Unit 2A: Biological Psychology

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104 Terms

1

Neuron

specialized cell in the nervous system that receives and sends messages with electrochemical signals

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Dendrite

receives messages from other cells

<p>receives messages from other cells</p>
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Soma

cell body that contains the nucleus

<p>cell body that contains the nucleus</p>
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Axon

passes messages away from the cell body to other neurons, muscles, or glands

<p>passes messages away from the cell body to other neurons, muscles, or glands</p>
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Myelin Sheath

fatty tissue that insulates axon, speeding up transmission of the message

<p>fatty tissue that insulates axon, speeding up transmission of the message</p>
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Terminal Button

the end point of a neuron that releases neurotransmitters into the synapse, hence sending the message on to the next neuron

<p>the end point of a neuron that releases neurotransmitters into the synapse, hence sending the message on to the next neuron</p>
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Synapse

the space between neurons

<p>the space between neurons</p>
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“All or Nothing” Response

when the nucleus decides to fire, it fires down the axon completely (all the way) or not at all; there must be enough energy to cross the threshold

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Action Potential

(“nerve impulse”) the electrical charge that moves through the neuron

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Depolarization

a change within a cell, during which the cell undergoes a shift in electric charge distribution, resulting in less negative charge inside the cell compared to the outside

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Refractory Period

the period of time after firing that the neuron is focused on resetting, and therefore is unable to fire again

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Reuptake

after the neurotransmitters stimulate the receptors on the receiving neuron, the chemicals are taken back up into the sending neuron to be used again

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Neurotransmitters

chemical messenger that carries, boosts, and balances signals between neurons, or nerve cells, and other cells in the body

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Endorphins

neurotransmitters that influence the perception of pain or pleasure (ex. oversupply with opiate drugs can suppress the body’s natural endorphin supply)

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Acetylcholine

enables muscle action, learning, and memory (ex. ACh deteriorates in Alzheimer’s patients)

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Norepinephrine

helps control alertness and arousel (ex. undersupply can depress mood)

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Dopamine

influences movement, learning, attention, and emotion (ex. excess results in schizophrenia and undersupply results in decreased mobility of Parkinson’s disease)

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Glutamate

a major excitatory neurotransmitter involved in memory (ex. oversupply can overstimulate the brain, producing migraines or seizures)

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GABA

a major inhibitory neurotransmitter (ex. undersupply linked to seizures, tremors, and insomnia)

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Serotonin

affects mood, hunger, sleep, and arousel (ex. undersupply linked to depression, antidepressants can be used as treatment)

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Agonists

mimics neurotransmitter activity by fitting in the receptor site like a master key (ex. Morphine and Heroin)

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Antagonists

block neurotransmitter activity by fitting in the receptor site like a fake key (ex. botox blocks acetylcholine)

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Central NS (CNS)

coordinates the actions and interactions of the brain & spinal cord, body’s main control center

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Peripheral NS (PNS)

includes the sensory nerves outside the brain and spinal cord that connect the CNS to the rest of the body

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Automatic NS

regulates involuntary and unconscious actions like breathing, digestion, heartbeat, work of other internal organs, and etc. (made up of sympathetic and parasympathetic)

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Somatic NS (Voluntary)

includes the nerves that transmit signals from your brain to the skeletal muscles to allow voluntary movement; responsible for carrying sensory and motor information to and from the central nervous system

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Sympathetic NS

emergency response system, If something alarms, enrages, or challenges you “Fight or Flight”

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Parasympathetic NS

functions to calm the person “Rest & Digest”

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Sensory (Afferent) Nerves

carry information from the nerves to the CNS

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Motor (Efferent) Nerves

carry information from the CNS to muscle fibers throughout the body

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Interneurons

neurons within the brain and spinal cord that communicate internally and intervene between the sensory inputs and motor outputs

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Electroencephalogram (EEG)

measurement of the electrical activity of the brain by recording from electrodes placed on the scalp

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CAT or CT scan

two-dimensional x-ray photographs from different angels and using to create three-dimensional representation of organ

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PET scan

uses trace amounts of short-lived radioactive material to map functional processes in the brain (glucose)

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MRI

brain-imaging method using radio waves and magnetic fields of the body to produce three dimensional detailed images of the brain

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fMRI

measuring brain activity, detects the changes in blood oxygenation and flow that occur in response to neural activity (more oxygen=increases to active area)

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Brainstem

lower brain; connects brain to spinal cord and sends messages to the rest of your body to regulate balance, breathing, heart rate, and more

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Medulla Oblongata

lower brain; controls many vital autonomic functions such as heart rate, breathing, and blood pressure

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Pons

lower brain; relays sensory information to cerebellum and handles sleep cycle and breathing

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Reticular Formation

lower brain; network of nerves that carry messages between parts of the brain stem, helps control alertness or drowsiness, and provides useful sensory input while filtering out unnecessary stimuli

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Cerebellum

lower brain; helps control posture, balance, and the coordination of voluntary movements

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Thalamus

middle brain or limbic system; processes and transmits movement and sensory information, and considered the sensory “relay station” of the brain, passing information on to the cerebral cortex (receives information from all senses except smell)

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Hypothalamus

middle brain or limbic system; connects with many other regions of the brain and is responsible for controlling hunger, thirst, emotions, body temperature regulation, and circadian rhythms (controls pituitary gland)

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Amygdala

middle brain or limbic system; primarily involved in processing emotion and survival responses (coordinates fight-or-flight response that influences aggression and fear)

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Hippocampus

middle brain or limbic system; the hippocampus plays a critical role in the formation, organization, and storage of new memories

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Cerebral Cortex

higher brain; responsible for the higher-level processes of the human brain, including language, memory, reasoning, thought, learning, decision-making, emotion, intelligence and personality

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Frontal Lobes

higher brain; areas of the cortex located in the front and top of the brain, associated with reasoning, motor skills, higher level cognition, planning, judgement and expressive language

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Parietal Lobes

higher brain; sections of the brain located at the top and back of each cerebral hemisphere containing the centers for processing sensory signals such as touch, pressure, temperature, and pain

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Temporal Lobes

higher brain; areas of the cortex located just behind the temples containing the neurons responsible for the sense of hearing and meaningful speech (most of the angular gyrus and Wernicke’s Area are here)

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Occipital Lobes

higher brain; section of the brain located at the rear and bottom of each cerebral hemisphere containing the visual centers of the brain (visual cortex)

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Motor Cortex

higher brain; this area of the brain receives information from various lobes of the brain and utilizes this information to carry out body movements

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Prefrontal Cortex

higher brain; this brain region has been implicated in planning complex cognitive behavior, personality expression, decision making, and moderating social behavior

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Somatosensory Cortex

higher brain; part of your brain that receives and processes sensory information from the entire body

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Auditory Cortex

higher brain; the part of the temporal lobe that processes auditory information

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Visual Cortex

higher brain; receives and processes visual information relayed from the retinas

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Corpus Callosum

higher brain; bundle of nerve fibers that connects the two hemispheres, messages move from one side of the brain to the other

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Glial Cells

higher brain; (glue) provide physical and chemical support to neurons and maintain their environment

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Angular Gyrus

speech centers; it transforms visual representations (ex: the alphabet) into an auditory code

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Wernicke’s Area

speech centers; it is located in the temporal lobe on the left side of the brain and is responsible for the comprehension of speech

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Broca’s Area

speech centers; located in the lower portion of the left frontal lobe, controls motor functions involved with speech production and language comprehension

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Aphasia

speech centers; inability to speak

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Phineas Gage

split brain; rod went through his head and his personality changed from the damage

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Right Hemisphere

(unconscious parallel processing) appears to specialize in more widespread processing involving perception, visualization, spatial perception, recognition of patterns, faces, emotions, melodies, and expression of emotion

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Brain Plasticity

split brain; the ability to constantly change both the structure and function of many cells in the brain in response to experience and even trauma

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Hormones

endocrine system; chemical messengers that travel to target organs where they bind to specific receptors

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Pineal Gland

endocrine system; (melatonin) to receive information about the state of the light-dark cycle from the environment

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Pituitary Gland

endocrine system; (HGH) pea-sized structure located in the core of the brain, where it is controlled by an adjacent brain area, the hypothalamus; regulates stress, growth and reproduction, including some parts of pregnancy and childbirth

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Thyroid Gland

endocrine system; (thyroxin) located inside the lower neck, secretes a hormone called thyroxin that regulates metabolism, growth, and appetite

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Parathyroid Glands

endocrine system; located below the thyroid gland, this PTH regulates the amounts of calcium, phosphorus and magnesium in the bones and blood

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Adrenal Glands

endocrine system; (adrenaline, epinephrine, & norepinephrine) two glands on top of each kidney involved in stress response

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Pancreas

endocrine system; (insulin) helps control blood sugar levels and digestion of food

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Ovaries

endocrine system; (estrogen) in females

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Testes

endocrine system; (testosterone) in males

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Chromosomes

x-shaped structures made largely of DNA molecules

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Genes

segments of DNA that contain the code for a particular protein and determine our biological development

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Gregor Mendel

father of genetics

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Down’s Syndrome

extra chromosome, intellectual disability, and unique physical features

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Turner’s Syndrome

abnormal sex chromosome, no ovaries, and girls have limited sexual development

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Klinefelter’s Syndrome

abnormal sex chromosome, extra x chromosome, and minimal male sexual development

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PKU

lacks enzyme to produce amino acid PKU

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Tay-Sachs Syndrome

recessive gene defect, typically in European Jews, and causes degeneration of the CNS

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Albinism

failure to synthesize or store pigment, very pale skin and hair

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Huntington’s Disease

dominant gene defect, causes degeneration of nervous system and loss of motor movement

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Natural Selection

an evolutionary process through which adaptive traits are passed on to ongoing generations because these traits help animals survive and reproduce

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Artificial Selection

biologists like Belyaev and Trut (1999) were able to artificially rear and domesticate wild foxes, selecting them for friendly traits

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Nature vs. Nurture

hereditary vs. environment

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Gender Differences on Sexuality

casual sex- male

sex for affection- female

think about sex everyday- male

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Functionalism

describes the mind as a functional tool that allows us to adapt to our environments, the purpose of our thoughts and feelings

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Behaviorism

(REWARDS) focuses on the idea that all behaviors are learned through interaction with the environment

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Cognitive

how we think, remember, and learn by trying to understand how we PERCEIVE PAST EVENTS and make decisions

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Humanistic

(Freud & Skinner) Focuses on the idea of PERSONAL FULFILLMENT

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Charles Darwin

created the theory of natural selection

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Edward B. Titchener

(structuralist) founder of structuralism who used introspection

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John B. Watson

(behavioralist) believed that behavior could be shaped through conditioning

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William James

(functionalist) father of American psychology

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Sigmund Freud

(psychoanalyst) founded and developed psychoanalysis

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Operational Definitions

a description of something in terms of the operations (procedures, actions, or processes) by which it could be observed and measured

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Random Sampling

the process of choosing the research participants from the population

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Random Assignment

each participant has equal chances of being placed into any group

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Descriptive Study

used to describe characteristics of a population or phenomenon being studied

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