You are here

Biological Psychology

Biological Psychology

Second Edition
Additional resources:

October 2019 | 584 pages | SAGE Publications Ltd

The challenge of teaching bio-psychology 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 resources
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

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

We liked the coverage of other texts a bit better.

Dr Denise Friedman
Psychology Dept, Regent University-Virg Beach
August 20, 2020

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
December 5, 2019

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
October 7, 2019

Very detailed, comprehensive and rigorous!

Dr Antonina Pereira
Department of Psychology and Counselling, Chichester University
September 24, 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
September 24, 2019

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
July 16, 2019

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
June 28, 2019

- New Chapter 1: What is Biological Psychology
- New Spotlight 6b: Pain
- New 'check your understanding' questions throughout body of text
- New critical thinking insight box and 'critical thinking' questions at the end of each chapter to encourage deeper analysis of biological psychology (often students think biopsych is all about facts and so struggle to think critically about the topic).
- More illustrations added
- Additional pedagogical boxes added (e.g. more Insight boxes)
- Text and pedagogy reviewed and updated throughout
- New content on: sleep patterns and biological rhythms, eating behaviour, stress and health and sexual differences

Preview this book

Suzanne Higgs

Professor Suzanne Higgs has a degree in Psychology, Philosophy and Physiology from the Univer­sity of Oxford, UK. During her degree she became fascinated by the effects of drugs on the brain and behaviour, which motivated her to pursue a PhD in Psychopharmacology at the University of Durham. After her PhD, she worked as a Postdoctoral researcher at the University of Oxford before moving to the University of Birmingham, UK to take up a faculty position in the School of Psychology. She has taught at all levels on the BSc in Psychology programme at Birmingham and has over 20 years of lecturing experience. She specialises in teaching... More About Author

Alison Cooper

Dr Alison Cooper’s interest in Neuroscience began during her Natural Sciences degree when she accidentally found herself studying the properties of neurones that form the circuit that control grasshopper movement. She pursued an interest in understanding how activity of neuronal cells could underpin behaviour for her PhD by researching the properties and functions of the parts of the brain that contribute to human motor behaviour. During this time, she became interested in neuropharmacology, and the link between synaptic neurotransmission and human function/ dysfunction has remained the focus of her thoughts. Following various Postdoctoral... More About Author

Jonathan Lee

Dr Jonathan Lee has a degree in Natural Sciences, specialising in Neuroscience, from the University of Cambridge. He has always been interested in the value of studying biological mechanisms in order to understand behaviour. This interest has been particularly focused on unconscious memories and their impact upon behaviour. In his PhD and Postdoctoral research, also at the University of Cambridge, he studied the contribution of gene expression and pharmacological mechanisms in the processes underlying long-term fear and addictive drug memories. He has continued these research interests since moving to the University of Birmingham, using... More About Author

For instructors

To inquire about the availability of this title for review (print and/or digital), please contact your local sales representative or call (800) 818-7243.
Also available as a South Asia Edition.

Purchasing options

Please select a format:

ISBN: 9781526460974
ISBN: 9781526460967