Enthusiasm for Biopsychology

Lower Sixth psychologists have been courageous in researching and presenting a range of topics linked to their recent studies in Biopsychology.

They have explored localisation of function in the brain, explaining which parts of the brain control which body functions and behaviour. This included cakes showing all the cerebral lobes and cortexes. They also dissected a jelly brain to reveal Broca and Wernicke’s areas, the language centres, in the left hemisphere. An examination into research evidence of  plasticity of the hippocampus proved very informative.

Hemispheric lateralisation was explained, showing the specialisations of the left and right hemispheres. One student went beyond their studies to investigate a medical condition called Witzelsucht, explaining how humour involves integrating information from the two halves of the brain.

Many students explored topics beyond the A-Level syllabus, which has given them the opportunity to extend their knowledge and understanding of Biopsychology in the world around them. Students identified brain regions and neural changes associated with human behaviours such as dysgraphia, psychopathy, anxiety and dementia. Recent research into the function of mirror neurons added depth to their knowledge into why we often inadvertently copy others. Plasticity of brains in birds was another topic of interest, explaining differences brain regions such as the optic tectum and the link to migration patterns.

Applications of Biological Rhythms were also explored, such as understanding Seasonal Affective Disorder as well as chronotherapeutics (how taking some medication at specific times can increase its efficacy).

Sleep and dreaming differences were investigated, including explaining the ventral and dorsal pathways of information processing in the brain. Further jelly brain dissection involved identifying the structures involved in sleep: the SCN and pineal gland. A range of sleep problems were thoroughly explored by several students, ranging from insomnia and sleepwalking to more unusual disorders such as narcolepsy and Sleeping Beauty syndrome.

The students are to be congratulated on their immense efforts and enthusiasm for Biopsychology, every one of them developing their knowledge and understanding. A superb way to end the academic year.