170 terms

psy101 midterm 1

psychological science
the study of mind, brain and behavior
nature vs nurture
arguments concerning whether psychological characteristics are biologically innate or acquired through education, experience and culture
mind vs body
fundamental psychological issue that considers whether mind and body are separate and distinct or whether the mind is simply the subjective experience of the physical brain
Descartes' theory that mind and body are separate but work together
three major developments in the biological revolution
growing understanding of brain chemistry, progress in understanding genetic processes' influence on life, development of methods for assessing the brain in action
localization of function
some ares of the brain are important for specific feelings, thoughts and actions (but many brain regions participate to produce behavior and mental activity)
evolutionary theory
theory that emphasizes the inherited, adaptive value of behavior and mental activity throughout the history of a species
systematic examination of subjective mental experiences that requires people to inspect and report on the content of their thoughts developed by WUNDT
approach to psychology based on the idea that conscious experience can be broken down into its basic underlying components or elements
stream of consciousness
phrase coined by JAMES to describe one's continuous ever-changing thoughts
WILLIS' approach to psychology concerned with the adaptive purpose, or function, of mind and behavior
gestalt theory
theory based on the idea that the whole of personal experience is different from simply the sum of its constituent elements
gestalt movement
perception of objects is subjective and dependent on context -- which movement reflected this?
the mental processes that operate below the level of conscious awareness
method developed by freud that attempts to bring the contents of the unconscious into conscious awareness so that conflicts can be revealed
free association
technique used by freud in which a patient would talk about whatever they wanted to for as long as they wanted; person would eventually reveal the unconscious conflicts causing the psychological problem
freud's biggest problem
his methods couldn't be scientifically proven
psychological approach developed by WATSON that emphasized the role of environmental forces in producing behavior
nature vs nurture
biggest issue that behaviorism dealt with
cognitive psychology
study of how people think, learn and remember
cognitive neuroscience
study of the neural mechanisms that underlie thought, learning and memory
science in psychological therapy
behavioral modification methods, therapies that correct faulty cognitions, drugs that alter brain chemistry
two key factors most therapeutic approaches to dealing with psych disorders have
adopting a widely recognized treatment of choice that scientific research has demonstrated to be clinically effective and recognizing that each person is a unique individual with specific issues and needs
critical thinking
systematic way of evaluating information to reach reasonable conclusions (very scientific)
extent to which the data collected address the research hypothesis in the way intended
extent to which a measure is stable and consistent over time in similar conditions
extent to which an experimental measure is free from error
three characteristics of good data
validity, reliability, accuracy
descriptive statistics
overall summary of data
central tendency
measure that represents the typical behavior of the group as a whole
measure of central tendency that is arithmetic average of a set of numbers
measure of central tendency that is the value in a set of numbers that falls exactly halfway between the lowest and highest values
measure of central tendency that is most frequent score of value in a set of numbers
in a set of numbers, how widely dispersed the values are from each other and from the mean
standard deviation
statistical measure of how far away each value is, on average, form the mean; how spread out the scores are
inferential statistics
set of procedures used to make judgments about whether differences actually exist between sets of numbers
basic unit of the nervous system; operates through electrical impulses, which communicate with other neurons thru chemical signals; they receive, integrate, and transmit info in the nervous system
three functions of a neuron
taking in info from neighboring neurons (reception), integrating those signals (conduction), passing signals to other neurons (transmission)
three basic types of neurons
sensory neurons, motor neurons, interneurons
sensory neurons
these afferent neurons detect information from the physical world and pass that information along to the brain
afferent neurons
neurons that carry information to the brain
sensory nerves that provide info from muscles
motor neurons
these efferent neurons direct muscles to contract or relax, thereby producing movement
efferent neurons
neurons that transmit signal from the brain to the muscles
neurons communicate with other neurons, typically within a specific brain region
four parts of a neuron
dendrites, cell body, axon, terminal buttons
branchlike extensions of the neuron that detect information from other neurons
cell body
where info from thousands of other neurons is collected and processes
long narrow outgrowth of a neuron by which info is transmitted to other neurons
terminal buttons
small nodules, at the ends of axons, the release chemical signals from the neuron to the synapse
synapse/synaptic cleft
site for chemical communication between neurons, which contains extracellular fluid
myelin sheath
fatty material, made up of glial cells, that insulates the axon and allows for the rapid movement of electrical impulses along the axon
nodes of ranvier
small gaps of exposed axon, between the segments of myelin sheath, where action potentials are transmitted
resting membrane potential
electrical charge of a neuron when it is not active; electrical charge inside neuron is slightly more negative that the outside (more negative ions inside than outside)
potassium and sodium
two types of ions that contribute to a neuron's resting membrane potential
ion channels
specialized pores at the nodes of ranvier
selective permeability, potassium, sodium
because of ___ of cell membrane, more ___ is inside the neuron than ___
action potential
neural impulse that passes along the axon and subsequently causes the release of chemicals from the terminal buttons; also called neural firing
___ signals depolarize the cell membrane, increasing the likelihood that neuron will fir
___ signals hyperpolarize the cell and decrease the likelihood that the neuron will fire
sodium, sodium
when a neuron fires, the ___ gates in the cell membrane open, allowing ___ ions to rush into the neuron
insulation by myelin sheath
why does the action potential skip quickly along the axon, pausing only briefly to be recharged at each node of ranvier?
multiple sclerosis
deterioration of the myelin sheath; demyelination slows down neural impulses
all or none principle
principle whereby a neuron fires with the same potency each time; cannot partially fire
chemical substance that carries information from one neuron to another
three events that determine the neurotransmitter's influence in synapse
reuptake, enzyme deactivation, autoreception
process whereby a neurotransmitter is taken back into the presynaptic terminal buttons, thereby stopping its activity
enzyme deactivation
occurs when an enzyme destroys the neurotransmitter substance in the synaptic cleft
when neurotransmitters bind with receptors on the presynaptic neuron; these receptors monitor how much neurotransmitter has been released into the synapse
drugs and toxins affect neurotransmitters
can alter how neurotransmitters are synthesized, can raise or lower amount of neurotransmitters released from the terminal buttons, by blocking reuptake they can change the way neurotransmitters are deactivated in the synaptic cleft
drug that enhances the actions of a specific neurotransmitter
drug that inhibits the actions of a specific neurotransmitter
functions of acetylcholine
motor control over muscles, learning, memory, sleeping, dreaming
functions of epinephrine
functions of norepinephrine
arousal, vigilance
functions of serotonin
emotional states and impulsiveness, dreaming, mood
functions of dopamine
reward, motivation, motor control over voluntary movement
functions of gaba
inhibitions of action potentials, anxiety, intoxication
functions of glutamate
enhances action potentials, learning, memory
functions of endorphins
pain reduction, reward
functions of substance p
pain perception, mood, anxiety
parkinson's disease
neurological disorder that seems to be caused by dopamine depletion, marked by muscular rigidity, tremors, and difficulty initiating voluntary movement
brain, spinal cord
all nerve cells in the body that are not part of cns; includes somatic and autonomic nervous systems
broca's area
part of the brain that is crucial to production of language
three parts of brainstem
medulla oblongata, pons, midbrain
section of the bottom of the brain, housing the most basic programs of survival, such as breathing, swallowing, vomiting, urination and orgasm
reticular formation
affects alertness; induces and terminates different stages of sleep
"little brain"
connected to the back of the brainstem; important for proper motor function, motor learning, involved in various cognitive processes, including making plans, remembering events, using language and experiencing emotion
brain structure vital for temperature regulation, blood pressure regulation, blood rhythm regulation, blood glucose level regulation, emotion, sexual behavior and motivation
gateway to the brain; smell is the only sensory info that doesn't pass thru here; during sleep, it shuts the gate on incoming sensations while the brain rests
"sea horse"
role in storage of new memories, creates new interconnections within cortex with each new experience, grows with increased use, involved in how we remember arrangements of space
role in learning to associate things in the world with emotional responses, fear, intensifies memory's function during times of emotional arousal, evaluating a facial expression's emotional significance
basal ganglia
crucial for planning and producing movement
cerebral cortex
source of culture, communication, allows us to learn fine distinctions and intricate details of the outside world, understand other people, follow rules, perform complex behaviors, think before we act
occipital lobe
function is vision; contains primary visual cortex
parietal lobe
devoted to touch; includes primary somatosensory cortex; left hemisphere receives info from right side of body and vice versa
temporal lobe
responsible for hearing; contains primary auditory cortex; also has specialized visual areas for recognizing faces (fusiform face area)
frontal lobe
essential for planning and movement; contains premotor cortex and primary motor cortex; left hemisphere controls right side of body and vice versa; contains prefrontal cortex
prefrontal cortex
in frontal lobes; deals with directing and maintaining attention, keeping ideas in mind while distractions bombard us from the outside world, developing and acting on plans, rational activity, important for social life (understanding what others are thinking, behaving according to cultural norms, contemplating our own existence), empathizes with others, guilt
somatic and autonomic nervous systems
two primary components of pns
somatic nervous system
transmits sensory signals to the cns via nerves
autonomic nervous system
regulates body's internal environment by stimulating glands and by maintaining internal organs
two divisions of autonomic nervous system
sympathetic and parasympathetic
sympathetic division
prepares body for action
parasympathetic division
returns the body to its resting state
endocrine system
communication network that uses hormones to influence thoughts, behaviors, and actions
chemical substances released into bloodstream by endocrine glands to reach target organs
social interaction during which a person, responding to suggestions, experiences changes in memory, perception, and/or voluntary action
the sense organs' responses to external stimuli and the transmission of these responses to the brain
the processing, organization and interpretation of sensory signals; it results in an internal representation of the stimulus that for a conscious experience of the world
essence of sensation
essence of perception
construction of useful and meaningful information about a particular environment
sensory coding
our sensory organ's translations of stimuli's physical properties into neural impulses
process by which sensory receptors produce neural impulses when they receive physical or chemical stimulation
absolute threshold
minimum intensity of stimulation that must occur before you experience a sensation
difference threshold
the just noticeable difference between two stimuli--minimum amount of change required for a person to detect a difference
weber's law
the just noticeable difference between two stimuli is based on a proportion of the original stimulus rather than on a fixed amount of difference
signal detection theory
theory of perception based on the idea that the detection of a faint stimulus requires a judgement--it is not an all-or-none process
sensory adaptation
decrease in sensitivity to a constant level of stimulation
sensory organs
only the neurons in the ___ ___ respond directly to the events in the world
brain, other neurons
the neurons in the ___ do not respond to the events in the world, they respond only to input from ___ ___
sense of taste
gustation's job
to keep poisons out of our digestive systems while allowing good food in
taste buds
sensory receptors that transduce taste information
people who experience especially intense taste sensations; trait largely determined genetically; are really sensitive to spicy food; have nearly 6 times as many taste buds as normal people; picky eaters
sense of smell, which occurs when receptors in the nose respond to chemicals
olfactory epithelium
thin layer of tissue, within the nasal cavity, that is embedded with mell receptors
olfactory bulb
brain center for smell located below frontal lobes in brain
where is a smell's intensity processed?
haptic sense
sense of touch
what skin receptors percieve
temperature, pain, pressure
fast fibers
nerve fibers that identify sharp, immediate pain; activated by strong physical pressure and temperature extremes
slow fibers
nerve fibers that identify chronic, dull and steady pain; activated by chemical changes in tissue when skin is damaged
fast pain
which pain helps us to recoil from harmful objects and therefore is protective?
slow pain
which pain keeps us from using the affected body parts therefore helps us in recuperation?
gate control theory of pain
for us to experience pain, pain receptors must be activated and a neural "gate" in the spinal cord must allow the signals thru to the brain
sense of sound perception; the medium for spoken language
sound wave
pattern of the changes in air pressure thru the time that results in the percept of a sound
movement, vibrations, air pressure
Hearing results when the ___ & ___ of objects cause the displacement of air molecules. Displaced air molecules produce a change in ___ ___, and that change travels thru the air.
amplitude, frequency
a sound wave's ___ determines its loudness; a sound wave's ___ determines its pitch
tympanic membrane; thin membrane, which sound waves vibrate, that marks the beginning of the middle ear
concentrative meditation
type of meditation where you focus attention on one thing, such as your breathing pattern, mental image, or a specific phrase (sometimes called a mantra)
mindfulness meditation
type of meditation where you let your thoughts flow freely, paying attention to them but trying not to react to them
clear outer layer of the eye
thin inner surface of the back of the eyeball; it contains the photoreceptors that transduce light into neural signals
small opening in the eye; it lets in light waves
colored muscular circle on the surface of the eye; it changes shape to let in more or less light
retinal cells that respond to low levels of illumination and result in black and white perception
retinal cells that respond to higher levels of illumination and result in color perception
center of the retina where cones are densely packed
receptive field
region of visual space to which neurons in the primary visual cortex are sensitive
lateral inhibition
visual process in which adjacent photoreceptors tend to inhibit one another
subtractive color mixing
way to produce a given spectral pattern in which the mixture occurs within the stimulus itself and is actually a physical, not psychological, process (for example, mixing pain colors)
additive color mixing
way to produce a given spectral pattern in which different wave lengths of lights are mixed. The percept if determined by the interaction of these wave lengths with receptors in the eye and is a psychological process (mixing light)
subtractive primary colors
red, yellow, blue
additive primary colors
blue (long wavelength), green (medium wavelength), red (short wavelength)
kinesthetic sense
perception of our limbs in space
vestibular sense
perception of balance
bottom up processing
hierarchical model of pattern recognition in which data are relayed from one processing level to the next, always moving to a higher level of processing
top down processing
hierarchical model of pattern recognition in which information at the higher levels of processing can also influence lower, "earlier" levels in the processing hierarchy
binocular depth cues
cues of death perception that arise from the face that people have two eyes
monocular depth cues
cues of depth perception that are available to each eye alone
binocular disparity
retinal disparity; cue of depth perception that is caused by the distance between a person's eyes, which provides each eye with a slightly different image
stereoscopic vision
ability to determine an object's depth based on that object's projections to each eye
motion parallax
relative movements of objects that are at various distances from the observer
perceptual consistency
people correctly perceive objects as constant in their shape, size, color, and lightness, despite raw sensory data that could mislead perception