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W&M / Engineering / PSYC 201 / What is the strategy for remembering names?

What is the strategy for remembering names?

What is the strategy for remembering names?


School: The College of William & Mary
Department: Engineering
Course: Psych as a Natural Science
Professor: M.c porter
Term: Fall 2018
Tags: Psychology
Cost: 50
Name: Exam 1 Study Guide
Description: Covers chapters 1-3 and the important concepts mentioned in class
Uploaded: 09/22/2018
25 Pages 175 Views 2 Unlocks

Lecture Notes 

What is the strategy for remembering names?

I. Lecture 1 - Memory Intro Slides 

A. Short vs Long Term

1. Limited vs unlimited

2. Immediate vs delayed access

3. Hippocampus transfers things from short-term memory to long-term memory

4. Three memory steps:

a) Perceive/understand

b) Encode to long-term memory

c) Retrieve from long-term memory

5. Only small individual differences matter when remembering things,

according to memory athletes

6. Only 7 things are usually kept in short-term memory

B. World Memory Championships

1. Series of memory events

2. Examples:

a) One hour numbers - commit to memory as many random digits as

Define psychological science.

possible in 60 minutes

b) Five minute numbers

c) Speed cards - memorize order of 52 playing cards

C. Memorization Strategies

1. Person - Action - Object System

a) Associate a person, action and object with something you want to


b) Example: Associating Julia Child, Cooking, Frying Pan → 8 of


D. Memory for Images We also discuss several other topics like The brain is made up of how many cells?

1. Humans evolved to remember images and locations

2. Method of Loci - Simonides (~500 BC)

a) Memory enhancement which uses visualizations with the use of 

spatial memory, familiar information about one's environment, to 

He believed that psychology needed to become a verifiable science, who is he?

If you want to learn more check out What will be used for the sampling frame?

quickly and efficiently recall information 

3. Memory palace: a memory technique wherein the use creates mental “palace” and uses it to remember things 

4. Anterograde amnesia: the inability to form new memories 

5. Strategy for remembering names:

a) Make the name, including the face, into a mental image

b) Picture Robert “robbing” a bank

c) Picture Michael singing into a “mic”

d) Imagine Doug’s face on a “dog”

6. a) To remember things more efficiently and correctly, study and test Don't forget about the age old question of What are the consequences of floating-point systems?

yourself in short session, separated by increasingly long intervals

between them

II. Lecture 2 - Psychological Science 

A. What is Psychological Science?

1. A process and a philosophy

2. Keywords: Observation, Systematic Data Collection, Hypothesis, Theory, Experiment, Bias, Generalization

3. Correlational relationships:

a) Reveals relationship between variables

b) Does not reveal cause-and-effect

4. Experimental relationships:

a) Allows cause-and-effect statements

b) Lab experiments may not apply in the real world

B. Widely Held Beliefs about Behavior

1. Most people with exceptionally high IQs are well adjusted in other areas of life: TRUE

2. In romantic relationships, opposites usually attract: FALSE Don't forget about the age old question of Whose livelihood most threatened by the increase # of chinese immigrant workers?

3. Overall, married adults are happier than adults who aren’t married:TRUE 4. In general, we only use about 10% of our brains: FALSE

5. A person who is innocent of a crime has nothing to fear from a lie detector test: FALSE

6. People who commit suicide usually have signaled to others their intention to do so: TRUE

7. In small doses, alcohol stimulates the nervous system, which is why people may feel a high/buzz after a few drinks: FALSE

8. On some types of mental tasks, people perform better when they are 70 years old than when they are 20 years old: TRUE

9. Usually, it is safe to awaken someone who is sleepwalking: TRUE 10. A schizophrenic is a person who has two or more distinct personalities, hence the term “split personality”: FALSE

C. What is Psychology?

1. Psychology: scientific study of behavior and mental processes; combines anthropology, biology, computer science, medicine, and sociology a) Anthropology: scientific study of cultural origins, evolutions, and variations

b) Biology: scientific study of life processes and biological structures c) Computer science: scientific study of information processing and manipulations of data

d) Medicine: scientific study of health, diseases, their causes, and treatment We also discuss several other topics like Glycolysis occurs in the cytosol and has ten steps split into what phases?

e) Sociology: scientific study of human social relations and systems 2. Psychology is the study of behavior and the mind If you want to learn more check out What determines how much we eat?

a) Behavior: actions and responses that are directly observable

b) Mind: internal states/processes that cannot be seen directly and must be inferred from observable responses

3. Behaviorists believe that we don’t need a “mind” to study psychology a) Behavior is a function of internal state: B = f1(I)

b) Internal state is a function of external environment: I = f2(E)

c) Behavior is a function of a function of the environment:

(1) B = f1(f2(E))

4. However, a “mind” in psychology is definitely needed; most researchers say so

a) Example: rats in a simple T-maze exhibit preferences that are not a simple function of reinforcement

D. Psychology as a Basic and Applied Science

1. Basic Research: gains knowledge for its own sake

2. Applied Research: designed to solve specific, practical problems 3. Towel Reuse Study: a study done by a hotel where they used 3 different ways to convince customers to reuse their towels

a) Way 1: “Help Save the Environment”; you can show your respect

for nature and help save the environment by reusing your towels

during your stay

(1) Environmental protection strategy

b) Way 2: “Partner With Us to Help Save the Environment”; in

exchange for your participation is this program, we at the hotel will

donate a percentage of the energy savings to a non profit

environmental protection organization. The environment deserves

our combined efforts

(1) Environmental cooperation strategy

c) Way 3: “Join Your Fellow Guests in Helping to Save the

Environment”: Almost 75% of guests who are asked to participate

in our new resources savings programs do help by using their

towels more than once. You can join your fellow guests to help

save the environment by reusing your towels during your stay

(1) Descriptive norms - “peer pressure”

E. Goals of Psychology

1. To describe how people and other species behave

2. To understand the causes of these behaviors

3. To predict how people and animals will behave under certain conditions 4. To influence behavior through control of its causes

5. To apply psychological knowledge in ways that enhance human welfare

Chapter 1 

I. Psychology’s Early History 

A. Psychology is a combination of philosophy and physiology

1. How are bodily sensations turned into a mental awareness of the outside world?

2. Are people’s perceptions of the world accurate perceptions of reality? 3. How do mind and body interact?

4. These questions were viewed as issues within philosophy and physiology, but to answer them psychology was needed

B. German professor Wilhelm Wundt changed this view by defining psychology as an independent study instead of a mixture of philosophy/physiology 1. 1879 - Psychology’s “date of birth” (first formal lab was founded by WW) 2. Wundt’s psychological model was influential for decades; he declared that psychology should be a scientific field (like physics/chemistry) and used

introspection as an investigative tool

a) Psychology’s primary focus is consciousness: the awareness of

immediate experience

b) Psychology became the scientific study of conscious experience

3. Introspection - the careful & systematic self-observation of your own conscious experience

a) Introspection requires the subject to be trained in becoming more

objective and more aware

b) Trained participants would be exposed to auditory tones, optical

illusions, and visual stimuli under controlled and systemically

varied conditions, then asked to analyze what they experienced

c) Theories developed were not falsifiable

C. G. Stanley Hall: American psychologist who briefly studied under Wundt 1. Established America’s first psychology research lab at Johns Hopkins 2. Launched America’s first psychology journal

3. Driving force behind the establishment of the American Psychological Association (APA)

II. Structuralism versus Functionalism 

A. This debate was psychology's first intellectual battle as a field

B. Structuralism was founded by Edward Titchener

1. Structuralism’s belief: the focus of psychology is to analyze consciousness into its basic elements and investigate how these elements are related

2. Analogy: physicists study how matter is made of basic particles, while structural psychologists identify and examine the fundamental components of conscious experience (sensations, feelings, images)

3. Most structuralists focused on sensation and perception in vision, hearing, and touch.

4. Structuralists depended on the method of introspection: the careful & systematic self-observation of your own conscious experience

a) Introspection requires the subject to be trained in becoming more

objective and more aware

b) Trained participants would be exposed to auditory tones, optical

illusions, and visual stimuli under controlled and systemically

varied conditions, then asked to analyze what they experienced

C. Functionalism was based on the work of William James (wrote Principles of Psychology)

1. Functionalism’s belief: psychology should investigate the function or purpose of consciousness, rather than its structure

2. Natural selection influenced William James; he applied Darwin’s theory to humans and noticed that consciousness is obviously an important

characteristic of humans

3. He argued that psychology should investigate the functions of

consciousness instead of the structure

4. Believed that the flow of consciousness was more important than the


5. His focus on how people acquired habits led the way for the study of

learning and his idea of the self led the way for theories of personality

D. Both structuralism and functionalism eventually faded away, but

functionalism technically “won” by fostering the development of behaviorism and applied psychology

III. Freud & The Unconscious 

A. Sigmund Freud (1856 - 1939) was an Austrian physician best known for his psychoanalytic theories/practice

B. Freud’s work with patients convinced him that the “unconscious” existed 1. Unconscious mind: contains thoughts, memories, and desires that are well below the surface of conscious awareness but still exert influence over


2. He believed that slips of the tongue and dreams expressed important

feelings that the patient wasn’t aware of

3. Freud concluded that psychological disturbances are caused by personal conflicts existing at an unconscious level

C. Psychoanalytic theory: explains personality, motivation, and mental disorders by focusing on unconscious determinants of behavior

D. Psychoanalytic theory survived and became an influential theoretical perspective

IV. John B. Watson & Behaviorism 

A. Psychoanalysis conflicted with behavioralism, a new school of thought that became more influential in 1913

B. Behaviorism was founded by John B. Watson and is based on the premise that scientific psychology should only study observable behavior

C. Watson proposed that psychologists completely abandon the study of consciousness and study only behavior that was directly observable

1. He believed that psychology needed to become a verifiable science

2. John B. Watson argued that mental processes couldn’t be studied

scientifically because they occur in the mind and are private

3. Behavior refers to any observable activity/response to stimuli from an organism

D. Watson became a critic of Freud’s psychoanalytic methods

E. Watson also brought up nature versus nurture (genetic inheritance vs environment) and downplayed the importance of heredity (nature), believing that criminals were made

F. Because behaviorists investigate stimulus-response relationships, the behavioral approach is often called “stimulus-response psychology”

V. Skinner & Free Will 

A. B.F. Skinner, an American psychologist, opposed the consideration of the consciousness and was influenced by Ivan Pavlov and John B. Watson B. Skinner’s Fundamental Principle of Behavior:

1. Organisms tend to repeat responses that lead to positive outcome, and they tend not to repeat responses that lead to neutral/negative outcomes

2. He proved this using lab rats and Skinner boxes; he showed he could exert control over the rats by manipulating the outcomes of their responses

C. Skinner asserted that all behavior was governed by external stimuli 1. People are controlled by their environments

2. Free will is an illusion

D. Skinner became a target for criticism because of his controversial philosophies on free will (they were misunderstood by the public as an attack on the idea of free society), but behaviorism was still the dominant school of thought in the 1950s - 1960s

VI. Humanism is introduced 

A. Behaviorism and psychoanalysis were the two main schools of thought, but both were thought to be dehumanizing

1. Psychoanalysis was criticized for too much focus on sexual urges

2. Behaviorism was criticized for the extreme focus on simple animal


3. Both behaviorism and psychoanalysis suggested that people could not control their life and both schools of thought did not recognize unique

human behavior

B. Humanism became a new school of thought in the 1950s and emphasizes the unique qualities of humans (especially freedom and the potential for personal growth)

C. Humanists have an optimistic view of human nature

1. People are not slaves to either their genetics or their environments

2. Research on animals has little relevance to understanding human behavior because humans are fundamentally different from animals

D. Key People in Humanism:

1. Carl Rogers: argued that human behavior is governed by each individual’s self-concept

a) Animals lack self-concept

b) Psychological disturbances occur when unique humans needs are

not fulfilled

c) Created a new approach to psychotherapy: person-centered

therapy, still influential today

2. Abraham Maslow

a) Hierarchy of needs

b) Humans have a basic need to fulfill their potentials

VII. Overview of Contributors to Psychology 

Perspective & Time Period

Principal Contributors

Subject Matter

Basic Premise


1913 - Present

John B. Watson

B.F. Skinner

Ivan Pavlov

Effects of environment on the overt behavior of

humans and animals

Only observable events

(stimulus-response relations) can be studied scientifically


1900 - Present

Sigmund Freud

Carl Jung

Alfred Adler


determinants of behavior

Unconscious motives and

experiences in early childhood govern personality and mental disorders


1950s - Present

Carl Rogers

Abraham Maslow

Unique aspects of the human experience

Humans are free, rational beings with the potential for personal growth, and they are

fundamentally different from animals


1950s - Present

Jean Piaget

Noam Chomsky

Herbert Simon



Human behavior cannot be fully understood without examining how people acquire, store, and process information

Biological/Neuroscience 1950s - Present

James Olds

Roger Sperry

David Hubel

Torsten Wiesel

Physiological bases of behavior in humans and animals

An organism’s functioning can be explained by in terms of bodily structures and

biochemical processes that underlie behavior


1980s - Present

David Buss

Martin Daly

Margo Wilson

Leda Cosmides

John Tooby

Evolutionary bases of behavior in humans and animals

Behavior patterns have evolved to to solve adaptive problems. Natural selection favors

behaviors that enhance

reproductive success

VIII. Psychology Develops as a Profession 

A. Applied psychology: the branch of psychology concerned with everyday, practical


B. Clinical psychology: the branch of psychology concerned with the diagnosis and

treatment of psychological problems and disorders

C. Cognition refers to the mental problems involved in acquiring knowledge

D. Evolutionary psychology examines behavioral problems in terms of their adaptive

value for members of a species over the course of many generations

E. Positive psychology uses theory and research to better understand the positive,

adaptive, creative, and fulfilling aspects of the human existence

F. Today, psychology is the science that studies behavior and the cognitions that

underlie it, and the professsion that applies the accumulated knowledge of this

science to practical problems

G. Empiricisms: the premise that knowledge should be acquired through observation

IX. Research Areas in Psychology


Focus of research



Human development across the lifespan

Social psychology

Focuses on interpersonal behavior and the role of social forces in governing topics Topics include: attitude formation, attitude changes, prejudice, conformation, attraction, aggression, intimate relationships, and behavior in groups

Educational psychology

Studies how people learn and the best ways to teach them

Examines curriculum design, teacher training, achievement testing, student motivation, classroom diversity, and other aspects of the educational process

Health psychology

Focuses on how psychological factors relate to the promotion and maintenance of physical health and the causation, prevention, and treatment of illness



Examines the influence of genetic factors on behavior and the role of the brain, the nervous system, endocrine system, and bodily chemicals in the regulation of behavior



Encompasses the traditional core of learning topics that psychology focused on heavily in its first half-century as a science: sensation, perception, learning, conditioning, motivation, and emotion

Cognitive psychology

Focuses on “higher” mental processes, such as memory, reasoning, information processing, language, problem solving, decision making, and creativity


The measurement of behavior and capacities, usually through the development of psychological tests.

Psychometrics is involved with the design of tests to assess personality, intelligence, and a wide range of abilities

It is also concerned with the development of new techniques for statistical analysis


Describing and understanding individual’s consistency in behavior, which represents their personality

This area of interest is also concerned with factors that shape personality and with personality assessment


Focus of professional practice

Clinical psychology

Concerned with the evaluation, diagnosis, and treatment of individuals with psychological disorders, as well as treatment of less severe behavioral and emotional problems

Principal activities include interviewing clients, psychological testing, and providing group or individual psychotherapy

Counseling psychology

Similar to clinical psychology; provide assistance to to people struggling with everyday problems of modern severity

They often specialize in family, marital, or career counseling

Industrial and organizational


Running human resources departments, working to improve staff morale and attitudes, striving to improve job satisfaction and productivity, examining organizational structures and procedures, and making recommendations for improvements

School psychology

Strive to promote the cognitive, emotional, and social development of children in schools

Test and counsel children having difficulties in school and aid parents and teachers in solving school-related problems

Clinical neuropsychology

Assessment and treatment of people who suffer from central nervous system dysfunctions due to head trauma, dementia, stroke, seizure disorders, etc

Forensic psychology

Apply psychological principles to issues arising in the legal system, such as child custody decisions, hearings on competency to stand trial, violence risk assessments, involuntary commitment proceedings, and so forth


Branch of medicine concerned with the diagnosis and treatment of psychological problems and disorders

X. Themes Related to Psychology as a Field of Study 

A. Psychology is empirical

B. Psychology is theoretically diverse

1. A theory is a system of interrelated ideas used to explain a set of


C. Psychology evolves in a sociohistorical context

D. Behavior is determined by multiple causes

E. Behavior is shaped by cultural heritage

1. Culture refers to the widely shared customs, beliefs, values, norms,

institutions, and other products of a community that are transmitted

socially across generations

F. Hereditary and environment jointly influence behavior

G. People’s experience of the world is highly subjective

Chapter 2: Research Methods 

I. Scientific Approach to Behavior 

A. Goals of scientific behavior

1. Measurement, description, understanding, prediction, application, and control

2. Hypothesis: a tentative statement about the relationship between two or more variables

3. Variables: measurable conditions, events, characteristics, or behaviors that are controlled or observed in a study

4. Theory: a system of interrelated ideas used to explain a set of observations

B. Steps in a scientific investigation

1. Formulate a testable hypothesis

2. Select research method and design the study

3. Collect data

4. Analyze the data and draw conclusions

5. Report the findings

C. Advantages of the Scientific Approach

1. Research methods consists of various approaches to the observation,

measurement, manipulation, and control of variables in empirical studies

2. The two basic types of methods used in psychology are experimental

research methods and descriptive/correlational research methods

II. Key Data Collection Techniques in Psychology 




Direct observation

Observers are trained to watch and record behavior as objectively and precisely as possible

They may use some instrumentation (stopwatch/video recorder)


Subjects are administered a series of written questions designed to obtain information about attitudes, opinions, and specific aspects of their behavior


A face-to-face dialogue is conducted to obtain information specific aspects of subject’s behavior

Psychological test

Participants are administered a standardized measure to obtain a sample of their behavior Tests are usually used to assess mental abilities or personality traits


An instrument is used to monitor and record a specific physiological process in a subject Examples increased measures of blood pressures, heart rate, muscle tension, and brain activity

Examination of archival records

The researcher analyzes existing institutional records, such as census, economic, medical, legal, educational, and business records

III. Experimental Research 

A. The experiment for a research method in which the investigator manipulates

a variable under carefully controlled conditions and observes whether any

changes occur in a second variable as a result

B. Independent and dependent variables:

1. IV: a condition/event that an experiment varies in order to see its impact

on another variable

2. DV: the variable that is thought to be affected by manipulation of the

independent variable

C. Experimental and Control Groups

1. Experimental group: the subjects who receive some special treatment in

regard to the independent variable

2. Control group: similar subjects who do not receive the special treatment

given to the experimental group

D. Extraneous Variables

1. Any variables other than the independent variable that seem likely to

influence the dependent variable in a specific study

2. Confound of variables occurs when two variables are linked together in a

way that makes it difficult to sort out their specific effects

3. Random assignment of subjects: occurs when all subjects have an equal

chance of being assigned to any group/condition on the study

E. Variations in Designing Experiments

1. It is sometimes advantageous to only use one group of subjects who serve

as their own control group

2. It is possible to manipulate more than one independent variable in a single


3. It is also possible to use more than one dependent variable in a single


IV. Overview of Research Methods 







Experiment Investigator manipulates a variable under carefully controlled conditions and observes whether any changes occur in a second variable as a result

Permits conclusions about cause-and-effect relationships between variables

Precise control over variables can eliminate alternative

explanations for findings

Experiments are often artificial because they require great control over proceedings

The experimental method can’t be used to explore some research questions (unethical ones)

It might be impossible to manipulate a variable

Naturalistic observation

A researcher engages in careful observation of behavior without intervening directly with the subjects

Artificiality that can be a

problem in laboratory studies is minimized

It can be good place start when little is known about the

phenomena under study

It can be difficult to remain

unobtrusive; even animal behavior may be altered by the observation process

Researchers are unable to draw causal conclusions

Unlike other


methods, it can be used to study animal as well as human behavior

Observational data are often difficult to quantify for statistical statistical analyses



in-depth investigation of an

individual subject

Well suited for study of

psychological disorders and therapeutic practices

Individual cases can provide compelling illustrations to support or undermine a theory

Subjectivity makes it easy to see what one expects to see based on one’s theoretical slant

Researchers are unable to draw causal conclusions

Clinical samples are often

unrepresentative and suffer from sampling bias


Researchers use questionnaires or interviews to gather information about specific aspects of participants’ backgrounds, attitudes, beliefs, or behavior

Data collections can be

relatively easy, saving time and money

Researchers can gather data on difficult-to-observe aspects of behavior

Questionnaires are well suited for gathering data on attitudes, values, and beliefs from large samples

Self-report data are often unreliable, due to intentional deception, social desirability bias, response sets, memory lapses, and poor wording of questions

Researchers are unable to draw causal conclusions

V. Statistics and Research 

A. Statistics in the use of mathematics to organize, summarize, and interpret

numerical data

1. Permit researchers to draw conclusions based on their observations

B. Descriptive Statistics

1. Descriptive statistics are used to organize and summarize data

2. There are three measures of central tendency:

a) Median: the score that falls exactly in the center of a distribution of


b) Mean: the arithmetic average of the scores in a distribution

c) Mode: the most frequent score in a distribution

3. Variability

a) Refers to how much the scores in a data set vary from each other

and from the mean

b) Standard deviation: an index of the amount of variability in a set of


4. Correlation:

a) Exists when two variables are related to each other

b) Correlation coefficient: a numerical index of the degree of

relationship between two variables

(1) Indicates the direction (positive or negative) of the

relationship and how strongly the two variables are related

c) Positive vs Negative correlation:

(1) Positive correlation indicates that the two variables covary

on the same direction; high scores on one variable are

correlated with high scores on the other variable

(2) Negative correlation indicates that two variables covary on

the opposite direction; high scores on one variable are

correlated with low scores on the other variable

d) Correlational strength

(1) The size of the correlation coefficient indicates the strength

of an association between two variables

(2) Can be between 0 and 1 if the correlation is positive and -1

and 0 if the correlation is negative

(3) Correlations near 0 are very weak/nonexistent

(4) The closer to 1/-1, the stronger the correlation is

(5) Correlation does not imply causation

5. Inferential Statistics

a) Used to interpret data and draw conclusions

b) Statistical significance exists when the probability that the

observed findings are due to chance is very low

VI. Evaluating Research 

A. Replication: the repetition of a study to see whether the earlier results are duplicable

B. MEta-analysis: combines the statistical results of many studies of the same question, yielding an estimate of the size and consistency of a variable’s effects

C. Sampling Bias

1. Sample: the collection of subjects selected for observation is an empirical study

2. Population: the much larger collection of animals/people that researchers want to generalize about by drawing a sample

3. Sampling bias: exists when a sample is not representative of the

population from which it was drawn

D. Placebo effects: occur when participants’ expectations lead them to experience some change even though they receive empty, fake, or ineffectual treatment

E. Distortions in Self-Report Data

1. Social desirability bias: a tendency to give socially approved answers to questions about oneself

2. Response set: a tendency to respond to questions in a particular way that is unrelated to the content of the questions

3. Halo effect: occurs when one’s overall evaluation of a

person/object/institution spills over to influence more specific ratings

F. Experimenter Bias

1. Occurs when a researcher’s expectations or preferences about the outcome of a study influence the results obtained

2. Double-blind procedure: a research strategy in which neither participant nor experimenters know which subjects are in the experimental or control groups

VII. Ethics 

A. Deception

1. Elaborate deception has been fairly common in psychological research since the 1960s, especially in social psychology

2. Psychologists use deception to reduce problems resulting from placebo effects, the unreliability of self reports, and other things that can

undermine the scientific value and validity of research

B. Animal Research

1. Animals continue to be used in research

2. Strict regulations have been imposed that govern nearly every detail of how laboratory animals can be used for research purposes

3. Guidelines to research with animals:

a) Harmful/painful procedures cannot be justified unless the potential

benefits of the research are substantial

b) Research animals are entitled to decent living conditions

C. Ethical Principles in Research as Defined by the APA

1. Participation in research should always be voluntary and people should be allowed to withdraw from a study at any time

2. Participants should not be subjected to harmful or dangerous treatments 3. If a study requires deception, participants should be debriefed as soon as possible

4. Participants’ right to privacy should never be compromised

Chapter 3: Biological Bases of Behavior 

I. Communication in the Nervous System 

A. Basics of Nervous Tissue

1. Neurons: individual cells in the nervous system that receive, integrate, and transmit information

a) Soma/cell body: contains the cell nucleus and much of the

chemical machinery common to most cells

b) Dendrites: parts of the neuron specialized to receive information

c) Axon: long, thin fiber that transmits signals away from the soma to

other neurons or to muscles/glands

d) Terminal buttons: small knobs that secrete chemicals called


e) Synapse: the junction in between neurons where information is

transmitted from one neuron to another


2. Glia: cells found throughout the nervous system that provide various types of support for neurons

a) Supply nourishment to neurons

b) Help remove neuron’s waste products

c) Provide insulation around axons

B. Neural Impulse

1. Resting potential of a neuron: stable, negative charge when the cell is inactive

2. Action potential: very brief change in a neuron’s electrical charge that travels along an axon

3. Absolute refractory period:

C. All or None Law:

1. The neuron will either fire or not - no inbetween

2. All action potentials are the same size

D. Synapses:

1. Transmission between neurons takes place at a special junction called synapses, which depend on chemical messengers

2. Neurons are separated by the synaptic cleft, a gap between the terminal button of one neuron and the cell membrane

3. Presynaptic neuron: the neuron that sends a signal across the gap 4. Postsynaptic neuron: the neuron that receives the signal

5. Neurotransmitters: chemicals that transmit information from one neuron to another

6. Synaptic vesicles: where neurotransmitters are kept

7. Post-synaptic potential: a voltage change at a receptor site on a postsynaptic cell membrane

a) Excitatory PSP: positive voltage shift that increases the likelihood that the postsynaptic neuron will fire action potentials

b) Inhibitory PSP: negative voltage shift that increases the likelihood that they postsynaptic neuron will fire action potentials

8. Reuptake: the process by which the neurotransmitters are sponged up from the synaptic cleft by the presynaptic membrane

9. Synaptic pruning: the elimination of old/less active synapses

E. Overview of Synaptic Transmission

1. Synthesis and storage of neurotransmitters molecules in synaptic vesicles 2. Release of neurotransmitter molecules into synaptic cleft

3. Binding of neurotransmitter at receptor sites on postsynaptic membranes 4. Inactivation (by enzymes) or removal (drifting away) of neurotransmitters 5. Reuptake of neurotransmitters sponged up by the presynaptic neuron F. Neurotransmitters and Behavior

1. Agonist: chemical that mimics the action of a neurotransmitter

2. Antagonist: chemical that opposes the action of a neurotransmitter

3. Monoamines: dopamine, serotonin, and norepinephrine

a) Regulates many aspects of everyday behavior

b) Abnormal monoamine levels have been linked to the development

of psychological disorders

4. Dopamine hypothesis: abnormal activity at dopamine synapses plays a

crucial role in the development of schizophrenia; therapeutic drugs for

schizophrenia are dopamine antagonists that reduce dopamine activity

5. GABA & Glutamate:

a) GABA only produces inhibitory postsynaptic potentials

b) Glutamate only produces excitatory effects

6. Nerves: bundles of neuron fibers that are routed together in the peripheral

nervous system


Characteristics and Relations to Behavior

Disorders Associations with Dysregulation



Released by motor neurons controlling skeletal muscles; contributes to the regulation of attention, arousal, and memory; some ACh receptors are stimulated by nicotine

Alzheimer’s disease

Dopamine (DA)

Contributes to control of voluntary movement

Cocaine and amphetamines elevate activity at DA synapses Dopamine circuits in medial forebrain bundle characterized as the reward pathway


Schizophrenic disorders Addictive disorders



Contributes to modulation of mood and arousal

Cocaine and amphetamines elevate activity at NE synapses

Depressive disorders


Involved in regulation of sleep and wakefulness

Prozac and similar antidepressant drugs affect serotonin circuits

Depressive disorders



Eating disorders


Serves as widely distributed inhibitory transmitter, contributing to regulation of anxiety, sleep, and arousal

Valium and similar antianxiety drugs work at GABA synapses

Anxiety disorders


Serves as a widely distributed excitatory transmitter

Involved in learning and memory



Resemble opiate drugs in structure and effects

Play role in pain relief and response to stress

Contribute to regulation of eating behavior

II. Organization of the Nervous System

A. Peripheral Nervous System: all nerves outside the brain and spinal cord 1. Somatic Nervous System

a) Made up of nerves that connect to voluntary skeletal muscles and to sensory receptors

b) Afferent nerve fibers: axons that carry information inward to the central nervous system from the periphery of the body

c) Efferent nerve fibers: axons that carry information outward to the central nervous system from the periphery of the body

2. Autonomic Nervous System

a) Controls automatic and involuntary functions; heart rate, digestion, perspiration

b) Made up nerves that connect to the heart, blood vessels, smooth muscles, and glands

c) Sympathetic division:

(1) The branch of the autonomic nervous system that mobilizes

the body’s resources for emergencies

(2) Creates the fight or flight response

(3) Activation of the sympathetic division inhibits digestive

processes and drains blood from the periphery

(4) Key sympathetic nerves send signals to the adrenal glands,

triggering the release of hormones that ready the body for


(5) When the sympathetic division activates: pupils dilate,

salivation is inhibited, the bronchial passages dilate,

respiration increases, heart rate increases, digestion is

inhibited, adrenal hormones are secreted, sweat glands

secrete more, hair follicles are raised, and the bladder


d) Parasympathetic division:

(1) Conserves bodily resources

(2) Pupils constrict, salivation stimulated, bronchial passages

constricted, decreased respiration, decreased heart rate,

digestion stimulated, secretion of adrenal hormones,

increased secretion by sweat glands, bladder constricted

B. Central Nervous System: consists of the brain and the spinal cord, protected by the skull and meninges and bathed in cerebrospinal fluid

1. Spinal Cord

a) An extension of the brain

b) Runs from the base of the brain to just below the level of the waist

c) Transmits signals from the brain to the motor neurons that move

the body’s muscles

2. The Brain

a) Brain cells integrate information from inside and outside the body

and coordinate the body’s actions

III. Brain Research Methods 

A. Electrical Recordings

1. Electroencephalography (EEG): a device that monitors the electrical

activity of the brain over time through electrodes attached to the scalp

B. Lesioning

1. Lesioning is the process of destroying a piece of the brain

2. It is typically done by inserting an electrode into a brain structure and passing a high frequency electric current through it to burn the tissue and disable the


C. Electrical Stimulation of the Brain

1. Involves sending a weak electric current into a brain structure to stimulate it D. Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS)

1. New technique that permits scientists to temporarily enhance or depress activity in a specific area of the brain

2. By varying the timing and duration of the magnetic pulses, a researcher can either increase or decrease the excitability of neurons in the targeted tissue

E. Brain-Imaging Procedures

1. CT (computerized tomography) scan: a computer-enhanced X ray of brain


a) Least expensive and most widely used

b) CT scans are used to look for abnormalities in brain structure among

people suffering from mental illness

2. PET (positron emission tomography) scanning

a) Can map actual activity in the brain over time

b) Radioactively tagged chemicals are introduced into the brain and serve as

markers of blood flow or metabolic activity in the brain Can also be used

to study the activity of specific neurotransmitters

3. MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) scan

a) Uses magnetic fields, radio waves, and computerized enhancement to

map out brain structure

b) Produces a 3D picture of the brain

c) Functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) is a variation that

monitors blood flow and oxygen consumption in the brain to identify

areas of high activity

IV. The Brain and Behavior 

A. The Hindbrain: includes the cerebellum and two structures found in the lower part of brainstem; the medulla and the pons

1. Cerebellum

a) Relatively large and deeply folded structure located next to the back surface of the brainstem

b) Coordinates fine muscle movement and balance

c) The cerebellum plays a key role in organizing the sensory

information that guides movements

d) One of the structures first depressed by alcohol

2. Medulla

a) Attached to the spinal cord

b) Controls unconscious but vital procedures

c) Circulating blood, breathing, maintaining muscle tone, and

regulating reflexes like sneezing, coughing, and salivating

3. Pons

a) Includes a bridge of fibers that connects the brainstem with the cerebellum

b) Contains several clusters of cell bodies involved with sleep and arousal

B. The Midbrain: the segment of the brainstem that lies between hindbrain and the forebrain

1. Contains an area concerned with integrating sensory processes such as vision and hearing

2. An important system of dopamine-releasing neurons that projects into various higher brain centers originates in the midbrain

3. Reticular formation:

a) Runs through the hindbrain and the midbrain

b) Located at the central core of the brainstem

c) Contributes to the modulation of muscle reflexes, breathing, and pain perception

d) Best known for its role in the regulation of sleep and arousal

C. The Forebrain: the largest and most complex, contains the thalamus, hypothalamus, limbic system, and the cerebrum

1. Thalamus

a) Relay center for cortex; handles incoming and outgoing signals 2. Hypothalamus

a) Responsible for regulating basic biological needs: hunger, thirst, temperature control

3. Limbic system: loosely connected network of structure located roughly along the border between the cerebral cortex and deeper subcortical areas; involved in the regulation of emotion, memory, and motivation

a) Amygdala: learning of fear response and processing of other basic

emotional responses

b) Hippocampus: responsible for the consolidation of memories for

factual information

c) Hypothalamus

d) Olfactory bulb

e) Cingulate gyrus

4. Cerebrum: responsible for sensing, thinking, learning, emotion,

consciousness, and voluntary movement; divided into two hemispheres

a) Cerebral cortex: intricately folded outer layer of the cerebrum

b) Corpus callosum: the structure that connects the two cerebral


c) Each cerebral hemisphere is divided into four lobes

(1) Occipital lobe: includes the cortical area where most visual

signals are sent and visual processing occurs; located at the

back of the head

(2) Parietal lobe: registers the sense of touch, integrates visual

input and monitors the body’s position in space

(3) Temporal lobe: involved in audio processing; below the

parietal lobe

(4) Frontal lobe: controls the movement of muscles

(a) Contains the prefrontal cortex which is involved in

executive control

d) Mirror neurons: neurons that are activated by performing an action

or by seeing another monkey/person perform the same action

(1) Provide new model for understanding complex social

cognition at the neural level

D. Plasticity of the Brain

1. Studies have shown that aspects of experience can actually shape features of brain structure

2. Damage to incoming sensory pathways or destruction of brain tissue can lead to neural reorganization

3. The adult brain generate new neurons

4. Neurogenesis: the formation of new neurons

V. Cerebral Laterality: Right Brain vs Left Brain 

A. The cerebrum (the center of complex thought) is divided into two separate hemispheres

B. Broca’s area: on the left side of the frontal lobe, plays an important role in the production of speech

C. Wernicke’s area: temporal lobe of the left hemisphere, plays an important role in the comprehension of language

D. Split-brain surgery: the bundle of fibers that connects the cerebral hemispheres (the corpus callosum) is cut to reduce the severity of epileptic seizures

E. Hemispheric Specialization in the Intact Brain:

1. Perceptual asymmetries - left-right imbalances between the cerebral

hemispheres in the speed of visual or auditory processing

VI. The Endocrine System 

A. The endocrine system consists of glands that secrete chemicals into the bloodstream that help control bodily functioning

1. Hormones: chemical substances released by the endocrine glands

2. Hormonal messages often travel to distant cells at a much slower speed and tend to be less specific, as they can act in many target cells throughout the body

B. The entire system:

1. Pineal gland

2. Hypothalamus

3. Pituitary gland - releases a great variety of hormones that fan out around the body, stimulating actions in the other endocrine glands

a) Oxytocin - a hormone released by the pituitary gland, which

regulates reproductive behaviors

4. Parathyroid glands

5. Thyroid gland

6. Thymus

7. Liver

8. Adrenal gland

9. Pancreas

10. Kidney

11. Placenta & ovaries/testis

VII. Heredity and Behavior 

A. Genetic Principles

1. Chromosomes - strands of DNA molecules that carry genetic information 2. Zygote - single cell formed by the union of a sperm and egg

3. Genes - DNA segments that serve as the key functional units in hereditary transmission

4. Homozygous - two genes in a specific pair are the same

5. Heterozygous - two genes in a specific pair are different

6. Dominant genes are expressed when paired genes are different

7. Recessive genes are masked when paired genes are different

B. Genotype vs Phenotype

1. Genotype refers to genetic makeup

2. Phenotype refers to the ways in which a person’s genotype is manifested in observable conditions

C. Polygenic inheritance: polygenic traits are characteristics that are influenced by more than one pair of genes

D. Family studies, twin studies, and adoption studies

1. In family studies, researchers assess hereditary influence by examining blood relative to see how much they resemble each other on a specific trait 2. In twin studies, researchers assess hereditary influence by comparing the resemblance of identical twins and fraternal twins with respect to a trait

a) Identical (monozygotic) twins emerge from one zygote splits for

unknown reasons

b) Fraternal (dizygotic) twins result when two eggs are fertilized

simultaneously by different sperm cells, forming two different


3. Adoption studies assess hereditary influence by examining the

resemblance between adopted children and their biological and adoptive


E. Epigenetics: the study of heritable changes in gene expression that do not involve modifications to the DNA sequence

VIII. The Evolutionary Bases of Behavior 

A. Fitness refers to the reproductive success (number of descendents) of an individual organism relative to the average reproductive success in the population

B. Variations in reproductive success within a species drive evolutionary change C. Natural selection claims that heritable characteristics that provide a survival or reproductive advantage are more likely than alternate characteristics to be passed on to subsequent generations and become “selected” over time D. Natural selections works on populations, not individuals

E. Adaptation - 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

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