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BSU / Biology / SCI 100 / How we study the brain?

How we study the brain?

How we study the brain?


School: Ball State University
Department: Biology
Course: Intro to Psychological Science
Professor: Paul biner
Term: Winter 2016
Tags: PSYS 100, Study Guide, Exam 1, and Biner
Cost: 50
Name: PSYS 100 Exam 1 Study Guide
Description: This study guide includes an outline of study points for Exam 1 as well as page numbers to review in the book for more explanations.
Uploaded: 02/12/2016
14 Pages 58 Views 1 Unlocks

Study Guide Exam 1

How we study the brain?

I. What is psychology?

a. Science of behavior and mental processes  

b. Concerned with everything a person does, thinks and feels c. Including:

i. Overt actions

ii. Mental functions

iii. Emotional functions

iv. Physiological functions

II. Fields of psychology

a. Psychologist

i. person who holds a BA, MA and Ph.D.

1. Has an additional year or 2 of training in a  

specialized area of research

b. Psychiatrist

i. Have a MD with a 2 year internship is psychiatry

ii. Patients usually have both physical and mental problems iii. Can an often write prescriptions  

c. Psychoanalyst

What is a neuron charge compared to?

i. Specialized psychiatrists

ii. Practice psychoanalysis (study of unconscious motives and  dreams)

iii. 4 years in college, 4 years in med school, 4 years studying  psychoanalysis Don't forget about the age old question of How you put together a speech?

d. Licensed psychologist

i. practitioner of choices should be a licensed psychologist e. Percentages of degrees

i. 46% clinical  

ii. 17% counseling, community or school psychs

iii. 10% developmental, personality & social psychs

iv. 8% educational psychs

v. 8% industrial/organizational psychs

vi. 6% physiological, neurological and neuropsychs If you want to learn more check out What is an alkane in chemistry?

vii. 5% stats and methodological

f. 2 major subareas:

i. Human service fields

What do we say when neuron charges electrically?

1. Clinical: Provide psychological services to the public

a. Deal with patients with psychological  

disturbances usually in a private practice or  

hospital setting

2. Counseling:  

a. Less severe problems

i. Marriage difficulty

ii. Job-choice problems

iii. Child rearing problems

iv. Work primarily in industry, hospital,  

mental health & university settings

3. Community: Focus on community mental health a. Help community and its institutions adjust to  problems

 Drug use and prevention

 HIV/STF testing

 Domestic violence sage houses and  


4. Schools:

Work exclusively within the education settings  (Preschool – HS)

a. Their duties vary:

b. Administering IG and vocational tests

c. Interpret test scores

d. Plan interventions

e. Aid teachers with classroom problems

f. Medicate parent/student/teacher conflicts

g. Consult on teaching/learning processes

ii. Experimental

1. Teach and conduct research Don't forget about the age old question of How does gender socialization occur?

2. These psychologists conduct the major bulk of the  research in psychology and also teach

a. Physiological: Includes biological and  


 Study how physiology affects our behavior  brain functions

 brain chem and neurotransmitters

 hormonal output

 effects of narcotics

b. Developmental: Study behavioral, mental, and  psychological changes that occur over the span of the lifetime (concentrate largely on child  development)

c. Social: Study how individuals interact within  their social environment  Don't forget about the age old question of Where is tlr4 found?

d. Topics of study:

i. Aggression

ii. Helping behavior

iii. Persuasion

iv. Romantic Attraction

e. Educational:  

i. Study processes of teaching and learning 1. E.g. studying effects of watching  

“Sesame Street” on kids  

intellectual growth

ii. Note: School psychologists use the  

research provided by educational  


f. I/O: Study the psychology of work behavior i. Focus on topics: We also discuss several other topics like What about our guts make them an excellent breeding ground for bacteria?

1. Productivity

2. Job satisfaction

3. Employee motivation

4. Absenteeism

g. General Experimentalists:

i. Includes smaller subarea specialists

1. Sensation/perception

2. Social cognition

3. Engineering psychologists

4. Quantitative psychologists

5. Environmental psychologists

6. Forensic or legal psychologists

III. History of Psych

a. 130 years old

i. Didn’t exist until 1880s

b. fields broke off from medicine, theology and philosophy  c. Structuralist Approach

i. 1st 

ii. Wilhelm Wundt

1. Father of psych Don't forget about the age old question of What can you grow in a tea garden?

2. Structure of mind/psyche

iii. Introspection (self-examination)

d. Functionalism

i. How brain worked and functioned

ii. William James  

e. Gestalt Psych

i. Total experience of individual

f. Sigmund Freud

i. Medical doctor

ii. Free association, dream interpretation, hysterical patients 1. Psychoanalysis

g. Behaviorism

i. John B. Watson

1. Study what we see/observe (behavior)

IV. Theories

a. Defined as a formal set of interrelated propositions concerning a  phenomenon

b. A theory is basically an explanation of why a relationship exists i. Key word: WHY

c. Predict what will happen

i. Ex: Dating example

d. From these we deduce hypothesis

i. Predictions

e. What makes a good theory?

i. Logical

ii. Parsimonious (as simple as possible)

iii. Stimulate new research

iv. Easily lead to new hypotheses

v. Be testable

Start with Facts -> Theories -> Hypotheses -> Facts (data)

f. Methods of research

i. Controlled lab experiment 

1. Independent Variable (IV) influences Dependent  

Variable (DV)

a. Independent is changed in the experiment  

b. Dependent stays the same

2. Rat, Nicotine example

a. Theory (idea you are wanting to research):  

nicotine affects our energy levels

b. Hypothesis (supported or unsupported): more  

nicotine then the less energy  

ii. Field Experiment

1. You’re not controlling everything within the  

experiment, more relatable to the real world

2. Example from class: Staring increased anxiety levels

a. Measured how fast the person in the car who  

was being started at by the biker on the  

sidewalk drove through the light once it turned  


iii. Quasi-Experiment: Here, the manipulation is not controlled  by the scientist.

iv. Correlation

1. Positive (variables move in same direction), negative  (variables move in opposite directions)

2. Positive Example: More Coffee > More Energy

3. Negative Example: More Nicotine > Less Energy

4. The closer correlations are to + and – 1 the stronger  

they are

V. Statistics

a. Descriptive: describe and reduce data

i. Central tendency: Mean (average), median(score at which  50% of scores fall below or above), mode (most frequently  occurring score)

b. Inferential: tests we perform on descriptive stats (learn more in  higher level classes)

i. Measures of variability: Measures of dispersion or spread 1. Standard Deviation (S) = The average score deviation  from the mean

ii. Variance (S2) = Standard deviation squared

1. Used for many inferential stats

VI. Neuropsychology: Research on the brain is usually conducted in 1 of 8 ways

a. Ivan Pavlov

b. Structures of brain

i. How we study the brain?

c. Neuron

i. Synapse: space between each neuron

ii. Parts of neuron

1. Cell body

2. Dendrites

3. Axon

4. Myelin sheath

5. Axon terminal

iii. What is a neuron charge compared to?  

a. a gun because it either fires or it doesn’t

2. What do we say when neuron charges electrically?

a. It fires (action potential)

3. Action potential

a. Neurotransmitters: chemicals are body uses to  


d. Human Nervous System

i. CNS: Brain and Spinal Cord

1. Sensory neurons: what’s on the surface of your body  a. Ex: touching a hot stove and pull your hand  

band “it’s hot”

2. Motor neurons: your brain relaying signals to your  

body to move

a. Ex: Brain > move hand

ii. PNS: Everything other than brain and spinal cord  

iii. Human Brain

1. Hemispheres: Left and Right

2. Corpus callosum: bundle of neurons that connect the  hemispheres

3. Cortex: responsible for our human higher level  

thinking and intelligence

4. Hindbrain

a. Medulla

b. Reticular formation

c. Pons

d. Cerebellum

5. Forebrain

a. Diencephalon

i. Thalamus: relay center 

ii. Hypothalamus: motivation, emotion,  

eating and pleasure 

b. Telencephalon

i. Basal ganglia

ii. Corpus callosum

iii. Cortex

6. Limbic system

a. 4 structures inside brain

i. hippocampus: aids in storage of new  

memories through out the brain 

ii. pituitary gland

iii. hypothalamus

iv. amygdala: controls our emotions 

b. olds and Milner

7. Left and Right Brain Differences

a. Evidence for left/right brain differences comes  

primarily from studying the behavior of people  

who have experienced trauma/disease to  

either the left or right side of their brains.  

b. Left Hemispheric damage is associated with  


i. Aphasia – disorder in the production of  

spoken or written language

ii. Apraxia – inability to carry out skilled  

movement in the absence of spinal cord  


iii. Agnosia – inability to recognize familiar  

objects by sight, touch, or sound.

iv. Left/Right Body Confusion

v. Verbal Memory Deficits

vi. Mood Disorders (depression)

vii. Right-side weakness or paralysis

viii. Dyslexia – impairment of reading ability  

(might see dog as god)

c. Right Hemispheric damage is associated with  


i. Left neglect syndrome

ii. Eye-hand coordination problems

iii. Difficulty dressing

iv. Impaired sense of direction

v. Altered humor

vi. Left-side weakness/paralysis

VII. Developmental Psychology (Ch. 5)

a. What is developmental concerned with?

i. Physical, mental, social changes throughout lifetime b. Where is most research centered on the development of children c. What are the 3 major focuses of this research?

i. Physical Development

ii. Mental Development

iii. Social Development

d. Emotional development

i. Harry Harlow’s research with Rhesus Monkeys

1. Touch and the affects on emotional development 2. Know the experiment

3. Know what happened to the monkeys

4. Know what this tells us

a. You connect more with parents who nurture  

you versus parents who only provide a  

resource such as food

ii. Kangaroo effect: premature babies that are touched, held  and massaged are bound to grow 40% more and faster  than babies who are not.

e. Cognitive/Intellectual Development

i. Jean Piaget’s stages of cognitive development

1. Sensorimotor (birth to 2)- object permanence,  

stranger anxiety

2. Preoperational (2-6)- pretend play, egocentrism,  language dev.

3. Concrete Operational (7-11) – conservation, math  transformations

4. Formal Operational (12- adulthood) – abstract logic,  potential for mature moral reasoning

f. Social Development

i. Family interaction very important

ii. When does social interaction begins at birth when we bond with parents

1. First social event

a. Egocentrism: when child thinks the world  

revolves around them. They want stuff NOW.  

2. 1 year

a. Stranger anxiety

3. 2 years

a. Parallel play: play alone or side-by-side

4. 3-5 years

a. Children are gradually forced to interact with  

others to satisfy their needs

5. By age 5…

a. Social maturity involves breakdown of  


i. Sharing with others is essential

ii. Type of toys kids play w/ can enhance  

breakdown of egocentrism

1. Isolate toys: Gameboys -  


2. Social toys: board games – group  


a. Allows the child to be social  

and able to communicate  

with others

6. The process of achieving social maturity involves the  breakdown of egocentrism

7. The child has to ultimately understand that he or she lives in a “social” world and that SHARING with  

others is essential

g. Day Care Centers 

i. How many children in daycare centers in 2011

1. 2/3s of all preschool children were in day care  

centers (23 million kids)

ii. What 3 questions regarding day care has research focused  on?

1. Does non-parental day care affect a child’s:

a. Attachment to parents?

b. Intellectual development?

c. Social development?

iii. What is a high quality center? (possible essay question) 1. Staff should be both educated and experienced

a. Ask for resumes

2. There should be a low child to staff ratio

a. No more that 6:1 is good

b. 3:1 for kids under 2

3. There should be a low turnover rate among the staff 4. Schedule for the kids

5. Is there a lot of stimuli? (music, art, etc.)

6. Lots of children around the same age

iv. Why is research on day care difficult to conduct? 1. Hard to research children – parent’s not in favor

v. All of these research conclusions assume that home-raised  children are compared to children raised in high quality day care centers.

h. Single Parent Upbringing 

i. 2013-30% of all households were single-parent households. ii. Baruth’s 10 Research-Based Steps of Advice for the Single  Parent  

1. Be honest about the situation

2. Assure children that they are not responsible for  


3. Be honest about your own feelings

4. Maintain same routine and surroundings

5. Don’t try to be both mom and dad

6. With divorce, don’t encourage children to hope for  


7. Reassure child that they will continue to be loved and cared for

8. Don’t use the child for bargaining power w/ ex


9. Make use of grandparents/relatives to maintain a  

sense of family

VIII. Sensation and Perception

a. Before 1950

i. Sensation and perceptions viewed as independent  


1. What were sensations viewed as only the stimuli  

(sounds, tastes, colors, smells, etc.)

2. What were perceptions referred to interpreting the  

combined stimuli so that it acquired meaning for the  


b. In 1950

i. James Gibson

1. He said that sensations and perception really should  

be viewed as different parts of the same process  

ii. What are perceptual systems?

1. Structure, function, and operations by which people  

perceive their world.

2. To fully develop our perceptual systems need to learn and to work with one another

iii. Held and Bauer study

1. Hand-eye coordination of monkeys

2. Know the experiment

3. Know the results

a. First stared at their bodies for extended periods b. Showed very poor coordination in visually  

guided reaching

i. This points to the fact that early  

experience is critical to the ultimate  

development of interacting perceptual  

systems later in life.

iv. Human Studies

1. Cataract removal patients

a. While these people have multiple deficiencies,  one of the primary ones is in visually guided  


v. Kitten studies

1. Sensory deprived kittens

a. Retinas or lenses never developed while they  were completed deprived of light

b. When deprived of sound the kittens never  

develop eardrums

c. When deprived of all sensory experience, the  kitten’s physiological structures do not fully  


vi. Sensory deprivation in humans?

1. 1960 Heron Studies

a. Know the study

i. college students

ii. dull room with air conditioning

iii. plastic visor (on eyes)

iv. arms and legs covered with tubes

b. Know the results

i. After 3-6hrs

ii. Complex tasks could not be performed

iii. Subjects become irritable and restless  


iv. After24hrs

v. Reported seeing cartoon like images (not  

under personal control)

vi. Became eager for stimulation (would  

sing, tap, whistle, and talk)

vii. Display random movement

viii. Keeping subjects for longer than 48hrs  

became impossible

ix. Conclusion: absence of regular sensory  

stimulation changes the behavior  

patterns of humans

c. Human Visual system

i. Receives most attention

ii. What does the process start with?

1. Stimulus

2. System that responds to stimulus

iii. Visual systems stimulus

1. Light response system

a. Human eye

i. Parts of the eye

ii. 3 layers of retina

1. Rods/cones

2. Info leaves eye

3. Occipital lobe

2. Transduction

a. Process by which visual system analyzes  

stimuli and converts to electrical signals in the  


i. Photoreceptors

1. The retinal cells (neurons) that  

begin the process of transduction  

are called photoreceptors (light  


2. 2 types of photoreceptors

a. cones (6million per eye)

i. responsible for color  


ii. day vision only

iii. aid with fine  


b. Rods (120 million per eye)

i. Responsible primarily  

for night vision

ii. Used for black/white  

(contrast) form  


ii. Duplicity theory: theory that vision is  

controlled by two and only two classes of  

photo receptors (rods and cones)

3. Color vision

a. Properties of color

i. Hue

1. is the color of an object. It is  

determined by the wavelengths of  

light that an object reflects  


ii. Brightness

1. refers to how light or dark a color  

is. It is determined by the intensity  

(strength) of the light.

iii. Saturation

1. refers to the pureness of a color. It  

is determined by the complexity of  

the reflected light.

4. Color coding

a. 3 types of cones in retinas

i. short waves

ii. medium waves

iii. long waves

1. This is known as Young-Helmholtz  


a. Trichromatic

b. Hering’s alternative theory

i. Opponent-process theory

1. Hering also argues that we have  

three different types of cones but,

2. Red/green, blue/yellow and  

black/white cones

3. After decades of research it was  

finally concluded that the Young

Helmholtz theory best explains  

color coding at the retinal level

c. Which theory best explains color-coding at the  

retinal level?

i. Young-Helmholtz theory best explains  

color coding at the retinal level

In addition to the lecture material review the following pages in the text  book:

24-25, 29-38, 49-53, 59-62, 64-69, 169-170, 175-179, 183, 188-190, 218- 219, 222-223, 229, 234, 237-242, 250-251, 259-261


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