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UAB / Psychology / PY 101 / What is endorphins?

What is endorphins?

What is endorphins?


School: University of Alabama at Birmingham
Department: Psychology
Course: Intro to Psychology
Professor: Bridgett kennedy
Term: Fall 2018
Tags: Intro to Psychology and Psychology
Cost: 25
Name: Intro to Psychology Week 5 Notes
Description: These notes cover the material discussed in the fifth week of class, as well as the material discussed in the review session for Exam 1.
Uploaded: 09/29/2018
13 Pages 25 Views 7 Unlocks

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Intro to Psychology Week 5 Notes

What is endorphins?

For Exam 1, study everything.

You’re responsible for all the material

You need to understand the concepts in the chapters

We will only get to chapter 4 on this test (so it will be easier) BUT one test later on will have six  chapters as a result.

You CANNOT pass on your current knowledge  

You MUST prepare for the exam

That said, you will be asked application questions which tie in more than one concept. 50 multiple choice questions

You must read and understand the question and then make a decision on the best possible answer  choice We also discuss several other topics like When was mao zedong’s communist party proclaims the people’s republic of china?
We also discuss several other topics like Gematangi, a vessel containing what?

Use the powerpoints, class notes, Inquizitive, everything.

Don’t get the idea that split brains are helpless (like the book would have you to believe by  describing the specific functions of each hemisphere)

What are the parts of the brain and what they do?

Sensation and Perception

Sensation is your detection of some sort of stimuli

Perception is the processing of that information

You can have sensation without perception BUT you cannot have perception without sensation

When you see different things in the same image, sensation doesn’t change but perception does  and that costs energy.

Visual sensing of nonsense words can be perceived as something sensible because of neural  patterns you have inside

Three ascending notes repeated over and over will be ascended an entire octave by your brain Sensory receptors are the organs that allow you to detect information Don't forget about the age old question of What is preferential looking technique?

We are limited in what we can directly perceive

Transduction is turning something you detect into a signal your brain can work with

What is consciousness?

All of your sensory organs create transduction based on some sort of physical change (light  stimulation is a physical change; these kinds of example tests may be on the exam)

The absolute threshold is the SMALLEST amount of a stimulus that is REQUIRED TO  PERCEIVE IT (50% threshold). Don't forget about the age old question of What is the difference between perception and sensation?

Difference threshold is the minimum difference in a physical stimuli required to detect a  difference (50% threshold).

The processing of this leads to perception

Signal detection theory (all or nothing response of sensing something)

Detection of a faint stimulus requires a judgement (all or nothing)

If you have something at a constant level that doesn’t change, you get used to it. You can’t feel your shirt on your back unless someone calls your attention to it.


We see because we have a mechanism that detects light waves

We are able to focus light on our photoreceptors through the cornea, the pupil and the lens  working together.

Your photoreceptors are at the back of your retina

This has two purposes:

This prevents over-stimulation and, being close to somatic cells, they can be refreshed regularly. The photoreceptors send signal forward, back into the eye and along the optic nerve.

Rods and Cones

Rods only respond to brightness (amplitude)

They’re most sensitive in darkness We also discuss several other topics like What does the bible say about joshua and caleb?

Cones can detect varying wavelengths (wavelengths we see as color)

The cones are tightly packed in the phobia, providing a 1 degree angle of crystal clear vision  (your brain makes you think your entire visual field is clear). Don't forget about the age old question of Why conceptual clarity is essential?

The axons form the bundle of the optic nerve

Whatever’s in the right visual field OF BOTH EYES is sent to the left hemisphere and vice versa We detect frequencies and amplitudes, nothing more.

Short wavelength is blue

Medium wavelength is green

Long wavelength is red

Amplitude is detected as brightness (how vibrant a color is)

You pick up differences in amplitude and wavelength TOGETHER

Helmholtz is where we get the idea of combining three primary (red, yellow, and blue) colors to  make different ones  

White is a combination of all the wavelengths being reflected

Black is all the wavelengths being absorbed

So, a green shirt absorbs short and long wavelengths and bounces back medium wavelengths. KNOW the wavelength relations

Your retina takes time to refresh so, if the eyes are prevented from moving, a constantly  perceived object will disappear

Both are right because we have preferential detection of different colors AND the way things  process creates a push-pull effect called the opponent color theory

We use color to find food and determine if food is safe

Bottom-up AND top-down processing are used by us

Color processing is bottom-up

Figure-ground is perception of what color the background is (top-down processing because you  can switch it; bottom-up uses particular pieces to assemble the data)

We also use principles (like separating things based on proximity, similarity, closure (closing a  triangle), and illusionary contours.

Don’t use the powerpoints exclusively

If the class mean is 72 or higher on the first test, Dr. Gampher will do something stupid for the  class.

Perceptual set

What you expect to see is what you will see

This is a top down process

You have particular cues

We are very good at sensing depth

We have binocular depth cues (which allow you to see with one eye)

Monocular depth cues are depth with one eye

Binocular depth develops first (3 months)

Monocular depth is responsible for optical illusions being effective and perceiving where  something or someone is relative to something else

Binocular depth is important in fine tuning

Stroboscopic motion

Movies are a bunch of still pictures put together  

We see them as motion when our brains can’t process the individual frames fast enough Dogs can see each individual frame on CRT TVs

Compound eyes (like those dragonflies) will always see the screen flicker because they process  flickering so quickly

Each lens has its own photoreceptors and they form a collective image

130 Hz is the flicker frequency

Color, brightness, and shape Constancy are responsible for perceived differences in shapes,  colors, and lights.

Parallel processing allows us to process all facets of an image and then hold onto that perception


We detect frequency (which gives us pitch)

We also detect amplitude (which is loudness)

Almost all sounds are broken into multiple frequencies and amplitudes

This gives us timbre


You can hear in space because there is matter in space (it would just sound different, like when  you’re underwater, because it’s a different medium)

Air waves being conducted into the ear vibrate the ear drum, the bones of the middle ear vibrate  the semicircular canals, and the fluid vibrates the hair cells which initiates a chemical change and  an action potential

The cochlea prevents reverb (backflow of the fluid)

You can determine frequency and amplitude based on which cells are being stimulated and  where they are.


Interaural time difference is which ear gets a sound first based on where it is Interaural level difference is telling how loud that sound is  

Depth of sound (sound from above or below you) is determined to be so by how the waves hit  the folds of your ear (which affects how you perceive it)

The outer ear is to funnel sound BUT it ALSO gives you differences in where it’s coming from  because it blocks part of a wave on any incident trajectory and that affects how you hear it.

Owls have the lowest kill rate of raptors because they frequently run into trees, injuring  themselves and starving to death.

Hearing damage comes primarily from things we do ourselves

Chemical senses

Smell is olfaction

Taste is gustation

With olfaction, everything gives off a certain amount of chemicals.

Those go into your nasal passages, get caught in a membrane, and picked up The membrane is the Olfactory epithelium

The Olfactory bulb processes smell (IT DOES NOT GO THROUGH THE THALAMUS) We have the ability to distinguish a trillion smells, but we don’t perceive it that way. There’s an emotional component to smell

Amygdala tells us what a smell reminds us of (memory association is how we identify smells) In the brain, you have a lot of things that come together to be processed in one place. We detect 5 tastes (including salt and umami)

We detect energy, acids, bases, proteins, and salts.

Papillae contain your taste buds

Saliva helps break down foods but, more importantly, it’s the mechanism for getting chemicals  inside your papillae.

There is variability in taste BUT a lot of this has to do with expectations

It’s also based on what you need (energy, protein, acid, base, or salt).

For us, almost all smell and taste is top-down processing.

The largest organ in your body is skin

You have lots of sensory receptors in your skin

You have pressure receptors and thermal receptors

We have pressure, warmth, cold, and pain.

Pain is typically associated with actual or potential tissue damage

This is a protective mechanism

Nociceptors (a step above the normal receptors) are a class of sensory receptors that, when you  activate them, you typically get a pain signal. They activate when the stimulation far exceeds the  receptor threshold or the receptors are not responding.

Fast fibers and slow fibers

Fast is sharp pain

Slow is dull, steady pain


Endorphins allow you to endure pain

Neuropathic pain is pain that is related to neurological disfunction

Amputees still feel pain in their amputated space because there’s no receptors to signal (no  response is interpreted as a pain signal)

We can control pain by distracting yourself (again, power of attention)

Kinesthesis is where your body is in space (we don’t usually think about this, but we can) Vestibular is a sense of balance (where you are in relation to the ground)

If the fluid is vibrated, it deactivates your vestibular senses and your brain relies on your vision  (this is how VR works)

Intro to Psychology Exam 1 Review Notes


GABA – Inhibitory; it inhibits action potentials (it’s a depressant) Valium and alcohol are  GABA agonists

Serotonin – responsible for emotional control (lack causes anxiety)

Dopamine – Reward and motor arousal stimulation

Acetylcholine – Motor control and memory

Epinephrine – provides a burst of energy for fight-or-flight responses

Norepinephrine – increase alertness and mental arousal (not motor arousal) Endorphins – pain reduction and euphoria

Glutamate: Excitatory; enhances action potentials (it’s a stimulant); speeds up memory and  learning (overclocking can cause loss of memory).

Agonists increase neurotransmitter functioning

Antagonists inhibit neurotransmitter functioning

Dopamine, serotonin, GABA, glutamate, acetylcholine

Page 47 Table 2.1 (KNOW THAT TABLE)

Hormones are distributed through the endocrine system and this is their defining difference from  neurotransmitters

Know the parts of neurons and what they do

Dendrites receive information

Cell Body integrates that information and initiates an action potential if necessary Axon conducts the action potential (sodium potassium exchange continues down the axon) The synapse is where the neurotransmitters are released into the synaptic cleft

In action potential, sodium comes in, potassium comes out, and the cell becomes positively  charged and that charge is conducted down the axon.

Transmission, reception, and integration

Transmission is passing a neural signal from one neuron to another

Reception is receiving that signal

Integration is interpreting that signal and deciding whether to continue the action potential or  stop it

Slow receptors are unmyelinated and fast receptors are myelinated

Parts of the brain and what they do


Medulla: heartrate, respiration, thermal control (life functions)

Pons: sleep, left-right movement, arousal

Cerebellum: survival instincts (including where you are in space)

Page 53 chart KNOW THIS

These are all autonomic systems  


Substantia Nigra: Voluntary movements


Thalamus: processes all sensory information EXCEPT smell

Hypothalamus: Regulates everything

Hippocampus: memory formation

Amygdala: emotion

Basal Ganglia: motor function and reward

The four lobes:

Occipital controls vision

Parietal controls touch and vestibular/kinesthetic senses (orientation and motor control) Temporal: hearing

Frontal: personality and how you make decisions

Know primary motor cortex is an independent part of the parietal lobe just in case

Consciousness – a state of awareness (arousal) and alertness

It’s the result of brain activity

Dualism is the idea that the mind is separate from the brain

Materialism is the idea that the mind is inseparable from the brain (the processing of the brain  allows for the experiences of the mind)

Subliminal perception – information which is processed unconsciously (how hot or cold it is, is it  daylight out, etc.)

Street drugs

There are three major types of drugs:

Stimulants: increase neurotransmitter and/or hormone activity (heart rate/blood pressure  increase, and energy and behavior increase)

Opiates: reduce pain and provide euphoria


Depressants: reduce energy and activity (activate GABA)

Marijuana – hallucinogen

Morphine – opiate  

Codeine – opiate  

Cocaine – stimulant

Heroin – opiate

Methamphetamine – stimulant

LSD – hallucinogen

Alcohol and Valium are depressants

Caffeine is a stimulant  

Opiates are a drug

In addiction, the body has formed a dependency

Tolerance is the body’s increased resistance to a drug

Withdrawal is anxiety, tension, and cravings for what they have sworn off of.

Psychological schools of thought


Structuralism – understanding the component parts through introspection (inspecting own  thought) (Tiechenter and Wundt)

Example of introspection – Mary describes her feelings and thoughts after seeing a picture Functionalism – understanding how parts work together to adapt (James and Darwin) Natural selection and survival of the fittest are proponents of this

Psychoanalytic came next (it’s that idiot Freud’s idea that conscious actions are due to  unconscious conflicts of the mind)

Freud studied dreaming to determine this and see how these unconscious thoughts caused  psychological disorders

Freudian slips have to do with subliminal perception

Gestalt – the whole is different from the sum of the parts (multiple people seeing something in  different ways; how they experience their sensory input) (Wertheimer and Kohler)

Behaviorism – understanding through the study of behavior and how the environment affects  behavior (Skinner and Watson)

Humanism – understanding happiness, motivation, positive thoughts (Maslow and Rogers)

Cognitive psychology – understanding of how thought processing affects behavior and  personality (Miller and Neisser)

Know functionalism is a response to structuralism and know gestalt is the total opposite of  functionalism, but you don’t need to know the chronology (the above list is chronological just in  case).

Levels of Analysis

Biological – how physical processes of the body influence behavior

Neurotransmitters, hormones, the structure of your brain, and genes are all good examples of  influential factors.

Twin studies are frequent because of study of how genes influence behavior Individual – how a person’s personality affects their behavior

Individual differences, perception, thought processes, etc.

Cultural – how ethnic and religious backgrounds affect behavior

How thoughts, feelings, and actions are similar or different across cultures Social – how interaction affects behavior

How people affect one another

Research Methods

Descriptive – you describe what’s happening without interacting

Observational is a subsection of this

Watching how people behave to classify behaviors (coding behaviors)

Issues are not knowing the motivation for actions, observer bias

Reactivity: acting uncharacteristically in the presence of the investigator Observer bias: only reporting what corresponds with what you expected to happen Errors in observation caused by seeing something other than what you expected cause this Self-reports (questionnaires and surveys)

Self-report bias: answering surveys falsely to preserve your self-image

Interviews (people frequently try to impress)

Case studies: Intense investigations of unique subjects

Virtually impossible to replicate (validity is an issue)

It takes a long time too

Correlational study method – describes how two different variables behave with respect to each  other

This only shows the possibility of causality, it CANNOT PROVE IT.

Directionality problem says you don’t know which causes what

The third variable problem is that you don’t know if a third variable is inducing the perceived  effect (spurious correlation)

Experimental study method – tests for causality by testing a theory

Independent and dependent variables are used

Confounds are extraneous factors which may influence the outcome of the experiment (control  groups minimize this)

Random assignment – getting good individual diversity in groups to minimize predisposition to  the effect tested for.

Random sampling – getting a diverse population for a research group to best represent people in  general.

Ethical guidelines for psychological study

Privacy/confidentiality – ensures protection of personal identification and sensitive information  associated therewith.

Informed consent – brief summary of the study provided to the population Deception – concealing what the study is about initially to preserve accurate results

Perception: how the brain processes things

Interpretation (big factor in the difference between sensation and perception) Sensation – the senses detecting stimuli

Sensations go to your brain (all except smell go through the thalamus) to be processed Sensation threshold

Absolute – minimum amount of stimulus needed

Difference – amount needed to detect a change in stimuli (Weber’s law says noticeable  difference is based on the intensity of change; if the original stimulus is less intense, a dramatic  change in the affirmative is easier to detect i.e. from talking to screaming vs. from screaming to  screaming louder

Perception – feeling based on what is detected

Signal-detection theory

Hit or miss detection

Hit: stimulus is present and person responds

Miss: stimulus is present and person does not respond

False alarm: stimulus is NOT present and person responds

Correct rejection: stimulus is NOT present and person does not respond

Actual senses


Light enters through the cornea and pupil, passes through the lens, and stimulates photoreceptor  cells at the back of the eye

The iris is the muscle that determines aperture width (how big your pupil is) Rods detect levels of brightness and darkness (no color involved)

They respond best in low levels of illumination

Cones detect all colors including black and white

They respond best in high levels of illumination

Better at seeing color and fine detail

Bottom up and top down processing  


Taking existing information and using it to process new information

This one’s basically a match game with any stimulus you’re presented with Bottom-up  

You’re seeing new information and you have to define it and create a new memory and  association with the perceived stimuli.

60 questions (mostly application based)

They are statistically weighted so if there’s a question everyone gets wrong, it might be dropped,  and the score adjusted accordingly.

There will not be a curve though

Read the textbook

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