Part Introduction
Chapter 1 focused on the scientific method that forms the foundation of all areas of psychology. In this next part, we will discuss the biological foundations of psychologythe nervous and endocrine system functions (Chapter 2), sensation and perceptual processes (Chapter 3), states of consciousness (Chapter 4), and motivational and emotional functions (Chapter 5) that influence our mental processes and behavior. The fields of psychology and biology are intimately intertwined. Biology focuses on the body, its structures and physiological functions. Our knowledge about the body helps to inform psychologys study of mental processes and behavior. Without biological functioning, there would be no mental processes or behavior for psychologists to study. And changes in biological functioning, through taking drugs, injury, or illness, have the potential to affect our thoughts and behavior.



Despite its importance in our lives, we often pay little attention to our biological functioning. For example, when did you last stop to wonder how your brain works? For most of us, the answer to that question is probably never! Most of us lead our lives without giving our brain much thought. Every day we go about our business, taking for granted our ability to move, speak, feel, and breathe. We seldom, if ever, stop to think about the amazing internal systems that allow us to accomplish these tasks. Sometimes the best way to gain an appreciation for things we take for granted is to see what life would be like without them. In the case study for this part, we see what life was like for Jean-Dominique Bauby when he suddenly lost certain aspects of his brain function. After reading his story, you might just find yourself with increased respect for your own brain and the abilities that it gives you.

When Jean-Dominique Bauby began his day on December 8, 1995, his life was the essence of success. At age 43 he was editor-in-chief of the French fashion magazine Elle, the father of two loving children, a world travelera man who seemed to have everything. But all of this was about to change. As Bauby was driving that afternoon, he suddenly began to experience unusual neurological problems. As he drove along, Bauby began to feel as if he were moving in slow motion. His vision began to blur and double, and familiar landmarks along the road seemed only vaguely recognizable. Realizing that he was in trouble, Bauby pulled off the road and attempted to get out of the car, only to find that he was unable to walk. He collapsed and was rushed to a nearby hospital where he lapsed into a coma that lasted nearly 3 weeks.

As you may have guessed, Bauby experienced a stroke on that December afternoon. Blood flow to the brainstem was disrupted, leaving Bauby with what physicians call locked-in syndrome. People with locked-in syndrome remain conscious but are almost completely unable to move or speak. They are essentially trapped or locked inside their bodies, aware of the outside world, but unable to communicate with those around them in a typical fashion. Because people with locked-in syndrome have profound paralysis, locked-in syndrome is sometimes difficult to distinguish from a persistent vegetative state, a state in which consciousness is disrupted. In fact, on average it takes over 2.5 months for others to realize that people with locked-in syndrome have emerged from a coma and are aware of their surroundings (Laureys et al., 2005). Researchers are currently working on ways to use brain imaging techniques to distinguish locked-in syndrome from other states that involve disrupted consciousness, in hopes of producing faster, more accurate diagnoses (Roquet et al., 2016).

Jean-Dominique Bauby

Jean-Dominique Bauby
When Bauby awoke from his coma, he was aware of his surroundings but unable to move any part of his body except for his left eyelid. He was also completely mute and half deaf; and because he was unable to blink his right eye, it had to be sewn shut to protect his cornea. For the remaining 15 months of his life, Bauby lived in this locked-in state, unable to move or speak but very aware of his surroundings and able to think, feel pain, and experience normal emotions and desires.

If Baubys story were simply the tale of a man cut down in the prime of life, it would certainly be a sad one. However, even as he lay locked inside his own body and fighting a losing battle, there was more to Baubys life than tragedy. There was also the remarkable triumph of an intelligent and resourceful man. From his hospital bed, Bauby gradually learned to communicate with others by doing the only thing he couldblinking his left eye. Using an ingenious system, an assistant would read off the letters of the alphabet one at a time. When the assistant read the appropriate letter, Bauby would blink and the assistant would gradually compile the words and phrases that Bauby spelled out. Although it was painstaking, this system allowed Bauby to communicate with those who were patient enough to go through the process. Through blinking, Bauby was able to free himself to a small but meaningful degree from the prison of locked-in syndrome.

Not only did Bauby communicate with his family and friends, he also dictated a best-selling book that was later made into a major motion picture in 2007. It is estimated that Bauby had to blink his eye more than 200,000 times to dictate the manuscript (MacIntyre, 1998). The Diving Bell and the Butterfly (Bauby, 1997), published in France just days after his death on March 9, 1997, recounts Baubys struggle to cope with the infirmities he suffered as a result of his devastating stroke, as well as his musings on the life he lost that December day. It also serves as a testament to the awesome complexity and power of the human brain.

Although it took a life-changing illness to make Bauby aware of his amazing biology, the same does not have to be true for us. In the chapters of this part, you will learn about the biological processes of the nervous and endocrine systems that underlie your thoughts and behavior (Chapter 2), the way you sense and perceive the world (Chapter 3), your awareness of the outside world and your own mind (Chapter 4), and the motivations and emotions that guide your behavior (Chapter 5). As you read these chapters, we hope that you will begin to recognize the amazing intricacy and precision with which the systems within our bodies influence even our simplest behaviors. For as Jean-Dominique Bauby showed us, a glitch in our biological functioning can change our lives in profound ways. Keep in mind that as you read this page, everything you are doingperceiving these words on the page, being conscious of the meaning of the words, being motivated to continue reading, and so onoriginates in your wonderfully complex biology.

Jean-Dominique Bauby blinked more than 200,000 times to write The Diving Bell and the Butterfly after having a stroke and ending up in a locked-in state. This book was later turned into a major motion picture.

Jean-Dominique Bauby blinked more than 200,000 times to write The Diving Bell and the Butterfly after having a stroke and ending up in a locked-in state. This book was later turned into a major motion picture.

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