Links > Biopsychology

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1. Neuroscience for Kids
PLEASE do not be fooled or turned off by the title of this site. The site, no matter who it is designed for, has some of the most helpful information on the web I have ever seen. The site is filled with definitions, descriptions, and explanations for concepts that are actually easy to understand, follow, and learn. In my experiences, Psychobiology is one of the most difficult sections for students to learn in Introductory Psychology. With this site, that could all change. By the way, if you are having problems understanding what an "action potential" is all about and how it works, this site has a great description with very helpful illustrations. (Have I gushed enough about this site? Look, it really is a useful site, ok?)

2. Conversations with Neil's Brain: The Neural Nature of Thought and Language
This site offers the complete online book (you guessed it), Conversations with Neil's Brain. Written by William H. Calvin, Ph.D. (a neurophysiologist on the faculty of the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, University of Washington) and George A. Ojemann, M.D. (is a neurosurgeon and neurophysiologist on the faculty of the Department of Neurological Surgery, University of Washington), the book is "a tour of the human cerebral cortex, conducted from the operating room, and has been on the New Scientist bestseller list of science books. There are two reasons why this has been included on the list: 1) it takes a unique and interesting perspective on the brain and language development, and 2) they have included an online glossary that, while it is geared to a more medically trained audience, has so much to offer that it is too good not to include.

3. Basic Neural Processes
I like websites that either contain a variety of useful, well organized information, and/or allow the user to interact with the site in a way that enhances learning. I have added this site because it is heavy on the interactivity, but also provides a good amount of understandable and useful information. The author (Dr. John Krantz of Hanover College) has provided some tutorials that are certainly worth some time, especially the self quizzes that will help you asses your understanding of some basic concepts. I have to say, however, that some of the tutorials are a bit weak - the site is aesthetically weak (not that this is that important), the images take too long to load and don't add as much as I would like (especially considering the download time). That said, the site has good information and even an on-line glossary of basic terms.

4. Shuffle Brain
Ok, I have to be very up front about this selection. I added this site purely for the "oddity" factor. There are some areas on this site that are bizarre and probably difficult to find anywhere else. For example, the author of the site (Paul Pietsch, PhD, and Professor Emeritus at Indiana University) has done transplanted the head of one salamander and transplanted it into the eye socket of another salamander. He provides descriptions of the transplant, the purpose, and the results. Plus, he has added pictures. There is a lot of information you will not find useful in an Introductory Psychology class, and much of it is written at am advanced level (for medical students, graduate students, and professionals), but if you are one of those people who slows down and looks at an accident on the highway, you will want to visit this site.

5. Drugs, Brains and Behavior (by C. Robin Timmons & Leonard W. Hamilton)
This site will NOT link you to other sites for information about the brain and behavior. Instead, this site is an online book complete with table of contents, chapters, tables and figures, and a glossary. In addition, the book is not fluff - it is filled with quality information (beyond the action potential) that is organized nicely and useful. Since the site is a complete online book, it is quite extensive and comprehensive. At first look, the site may appear overwhelming, but if you take a little time and explore, this site can really be helpful.

6. On The Brain
This site is actually an edition of the newsletter, The Harvard Mahoney Neuroscience Institute Newsletter, from the Harvard Medical School. In it, there are two articles of interest: 1) The Inner Life of Neurons takes a clear and logical look at the inner workings of neurons. The article covers the basics of neurons and their functions in a surprisingly readable and understandable way (when I first went to the site I thought it would be filled with scientific terminology that would be of little or no use to undergraduates, but that is not the case); and 2) The Brain's 'Other Cells' Go Awry, which is an interesting piece on the "other" cells in the brain, including the glial cells which are actually more abundant than neurons (they actually outnumber neurons 10 to 1 in the average human brain). While you will not be dazzled with graphics and interactivity, this site is what you need - a source of good, clear, no nonsense, information.

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