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Brain and Nervous System Stress/Arousal and Disease Polygraph GAS


a complex nerve tissue structure which plays and improtant role in information processing, decision making and survival

Cerebal Cortex

coiled outer layer of the hemispheres, involved in information processing and activities.

Assocation Areas

involved in high order brain functions

Frontal Lobe

recieves and processes information from the other lobes of the brain to enable us to perform complex functions

Assocations Areas of the Frontal Lobe

involved in the cognitive processes of planning, seleting and carrying out behaviours

Primary Motor Cortex

located at the rear of the Frontal Lobe, controls voluntary movement through the control of skeletal muscles

Broca's Area

located in the Frontal Lobe of the left hemisphere, responsible for the control of muscles involved in the production of fluent speech

Broca's Aphasia

damage to the Broca's Area results in speech consisting of limited speech and very simple grammatical structure

Parietal Lobe

located behind the Frontal Lobe, recieves and processes sensory information from the skin and body

Association Areas of the Parietal Lobe

sensational experiences, visual attention and spatial reasoning

Primary Somatosensory Cortex

recieves and processes sensory information from skin senses and the body to enable sensational experiences

Occipital Lobe

located at the rear of the brain, recieves and processes visual information

Association Areas of the Occipital Lobe

further process visual information

Primary Visual Cortex

recieves and processes information from the visual fields

Temporal Lobe

located at the bottom of the brain, involved in hearing, but also plays and important role in memory formation.

Association Areas of the Temporal Lobe

memory formation, coupling auditory and visual stimuli

Primary Auditory Cortex

recieves and process sound from both ears

Wernicke's Area

located in the temporal lobe of the left hemisphere, invovled in comphrehending speech and interpreting the sound of human speech.

Wernicke's Aphasia

damage to the Wernicke's area results in disrupted speech (word salad) and difficulty understanding human speech

Cerebral Hemispheres

the two almost identical halfs of teh brain connected by the corpus callosum

Corpus Callosum

connents the two cerebral hemisheres, enabling the exchange of information and coordination of their activities

Right Hemisphere

NON VERBAL RESPONSES. fantasy and imagination, visualisation and spatial skills, recognition of faces and rhythm

Left Hemisphere

VERBAL RESPONSES. critical and analytical thinking, reading, maths and languagek logical and sequential problem solving.

Investigating Hemispheric Specilisation: Brain Damage

stroke, head injuries or for medical reasons had to have parts of the brain removed. Provides evidence on localisation of particular functions of each hemisphere. (spatial neglect)

Brain Damage: Spatial Neglect

only occurs when damage is to the right hemisphere of the parietal lobe. it seems as though the left side of the world no longer exists. its a problem with visual attention, not visual capabilities.

Investigating Hemispheric Specialisation: Split Brain

cutting the corpus callosum (usually in cases of epilepsy) provides evidence on specilised functions of each hemisphere (sperry's study)

Split Brain: Sperry's Study

images are flashed to the left visual fields (therefore the right hemisphere) and individual cannot name object, but can locate it. Images are flashed to the right visual fields (therefore the left hemisphere) and individual can name object.

Investigating Hemispheric Specilisation: Intact/Whole Brains

using healthy brains to confirm research done via other methods.

Intact/Whole Brains: WADA

individual is concious throughout the process. arms in the air, count to 10. sedative is inserted into artery on neck and anaesthetises one of the hemispheres. left artery=right arm drop. right artery=left arm drops. if anaesthetised lobe contrains language centre, the individual stops counting (usually when sedative is inserted into right artery.

Case Studies

indepth research into an the behaviours of an individual who has brain damage. usually used for rare conditions. AD:detailed and comphrehensive understanding of the individuals condition. DIS: difficult to summarise and generalise the findings.

Electrical Stimulation of the Brain (ESB)

Electrodes send electrical currents to the brain to stimulate only certain areas. AD: provides detail about which structure/area of the brain is active during an action. DIS: very invasive, can only be used on people who have had or are having brain surgery.

Electroencephalograph (EEG)

detects, amplifies and records elecrtical activity in the brain. AD: less invasive than ESB. DIS: only produces overall info of function, not detailed about what specific areas or structures are active.

Computerised (axial) Tomography (CT/CAT)

a neuroimaging technique where xrays are used to create a cross sectional image of the brain by taken many different xrays from different angles. AD: helps detect physical changes. DIS: can only be conducted by a radiologist, only shows structure.

Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI)

a neuroimaging technique that uses magnetic fields to vibrate atoms in the brain and produce an image. AD: clearer images than CT. DIS: cannot be used on people who have internal magnetic devices, eg pacemaker.

Positron Emission Tomography (PET)

a neuroimaging technique that produces a computer generated image three dimension image of the brain by injecting a radioactive substance into the brain. AD: identifies function of specific areas of the brain that are active during tasks. DIS: injection of radioactive substance means that PET scans must be kept short.

Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI)

a neuroimaging technique that produces an image of a functioning brain by detecting changes in oxygen levels and blood flow through the brain, while the individual completes a task. AD: can take numerous photographs in rapid succession, showing real time functioning. DIS: in the results, the functioning of the brain may not of a direct result of the task being completed. it is also very expensive.

Ethical Principles: Integrity

the research must potentially bring value to humankind. therefore cannot be conducted for personal gain or unfound purposes.

Ethical Principles: Beneficence

risks must be low and benefits high.

Ethical Principles: Respect for Persons

participants saftey is most important. their beleifs, values and moral must be respected.

Ethical Principles: Justice

must be a representative sample, and participants should not be chosen if they are vulnerable or easily persuaded.

Nervous System

recieves information, processes information and coordinates a response

Central Nervous System

recieves and processes information from sensory systems and other parts of the body and then activates a response

CNS: Brain

recieves sensory information and directs actions within the body

CNS: Spinal Cord

Connects the brain and the PNS, carries sensory neurons to the brain from PNS and carries motor neurons from the brain to the PNS

Peripheral Nervous System

consists of all parts of the NS other than the brain and the spinal cord. carries sensory information to the spinal cord, carries motor info to the appropriate body parts.

PNS: Somatic Nervous System

controls all voluntary movements, carries sensory info from receptor sites on the skin to the CNS and carries motor info from the PNS to activate the desired actions

PNS: Autonomic Nervous System

controls involuntary movements. controls and regulates the functioning of all internal organs

Sensory (Afferent) Neurons

carries sensory info from internal and external stimuli up the ascending tracts of the spinal cord to the brain for processing

Motor (Efferent) Neurons

carries motor info down the decending tracts of the spinal cord to relvant parts of the body


transmits ino ithin the CNS and provides links between sensory an motor neurons. recieves, organises and intergrates info, (unmyelinated)

Sympathetic Nervous System

responsible for arousing the body to action when under threat or experiencing extreme emotion

Parasympathetic Nervous System

responsible for restoring the body to its normal level of functioning after a threat or extreme emotion has passed.

Fight or Flight Response

an automatic response to a percived threat that prepares the body to confront (fight) the threat or run away from it (flight)


a device that simultaneously detects and records physiological responses (respiration, blood pressure, heart rate, galvantic skin resposne) in a person. used in lie detection.

Polygraph: Respiration

measued by rubber tubes around the stomach/chest. tubes fil with air when the individal breathes, and then alters the polygraph.

Polygraph: Galvantic Skin Response

measures electric conductivitiy of the skin through electrodes taped to the fingers. skin pores open up when the symp NS is activated

Polygraph: Blood Pressure

measured by a cuff wrapped around the upper arm. the magnitude of sound indicates blood pressure level

Polygraph: Heart Rate

measured by a cuff wrapped aorund the upper arm. the frequency of change of frequency

Polygraph: Control Questions

questions that are designed no to elict an emotional response. aims to establish a baseline/normal measurements which are used to compare to later measurements. EG. is you address 123 Psych St?

Polygraph: Emotional Control Questions

questions that are desgined to elicit a slight emotional response. difficult to answer just yes or no, provides info on ahow a person reacts to being moderately aroused. EG. have you ever watched porography material

Polygraph: Critical or Relevant Questions

questions tht are designed to elicit a strong emotional response. measures from this ar compared to the results from the control and emotional control questions to determine the variance in physiological responses.

Limitations of the Polygraph

not all people have the same physiologicl resposnes to stress questions. thre is no unqiue lie response. medication can slow teh activity of the nervous system. you can alter your physiological activity through yoga and brething.relaxation technqiues.


a state of physical or mental tension that occures when an individual is confronted with a percieved threat or challenge that forces them to respond at a level that they dont beleive they have the ability or resources to cope with.


event, object, person or situation that an individual percieves as threatening, regardless of the ctual threat posed.

Stress Reaction

the physiological, psychological and behavioural responses and indvidual has when confronted with a stressor

Prolonged Arousal

acute levels (extremely high) and prolonged (extended perods of time) can have pyschological and physiological effects.

Physiological Effects of Prolonged Arousal/Stress

headaches, heat disease/palpitations, dizziness, constipation, skin rashes

Psychological Effects of Prolonged Arousal/Stress

depression, change in sleeping/eating patterns, frustration, aggression.

Psychosomatic Illness

an illness where the symptoms are caused in part of entirely by psychological factors. it is not an imagined illness, it is real. it is due the effects of psychological factors. Headaches, Atshma, ulcers.

Intese/Prolonged Stress and Disease

where stress is both intense and prolonged, the likelihood of onset of disease/illness is increased


examines the relationship between pshychological factors, the nervous system and the immune system.

Immune System

recognise and eliminate harmful micro-organisms which enter the body and cancer cells which originate in the body.

White Blood Cells

Lmyphocytes: detect and destroy harmful cells Phagocytes: injest and eliminate the dead cells and other debris

General Adaptation Syndrome

the total mobilisation of an organisms resources and defence systems

Alarm Reaction

occurs when a person first becomes aware of the stressor

Alarm Reaction: Shock

the body goes into temporary shock. ability to deal with the stressor falls below the normal level of functioning. blood pressure and body temp drop.

Alarm Reaction: Counter Shock

the body rebounds from its initial shock. the sympathetic nervous system kicks in to prepare the body to deal with the stressor, adrenaline is released. increases heart rate


only entered if the individual is unsuccessful in dealing with the stressor in the alarm reaction stage. body is at a high level of aroual and is more able to cope with the original stressor, but not able to cope with additional stressors. cortisol is released to heal any damage to the immune system.


only entered if the individual is unsuccessfu in dealing the stressor in the resistance stage. the stressor has depleted the individuals energy sources, and they are no longer able to deal with the stressor. individual is vulnerable to disease and illness, fatigue and depression, eventually if the stressor does not subside and only in extreme cases, the organism will die.

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