A Brief History of Neuropsychology
The content in this chapter should be relevant to about 8% of all questions about the behavioral sciences on the MCAT.
This chapter covers material from the following AAMC content categories:
3A: Structure and functions of the nervous and endocrine systems and ways in which these systems coordinate the organ systems
7A: Individual influences on behavior
When you woke up this morning and got ready to start reading MCAT Behavioral Sciences Review, you almost certainly had specific feelings about it—perhaps you were excited to crack open the book and start learning some of the material that will get you that top score on the MCAT; perhaps you dreaded the size and rich detail of the information in the book. Either way, your body began to respond to these impulses from your mind: increasing heart rate, increasing breathing rate, dilating the eyes, and slowing down digestion. This link between the mind and the body is still a hot topic in medicine, although we’ve been exploring the effects of psychology on well-being for almost two centuries now.
In this chapter, we’ll begin our exploration of psychology and sociology by looking at the biological side of psychology. After a quick survey of the history of neuropsychology, we’ll look at the structure and organization of the human nervous system, communication between the nervous and endocrine systems, the effects of genes and environment on behavior, and some aspects of psychological development.