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2. Biological Causes

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About this Lecture


This module considers the role played by biological factors in causing schizophrenia. We begin by addressing the question whether there is a genetic basis to schizophrenia and considering some evidence for this claim from twin studies, adoption studies and family studies. Next, we consider how some of the symptoms of schizophrenia may be related to damage to specific brain areas, including the prefrontal cortex, Wernicke’s area and the visual cortex. Finally, we discuss the chemical changes that take place inside the schizophrenic brain, focussing in particular on the role of neurotransmitters such as dopamine, glutamate and serotonin.


In this course, Mr Kevin Silber (University of Derby) explores different aspects of the severe mental health condition schizophrenia, including its characteristics, causes and available treatments. We begin, in module one, with considering the positive and negative symptoms of schizophrenia and debunking some common myths about the illness. In the second module, we think about the possible biological causes of schizophrenia before moving on, in module three, to exploring the psychological aspects of the condition. Module four takes a closer look at the different drug treatments that have been used to help those suffering from schizophrenia, while module five considers psychological treatments, such as family therapy, CBT and token economies. In the final module, we think about the ‘interactionist approach’ to schizophrenia as an approach which takes account of both biological and psychological factors in understanding and treating the illness.


Mr Kevin Silber is a Senior Lecturer at the University of Derby where he mainly teaches on biological psychology modules. He is also an A level examiner for AQA and is involved in authoring texts for A level psychology. His research interests are somewhat eclectic. Having started life as a neuroscientist, he still has an interest in biologically oriented research. However, his main research interest is now focused on body image.

Cite this Lecture

APA style

Silber, K. (2019, September 27). Schizophrenia - Biological Causes [Video]. MASSOLIT.

MLA style

Silber, Kevin. "Schizophrenia – Biological Causes." MASSOLIT, uploaded by MASSOLIT, 27 Sep 2019,

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