184 terms

Psych 1101 Prelim 2

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biological psychologists
study the links between biological activity and psychological events
neurons
nerve cells
sensory neurons
carry messages from the body's tissues and sensory organs inward to the brain and spinal cord, for processing.
motor neurons
carry instructions from the brain and spinal cord to the muscles and glands
interneurons
neurons within the brain and spinal cord that communicate internally and intervene between the sensory inputs and motor outputs
dendrites
the bushy, branching extensions of a neuron that receive messages and conduct impulses toward the cell body.
axon
the extension of a neuron, ending in branching terminal fibers, through which messages pass to other neurons or to muscles or glands
myelin sheath
a layer of fatty tissue segmentally encasing the fibers of many neurons; enables vastly greater transmission speed of neural impulses as the impulse hops from one node to the next.
action potential
a neural impulse; a brief electrical charge that travels down an axon.
resting potential
positive outside/negative-inside state
threshold
the level of stimulation required to trigger a neural impulse.
synapse
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 or synaptic cleft.
neurotransmitters
chemical messengers that cross the synaptic gaps 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.
reuptake
a neurotransmitter's reabsorption by the sending neuron.
endorphins
"morphine within"- natural, opiatelike neurotransmitters linked to pain control and to pleasure.
nervous system
the body's speedy, electrochemical communication network, consisting of all the nerve cells of the peripheral and central nervous systems
central nervous system
brain and spinal cord
reflex
a simple, automatic response to a sensory stimulus, such as the knee-jerk response
peripheral nervous system
the sensory and motor neurons that control the body's skeletal muscles.
nerves
bundled axons that form neural "cables" connecting the CNS with muscles, glands, and sense organs.
somatic nervous system
the division of the peripheral nervous system that controls the body's skeletal muscles.
autonomic nervous system
the part of the PNS that controls the glands and the muscles of the internal organs (such as the heart). Includes SNS and PNS
sympathetic nervous system
arouses the body, mobilizing its energy in stressful situations.
parasympathetic nervous system
calms the body, conserving its energy.
endocrine system
the body's "slow" chemical communication system; a set of glands that secrete hormones into the bloodstream.
hormones
chemical messengers that are manufactured by the endocrine glands, travel through the bloodstream, and affect other tissues.
adrenal glands
a pair of endocrine glands that sit just above the kidneys and secrete hormones (epinephrine & norepinephrine) that help arouse the body in times of stress.
pituitary gland
under the influence of the hypothalamus, regulates growth and controls other endocrine glands.
lesion
tissue destruction.
Electroencephalogram (EEG)
an amplified recording of the waves of electrical activity that sweep across the brain's surface. These waves are measured by electrodes placed on the scalp.
PET scan
a visual display of brain activity that detects where a radioactive form of glucose goes while the brain performs a given task
MRI
a technique that uses magnetic fields and radio waves to produce computer-generated images of soft tissue. Show brain anatomy.
brainstem
the oldest part and central core of the brain, beginning where the spinal cord swells as it enters the skill. Responsible for automatic survival functions.
medulla
the base of the brainstem; controls heartbeat and breathing
reticular formation
a nerve network in the brainstem that plays an important role in controlling arousal
thalamus
the brain's sensory switchboard, 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.
cerebellum
the "little brain" at the rear of the brainstem; functions include processing sensory input and coordinating movement output and balance.
limbic system
neural system (including hippocampus, amygdala, and hypothalamus) located below the cerebral hemispheres; associated with emotions and drives.
amygdala
two lima bean-sized neural clusters in the limbic system; linked to emotion.
hypothalamus
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.
cerebral cortex
the intricate fabric of interconnected neural cells covering the cerebral hemispheres; the body's ultimate control and information-processing center.
glial cells
cells in the nervous system that support, nourish, and protect neurons.
frontal lobes
portion of the cerebral cortex lying just behind the forehead; involved in speaking and muscle movements and in making plans and judgments
parietal lobes
portion of the cerebral cortex lying at the top of the head and toward the rear; receives sensory input for touch and body position
occipital lobes
portion of cerebral cortex lying at the back of the head; includes areas that receive information from the visual fields.
temporal lobes
portion of cerebral cortex above the ears; includes the auditory areas, each receiving information primarily from the opposite ear.
motor cortex
an area at the rear of the frontal lobes that controls voluntary movements.
sensory cortex
area at front of parietal lobes that registers and processes body touch and movement sensations.
association areas
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.
plasticity
the brain's ability to change, especially during childhood, by reorganizing after damage or by building new pathways based on experience.
neurogenesis
the formation of new neurons
corpus callosum
the large band of neural fibers connecting the two brain hemispheres and carrying messages between them.
split brain
a condition resulting from surgery that isolates the brain's two hemispheres by cutting the fibers (mainly those of the corpus callosum) connecting them.
norm
an understood rule for accepted and expected behavior. prescribes "proper" behavior.
testosterone
the most important of the male sex hormones. Both males and females have it, but the additional amount in males stimulates the growth of the male sex organs in the fetus and the development of the male sex characteristics during puberty.
role
a set of expectations (norms) about a social position, defining how those in the position ought to behave.
gender role
a set of expected behaviors for males or females.
gender typing
the acquisition of a traditional masculine or feminine role.
social learning theory
the theory that we learn social behavior by observing and imitating and by being rewarded or punished.
hypnosis
a social interaction in which one person suggests to another (the subject) that certain perceptions, feelings, thoughts, or behaviors will spontaneously occur.
posthypnotic suggestion
a suggestion, made during a hypnosis session, to be carried out after the subject is no longer hypnotized; used by some clinicians to help control undesired symptoms and behaviors.
dissociation
a split in consciousness, which allows some thoughts and behaviors to occur simultaneously with others.
sensation
the process by which our sensory receptors and nervous system receive and represent stimulus energies from our environment.
perception
the process of organizing and interpreting sensory information, enabling us to recognize meaningful objects and events.
bottom-up processing
analysis that begins with the sensory receptors and works up to the brain's integration of sensory information
top-down processing
information processing guided by higher-level mental processes, as when we construct perceptions drawing on our experience and expectations.
psychophysics
the study of relationships between the physical characteristics of stimuli, such as their intensity, and our psychological experience of them.
absolute threshold
the minimum stimulation needed to detect a particular stimulus 50% of the time.
signal detection theory
a theory predicting how and when we detect the presence of a faint stimulus amid background noise. Assumes there is no single absolute threshold and that detection depends partly on a person's experience, expectations, motivation, and alertness.
subliminal
below one's absolute threshold for conscious awareness
priming
the activation (often unconsciously) of certain associations, thus predisposing one's perception, memory, or response.
difference threshold
the minimum difference between two stimuli required for detection 50% of the time. We experience the difference threshold as a just noticeable difference.
weber's law
the principle that, to be perceived as different, two stimuli must differ by a constant minimum percentage (rather than a constant amount)
sensory adaptation
diminished sensitivity as a consequence of constant stimulation.
transduction
conversion of one form of energy into another. In sensation, the transforming of stimulus energies, such as sights, sounds, and smells, into neural impulses our brains can interpret.
hue
the dimension of color that is determined by the wavelength of light (blue, green, ect.)
intensity
the amount of energy in a light or sound wave, which we perceive as brightness or loudness, as determined by the wave's amplitude.
pupil
the adjustable opening in the center of the eye through which light enters.
iris
a ring of muscle tissue that forms the colored portion of the eye around the pupil and controls the size of the pupil opening.
lens
the transparent structure behind the pupil that changes shape to help focus images on the retina.
retina
the light-sensitive inner surface of the eye, containing the receptor rods and cones plus layers of neurons that begin the processing of visual information.
accommodation
the process by which the eye's lens changes shape to focus near or far objects on the retina.
rod
retinal receptors that detect black, white, and gray; necessary for peripheral and twilight vision, when cones don't respond.
cones
retinal receptor cells that are concentrated near the center of the retina and that function in daylight or in well-lit conditions. Detect fine detail and give rise to color sensations.
optic nerve
the nerve that carries neural impulses from the eye to the brain.
blind spot
the point at which the optic nerve leaves the eye, no receptor cells are located there.
fovea
the central focal point in the retina, around which the eye's cones cluster.
feature detectors
nerve cells in the brain that respond to specific features of the stimulus, such as shape, angle, or movement.
parallel processing
the processing of many aspects of a problem simultaneously; the brain's natural mode of information processing for may functions, including vision. Contrasts with the step-by-step (serial) processing of most computers and of conscious problem solving.
Young-Helmholtz trichromatic (three-color) theory
the theory that the retina contains three different color receptors- one most sensitive to red, one to green, one to blue- which, when stimulated in combination, can produce the perception of any color.
opponent-process theory
the theory that opposing retinal processes (red-green, yellow-blue, white-black) enable color vision. For example, some cells are stimulated by green and inhibited by red; others vice versa
gestalt
an organized whole. Gestalt psychologists emphasized our tendency to integrate pieces of information into meaningful wholes.
figure-ground
the organization of the visual field into objects (the figures) that stand out from their surroundings (the ground)
grouping
the perceptual tendency to organize stimuli into coherent groups
depth perception
the ability to see objects in three dimensions although the images that strike the retina are two-dimensional; allows to judge distance.
binocular cues
depth cues, such as retinal disparity, that depend on the use of two eyes
retinal disparity
a binocular cue for perceiving depth: by comparing images from the retinas in the two eyes, the brain computes distance- the greater the difference between the two images, the closer the object.
e.g. finger sausage
monocular cues
depth cues, such as interposition and linear perspective, available to either eye alone.
phi phenomenon
an illusion of movement created when two or more adjacent lights blink on and off in quick succession
perceptual constancy
perceiving objects as unchanging even as illumination and retinal images change.
color constancy
perceiving familiar objects as having consistent color, even if changing illumination alters the wave-lengths reflected by the object
perceptual adaptation
in vision, the ability to adjust to an artificially displaced or even inverted visual field.
perceptual set
a mental predisposition to perceive one thing and not another.
human factor psychology
explores how people and machines interact and how machines and physical environments can be made safe and easy to use.
extrasensory perception (ESP)
the controversial claim that perception can occur apart from sensory input. Includes telepathy (mind-to-mind communication), clairvoyance (perceiving remote events), and precognition (perceiving future events).
parapsychology
the study of paranormal phenomena, including ESP and psychokinesis.
associative learning
learning that certain events occur together (classical and operant conditioning)
acquisition
initial stage in classical conditioning when one links a neutral stimulus and an unconditioned stimulus so that the neutral stimulus begin triggering the conditioned response. In operant conditioning, the strengthening of a reinforced response.
high-order conditioning
a procedure in which the conditioned stimulus in one conditioning experience is paired with a new neutral stimulus, creating a second (often weaker) conditioned stimulus
generalization
the tendency, once a response has been conditioned, for stimuli similar to the conditioned stimulus to elicit similar responses
discrimination
in classical conditioning, the learned ability to distinguish between a CS and stimuli that do not signal an US
respondent behavior
occurs as an automatic response to some stimulus
law of effect
Thorndike's principle that behaviors followed by favorable consequences become more likely
operant chamber
chamber containing a bar or key that an animal can manipulate to obtain a food or water reinforcer
shaping
reinforcers guide behavior toward closer and closer approximations of the desired behavior.
primary reinforcer
innately reinforcing stimulus, satisfies biological need (ex: eating)
fixed-ratio schedule
reinforces a response only after a specified number of responses. (Free drink every 10 purchased drinks)
variable-ratio schedule
reinforces response after an unpredictable number of responses. (gambling)
fixed-interval schedule
reinforces a response only after a specified time has elapsed. (waiting for jello to set- know when jello should set)
variable-interval schedule
reinforces a response at unpredictable time intervals. (checking email- don't know when you're going to get email)
latent learning
learning that is not apparent until there is an incentive to demonstrate it.
encoding
the processing of information into the memory system
automatic processing
unconscious encoding of incidental information, such as space, time, and frequency, and of well-learned information, such as word meanings.
effortful processing
encoding that requires attention and conscious effort
spacing effect
the tendency for distributed study or practice to yield better long-term retention than is achieved through massed study or practice.
serial position effect
our tendency to recall best the last and first items in a list.
semantic encoding
encoding of meaning (e.g. of words)
iconic memory
a momentary sensory memory of visual stimuli
echoic memory
a momentary sensory memory of auditory stimuli
long-term potentiation
an increase in a synapse's firing potential after brief, rapid stimulation.
flashbulb memory
a clear memory of an emotionally significant moment or event
implicit memory
unconscious recollection
explicit memory
memory of facts and experiences that one can consciously know and declare
recall
a measure of memory in which the person must retrieve information learned earlier, as on a fill-in-the-blank test
recognition
a measure of memory in which the person need only identify items previously learned, as on a multiple-choice test
relearning
a measure of memory that assesses the amount of time saved when learning material for a second time
priming
the activation, often unconsciously, of particular associations in memory
mood-congruent memory
the tendency to recall experiences that are consistent with one's current good or bad mood
proactive interference
the disruptive effect of prior learning on the recall of new information
retroactive interference
the disruptive effect of new learning on the recall of old information
repression
defense mechanism that banishes from consciousness anxiety-arousing thoughts, feelings, and memories
misinformation effect
incorporating misleading information into one's memory of an event
source amnesia
attributing to the wrong source an event we have experienced, heard about, read about, or imagined- at the heart of false memories
cognition
the mental activities associated with thinking, knowing, remembering, and communicating
prototype
a mental image or best example of a category.
algorithm
a methodical, logical rule or procedure that guarantees solving a particular problem.
heuristic
a simple thinking strategy that often allows us to make judgements and solve problems efficiently
confirmation bias
a tendency to search for information that supports our preconceptions and to ignore or distort contradictory evidence
fixation
the inability to see a problem from a new perspective, by employing a different mental set
mental set
a tendency to approach a problem in one particular way, often a way that has been successful in the past
functional fixedness
the tendency to think of things only in terms of their usual functions; an impediment to problem solving
representativeness heuristic
judging the likelihood of things in terms of how well they seem to represent, or match, particular prototypes; may lead us to ignore other relevant information
availability heuristic
estimating the likelihood of events based on their availability in memory; if instances come readily to mind, we presume such events are common
belief perseverance
clinging to one's initial conceptions after the basis on which they were formed has been discredited
framing
the way an issue is posed; can significantly affect decisions and judgments
phoneme
in language, the smallest distinctive sound unit
morpheme
in a language, the smallest unit that carries meaning; may be a word or a part of the word (such as a prefix)
semantics
the set of rules by which we derive meaning from morphemes, words, and sentences in a given language
syntax
the rules for combining words into grammatically sensible sentences in a given language
babbling stage
beginning at about 4 months, the stage of speech development in which the infant spontaneously utters various sounds at first unrelated to household language
one-word stage
stage in speech development, from about ages 1-2, during which a child speaks mostly in single words
two-word stage
beginning at about age 2, the stage in speech development during which a child speaks mostly two-word statements
telegraphic speech
early speech stage in which a child speaks like a telegram, using mostly nouns and verbs
aphasia
impairment of language, usually caused by left hemisphere damage either to Broca's area (impairing speaking) or Wernicke's area (impairing understanding)
Broca's area
controls language expression- an area, usually in the left frontal lobe, that directs the muscle movements involved in speech
Wernicke's area
controls language reception- a brain area involved in language comprehension and expression; usually in left temporal lobe
linguistic determinism
Whorf's hypothesis that language determines the way we think
motivation
a need or desire that energizes and directs behavior.
Instinct
a complex behavior that is rigidly patterned throughout a species and is unlearned.
Drive-reduction theory
the idea that a physiological need creates an aroused tension state (a drive) that motivates an organism to satisfy the need.
Homeostasis
a tendency to maintain a balanced or constant internal state; the regulation of any aspect of body chemistry, such as blood glucose, around a particular level.
incentive
a positive or negative environmental stimulus that motivates behavior.
hierarchy of needs
Maslow's pyramid of human needs, beginning at the base with physiological needs that must first be satisfied before higher-level safety needs and then psychological needs become active.
intrinsic motivation
a desire to perform a behavior effectively for its own sake
extrinsic motivation
a desire to perform a behavior to receive promised rewards or avoid threatened behavior
continuous reinforcement
reinforcement occurs every time desired response occurs
working memory
a newer understanding of short-term memory that focuses on conscious, active processing of incoming auditory and visual-spatial information, and of information retrieved from long-term memory
attacker
hostile, enjoys arguments
commander
neat, ordered, compulsive, upset with change, dislikes dealing with emotions
avoider
fears failure, low self-esteem, shy, anxiety-ridden
pleaser
great need to affiliate, hates conflict, craves being loved by others
drifter
messy, disorganized, craves ambiguity, laid back, hard to relate to
performer
manipulative, shrewd, have to be center of attention, need constant recognition or reward to prove that they are valuable, take credit for success of others
achiever
self-actualizer, master of own destiny