AP Psychology Chapter 2
Terms in this set (111)
The scientific study of the links between biological (genetic, neural, hormonal) and psychological processes.
Ex: Behaviorial neuroscientists, neuropyschologists, behavior geneticists, physiological psychologists, or biopsychologists
A nerve cell; the basic building block of the nervous system. There are billions of neurons throughout the body.
The cell's life support center.
A neuron's bushy, branching extensions that recieve messages and conduct impulses toward the cell body.
The neuron extension that passes messages through its branches to other neurons or to muscles or glands. Longer than dendrites.
A fatty tissue layer segmentally encasing the axons of some neurons; enables vastly greater transmission speed as neural impulses hop from one node to the next. Laid down up to about age 25, neural efficiency, judgement, and self-control grows.
The myelin sheath degenerates, communication to muscles slow, with eventual loss of muscle control.
Glial cells (Glia)
Cells in the nervous system that support, nourish, and protect neurons; they may also play a role in learning and thinking.
A neural impulse; a brief electrical charge that travels down an axon (like a wave).
Describe the neurons chemistry-to-electrical process
Ions are exchanged. The fluid outside an axon's membrane has mostly positively charged ions; a resting axon's fluid interior has mostly negatively charged ions. When a neuron fires, the first section of the axon opens its gates, and positively charged sodium ions flood in through the cell membrane. This depolarizes the axon section, causing the next axon channel to open, and then the next, like a line of falling dominoes, each tripping the next. During a resting pause, the neuron pumps the positively charged sodium ions back outside. Then it can fire again.
The level of stimulation required to trigger a neural impulse. Threshold is reached when excitatory (Fire!) signals outweigh the inhibitory (Don't fire!) signals by a certain amount.
Process of how neurons communicate with eachother
1) the neuron receives signals from other neurons; some excitatory and some inhibitory
2) When the threshold is reached, the action potential stats moving.
3) The action potential travels down the axon from the cell body to the terminal branches
4) The signal is transmitted to another cell by crossing the synapse.
All or none response and how does a strong stimulus influence it
Either neurons fire or they don't. A strong stimulus can trigger more neurons to fire, and to fire more often. But it does not affect the action potentials strength or speed.
The junction between the axon tip of the sending neuron and the dendrite or cell body of the receiving neuron. The tiny gap at this junction is called the synaptic gap/cleft
Chemical messengers that cross the synaptic gap between neurons. When released by the sending neuron, neurotransmitters travel across the synapse and bind to receptor sites on the receiving neuron, thereby influencing whether that neuron will generate a neural impulse.
After the neurotransmitters stimulate the receptors on the receiving neuron, the chemicals are taken back up into the sending neuron to be used again.
Neurotransmitter Function and Example of Malfunction: Acetylcholine (ACh)
Function: Enables muscle action, learning, and memory
Examples of Malfunction: With Alzheimer's disease, ACh-producing neurons deteriorate
Neurotransmitter Function and Example of Malfunction: Dopamine
Function: Influences movement, learning, attention, and emotion
Examples of Malfunction: Oversupply is linked to schizophrenia. Undersupply linked to tremors and decreased mobility in Parkinson's disease.
Neurotransmitter Function and Example of Malfunction: Serotonin
Function: Affects mood, hunger, sleep, and arousal
Examples of Malfunction: Undersupply linked to depression. Some antidepressant drugs raise serotonin levels.
Neurotransmitter Function and Example of Malfunction: Norepinephrine
Function: Helps control alertness and arousal
Examples of Malfunction: Undersupply can depress mood
Neurotransmitter Function and Example of Malfunction: GABA (Gamma-aminobutyric acid)
Function: A major inhibitory neurotransmitter
Examples of Malfunction: Undersupply linked to seizures, tremors, and insomnia
Neurotransmitter Function and Example of Malfunction: Glutamate
Function: A major excitatory neurotransmitter; involved in memory
Examples of Malfunction: Oversupply can overstimulate brain, producing migraines or seizures (which is why some people avoid MSG, monosodium glutamate in food)
"Morphine within"- Natural, opiate-like neurotransmitters linked to pain control and to pleasure.
Networks of neurons that communicate with serotonin help regulate mood.
Networks of neurons that communicate with dopamine are involved in focusing attention and controlling movement.
The body's speedy, electro-chemical communication network, consisting of all the nerve cells of the peripheral and central nervous systems.
Central nervous system (CNS)
The brain and spinal cord, the body's decision maker
Peripheral nervous system (PNS)
The sensory and motor neurons that connect the CNS to the rest of the body. Sends CNS decisions out to the body.
Bundled axons that form neural "cables" connecting the central nervous system with muscles, glands and sense organs
Sensory (afferent) Neurons
Neurons that carry incoming information from the body's tissues and sensory receptors to the brain and spinal cord (CNS) for processing.
Motor (efferent) Neurons
Neurons that carry outgoing information from the CNS to the muscles and glands
Neurons within the brain and spinal cord that communicate internally and intervene between the sensory inputs and motor outputs.
Somatic Nervous System
The division of the peripheral nervous system (PNS) that controls the body's skeletal muscles. Also called the skeletal nervous system.
Autonomic Nervous System (ANS)
The part of the peripheral nervous system that controls the glands and the muscles of the internal organs (such as the heart). Its sympathetic division arouses; its parasympathetic division calms.
Sympathetic Nervous System
The division of the autonomic nervous system that arouses the body, mobilizing its energy in stressful situations
What does the sympathetic nervous system do to the body?
dilates pupils, accelerates heartbeat, inhibits digestion, stimulates glucose release by liver, stimulates secretion of epinephrine, norepinephrine, stimulates ejaculation in males
Parasympathetic Nervous System
The division of the autonomic nervous system that calms the body, conserving its energy
What does the parasympathetic nervous system do to the body?
Contracts pupils, slows heartbeat, stimulates digestion, stimulates gallbladder, contracts bladder, allows blood flow to sex organs
These complex webs of interconnected neurons form with experience.
A simple, automatic response to a sensory stimulus, such as the knee-jerk response. A simple spinal reflex pathway is composed of a single sensory neuron and a single motor neuron. These often communicate through an interneuron.
The body's "slow" chemical communication system; a set of glands that secrete hormones into the bloodstream.
Chemical messengers that are manufactured by the endocrine glands, travel through the bloodstream, and affect other tissues.
How are the nervous system and endocrine system similar and different?
Both produce molecules that act on receptors elsewhere. But, the speedy nervous system zips messages from eyes to brain to hand in a fraction of a second. Endocrine messages trudge along in the bloodstream, taking several seconds or more to travel from the gland to the target tissue.
A pair of endocrine glands that sit just above the kidneys and secrete hormones (epinephrine and norepinephrine) that help arouse the body in times of stress. These hormones increase heart rate, blood pressure, and blood sugar, providing a surge of energy.
The endocrine system's most influential gland. Under the influence of the hypothalamus, the pituitary regulates growth and controls other endocrine glands.
An amplified recording of the waves of electrical activity sweeping across the brain's surface. These waves are measured by electrodes placed on the scalp. Useful in studying seizures and sleep.
PET (positron emission tomography) Scan
A visual display of brain activity that detects where a radioactive form of glucose goes while the brain preforms a given task.
MRI (magnetic resonance imaging)
A technique that uses magnetic fields and radio waves to produce computer-generated images of soft tissue. MRI scans show brain anatomy.
fMRI (functional MRI)
A technique for revealing blood-flow and, therefore, brain activity by comparing successive MRI scans. fMRI scans show brain function.
Tissue destruction. A brain lesion is a naturally or experimentally caused destruction of brain tissue.
The oldest part and central core of the brain, beginning where the spinal cord swells as it enters the skull; the brainstem is responsible for automatic survival functions.
the base of the brainstem, controls heartbeat and breathing. someone with total brain damage above the medulla could still breathe independently, but someone with damage in this area could not.
sits above the medulla and helps coordinate movements
The brain's sensory router, located on top of the brainstem; it directs messages to the sensory receiving areas in the cortex and transmits replies to the cerebellum and medulla.
All sensory messages, except smell are routed through the thalamus on the way to the cortex. Messages crossover from ones side of the body to the other side of the brain.
A nerve network that travels through the brainstem and plays an important role in controlling arousal. Filters incoming sensory information and relays it to other brain areas.
Who discovered that electrically stimulating a sleeping cats reticular formation almost instantly produced an awake, alert, animal. When one of them severed a cat's reticular formation without damaging nearby sensory pathways, the effect was equally dramatic: The cat lapsed into a coma from which it never awakened.
Giuseppe Moruzzi and Horace Magoun.
the "little brain" at the rear of the brainstem; functions include the processing sensory input, coordinating movement output and balance, and enabling nonverbal learning and memory.
neural system (including the hippocampus, amygdala, and hypothalamus) located below the cerebral hemispheres; associated with emotions and basic drives such as hunger and sex. Formation of episodic memories.
The two halves of the brain
Two lima-bean-sized neural clusters in the limbic system; linked to emotion (aggression and fear).
Electrical stimulation of one area of a cat's amygdala provokes ___ reactions while another part will cower in ___
A neural structure lying below the thalamus; it directs several maintenance activities (eating, drinking, body temperature), helps govern the endocrine system via the pituitary gland, and is linked to emotion and reward.
What experiment did James Olds and Peter Milner conduct and what did they find?
They were trying to implant an electrode in a rat's reticular formation but made a magnificent mistake; they placed the electrode incorrectly. Curiously, as if seeking more stimulation, the rat kept returning to the location where it had been stimulated by this misplaced electrode. On discovering that they had actually placed the device in a region of the hypothalamus, they realized they had stumbled upon a brain center that provides pleasurable rewards, "reward centers". When allowed to press pedals to trigger their own stimulation in these areas, rats would sometimes do so at a feverish pace-up to 7000 times per hour- until they dropped from exhaustion. Moreover, to get this stimulation, they would even cross and electrified floor that a starving rat would not cross to get food.
Processes conscious, episodic memories. Works with the amygdala to form emotionally charged memories.
Man with 30 second amnesia because his hippocampus was destroyed
Another limbic reward center in front of the hypothalamus; found in many other species including dolphins and monkeys.
Reward deficiency syndrome
Addictive disorders may stem from malfunction in natural brain systems for pleasure and well-being. People genetically predisposed to this syndrome may crave whatever provides that missing pleasure or relieves negative feelings.
The intricate fabric of interconnected neural cells covering the cerebral hemispheres; the body's ultimate control and information-processing center
Two cerebral hemispheres contributing 85% of the brain's weight- form specialized work teams that enable our perceiving, speaking and thinking.
What are the four lobes each hemisphere's cortex is subdivided into?
Frontal lobes, parietal lobes, occipital lobes and the temporal lobes
How are the lobes separated?
Portion of the cerebral cortex lying just behind the forehead; involved in speaking and muscle movements and in making plans and judgments.
Portion of the cerebral cortex lying at the top of the head and toward the rear; receives sensory input from the visual fields.
Portion of the cerebral cortex lying at the back of the head; includes areas that receive information from the opposite visual field
Portion of the cerebral cortex lying roughly above the ears; includes the auditory areas, each receiving information primarily from the opposite ear.
What discovery did Gustav Fritsch and Eduard Hitzig make?
Mild electrical stimulation to parts of an animals cortex made parts of its body move on the opposite side.
An area at the rear of the frontal lobes that controls voluntary movements.
Area at the front of the parietal lobes that registers and processes body touch and movement sensations.
Areas of the cerebral cortex that are not involved in primary motor or sensory functions; rather they are involved in higher mental functions such as learning, remembering, thinking and speaking. Found in all four lobes.
What do association areas enable in the frontal lobes?
Judgement, planning and processing of new memories.
In a work accident, a metal rod shot up through his skull destroying his eye and part of his frontal lobe. The injury turned him into a rude, odd, irritable and unpredictable man, because the damage hurt his ability to inhibit emotions and impulses.
The brains ability to change, especially during childhood, by reorganizing after damage or by building new pathways based on experience. The brain does not repair damaged neurons but it can restore some functions.
Production of new brain cells
The large band of neural fibers connecting the two brain hemispheres and carrying messages between them.
A condition resulting from surgery that isolates the brain's two hemispheres by cutting the fibers (mainly those of the corpus callosum) connecting them.
Split Visual Field
Each hemisphere perceives the half of the view in front of you that goes with the half of the body controlled by that hemisphere
Talent and Drawback of split brain patients
Talent: People are able to follow two instructions and draw two shapes simultaneously
Drawback: People can be frustrated that the right and left sides do different things
Certain mental processes are specialized to one side of the brain.
Thoughts and logic; language (words and definitions); pieces and details
Feelings and intuition; language (tone, inflection, context); wholes including the self.
Every nongenetic influence, from prenatal nutrition to the people and things around us.
The study of the relative power and limits of genetic and enviornmental influences on behavior.
Threadlike structures made of DNA molecules that contain the genes.
deoxyribonucleic acid. A complex molecule containing the genetic information that makes up the chromosomes.
The biochemical units of heredity that make up the chromosomes; segments of DNA capable of synthesizing proteins
An organisms entire collection of genes
Twins who develop from a single (monoozygotic) fertilized egg that splits in two, creating two genetically identical organisms
Twins who develop from separate (dizygotic) fertilized eggs. They are genetically no closer than ordinary brothers and sisters, but they share a fetal environment.
Identical vs Fraternal Twins
Studies of twins in adulthood show that identical twins are more alike than fraternal twins in:
-personality traits such as extroversion and neuroticism
-Behavior outcomes such as rate of divorce
-Abilities such as overall intelligence test scores
Studies of Identical Twins Raised Apart
Similarities found in identical twins despite being raised in different homes:
-personality styles of thinking and relating
-abilities/ intelligence test scores
-brain waves, heart rate
Critiques of twin studies
1) in the more recent years of the Minnesota twin family study, twins have known about each other and may influence each other to be more similar
2) coincidences happen; some randomly chosen pairs of people will have similar traits
3) environments may be similar; adoptive families tend to be more similar than randomly selected families in education, income, and values
Biological vs Adoptive Relatives
Studies have been preformed with adoptive children for whom the biological relatives are known. Findings: Adoptive children seem to be more similar to their genetic relatives than their environmental/ nurture relatives.
Why does parenting matter?
Despite the strong impact of genetics on personality, parenting has an influence on:
Religious beliefs, values, manners, attitudes, politics, habits
the interplay that occurs when the effect of one factor (such as the environment) depends on another factor (such as heredity)
The study of environmental influences on gene expression that occur without a DNA change
The study of the evolution of behavior and the mind, using principles of natural selection
The principle that, among the range of inherited trait variations, those contributing to reproduction and survival will most likely be passed on to succeeding generations.
5 ways of evolution
Genetic drift (natural disaster), nonrandomating mating, mutation, gene flow (migration), natural selection (adaptation)
A random error in gene replication that leads to a change
Critiques of Evolutionary Psychology and response
1)taking current reality and constructing a way you could have predicted it. hindsight reasoning and unscientific.
response: yes, but there are predictions made about future behavior
2) attributing too much to genes rather than the human ability to make choices about social behavior
response: yes, but our evolutionary past does not prevent our ability to act differently
-Women have sex wisely
-Men have sex widely
-men preferred attractive physical features ex youth and health
-women preferred resources and social status