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Ch. 3: Biological Psychology

Franz Gall

Personality traits localized to different areas of brain. Said you could determine traits by feeling the skull. Brain does NOT control personality characteristics.

Dr. Wilder Penfield and Electrical Brain Stimulation

Localization of Function supported. Different points of stimulation produced different responses.

Central Nervous System

Brain and Spinal Cord

Peripheral Nervous System

Somatic and Autonomic, Sympathetic and Parasympathetic.


Controls voluntary muscles.


Controls involuntary muscles.


Expends energy; fight or flight response.


Conserves energy; rest and relaxation.

3 Parts of Brain

Forebrain, Midbrain, Hindbrain


Pons, Medulla, Cerebellum


Fiber bundles that "crosses over." Important in sleep and consciousness.


Cough, sneeze, vomit. Overdose and hits to back of head hurt this area.

Pons and Medulla

Vital autonomic functions.


"Little brain." Execution; required initial learning, but becomes automatic. Sensitive to alcohol.


Visual and auditory reflexes; reflexive behavior. Sensitive to movement in periphery. Blindsightedness.


Occurs when people have damage to part of brain that processes visual images we're aware of. Cortical blindness; only blind consciously. Damage to occipital cortez/primary visual cortex.


Largest part of brain. Thalamus, Hypothalamus, Striatum, Limbic System, Amygdola, Cerebral Cortex.


Where all incoming information goes first.


Endocrine (hormone) glands; regulates certain behaviors and sends signals to Medulla. Regulates all hormones through control of pituitary glad, which is the master endocrine organ.


Layered over Thalamus. 3 parts. Rich in dopamine.

Substantia Nigra (SN)

Provides dopamine to striatum in forebrain.

Parkinson's Disease

Damage to SN. Causes problems with movement. Can no longer provide dopamine.

Deep Brain Stimulation

Treatment for Parkinson's Disease, not a cure. Electrodes placed in striatum.

Limbic System

Involved in memory function and emotional behavior. Can't learn anything new if you have Hippocampus damage.


Helps recognize emotions in others and creates emotional responses.

Cerebral Cortex

Final layer of brain. Bumps (gyrus) and grooves (fissure/sulcus). 4 lobes.

Main functions of lobes

Occipital: vision, temporal: hearing, parietal: body sensations, frontal: memory

Occipital Lobe

Primary visual cortex and vision. Damage=cortical blindness.

Temporal Lobe

Primary auditory cortex. Processing sound, visual processing, and complex shape analysis.

Wernicke's Aphasia

Temporal lobe damage. Can speak clearly, but it is not understandable. Lost auditory vocabulary and meaning of words.

Perception of Movement

Disappears from sight while moving, but can be seen when stopped.

Perception of Color and Brightness

We can see same colors through any filter (like sunglasses or tinted windows).

Visual Agnosia

Can see things, but things aren't recognizable.

Visual Prosopagnosia

Inability to recognize familiar human faces and self. Temporal lobe lesion (damage) and affects memory.

Parietal Lobe

Senses of body. Primary somatosensory cortex.

Sensory Homonculus

Distorted, but represents sensitivity of parts of the body to touch.

Phantom Limb

Occurs with people with amputations or nerve damage. Feels like pain is still in the area, even though limb is gone. Neurons that processed that area still survive, but neighboring regions start to spread and take over.

Unilateral Neglect

Perception of any sensory stimulus on the left side of the patient is ignored (right parietal lobe damage).

Frontal Lobe

Largest lobe. Primary motor cortex. Left frontal lobe=speech production.

Motor Homonculus

Dexterity (how likely you are to exert control over that part) of portion of body.

Parts of Brain that aid in Movement

Striatum, Cerebellum, Motor Cortex


Speech production. Changing sounds into words.

Productive Aphasia

Damage to Broca's. Difficult to get words out; "telegraphic" speech. Only content words.

Phineas Gage

Iron from gun backfired and went through his cheek and out of his skull. Couldn't relate to people well; temperament changes. That part of frontal lobe is involved in memory function, executive function, and inhibition of limbic system.

Split Brain

Brain damage in one certain area, but quickly spreads and can spread to other side of brain. Can see images on right visual field because that side is controlled by left side of brain, but not opposite (not connected).

Corpus Callosum

Connects the left and right sides of the brain

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