Over the years, there has been a lot of connection and relations between psychology and biology, and this is one of the aspects that have led to the interrelation of these two principles. Irrespective of the fact that both are independent principles and fields that focus on their own, respective lines of operation, it is necessary to note and learn the fact that both disciplines have a lot of connection and interrelation, and this is mainly, among other reasons, caused by the fact that they are disciplines that deal with the essence of life. In order to understand both disciplines and understand the difference between each of these fields, it is necessary to have a look at what each of these disciplines deal with, and address (Fine, 2013).
Biology, which is part of the natural science, is concerned with the study of life. According to Goleman, this involves the analysis, observation and understanding of living organisms as well as life itself. By so doing, biology is concerned with the understanding of the evolution, structure, function and distribution of organisms, and life itself (Goleman, 2007). At the same time, biology involves the study of taxonomy of these living organisms, which is the study of grouping various organisms into specific definitions, based on various aspects, such as their shared characteristics. The closer their shared characteristics and similarities, (which in this case includes the physical characteristics) the closer their groupings and classification are, and vice versa. Biology is an interdisciplinary field and subject of study, since it does not only analyze and look at these living organisms and their structure, but also other factors and aspects such as their genetic make-up, their characteristics which in this case include energy consumption and excretion among others; and their general way of life. From this brief understanding and analysis, therefore, it is evident that biology is an interdisciplinary discipline that does not only assess life itself, but also its organization and activities that take place even after life itself (Shatz, 2008).
According to Real, psychology, on the other hand, is an applied and academic discipline that looks at the scientific study of behavior and mental function of living beings and organisms. The chief role that psychology undertakes, therefore, it to understand the mental organization of living beings, and human beings in most cases, as well as understanding their social organization that leads to specific behavior, through cognition (2008). By understanding these behaviors, psychologists seek to understand the mental function of these living beings, and why they respond in given ways. It, therefore, understands and analyzes the relationship between the neurobiological and physiological activities in living being, and their relationship to their mental functions and responses, creating a bridge between mental perception and the organisms or living beings’ physical reactions (Fine, 2013).
One of the most essential things to note concerning the relationship between psychology and biology is the fact that both deal with the wellness of the body. In this case, for example, it is necessary to note the fact that biology is mainly concerned and deals with the physical aspect of the body. These include the genetic make-up, the physical attributes which in this case, include body tissues, muscles, blood among others, as well as the physical body parts. On the other hand, psychology looks at and addresses the mental wellness of the body. This includes aspects and factors such as emotions, thoughts as well as behaviors, which are the physical extensions of the perceptions that we have towards given aspects of our day to day living. In this case, therefore, one’s entire wellness depends on both the physical, as well as the psychological stability (Huffman, 2012). At the same time, it is necessary to note the fact that some of the physical conditions that patients and other people acquire are as a result of psychological instability, which causes them to take up several harmful, physical measures. The vice versa also applies, whereby physical conditions and wellness might affect the psychological wellness of a person. Prolonged physical challenges, for example, are some of the major reasons that cause and lead to psychological challenges and problems. At the same time, they are some of the reasons that led to psychological inconsistency, especially in cases of prolonged or consistently appearing pain (Real, 2008).
The brain: Brain’s connection to the biological processes
This is an essential area to look at, in understanding the relationship between the brain and the body. One of the most essential things to note under this research study is the fact that the brain can be viewed from both the psychological, as well as the biological perspectives. This is due to the fact that all the decisions that take place in the body are as a result of physical stimulation, which is conducted to the brain through the nervous system. Upon information synthesis in the brain, a living being is guided to take charge and respond to the physical or emotional stimulants that it has previously been exposed to, and upon taking action, this completes the entire stimulation-reaction cycle. At the same time, a living being’s moods and behavior are largely affected and controlled by the chemical activities, as well as processes, that take place in the Central Nervous System, otherwise referred to as the CNS (Fine, 2013). When a person’s body is active, especially during the day, these chemicals, as well as hormones, are activated and depleted, as a result of much activity (Goleman, 2007). At the same time, other factors that affect the depletion of these chemicals and hormones include the level and amount of activity that one is involved in, whereby more involvement in activities, particularly vigorous activities, leads to a higher depletion rate, and vice versa. All these hormones and chemicals are, later, replenished during moments of lower, minimal or no physical activity, such as when one is sleeping or resting.
Putting this into practical perspective, therefore, it is necessary to note that a psychologist should be conversant with all the changes in one’s moods, as a result of these contributing factors, which include the chemical changes and progression in the body, as well as the central nervous system. At the same time, a psychologist should be able to understand how the presence or absence of these chemicals in the central nervous system affects the moods of a person, and what should be done to maintain given chemicals or hormones at an optimum. The greatest contributor towards generation of given hormones, as well as the presence of various chemicals in the body, is the food that one eats. The foods that a person eats contributed to various nutrients, such as calcium, phosphorous, sodium and iron among others, as well as vitamins. These are the building blocks that form the chemicals released in the body, into the Central Nervous System (Simon, 2003).
At the same time, it is necessary to note that various foods contain, and are rich in specific nutrients. In order for the body to effectively produce some of these hormones and chemicals, certain foods should be eaten in surplus, in order to promote the same. For example, meaty foods are rich in proteins, particularly the liver, which is rich in iron. Iron is a necessary building block in the production of thyroid hormones from the thyroid glands. This hormone is necessary in adolescent girls, especially, since this is the period and time around which they start experiencing monthly menstruationand this hormone plays a major role in controlling and managing the amount of menstrual pains that the lady is exposed and prone to. These menstrual pains have been found to cause considerable amounts of stress to the ladies, and in extreme cases, advancing into depression (Huffman, 2012).
At the same time, according to the research studies carried out in Orlando’s Emory University-School of Medicine, hepcidin has been found to be a hormone that affects and reduces the amount of iron nutrients in the blood, thereby, creating more room for exposure to atherosclerosis. Iron is one of the building blocks’ nutrients that play a major role in addressing atherosclerosis, and therefore, the presence of hepcidin plays a major role in reducing the amount of iron in the body. Considering the fact that atherosclerosis has various psychological impacts, such as withdrawal syndrome and stress, it is necessary for a psychologist to understand how he will manage stress and withdrawal syndromes, which come as a result of atherosclerosis and presence of hepcidin hormone in the body (Johnson, 2011). In order to address the root of the condition and not the superficial condition itself, the psychologist will have to address the biological condition of the patient, by managing and reducing the amount and rate hepcidin production in the Central Nervous System, and instead, promote the consumption and absorption of foods rich in iron, in order to reduce possible cases of Atherosclerosis. From this analysis, therefore, it is evident that there is a lot of relations between biology and psychology, since most of the psychological conditions must be addressed from a biological perspective, in order to attain the desired results (Johnson, 2011).
Body reactions and hormones’ production
At the same time, it is necessary for every psychologist to understand the processes that take place in the body, for example, during the production of various hormones. This is, mainly, due to the fact that the production of various hormones and chemicals in the central nervous system affect various activities from the psychological perspective. For example, various patients suffering from given conditions might be affected by the production of given hormones. One of these aspects include concentration, when a psychological patient has low concentration levels in identified areas such as studying, there are various aspects that he can put into consideration, from a psychological perspective, in order to boost his concentration levels. In order to address poor concentration, various measures are applicable, and that will boost the same (Shatz, 2008).
Taking learning and reading concentration, for example, it is advisable that one should boost his reading skill and concentration by taking a glass of cold liquid, such as milk, while reading. Milk is low on sugar, compared to juice, which might has higher activity effect on the victim, and high activity levels, especially brain activity, will lead to poor concentration. Milk, on the other hand, is low on sugar, and will have a calming and cooling effect on the Central Nervous System, and will boost higher concentration levels. It is also advisable to carry out tasks that require utmost concentration early, in the morning hours. There is a big relationship between biology and psychology in this case, since production of hormones in the body take place during the log phase, which is the resting phase, for example, when one is asleep. In this case, therefore, hormones production during the resting time,will boost concentration, when one gets active and concentrates when the hormones and chemical levels are high in the body. Consequent activities will lead slow, but consistent depletion of the hormones that has been previously replenished during the resting hours (Huffman, 2012).
Fine, H. (2013).“Why should psychologists be interested in Biology?” The Biological Basis of Behavior.Retrieved from http://www.howiefine.com/Foundations%20Week4.pdf on April 7th, 2013.
Goleman, D. (2007). Social Intelligence: The New Science of Human Relationships. New Jersey: Prentice Hall, pp. 79-85.
Huffman, K. (2012). Psychology in Action, 10th Edition. New Year: McGraw-Hill, pp. 113-16.
Johnson, J. (2011). “Hormone That Controls Iron Levels May Be Target for Atherosclerosis Treatment” Woodruff Health Sciences Centre.Retrieved from http://shared.web.emory.edu/whsc/news/releases/2011/11/hormone-that-controls-iron-levels-may-be-target-for-atherosclerosis-treatment.html on April 7th, 2013.
Real, T. (2008).I Don't Want to Talk About It: Overcoming the Secret Legacy of Male Depression. New Jersey: Prentice Hall, pp. 211-20.
Shatz, C. (2008). Mechanistic Relationships between Development and Learning (Dahlem Workshop Reports-(LS) Life Sciences). New York: McGraw-Hill, pp. 78-90.
Simon, L. (2003). Psychology, Psychotherapy, Psychoanalysis, and the Politics of Human Relationships. London: Rutledge, pp. 113.