AP Psych Modules 5-7

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Plasticity

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Plasticity

the brain’s ability to adapt and repair itself

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2

Glial Cells

Protects neurons and myelin

Helps with learning, thinking, memory

Supplies nutrients

Cleans up ions and neurotransmitters

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Axon

transmits messages from its branches to other neurons or muscles/glands

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Nucleus

decides whether to fire neuron or not

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Myelin Sheath

fatty tissue that protects neuron and axons; allows faster transmission of neural impulses

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Dendrite

receives messages from other neurons or muscles/glands

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Afferent (Sensory) Neurons

transmits signals from sensory organs to central nervous system

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Interneurons

neurons in the brain that send messages to other neurons (most common)

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Efferent (Motor) Neurons

Transmits signals from central nervous system to muscles

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Neurotransmitters

Chemical messengers that cross gaps between synapses to send specific messages/signals

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Agonists

molecules that increase the activity of a neurotransmitter

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Antagonist

molecules that decreases the activity of a neurotransmitter

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Hormones

Chemical messengers created by endocrine glands that are spread throughout the bloodstream

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Acetylcholine (ACH)

Controls muscle contractions

Excitatory

Correlated with Alzheimer's

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Dopamine

  • Reward center

  • Excitatory

  • Correlated with Parkinson's and Schizophrenia

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Noradrenaline/Norepinephrine

  • Fight/flight response

  • Excitatory

  • Adrenaline

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Serotonin

  • Inhibitory

  • Imbalance of serotonin is correlated with excess eating, depression, alcoholism

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GABA

  • Inhibitory

  • Produces calming effect

  • Can cause anxiety with low levels

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Endorphins

  • Inhibitory

  • Natural “opiate-like”

  • Controls pain → pleasure

  • Blocks pain receptors

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Inhibitory

decrease the likelihood that the neuron will fire

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Excitatory

increases the likelihood that the neuron will fire

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Action potential

neural impulse that has a short electrical charge, which travels down the axon (+30 mV)

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Resting Potential/State

when there are more negative sodium ions inside the axon and positive potassium ions outside the axon (-70 mV) → this is how axons are usually found

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Depolarization

negative sodium ions are pushed out the axon and positive potassium ions are pushed inside → occurs during firing of neuron

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Repolarization

process where negative sodium ions are pushed back in the axon and positive potassium is pushed out → returns to resting potential/state

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Refractory period

period of inactivity after a neuron has been charged

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Absolute refractory period

the neuron will only fire once the axon is returned to the resting state completely

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Relative refractory period

the neuron will fire before the axon has reached resting state, but has still crossed some level of repolarization

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Threshold

the amount of stimulation needed to start a neural impulse

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Excitatory signals

causes the next neuron to fire

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Inhibitory signals

does not cause next neuron to fire

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All-or-none response

neuron’s response of firing or not firing

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Reuptake

reabsorption of a neurotransmitter by a sending neuron

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Central nervous system

brain and spinal cord

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Peripheral nervous system

sensory and motor neurons that connect the central nervous system to the rest of the body

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Somatic nervous system

a part of the peripheral nervous system that control skeletal muscles (voluntary)

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Autonomic nervous system

a part of the peripheral nervous system that controls glands and muscles of internal organs (involuntary)

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Sympathetic nervous system

a division of the autonomic nervous system that arouses the body and gives it energy

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Parasympathetic nervous system

a division of the autonomic nervous system that calms the body and conserves energy

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Endocrine System

consists of glands and chemical signals (hormones) that travel slowly throughout the body through the bloodstream

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Adrenal Gland

makes the body alert during stress

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Pituitary gland

controlled by the hypothalamus and regulates the growth of other endocrine glands

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Frontal Lobe

Controls the following:

  • Emotional control

  • Planning for the future

  • Personality

  • Attention

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Motor Cortex

controls all muscle movements and works with somatosensory cortex

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Broca’s Area

controls speech and writing

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Parietal Lobe

Responsible for spatial tasks

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Somatosensory Cortex

responsible for all body sensations, including pain/pleasure

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Occipital Lobe

Controls and processes visual stimuli

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Primary Visual Cortex

raw images of what you see visually

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Visual Association Area

perception; processing of what you see

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Temporal Lobe

Located by the ears; controls hearing

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Primary Auditory Cortex

hears the sounds

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Auditory Association Areas

understand and interprets the sounds

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Wernicke’s Area

language comprehension

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Hindbrain

Responsible for automatic survival functions

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Pons

Coordinates movements and regulates sleep

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Medulla

Controls breathing and heart rate

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Cerebellum

Controls balance and coordination

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Reticular Formation

A neuron network that filters stimuli coming from the spinal cord to the thalamus. Also controls arousal

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Brainstem

Oldest part of the brain

Controls automatic survival functions of the body

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Cerebrum

Includes all the lobes

Controls muscle function, speech, thought, emotion, reading, writing, and learning

Largest part of the brain

Made up of white and gray matter

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Prefrontal Cortex

Part of frontal lobe

Part of the brain responsible for reasoning, problem solving, impulse-control, creativity, and perseverance

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Corpus Callosum

separates the left and right hemispheres of the brain

transmits messages between these two hemispheres

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Left Hemisphere

controls right side of body

right field of vision

speech/language

analytical

abstract thinking

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Right Hemisphere

controls left side of body

left field of vision

creativity

imagination

spatial thinking

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Limbic System

Controls behavioral and emotional responses

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Thalamus

Receives sensory information (besides taste)

Filters the information coming through the Reticular Formation

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Hippocampus

Memories are formed here (not stored)

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Amygdala

Controls emotions

Allows for the ability to read facial expressions

Controls fear and aggression

Fight or Flight

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Hypothalamus

controls pituitary gland, primitive emotions, hunger/thirst, temperature regulation

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Lesions

Disruptions of the brain tissues

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Stimulation

Using electrodes to study the brain

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Electroencephalograph (EEG)

Electrodes on the scalp track brain activity in certain regions

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CAT scan

a generally clear picture is created by taking many x-rays at different angles to see the brain

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MRI

a technique that uses magnetic fields and radio waves to produce computer generated images of soft tissue

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PET Scan

visually displays brain activity and detects where a radioactive form of glucose goes while the brain performs a given task

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fMRI

a technique for revealing blood flow and therefore brain activity by comparing successive MRI scans

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