AP Psychology Chapter 3

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120 Terms
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a nerve cell; the basic building block of the nervous system
the bush, branching extensions of a neuron that receive messages and conduct impulses toward the cell body
glial cells
cells in the nervous system that support, nourish, and protect neurons` - provide structural support - supply nourishment to neurons - insulation to axons and other cells - Help remove neurons’ waste products - Play role in development of nervous system in human embryo - May also send and receive signals
Glia disorders
- Dysfunction in glia cells may contribute to cognitiv impairment seen in schizo. Disorders + some forms of depressive disorders - Degeneration of glial tissue may lead to alzheimers - Key factor in chronic pain
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 grater 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
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cell body (soma)
contains nucleus, DNA, RNA, info that makes that cell what it is
terminal branches of axon
form junctions with other cells
the level of stimulation required to trigger a neural impulse
the junction between the axon tip of the sending neuron and he dendrite or cell body of the receiving neuron
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a neurotransmitter's re-absorption by the sending neuron
natural, opiate-like neurotransmitters linked to pain control and to pleasure - Agonist: opiate dugs (morphine + heroin) - runner's high
acetylcholine (ACh)
neurotransmitter that enables inv. muscle action, learning, arousal, and memory - excitatory - Agonst: nicotine - can produce excitatory + inhibitory
ACh producing neurons
Alzheimer's disease - associated with a deterioration of . . . ?
Dopamine (DA)
neurotransmitter that influences voluntary movement - Low levels = Parkinson's Disease - High Levels = Schizophrenia
dopamine receptor
schizophrenia is associated with an excess of this neurotransmitter's receptors
under-supply associated brain produced tremors and decreased mobility associated with Parkinson's disease
neurotransmitter that affects mood, hunger, sleep, and arousal - Abnormal levels may contribute to OCD + depression - Agonist: LSD - reuptake after serotonin is in synapse
under-supply associated with depression, Prozac raises level
neurotransmitter that helps control alertness and arousal
GABA + glycine
(neurotransmitter) depress/inhibit neural firing/central nervous system - agonist: Valium, anti-anxiety drugs + alcohol
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GABA agnosts
Valium, anti-anxiety drugs + alcohol
molecule similar enough to a neurotransmitter to bind to its receptor and mimic its effects
molecule similar enough to a neurotransmitter to bind to its receptor and block the neurotransmitter's functioning
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
the brain and spinal cord
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peripheral nervous system
the sensory and motor neurons that connect the central nervous system to the rest of the body. Made up of nerves that lie outside brain + spinal cord
bundled axons that form neural "cables" connecting the central nervous system with muscles, glands, and sense organs
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somatic nervous system
made up of nerves that controls the voluntary movements of skeletal muscles - carry commands from CNS to muscles
autonomic nervous system
part of the peripheral nervous system that controls the glands and the muscles of the internal organs: heart, blood vessles, smooth muscles, glands - controlled by CNS - Controls automatic, involuntary, visceral functions - Two branches: sympathetic + parasympathtic - fight or flight
parasympathetic nervous system
the division of the autonomic nervous system that calms the body, conserving its energy
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endocrine system
the body's "slow" chemical communication system; a set of glands that secrete hormones into the bloodstream
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chemical messengers that are manufactured by the endocrine, travel through the bloodstream, and affect other tissues
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adrenal glands
a part of endocrine glands that sit just above the kidneys and secrete hormones (epinephrine and norepinephrine) that help arouse the body in times of stress
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pituitary glands
the endocrine system's most influential gland. Under the influence of the hypothalamus, the pituitary regulates growth and controls other endocrine glands
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tissue destruction; in the brain, a naturally or experimental caused destruction of brain tissue
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
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CT scan
a series of x-ray photographs taken from different angles and combined by computer into a composite representation of 3d brain. Portrays only structure Benefits: - reasonable - sees structure and what's phsycially wrong w/ brain disadvantages - exposed to a lot fo x rays - drink contrast for scan --> some people can't tolerate that
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PET scan
a visual display of brain activity that detects where a radioactive form of glucose goes while the brain performs a given task
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a technique that uses magnetic fields and radio waves to produce computer generated images of soft tissues. Scans show brain structure benefits: - more in-depth + clearer than ct
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measures mvmt of blood molecules (index of neural acivity). Shows structure + function
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the oldest part and central core of the brain, beginning where the spinal cord swells as it enters the skull. Responsible for automatic survival functions
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reticular formation
a nerve network in the brainstem that plays an important role in controlling arousal
relay station for sensory info - All of sensory info except smell → goes from sense organ → through thalamus
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the "little brain" at the rear of the brainstem; functions include processing sensory input and coordinating movement output and balance
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limbic system
the overall system of the brain that regulates emotions and controls behavior. Includes the Hippocampus, amygdala, hypothalamus, and other structures. Donut-shaped neural system located below the cerebral hemisphere; associated with emotions and drives
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two lima bean-sized neural clusters in the limbic system; linked to emotion --> specifically fear and anger but others as well
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a neural structure lying below the thalamus; it directs several body maintenance activities (eating, drinking, body temperature), helps govern the endocrine system via the pituitary gland, and is linked to emotion and reward (4 Fs)
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cerebral cortex
the intricate fabric of interconnected neural cells covering the cerebral hemispheres; the body's ultimate control and information processing center
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frontal lobes
portion of the cerebral cortex lying just behind the forehead; involved in speaking and muscle movements and in making plans and judgments - Prefrontal Cortex + Motor Cortex + Broca's Area
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parietal lobes
portion of the cerebral cortex lying at the top of the head and toward the rear; responsible for spacial orientation + touch
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occipital lobes
portion of the cerebral cortex lying at the back of the head; responsible for visual perception, including colour, form and motion.
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temporal lobes
portion of the cerebral cortex lying roughly above the ears; auditory processing + hearing Primary Auditory Cortex + Wernicke's Area
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motor cortex
mvmt of muscles frontal lobe
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sensory cortex
an area at the front of the parietal lobes that registers and processes body touch and movement sensations
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Wernicke's area
controls language comprehension Temporal lobe
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Broca's area
left frontal lobe production of speech
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visual cortex
interpreting incoming visual information
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brain plasticity
the brain's ability to change, especially during childhood, by reorganizing after damage or by building new pathways based on experience --> neural reorgininzation
the formation of new neurons
corpus callosum
large bind of neural fibers connecting the two brain hemispheres and carrying messages between them
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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
threadlike strands of DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid) molecules that carry genetic information
a complex molecular containing the genetic information that makes up the chromosomes
the biochemical units of heredity that make up the chromosomes and serve as the key functional units in hereditary transmission; segments of DNA capable of synthesizing a protein
Terminal Buttons
small knobs that secrete neurotransmitters
Synaptic vesicles
store various neurotransmitters
absolute refractory period
min length of time after an action potential, during which another action potential/ impulse can not occur. After firing Action potential --> channels close up + time is needed before they are ready to open up again
all or none law
a neuron either fires or it doesnt
Presynaptic neuron
neuron that sends a signal across the gap
postsynaptic neuron
neuron that recieves a signal
postsynaptic potential
Graded (vary in size) and inc/dec the prob of a neural impulse being fired in the receiving cell in prop. to amnt of voltage change. Do not follow all-or-none law
Inhibitory PSP
- stop action potentials - negative voltage shift - Dec likelihood that postsynaptic neuron will fire AP
Excitatory PSP
- if it locks on → going to excite future cells + lots of more action potentials will happen → keep sending messages - positive voltage shift - Inc likelihood that postsynaptic neuron will fire AP
synaptic pruning
brain eliminates extra synapses. cause neural restructuring that very likely has important consequences for normal and abnormal brain function
Norepinephrine (NE)
- excitatory - Contributes to mood + arousal - Cocaine elevates activity in NE synapse - People who suffer from depression appear to have lower levels of NE - Can produce excitatory or inhibitory effects at virtually all synapses
Sympathetic Division
mobilizes body’s resources for emergencies - creates fight or flight - release of hormones that ready body for exertion
parasympathetic Division
conserves bodily resources - Activates processes that allow body to save + store energy
Fight or flight
afferent nerves
axons that carry fiber info outward from body to CNS
efferent nerves
axons that carry info outward from CNS to periphery of body
spinal cord
- Connects brain to rest of body through PNS - Houses bundles of axons that carry brain’s commands to - Most forms of paralysis result from spinal cord damage - Transmit signals from brain to neurons that signal body’s muscles to move
cerebrospinal fluid
nourishes the brain + provides protective cushion for it - To enter: substances in blood have to cross blood-brain barrier - semipermeable membrane taht stops some chemicals from leaving bloodstream to enter brain
electrical stimulation of the brain (ESB)
sending weak electrical current into brain to stimulate/activate it
James Olds' research on pleasure centers
- investigating whether rats might be made uncomfortable by electrical stimulation of certain areas of their brain - electrical current given when rats enter certain part of cage to deter them - rats kept coming back + wanted to get shocked
cerebellum, medulla, pons
reticular formation
cerebrum, cerebral cortex
responsible for automatic functions
responsible for controlling sleep, dreams, sleep cycle, wakefulness
responsible for balance, fine motor coordination
largest part of the brain. It is divided into two hemispheres, or halves, called the cerebral hemispheres. Areas within the cerebrum control muscle functions and also control speech, thought, emotions, reading, writing, and learning
cerebral cortex
outermost layer of the brain that is associated with our highest mental capabilities
somatosensory cortex
controls sensory info → only touch
auditory cortex
Involves hearing, speaking, understanding written + verbal words
Prefrontal Cortex
Reasoning, planning, paying attention, getting organises, decision making, impulse control
homunculus brain map
- organized map of the proportional representation of the contralateral somatosensory or motor neurons on the cortex or passing though a part of the brain - as information comes to the brain from different parts of the body, information from the hand will all synapse in this region of the cortex
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mirror neurons
use to incorporate info about body language, social cues, etc.
left hemisphere
- controls the right half of the body - Language - written and spoken - Simple math - Logical + analytical
right hemisphere
- Controls left side of body - Non verbal expressions - body language, facial expressions - Spacial skills - Holistic thinking
Roger Sperry & Michael Gazzaniga’s split brain research
- Sperry found that severing the corpus callosum of those animals had affected their behavior and cognitive functioning - conducted extensive experiments on an epileptic patient who had had his corpus collosum split --> connection was severed - studies demonstrated that the left and right hemispheres are specialized in different tasks
hormone secreted by the posterior pituitary gland (hypothalamus); stimulates contractions of the uterus and ejection of milk
pineal gland
- a small endocrine gland in the brain - receive information about the state of the light-dark cycle from the environment and convey this information to produce and secrete the hormone melatonin
thyroid gland
endocrine gland that controls your body's metabolism and how fast heart beats --> releases two hormones
adrenal gland
- In times of stress, hypothalamus sends signals along two pathways—through the autonomic nervous system and through the pituitary gland—to the adrenal glands - In response, the adrenal glands secrete hormones that radiate throughout the body, preparing it to cope with an emergency
gonads (ovary, testis)
reproductive gland that produces reproductive cells (gametes). In males the gonads are called testes; the gonads in females are called ovaries.
polygenic traits
characteristics that are influenced by more than one pair of genes
3 most imp methods of studies to assess the impact of heredity
family studies, twin studies, and adoption studies
family studies
researchers assess hereditary influence by examining blood relatives to see how much they resemble one another on a specific trait - If heredity affects the trait under scrutiny, researchers should find trait similarity among relatives - should find more similarity among relatives who share more genes
twin studies
researchers assess hereditary influence by comparing the resemblance of identical twins and fraternal twins with respect to a trait
monozygotic (identical twins)
emerge when a single fertilized egg splits for unknown reasons - same genetic blueprint - genetic overlap = 100%
dizygotic (Fraternal twins)
result when two separate eggs are fertilized simultaneously - Fraternal twins are no more alike in genetic makeup than any two siblings born to a pair of parents at different times - genetic overlap averages 50%
Adoption studies
assess hereditary influence by examining the resemblance between adopted children and both their biological and their adoptive parents
study of heritable changes in gene expression that do not involve modifications to the DNA sequence - specific genes’ effects can be dampened by chemical events at the cellular level --> alterations in traits, health, and behavior - can be stimulated by environmental events (stress, diet) - can be passed on to successive generations
Charles Darwin & natural selection
identified natural selection as the engine that fuels the process of evolution
evolutionary psychology
based on the well-documented assumption that a species’ typical patterns of behavior often reflect evolutionary solutions to adaptive problems
reproductive success (number of descendants) of an individual organism relative to the average reproductive success in the population
an inherited characteristic that increased in a population (through natural selection) because it helped solve a problem of survival or reproduction during the time it emerged
critical period
a limited time span in the development of an organism when it is optimal for certain capacities to emerge because the organism is especially responsive to certain experiences