Class Biological Foundations of Behavior

  • Presentation


    This curricular unit (UC) aims to give the biological bases directly involved in behavior, so that students understand its relevance and applicability in studies of psychology. For this, basic notions of cell biology and genetics will be given, for better understanding basic neurophysiology and neurosciences. Next behavioral interactions will be analysed at the human body level, addressing in greater detail the nervous and endocrine systems, focusing on the particularities underlying the functioning of neuronal cells and synaptic transmission mechanisms. All syllabus are covered from an evolutionary perspective, which will allow students to better integrate future knowledge in the fields of ethology.

  • Code


  • Syllabus


    Unit 1: Biological Basis of Behavior (Introduction)

    • Evolution and Natural Selection Basics
    • Nature versusNature
    • The nervous system
    • The endocrine system
    • Biology of social behaviour

    Unit 2: The Cell - Basic Life Unit

    • Structural and functional organization of eukaryotic cell
    • Biological membranes and substance transfer between cell and medium
    • Structure and function of glial neurons and cells
    • Neuronal activity, synapses, and neurotransmitters

    Unit 3: Genetics and Heredity

    • DNA, RNA and protein synthesis
    • Cell cycle: meiosis and mitosis
    • Hereditary transmission mechanisms: genotype, phenotype, and epigenetics
    • Mendelian Genetics
    • Most common human genetic disorders: implications in psychology
  • Objectives


    In this UC by providing students with basic biological and genetic knowledge, it is intended that they can better understand psychological processes and, at the same time, reflect critically and informedly on issues important to humanity, such as bioethics.

    It is, also, intended that students acquire and systematize knowledge about the structural and molecular organization of the cell, as well as the mechanisms underlying its normal functioning, with particular focus on the nervous system. Equally important is the acquisition of basic concepts of genetics, with a particular focus on heredity.

  • Teaching methodologies and assessment

    Teaching methodologies and assessment

    The classes will be as interactive as possible, so the teacher asks the essential questions to be answered and seeks the collaboration of students. Classes will be theoretical and practical, with a mixed evaluation. During practical classes, with mandatory presence, the contents addressed in the theoretical classes are reinforced with experimental observations and practical case analysis, consolidating them with the performance of different activities.

  • References


    • Azevedo, C. & Sunkel, C.E. (2012). Biologia Celular e Molecular, 5ª ed. Lidel, Lisboa.
    • Brandão, M. L. (2004). As bases biológicas do comportamento: introdução à neurociência. Editora Pedagógica e Universitária, São Paulo.
    • Gilbert, S. F. & Barresi, M. J. F. (2016). Developmental Biology, 10th ed. Sinauer Associates, Inc., Massachusetts.
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