Study Guide Exam 1
What is the research technique of introspection? How was it used?
Introspection is the contemplation of your own thoughts and desires and conduct it reported on sensations and other elements of experience in reaction to stimuli
Titchener used these introspective reports to build a view of the mind’s structure He engaged people in selfreflective introspection (looking inward), training them to report elements of their experience as they looked at a
rose, listened to a metronome, smelled a scent, or tasted a substance. What were their immediate sensations, their images, their feelings? And how did these relate to one another? Alas, introspection proved somewhat
unreliable. It required smart, verbal people, and its results varied from person to person and experience to experience. As introspection waned, so did structuralism.
What is naturalistic observation?
Descriptive technique of observing and recording behavior in naturally occurring situations without trying to change or control the situation Records behavior in natural environment
Describes but does not explain behavior
Can be revealing
What is a case study?
Descriptive technique in which one person is studied in depth in the hope of revealing universal principles
Examines one individual in depth
Provides fruitful ideas
Cannot be used to generalize
Who was William Wundt and why was he important?
Wilhelm Wundt (18321920)
Defined psychology as “science of mental life”
Added two key elements to enhance scientific nature of
Elements included carefully measured observations and
Wilhelm Wundt established the first psychology laboratory at the University of Leipzig, Germany.
Wundt was seeking to measure “atoms of the mind”—the fastest and simplest mental processes. So, began the first psychological laboratory, staffed by Wundt and by psychology’s first graduate students. If you want to learn more check out What are the types of Types of Depository Institutions?
American psychologist emphasized the study of observable behavior during which period of time?
American psychologist emphasized the study of observable behavior from the 1920’s to 1960’s If you want to learn more check out What is the difference between traditional and artificial myth?
Who was William James? Why was he important?
William James studied how humans use perception to function in our environment
Trained as a physician and taught philosophy Don't forget about the age old question of What is Sustainability?
Established the first teaching lab in America (1875)
Thought introspection was useless
Sought to discover how consciousness was fundamental to human survival
Wrote Principles of Psychology (still used today)
Stream of consciousness
What is behaviorism?
a natural science approach to psychology that focuses on the study of environmental influences on observable behavior
A reaction to psychoanalysis
If psychology is a science, we have to focus on that which can be measured the world we can access through our senses
the view that psychology should by an objective science and study behavior without reference
What is natural selection?
Explains changes in a population that occur when organisms with favorable variations survive.
Survival of the fittest
Some organisms have an advantage over others.
Results in adaptations that allow populations to survive in their
From among chance variations, nature selects traits that best enable an organism to survive and reproduce in a particular environment.
What is cognitive neuroscience?
is the scientific field that is concerned with the study of the biological processes and aspects that underlie cognition We also discuss several other topics like What is nucleic acid and its function?
with a specific focus on the neural connections in the brain which are involved in mental processes.
discipline geared towards understanding how the brain works, how brain structure and function affect behavior and how the brain enables the mind
The interdisciplinary field of cognitive neuroscience ties the science of mind (cognitive psychology) and the science of the brain (neuroscience) and focuses on brain activity underlying mental activity
What is the nature – nurture debate?
Nature VS. Nurture We also discuss several other topics like More than half of the private sector companies in the United States go out of business within how many years?
The question that what extent are our traits already set in place at birth (our “Nature”)?
And to what extent do our traits develop in response to our environment/ experience (our “Nurture”)? Don't forget about the age old question of How does the brain relate to the mind?
Plato: (428348 BCE) Character and intelligence inherited; some ideas inborn
Descartes: Some ideas are intuitive
Darwin: Some traits, behaviors, and instincts are part of species; natural selection
Experiment: Because identical twins have the same genes, they are ideal participants in studies designed to shed light on hereditary and environmental influences on intelligence, personality, and other traits. Studies of identical and
fraternal twins provide a rich array of findings—described in other modules—that underscore the importance of both nature and nurture.
Aristotle: (384–322 B.C.E.) Content of mind comes through senses Locke: Mind is blank slate
The debate over the naturenurture issue is ancient*
Nurture works on what nature endows. *
What is the biopsychosocial approach to psychology?
an integrated perspective that incorporates biological, psychological, and social cultural levels of analysis.
Each of us is a complex system that is part of a larger social system. But each of us is also composed of smaller systems, such as our nervous system and body organs, which are composed of still smaller systems—
cells, molecules, and atoms. These tiered systems suggest different levels of analysis, which offer complementary outlooks.
It’s like explaining horrific school shootings.
∙ Is it because the shooters have brain disorders or genetic
tendencies that cause them to be violent?
∙ Because they have been rewarded for violent behavior?
∙ Because we live in a gunpromoting society that accepts
o Such perspectives are complementary because
“everything is related to everything else” Together,
different levels of analysis form an integrated
biopsychosocial approach, which considers the
influences of biological, psychological, and social
cultural factors. Each level provides a valuable
playing card in psychology’s explanatory deck. It’s
a vantage point for looking at a behavior or mental
process, yet each by itself is incomplete.
Humans are biopsychosocial systems in which biological, psychological, and socialcultural factors interact to influence behavior.
What is evolutionary psychology?
How the natural selection of traits has promoted the survival of genes How does evolution influence behavior tendencies?
Focuses on how humans are alike because of common biology and evolutionary history
Darwin’s explained that nature selects traits that best enable an organism to survive and reproduce in a particular environment.
Today’s psychologists explore the relative contributions of biology and experience. They ask, for example, how are we humans alike because of our common biology and evolutionary history?
The focus of evolutionary psychology is:
How are we humans alike because of our common biology and evolutionary history?
And how are we diverse because of our differing genes and environments? How are intelligence and personality differences influenced by heredity and by environment?
How we encode, process, store, and retrieve information
How do we use information in remembering? Reasoning? Solving problems?
Cognitive neuroscience; clinical; counseling; industrialorganizational
How behavior and thinking vary across situations and cultures
How are we alike as members of one human family? How do we differ as products of our environment?
Developmental; social psychology; clinical; counseling
What is the testing effect?
Actively processing material and retrieving material helps master it (testing effect)
How do students learn best?
Students learn best by
Testing boosts retention of material
Actively processing material and retrieving material helps master it 6
Spaced rehearsal, interspaced with other subjects, is more efficient than cramming
Concept familiarity is not effective enough
Countless experiments reveal that people learn and remember best when they put material in their own words, rehearse it, and then retrieve and review it again. SQ3R is an acronym for its five steps: Survey, Question, Read, Retrieve, Review.
What is contemporary psychology as a science?
Contemporary psychology of science is a branch of the studies of science that includes philosophy of science, history of science, and sociology of science or sociology of scientific knowledge. The
psychology of science is defined most simply as the scientific study of scientific thought or behavior.
Contemporary psychologists study both overt behavior and covert thoughts. contemporary psychologists approach the scientific study of behaviors and mental processes from a variety of perspectives, and each perspective offers an important piece of the psychology puzzle. As we study these perspectives, we should keep in mind that all the approaches are valid and each has advantages and disadvantages.
In contemporary science, the nature–nurture tension dissolves: Nurture works on what nature endows.
Every psychological event (every thought, every emotion) is simultaneously a biological event.
What was the cognitive revolution in psychology?
A shift in psychology beginning in the 1950s from the behaviorist approach to an approach in which the main thrust was to explain behavior in terms of the mind. One of the outcomes of the cognitive revolution was the introduction of the informationprocessing approach to studying the mind.
The cognitive revolution occurred in 1960 and focus returned to interest in mental processes.
Cognitive psychology scientifically explored ways in which information is perceived, processed, and remembered.
“In the 1960s, the cognitive revolution led the field back to its early interest in mental processes, such as the importance of how our mind processes and retains information. Cognitive psychology scientifically explores the ways we perceive, process, and remember information. The cognitive approach has given us new ways to understand ourselves and to treat disorders such as
depression. Cognitive neuroscience was birthed by the marriage of
cognitive psychology (the science of mind) and neuroscience (the
science of brain). This interdisciplinary field studies the brain
activity underlying mental activity.”
What is hindsight bias? Why is it important?
Tendency to believe, after learning an outcome, that we could have predicted it Also known as the Iknewitallalong phenomenon
More than 800 scholarly papers have documented this phenomenon
Ex. When drilling the Deepwater Horizon oil well in 2010, oil
industry employees took some shortcuts and ignored some warning
signs, without intending to harm the environment or their
After the resulting Gulf oil spill, with the benefit of 20/20 hindsight, the foolishness of those judgments became obvious.
What is critical thinking and why is that important?
Critical thinking refers to a more careful style of forming and evaluating knowledge than simply using intuition.
In addition to the scientific method, critical thinking helps develop more effective and accurate ways to figure out what makes people do, think, and feel the things they do.
The scientific attitude prepares us to think smarter.
Smart thinking, called critical thinking, examines assumptions,
appraises the source, discerns hidden values, evaluates evidence, and assesses conclusions.
∙ Critical thinkers ask questions such as How do they know that? What is this person’s agenda? Is the conclusion
based on anecdote and gut feelings, or on evidence? Does
the evidence justify a cause–effect conclusion? What
alternative explanations are possible?
∙ Does it exist?
∙ Does it threaten our future?
∙ Is it caused by humans?
o Rather than having their understanding of climate
change swayed by today’s weather, or by their own political views, critical thinkers say,
“Show me the evidence.”
∙ Over time, is the Earth actually
∙ Are the polar ice caps melting?
∙ Are vegetation patterns changing?
∙ And is human activity spewing gases that would lead us to expect such
o When contemplating such
issues, critical thinkers will
consider the credibility of
sources. They will look at the
evidence (Do the facts
support them, or are they just
makin’ stuff up?).
o They will recognize multiple
perspectives. And they will
expose themselves to news
sources that challenge their
CRITICAL THINKING: Analyzing, rather than simply accepting, information Determining if flaw in information collection exists
Considering alternative explanations for facts or results
Searching for hidden assumption and deciding if you agree
Looking for hidden bias, politics, values, or personal connections Discarding personal assumptions and biases and viewing the evidence
What are the three key attitudes of scientific inquiry?
Three key attitudes of scientific inquiry are:
curiosity, skepticism and humility
Scientific inquiry has revealed surprising findings
Massive losses of brain tissue early in life may actually have minimal longterm effects.
Within days, newborns can recognize their mother by her odor.
After brain damage, a person may be able to learn new skills yet be completely unaware of such learning.
Diverse groups—men and women, old and young, rich and middle class, those with disabilities and those without—report roughly comparable levels of personal happiness.
Scientific inquiry as also debunked popular assumptions
Research shows that:
sleepwalkers are not acting out their dreams.
Our past experiences are not all recorded verbatim in our brains; with brain stimulation or hypnosis, one cannot simply “hit the replay button” and relive longburied or repressed memories.
Most people do not suffer from low selfesteem, and high selfesteem is not all good
Opposites do not generally attract
What is an empirical approach?
study conducted via careful observations & scientifically based research. scientific approach in which psychology is researched.
A study conducted via careful observations and scientifically based research. Significance: Allowed psychologists to conduct studies that have altered the way we think.
i.e. Magician James Randi has used this empirical approach when testing those claiming to see glowing auras around people’s bodies
The magician James Randi exemplifies skepticism.
He has tested and debunked supposed psychic phenomena
Randi: Do you see an aura around my head?
Aura seer: Yes, indeed.
Randi: Can you still see the aura if I put this magazine in front of my face? Aura seer: Of course.
Randi: Then if I were to step behind a wall barely taller than I am, you could determine my location from the aura visible above my head, right? Randi once told me that no aura seer has agreed to take this simple test.
What is intuition?
An effortless, immediate, automatic feeling or thought, as contrasted with explicit, conscious reasoning.
Knowing or sensing something without the use of reason; an insight
Why do people tend to underestimate the extent to which outcomes result from chance? People tend to underestimate the extent to which outcomes result from chance because People perceive patterns to make sense of their world.
Some happenings seem so extraordinary –such as winning the lottery twice—we reject chancerelated explanations
However, with a large enough sample, any outrageous thing is likely to happen
An event that happens to but 1 in 1 billion people every day occurs about 7 times a day, 2500 times a year.
Even in random, unrelated data people often find order, because random sequences often do not look random.
People trust their intuition more than they should because intuitive thinking is flawed.
Why is intuition overused and errors made?
Hindsight bias, overconfidence, and our tendency to perceive patterns in random events often lead us to overestimate our intuition.
What is skepticism and why is it important in science?
Doubting and questioning; this includes critical thinking abilities Supports questions about behavior and mental processes:
What do you mean?
How do you know?
THE AMAZING RANDI: Magician and skeptic James Randi has tested and debunked a variety of psychic phenomena.
What is overconfidence?
When people tend to think they know more than they do.
This occurs in academic and social behavior.
Another example of why we need psychological science is
overconfidence. We humans tend to think we know more than we do. Asked how sure we are of our answers to factual questions (Is Boston north or south of Paris?), we tend to be more confident than correct.
People in the past used to say
“We don’t like their sound. Groups of guitars are on their way
“Computers in the future may weigh no more than 1.5 tons.”
Decca Records, in turning down a recording contract with the Beatles in 1962
What is a theory and what does it do?
Explanation using an integrated set of principles that organizes
observations and predicts behaviors or events
In science, a theory explains behaviors or events by offering ideas that organize what we have observed. By organizing isolated facts, a theory simplifies. By linking facts with deeper principles, a theory offers a useful summary. As we connect the observed dots, a coherent picture emerges.
A theory about the effects of sleep on memory, for example, helps us organize countless sleeprelated observations into a short list of principles. Imagine that we observe over and over that people with good sleep habits tend to answer questions correctly in class, and they do well at test time. We might therefore theorize that sleep improves memory. So far so good: Our principle neatly summarizes a list of facts about the effects of a good night’s sleep on memory.
Yet no matter how reasonable a theory may sound—and it does seem reasonable to suggest that sleep could improve memory—we must put it to the test.
What is a hypothesis and how is it used?
Testable prediction, often implied by a theory
A good theory produces testable predictions, called hypotheses. Such predictions specify what results (what behaviors or events)
would support the theory and what results would disconfirm it. To
test our theory about the effects of sleep on memory, our
hypothesis might be that when sleep deprived, people will
remember less from the day before
What is an operational definition and why is it important?
Carefully worded statement of the exact procedures (operations) used in a research study
To test that hypothesis, we might assess how well people remember course materials they studied before a good night’s sleep, or before a shortened night’s
What is the placebo effect?
Effect involves results caused by expectations alone.
Where a patient sees a beneficial effect of a fake medication or treatment because they have the expectation of it working.
is a positive nonspecific / contextual effect of therapy (does not have to do with the active ingredient or the procedure itself)
What is a representative sample? Why is it important?
A sample that represents a larger population to which the experiment is targeted towards
A subset of the population carefully chosen to represent the proportionate diversity of the population as a whole.
A sample that fairly represents a population because each member has an equal chance of inclusion. Increases the likelihood that the sample represents the population and that one can generalize the findings to the larger population.
What is random assignment? Random sampling? How are they different? Random Assignment
Assigning participants to experimental conditions in such a way that all participants have equal chance of being chosen.
Uses random assignment to assign participants to different conditions (not random sampling)
the procedure of assigning subjects to the experimental and control conditions by chance in order to minimize preexisting differences between the groups.
What is a correlation? What is the difference between a positive and negative correlation? Correlation
To detect naturally occurring relationships; to assess how well one variable predicts another
a measure of how closely two factors vary together, or how well you can predict a change in one from observing a change in the other
“Describing behavior is a first step toward predicting it. Naturalistic observations and surveys often show us that one trait or behavior is related to another. In such cases, we say the two correlates. A statistical measure (the correlation coefficient) helps us figure how closely two things vary together, and thus how well either one predicts the other. Knowing how much aptitude test scores correlate with school success tells us how well the scores predict school success.”
Positive correlation (between 0 and +1.00)
Indicates a direct relationship, meaning that two things increase together or decrease together
Negative correlation (between 0 and −1.00)
Indicates an inverse relationship: As one thing increases, the other decreases.
What is an illusory correlation?
Refers to the perception of a relationship between two variables when only a minor or no relationship actually exists
example= positive correlation of consumption of ice cream and murder rates May be fed by regression toward the mean
What is a scatterplot and how is that used?
a graphed cluster of dots, each representing the values of two variables a depiction of the relationship between two variables by means of a graphed cluster of dots.
Scatterplots, show patterns of correlation
Correlations can range from +1.00 (scores on one measure increase in direct proportion to scores on another), to 0.00 (no relationship), to –1.00 (scores on one measure decrease precisely as scores rise on the other).
What is regression to the mean and why is that important?
Regression toward the mean
Refers to the tendency for extreme or unusual scores or events to fall back (regress) toward the average
Students who score much lower or higher on an exam than they usually do are likely, when retested, to return to their average.
What is an experiment?
Research Strategies: Experimentation
With experiments, researchers can focus on the possible effects of one or more factors in several ways.
Manipulating the factors of interest to determine their effects
Holding constant (“controlling”) other factors
Experimental group and control group
Uses random assignment to assign participants to different
conditions (not random sampling)
An independent variable?
Independent variable in an experiment
Factor that is manipulated; the variable whose effect is being studied
A dependent variable?
Dependent variable in an experiment
Factor that is measured; the variable that may change when the independent variable is manipulated
What is replication? Why is it important?
Repeating the essence of a research study, usually with different participants in different situations, to see whether the basic finding extends to other participants and circumstances
What does this simplified reality of the laboratory allow researchers to do? 16
The simplified reality of laboratory experiments is most helpful in enabling develop general principles that help explain behavior.
The experimenter intends the laboratory experiment to be a simplified
reality, one in which important features can be simulated and controlled. The experiment's purpose is not to recreate the exact behaviors of
everyday life but to test theoretical principles. It is the resulting principles —not the specific findings—that help explains everyday behavior.
What is a normal curve?
Normal curve (normal distribution):
Symmetrical, bellshaped curve that describes the distribution of many types of data; most scores fall near the mean (about 68 percent fall within one standard deviation of it) and fewer and fewer near the extremes
What are the measures of central tendency?
Measure of Central Tendency
A single number that presents information about the “center” of a frequency distribution.
Measures of central tendency include a single score that represents a set of scores.
What are the measures of variability?
Information about the spread of the scores in a distribution
These distributions have the same mean but different variability—the scores are spread out differently.
The scores in the distribution that is “flatter” or more spread out have a higher degree of variability
Measuring Variability – The Normal Curve
How do extremes scores affect both measures of central tendency and measures of variability?
Extreme scores affect the mean
What is the median of a distribution? What is the mode? The mean? Median:
Middle score in a distribution; half the scores are above it and half are below it
Most frequently occurring score(s) in a distribution
Arithmetic average of a distribution, obtained by adding the scores and then dividing by the number of scores; can be distorted by few atypical scores
When looking at the graph, why is imported to notice the range and size of the scale values?
The size of the scale values can either make the range look too high or too low.
What is a statistically significant difference between two sample groups? How do we test for that?
When is an observed difference significant?
When sample averages are reliable and difference between them is relatively large, the difference has statistical significance.
Observed difference is probably not due to chance variation between the samples. In psychological research, proof beyond a reasonable doubt means that the odds of its occurrence by chance are less than 5 percent.
Statistical significance indicates the likelihood that a result will happen by chance. But this does not say anything about the importance of the result. (example new drug for female sexual desire!)
What was phrenology? What did it succeed in focusing attention on about the brain? Phrenology
Phrenology revealed mental abilities and character traits
Franz Gall proposed that phrenology, studying bumps on the skull, could reveal a person’s mental abilities and character traits
The “science” of phrenology remains known today as a reminder of our need for critical thinking and scientific analysis.
What do dendrites do? Axons?
Neuron extensions that receive messages and conduct them toward the cell body
They are listeners
∙ Listen to other neurons
axon fibers pass the message through its terminal branches to other neurons or to muscles or glands.
They do the speaking
Whether to another neuron, muscles, or to receptors that affect the body, glands
Dendrites listen. Axons speak.
What is a synapse?
Junction between one neuron’s axon and another’s dendrites/cell body Neurotransmitters cross the synapse
Plays a fundamental role in the communication between neurons Anatomy of the synapse
Presynaptic neuron’s axons end in terminal buttons
Terminal buttons contain synaptic vesicles
Synaptic vesicles contain neurotransmitters
Neurotransmitters are chemicals that transmit information across the synaptic gap (cleft)
Postsynaptic neuron’s dendrites contain receptor sites
Receptor sites fit certain neurotransmitters
What does the myelin sheath do?
Some axons are encased in a myelin sheath, which enables faster transmission.
What is an action potential?
Neural impulse that travels down an axon like a wave
What are ions? How are they involved in neural transmission?
electrically charged atoms
In the neuron’s chemistrytoelectricity process, ions are exchanged The fluid outside an axon’s membrane has mostly positively charged sodium ions; a resting axon’s fluid interior has mostly negatively charged ions. This positive outside/negativeinside state is called the resting potential. Like a tightly guarded facility, the axon’s surface is very selective about what it allows through its gates. When a neuron fires, however, the security parameters change: The first section of the axon opens its gates, rather like sewer covers flipping open, and positively charged sodium ions flood in. The loss of the inside/outside charge difference, called depolarization, causes the next axon channel to open, and then the next, like falling dominos, each tripping the next. This temporary inflow of positive
ions is the neural impulse—the action potential.
electrically charged particles
sodium ions on the OUTSIDE
potassium ions on the INSIDE
How does the brain represent the intensity of a stimulus?
A strong stimulus can trigger more neurons to fire, and to fire more often. But it does not affect the action potential’s strength or speed. Squeezing a trigger harder won’t make a bullet go faster.
What does reuptake refer to in regard to neurotransmitters?
Neurotransmitter’s reabsorption by the sending neuron
the neurotransmitter unlocks tiny channels at the receiving site, and electrically charged atoms flow in, exciting or inhibiting the receiving neuron’s readiness to fire. The excess neurotransmitters then drift away, are broken down by enzymes, or are reabsorbed by the sending neuron—a process called reuptake.
What does acetylcholine do? Serotonin? Dopamine ? GABA?
Enables muscle action, learning, and memory
E.x. With Alzheimer’s disease, ACh producing neurons
Affects mood, hunger, sleep, and arousal
E.x. Undersupply linked to depression. Some drugs that raise serotonin levels are used to treat depression.
Influences movement, learning, attention, and emotion
E.x. Oversupply linked to schizophrenia. Undersupply linked to tremors and loss of motor control in Parkinson’s disease.
A major inhibitory neurotransmitter
E.x Undersupply linked to seizures, tremors, and insomnia.
What are endorphins?
Endorphins are natural opiates released in response to pain and exercise.
What receptors do opiate drugs bind with?
Bind to neurotransmitters
Opiate drugs agonists that amplify normal sensations of arousal/pleasure
When flooded with opiate drugs such as heroin and morphine, the brain, to maintain its chemical balance, may stop producing its own natural opiates. When the drug is withdrawn, the brain may then be deprived of any form of opiate, causing intense discomfort.
For suppressing the body’s own neurotransmitter production, nature charges a price. Drugs and other chemicals affect brain chemistry, often by either exciting or inhibiting neurons’ firing. Agonist molecules
increase a neurotransmitter’s action. Agonists may increase the production or release of neurotransmitters, or block reuptake in the synapse.
Other agonists may be similar enough to a neurotransmitter to bind to its receptor and mimic its excitatory or inhibitory effects. Some opiate drugs are agonists and produce a temporary “high” by amplifying normal sensations of arousal or pleasure.
What is an agonist? An antagonist?
Molecule that increases a neurotransmitter’s action
Molecule that inhibits or blocks a neurotransmitter’s action
Where are neurotransmitters released from?
Neurotransmitters have their own pathways which deliver specific messages that influence behavior and emotions.
Molecules of neurotransmitters are stored in small "packages" called vesicles. Neurotransmitters are released from the axon terminal when their vesicles "fuse" with the membrane of the axon terminal, spilling
theneurotransmitter into the synaptic cleft.
What is surgical destruction of brain tissue called?
Surgical destruction of brain tissue is called a
What does the reticular formation do?
Plays a role in arousing you to a state of alertness when someone nearby mentions your name
What is the limbic system?
The Limbic System
the overall system of the brain that regulates emotions and controls behavior. Includes the Hippocampus, amygdala, hypothalamus, and other structures
What is the hippocampus and what is its function?
a component of the limbic system involved in establishing long term memories (Limbic system)
What is the nucleus accumbens?
neural pathway that increases dopamine levels. triggers laughter and smiling.
What is the brainstem? What is the function of the medulla?
Responsible for automatic survival functions; made of the hypothalamus, pons, thalamus, medulla, reticular formation, cerebellum
A brainstem structure that controls breathing and heart rate. The sensory and motor pathways cross here. (brain stem)
What is the hypothalamus?
A limbic structure that serves as the brains blood testing laboratory, constantly monitoring the blood to determine the condition of the body, detects changes in body fluids (Limbic System)
What is the role of malfunctioning reward centers in vulnerability to addiction?
The experience of pleasure is derived from stimuli originating inside or outside of the body that increase dopamine in the nucleus accumbens (primary reward center of the human brain)
reward > release of dopamine
cells receiving dopamine > happy (homer)
ie. thirsty drink water
Desire to feel "Peak" Avoid punishment "Valley"
this is emotional because you will want to continue to feel good, so you will repeat the experience.
Addictive disorders may stem from malfunction in natural brain systems for pleasure and wellbeing. People genetically predisposed to this syndrome may crave whatever provides that missing pleasure or relieves negative feelings.
What area of the brain did Olds and Milner find by accident that animals and people will stimulate for pleasure?
The Pleasure Center
What does the cerebellum do?
voluntary movement and balance
A limbic system structure involved in memory and emotion, particularly fear and agression (Limbic System)
How is functional MRI (fMRI) used to learn about brain functioning? Functional magnetic resonance imaging or functional MRI (fMRI) measures brain activity by detecting changes associated with blood flow. When an area of the brain is in use, blood flow to that region also increases.
What is an EEG?
An electroencephalogram (EEG) is a test used to find problems related to electrical activity of the brain.
It tracks and records brain wave patterns. Small metal discs with thin wires (electrodes) are placed on the scalp, and then send signals to a computer to record the results
What are the major divisions of the brain in terms of lobes? And what specific functions do these lobes have?
Include the prefrontal cortex, premotor area, and motor area of the brain. These lobes function in voluntary muscle movement, memory, thinking, decisionmaking, and planning.
Are responsible for receiving and processing sensory information. These lobes also contain the somatosensory cortex, which is essential for
processing touch sensations.
Are responsible for receiving and processing visual information from the retina.
House limbic system structures including the amygdala, and hippocampus. These lobes organize sensory input, as well as aid in auditory perception, memory formation, and language and speech production.
What is plasticity in the brain? What are some examples?
the ability of the brain to change in response to experiences
The concept that some of our brain will attempt to reroute itself if damaged. the brain's ability to adapt and change as a result of experience.
is the brain’s ability to change and grow over time in response to its environment Changes can happen either fast or slow, and they can be positive or negative. Brain damage effects
If one hemisphere is damaged early in life, other will assume many functions by reorganizing or building new pathways
Plasticity diminishes later in life.
Brain sometimes mends itself by forming new neurons through neurogenesis Neurogenesis the ability of the brain to birth/make new neurons Examples If a blind person uses one finger to read Braille, the brain area
dedicated to that finger expands as the sense of touch invades the visual cortex that normally helps people see . Plasticity also helps explain why some studies have found that deaf people have enhanced peripheral and motiondetection vision . In deaf people whose native language is sign, the temporal lobe area normally dedicated to hearing waits in vain for stimulation. Finally, it looks for other signals to process, such as those from the visual system
What does the somatosensory cortex do?
A strip of the parietal lobe lying just behind the central fissure. Involved with sensations of touch. (Parietal Lobe)
What is the cerebral cortex?
The thin grey matter covering of the cerebral hemispheres, carries on the major portion of higher metal processing, including thinking and
What happened to Phineas Gage?
In 1848, Phineas Gage, then 25 years old, was using a tamping iron to pack gunpowder into a rock. A spark ignited the gunpowder, shooting the rod up through his left cheek and out the top of his skull, leaving his frontal lobes
damaged. The rod not only damaged some of Gage’s left frontal lobe’s neurons, but also about 11 percent of its axons that connect the frontal lobes with the rest of the brain. To everyone’s amazement, he was immediately able to sit up and speak, and after the wound healed he returned to work. But having lost some of the neural tracts that enabled his frontal lobes to control his emotions, the affable, softspoken man was now irritable, profane, and dishonest. This person, said his friends, was “no longer Gage.” His mental abilities and memories were intact, but his personality was not. (Although Gage lost his railroad job, he did, over time, adapt to his injury and find work as a stagecoach driver
What are the association areas? Why are they important?
Association areas of the cortex
Are found in all four lobes
Found in the frontal lobes enable judgment, planning, and processing of new memories
Damage to association areas
Results in different losses
Connected to each other by the association tracts
Surgically lesioned animals and braindamaged humans bear witness that association areas are not dormant. Rather, these areas interpret, integrate, and act on sensory information and link it with stored memories—a very important part of thinking.
What is neurogenesis?
the ability of the brain to birth/make new neurons
What does lateralization of functioning mean?
functional differences between left and right hemisphere
Our brain’s lookalike left and right hemispheres serve differing functions. This lateralization is apparent after brain damage. Research spanning more than a century has shown that left hemisphere accidents, strokes, and tumors can impair reading, writing, speaking, arithmetic reasoning, and understanding. Similar right hemisphere damage has effects that are less visibly dramatic.
What is the corpus callosum?
Communication link between the left and right cerebral hemispheres
What are some of the traits of lefthanded people?
Lefthandedness more likely to have reading disabilities, allergies, and migraines BUT more common among musicians, mathematicians, and many athletes and artists
Pros and cons of lefthandedness seem about equal
Lefthanders are more diverse. Seven in ten process speech in the left hemisphere, as righthanders do. The rest either process language in the right hemisphere or use both hemispheres