Author Pamilla Ramsden presents a thorough understanding of abnormal psychology for undergraduate students with a focus on the integration of psychology, biology and health. Understanding Abnormal Psychology: Clinical and Biological Perspectives goes beyond a descriptive overview of clinical disorders to provide a critical appreciation of the multifaceted aspects of mental illness. Each disorder is clearly and succinctly explained with the support of case studies. These examples are then used to introduce students to the debates surrounding current research, the biology of abnormal disorders and standards of treatment. The bridge between the biological elements of brain functioning and the psychological mechanisms that are responsible for coping and adjustment is thoroughly explored. This valuable consideration of the range of elements involved in the diagnosis and treatment of clinical disorders gives students a broad and critical understanding of this complex and fascinating field.

Physiology of Abnormal Behaviour

Physiology of abnormal behaviour

Learning aims

At the end of this chapter you should:

  • Understand the basics of neuronal structure
  • Comprehend neuronal communication
  • Understand brain physiology
  • Be familiar with the various structures of the brain.


Case Study

Rosemary Kennedy was the sister of the American President John F. Kennedy and the third child out of nine born to Joseph P. Kennedy Sr. and Rose Fitzgerald. There are many different accounts of the level of Rosemary's mental disability but all of them document that she was compromised in some way. Whatever her difficulty may have been she was able to function adequately as she had an active social life and attended school. She kept a diary that records various outings, going to the opera, social events, parties and ...

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