Behavioral and Cognitive Neuroscience - Articles Analysis

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Marc Breedlove, a professor of Neuroscience at Michigan State University in East Lansing, Michigan wrote an article in 2002 titled "Behavioral Endocrinology". In 2010, he wrote two articles titled "Biological Psychology: An Introduction to Behavioral and Cognitive Neuroscience" and "Organizational Hypothesis: Instances of the Fingerpost". In 2012, he has written another article called "The Mind's Machine: Foundations of Brain and Behavior".

In the field of behavioral endocrinology, Marc Breedlove et al (2002) conducts a research that provides detailed information on the effect of hormones on cells and how such hormones influence the behavior of animals. He makes a broad continuous analysis of molecular cells and hormones. The article also explores the structure of cells and the interactions involved in endocrine organs. This implies that behavior of human beings is influenced by the interactions between the cells and hormones. He also explores various social hierarchies and how mating systems evolve. The relationship between molecular biology and social concerns emerges as a result of changes in behaviors. This notion plays an important role in behavioral endocrinology. Behavioral endocrinology focuses on a relationship between the hormones and cells and how changes in these relationships influence the behavior of animals. This implies that the relationship between cells and hormones is different in people. As a result, people develop differing behaviors when endocrine organs interact with bodily processes.


According to Breedlove's research titled "Organization Hypothesis: Instances of Fingerpost", prenatal androgens in human beings are influenced by the ratio of the length of the second digit to the fourth digit i.e. 2D:4D. However, this ratio is greater in females than it is in males right from the fetal life to adulthood. This correlates with polymorphism that is present in the androgen receptor gene, especially in men. In the case of females, the XY androgen receptor is marked by the insensitivity of the syndrome. In males, it is highly masculine. Using the concept of 2D:4D Breedlove found out that prenatal androgens are responsible for differentiated human behaviors. Some of these behaviors include autism, eating disorders, inclination to take risks, and aggression among others. In conditions where the 2D:4D ratio is lower, the result is an increased stimulation of prenatal androgen. However, this is more evident in men because male and female behaviors vary in certain ways. There are other instances, where the correlation between 2D:4D ratio and the prenatal androgen results into increased stimulation and makes the process imperfect. In such instances, it becomes difficult to determine the phenotype of an individual even when sex is used as a basis of predicting the behavior. In conditions where correlations involve groups of people, it is advisable to use the best retrospective, which enables one to mark average differences between the groups involved. Androgens normally play a great role in organization and development of early human masculine behaviors.

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The book "Biological Psychology: An Introduction to Behavioral and Cognitive Neuroscience" by Marc Breedlove, Mark R. Rosenzweig, and Neil V. Watson presents a thorough study of behaviors based on biological characteristics. It takes an authoritative and up-to-date approach to address various issues in biological psychology. Breedlove provides outstanding illustrations through the use of various programs that make it easy to understand the processes involved. It also helps to make the process clear. The book is able to offer broad perspective on biological psychology. Notably, Breedlove encompasses lucid descriptions of behaviors from the perspective of evolutionary development mechanisms as well as how they are applied. In this case, cognitive neuroscience is expanded to cover different areas such as attention, control over the execution process, and the process of making decisions. As a result, Breedlove is able to update the reader on recent developments in the field of neuroscience. The writer also addresses some of the myths that have been developed in the field of neuroscience, especially in relation to behavior. There are other notions in the field that people are unaware of. This creates the need to develop reader-friendly materials that reveal fascinating information about the interaction between human behaviors and the brain. In the book, Breedlove provides outstanding illustrations on the topic of biological psychology. This allows students to learn topics that have previously been viewed as complex by making them clearer easier to grasp.

Breedlove (2012) has also written a book titled "The Mind's Machine: Foundations of Brain and Behavior". The book explores various aspects of neuroscience. To start with, human's brain and behavior are given a major priority. The author states that due to close connection between brain and the resultant behavior, majority of individuals in their lifetime are likely to be diagnosed with psychological disorders. Some of these disorders include mood swings, anxiety, substance abuse, and impulse disorders. Indeed, almost half of these cases start as early as from the age of 14 years. Women are more prone to be diagnosed with these disorders than men. Men are likely to be diagnosed with disorders such as impulse control disorders and substance abuse, while women are likely to be diagnosed with anxiety.

Breedlove also undertakes a study about biological rhythms and sleep. His research establishes that all living things normally exhibit repeating and predictable changes for a given period of time. Generally, some rhythms, such as brain potentials, are very rapid, while annual hibernation normally occurs very slowly. This notion takes into account two important factors related to the body functioning that include body temperature and hormone secretion. They influence daily rhythms that are also referred to as sleep waking cycles. Biologically, by the age of 60, majority of human beings normally have spent 20 years asleep. It is important to note that sleep does not necessary mean being in passive state of "non-waking". It is rather a condition where there is interlocking of a number of different states under control of different brain regions.

As it was stated earlier, physiological factors in living things such as the level of hormones, body temperature, and sensitivity to drugs are not constant. This implies that they are always in a rhythm known as a circadian rhythm. There are also other rhythms that occur once per day that are known as infradian rhythms. Other rhythms include untradian rhythms e.g. behaviors like feeding and release of hormones.

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In all four writings, Breedlove focuses on the topic of behavioral and cognitive neuroscience. He employs various techniques that make it possible to integrate other related aspects in these four writings. The latter have been written after conducting research in the field of behavioral neuroscience. Breedlove's aim is to study, analyze, and interpret various phenomena in relation to the topic of study. General aim of Breedlove is to study behavioral and cognitive neuroscience and other related body processes. He carried out an in-depth research in this area in order to come up with accurate and detailed information using biologically based theories and approaches. He engaged other researchers, who helped enrich findings of the entire study. It is also evident from the writings that Breedlove helps learners understand even the most complex topics. This is achieved through the use of well-illustrated programs, which help the reader relate various processes. For example, it is easy to relate the four writings despite the fact that they have been written at different times. The relationship is possible because he specializes in a single area of behavioral neuroscience that is also known as biological psychology. This provides relevant and in-depth analysis of information, making it possible to identify some of the areas that have not been covered. Although Breedlove and his co-authors do not present an entirely exhaustive research in all areas of behavioral neuroscience, they try to address some of the most important areas that keep on changing due to new discoveries.

Breedlove tends to apply various theories and approaches in his research that include the following: the relationship between hormones and cells and how they influence the behavior of animals. The second one involves a theoretical analysis of prenatal androgens in human beings and how they are influenced by the ratio of the length of the second digit to the fourth digit (2D:4D). Thirdly, he uses a theoretical approach to show a connection between brain and the resultant behavior. He states that majority of individuals in their lifetime are likely to be diagnosed with psychological disorders. He goes ahead to justify his findings through analysis of some of the disorders in both males and females and show how they are related with the brain and individual behaviors. He also takes a theoretical approach to determine how behaviors of an individual are influenced by biological characteristics. These theories help in development and analysis of the research findings. They also create the basis upon which research studies have been developed and related to each other. Notably, theories help link various processes and come up with a platform through the findings (Robinson, 2009). This is similar to Breedlove's articles.

Researcher's theoretical foundation changes from one article to another to the extent that the compilation of various articles in one book involves the use of different theories. From the articles it is evident that Breedlove does not use the same titles although he covers similar areas using different approaches. This enables him to answer some of the unanswered questions and address limitations associated with previous research. For example, in 2002, Breedlove covered the topic of behavioral endocrinology, which revealed the relationship between hormones, cells, and the resultant behaviors. His study was further expanded in 2002 when he wrote "The Mind's Machine: Foundations of Brain and Behavior" that established further understanding of the relationship between the brain and the behavior that may result in some psychological disorders.

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Breedlove works with various authors while writing his articles and books. They carry the research together since all of them are knowledgeable in the same field of neuroscience. For instance, Neil V. Watson and Mark Rosenzweig (2010) are also professionals in the field of biological psychology. Therefore, they contribute their ideas during the writing of the articles in order to achieve the desired purpose. Breedlove has made significant contribution in the field of behavioral neuroscience. He conducts in-depth research that helps readers understand some of the mysteries behind body processes and organs (Breedlove, 2010). For example, the investigation on the relationship between hormones, body cells, and interactions as well as with resultant behaviors helps expand the understanding of learners. This provides an insight to future researchers, who can use their research as a basis for improvement. The findings in this research will not only help learners expand their knowledge, but will also assist other players in the field.

In conclusion, although most of Breedlove's articles have been compiled into books, it is evident from the four chosen works that they cover similar topics of behavioral neuroscience and related processes. For instance, they cover topics related to behavioral and cognitive neuroscience, androgens in human beings, brain and behavior as well as behavioral endocrinology.

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