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Psych 101 Chapter 2 Ciccarelli
General Psychology questions from chapter 2
Terms in this set (27)
What is the nervous system
The nervous system is a network of cells that carry information to and from all parts of the body. It consists of the central and the peripheral nervous systems
What is neuroscience?
Neuroscience is a branch of science that deals with the structure and functions of neurons, nerves, and nervous tissue, focusing on how they pertain to behavior and learning.
What is a neuron?
A neuron is special cell that sends as well as receives messages in the nervous system.
What are the structures of the neuron and what is the function of each structure
Neurons are composed of...
a. Dendrites are the branch looking ends that receive messages from other neurons
b. Soma is the is the cell body that holds the nucleus and keeps the cell alive
c. Axon is the sender of the of the neural messages to other cells
What does resting potential mean?
This is the state of a neuron when it is not firing a signal. Sodium is waiting to enter the cell to fire, and the neuron is generally negatively charged.
What is action potential?
This is the state of the neuron as it is releasing its signal. The sodium enters the cell, firing the signal and charging the cell positive for the time being.
How do neurons communicate with each other and the body?
Neurotransmitters are released from synaptic vesicles to receptor sites on other cells or glands or even muscles causing a reaction.
What do excitatory and inhibitory mean in regard to the synapse?
When receptors at an excitatory ate stimulated it will cause the neuron to fire, but when a neuron is stimulated at an inhibitory receptor then this will prevent the neuron from firing a neural impulse.
What are agonist and antagonists?
Agonists are chemicals that mimic or enhance the effects of a neurotransmitter on the receptor sites of a close by cell, which may increase or decrease activity of that cell. Antagonists are chemicals that block or reduce a cell's response to the action of other chemicals or neurotransmitters.
What's a neurotransmitter?
A neurotransmitter is a chemical in the synaptic vesicles that cause a reaction when received by other cells.
Acetylcholine is a neurotransmitter that is involved in memory and muscle contraction.
Serotonin regulates sleep, mood, and appetite.
An inhibitory neurotransmitter that regulates sleep.
An excitatory neurotransmitter that regulates learning, memory, and nervous system development.
Involved in arousal and mood
involved in control of movement and sensations of pleasure
Inhibitory neural regulators involved in pain relief
What is reuptake and what is another way the synapse is cleared of neurotransmitters?
Reuptake is when the synaptic vesicles suck the neurotransmitters back up, essentially recycling the chemical. Sometimes, like in the case of acetylcholine, enzymes clear the neurotransmitters.
How do the brain and spinal chord interact?
Stimulus is received from outside sources and then sent to the spinal chord, after it is sent to the spinal chord then it travels towards the brain and may be intercepted by an interneuron which will decide if an efferent neuron needs to release a signal quickly even before it reaches the brain. Either way at the brain receives a signal and then decides what action needs to be taken; if any action is taken it will be conveyed through the spinal chord.
What is neuroplasticity?
The ability the brain had to change the structure and function of cells in response to experience, in other words the flexibility and adaptability of the brain.
Why is stem cell research important and controversial?
The importance of stem cell research lies in the fact that it that it can copy certain types of cells, enabling it to turn into a brain or a muscle or almost anything, however the best and easiest ways to get these stem cells are through embryonic cells, which gives rise to a lot of ethical questions.
How do the somatic and autonomic nervous systems allow people and animals to interact with their surroundings and control the body's automatic functions?
The somatic deals with senses and the muscles of the body, things that are voluntary. The Autonomic deals with the glands and organs that we don't have to think about controlling because this nervous system takes care of that for us.
How do scientists look into the brain?
Besides dissection or deep lesion they can use electroencephalographs, CT scans, MRI scans, PET scans, and Functional MRI scans can enable scientists to look into the brain.
What are the functions of the major divisions of the brain?
Medulla- The first part of the brain, taking place at the top of the spinal chord, it takes care of the most important parts of living, such as heartbeat, breathing, and swallowing.
Pons- Meaning bridge, it is located just above the Medulla, it controls parts of sleep, dreaming, left-right body coordination, and arousal.
Reticular Formation- Involved heavily in the brains ability to focus on specific data and to ignore others. Also controls our ability to be awake and attentive.
Cerebellum- Located in the lower part of the brain just above the spinal chord, it controls coordination of involuntary, rapid, and fire motor movement.
Thalamus- In the center of the brain, it takes information from the lower parts of the brain and sorts out where to send it from there. It also plays a big part in all of the senses except for smell. Weird...
Hypothalamus- Just below the thalamus, and right above the pituitary gland, this deals with motivational behavior such as sleep, hunger, thirst, and sex.
Hippocampus- Located in both temporal lobes, it is responsible for the formation of long-term memories and where objects are.
Amygdala- Next to the hippocampus, it deals with our responses to fear.
Cortex- The outside covering of the brain that is made of tightly packed neurons.
Hemispheres- The two sections of the brain, the left and the right.
Occipital- The section of the brain located at the rear and bottom of the brain. It deals primarily with sight.
Parietal- Found at the top and back of each hemisphere they are the centers for touch, taste, and temperature
Temporal- Responsible for hearing and the recognizing of speech.
Frontal- Responsible for the higher mental processes, decision making, and speaking fluently. These lobes also contain the motor contex, controlling our movements.
Broca's Area- this area, generally located in the left frontal lobe deals with speaking fluently. People with damage to this part of the brain have what is called Broca's aphasia, and they typically can't use or understand language.
Wernicke's Area- In the left temporal lobe, this area deals with the understanding of speech. Someone with damage to this part of their brain would have Wernicke's aphasia, and they wouldn't be able to understand others or the words that would come out wouldn't make any sense.
How does the left side of the brain differ from the right?
Left controls- Right hand, spoken language, written language, maths, logical thought, analysis of detail, reading
Right controls- left hand, nonverbal cues, visual spacial perception, music and artistic processes, emotional thought, processes as a whole, pattern recognition, facial recognition.
How do hormones released by glands interact with the nervous system?
a. Pituitary Gland- a gland located in the brain that controls human growth hormone and has influence over all other hormone secreting glands.
b. Pineal Gland- Releases a hormone called melatonin, which regulates the sleep-wake cycle.
c. Thyroid Gland- Releases a hormone called thyroxin, which regulates metabolism.
d. Pancreas- The pancreas controls the level of blood sugar by secreting insulin and glucagons. Many medical problems arise if this gland doesn't work such as diabetes and hypoglycemia.
e. Gonads- They secrete hormones that regulate sexual behavior.
f. Adrenal Glands- The adrenal glands are endocrine glands that secrete over 30 different hormones to deal with stress, regulate salt intake, and provide a secondary source of sex hormones affecting the sexual changes that occur during adolescence.
What are mirror neurons and why are they important?
Mirror neurons are neurons that fire as if we were doing the actual action itself. If we observe a man smiling, our mirror neurons may fire to give us the feeling of smiling. This is important for the development of infants.
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