After a query from a student in our forum, I sent the following question to AQA:
In the AQA A Psychology specification there are several references to ‘neural mechanisms’. In the mark schemes these are explicitly linked to brain mechanisms (e.g. see question 5, June 2011 PSYA3). However the term ‘neural’ is defined as ‘of, relating to, or affecting a nerve or the nervous system’ (http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/neural). Should you broaden your use of this term and not limit it just to the brain? The specification does not make this clear.
I received the following answer:
We agree with the definition of ‘neural’ and relevant material on e.g. the peripheral nervous system, would always be credited. For most topics relevant material on neural mechanisms would normally involve the brain ,which is why the brain is emphasized in mark schemes, but in future we will make it clear that ‘neural’ incorporates the whole nervous system and not just the brain.