Physiological psychology is the study of physiological aspects related to thoughts and how our brain functions.This includes speech and action, brain cells and structure,and brain chemistry. This field also studies how we as humans are able to absorb a large amount of information through our five senses. Science students might find this analytical field closely related to their own discipline,making it an interesting career to pursue.
The profession of modern psychology is the result of medical explorations of the brain. Physiologists make use of the principle of reduction, seeking the best rationalization for complicated phenomena, often employing detailed descriptions such as what a physicist might use. A lot of early data was gained through observing how behavior changed when completely different components of the brain were broken. Animal experiments, always controversial, have been used to demonstrate this finding; by removing numerous components of the brain, scientists have observed great variations in behavior.Other techniques have included brain surgery and a conscious process in which patients are asked to answer questions or perform basic actions while doctors use surgical equipment to touch different parts of the brain. Brain chemistry studies analyzing how numerous medicines effect brain function are used along with popular scanning devices like PET and MRI machines to explore different components of the brain.
The first step to becoming a physiological psychologist is to obtain a four-year interdisciplinary and integrated bachelor’s degree. Besides gaining a well-rounded education, students will also learn about the wide range of career available to them with this degree and if they choose to continue their education. After completing the bachelor’s program, graduates may work as a research assistant. They may also get access to careers in fields including and related to neuroscience, biology, and psychology.
Throughout a two-year master’s degree, students learn about the biological aspects of human psychology as well as their application to therapeutic and experimental problems of research. The coursework is usually comprised of specialized experimental design and research methods, functional neuroanatomy, biochemical neural regulatory mechanisms, neural system development, neurological biophysics retrieval, and memory storage. Besides that, students also learn the physiology of cognition and perception, behavioral disorders, and physiological bases of psychopathology, psycho-pharmacology, and comparative psycho-biology. Graduates of the master’s program might find careers in clinics or research institutes.
Physiological psychologists work either in clinical practice or as research workers. They may choose to specialize in motor or memory skills, autonomic functions, feelings and emotions, or electroencephalography. Some of them may follow the path of research and development, while others work in clinics or hospitals,and still others pursue careers in teaching instead of or in addition to these other careers. Although independent research is common, physiological psychologists rarely work completely on their own outside of a group or team environment.
All psychologists not solely concerned with tutorial analysis ought to show compassion towards patients, and they should possess wonderful communication skills and the ability to gain a patient’s trust. Physiological psychologists should meet these qualifications and also use their communication skills to write articles, conduct lectures, and communicate with different team members, who vary from neuropsychologists to medical doctors.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average job growth for physiological psychologists is expected to be 12% through 2018.
In 2011, the annual median salary for physiological psychologists was $57,000 (indeed.com).