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Chapter 3 outline from book

by: Sally O'Donnell

Chapter 3 outline from book PSY 2012

Marketplace > University of Florida > Psychlogy > PSY 2012 > Chapter 3 outline from book
Sally O'Donnell
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About this Document

Biological Psychology Includes: Neurons, brain structure, endocrine system, nature vs. nurture
General Psychology
Hayley Kamin
Class Notes
Psychology, outline, chapter 3




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This 9 page Class Notes was uploaded by Sally O'Donnell on Friday January 22, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to PSY 2012 at University of Florida taught by Hayley Kamin in Spring 2016. Since its upload, it has received 29 views. For similar materials see General Psychology in Psychlogy at University of Florida.


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Date Created: 01/22/16
PSY2012 CHAPTER 3: BIOLOGICAL PSYCHOLOGY OUTLINE I. Nerve Cells: Communication Portals  Neurons: The Brain’s Communicators o Neurons—nerve cells specialized for communication with each other  Neuron cells are different than body cells  Have long extensions to help communicate with other neurons  The cell body—aka the soma, is the central region of the neuron  Contains nucleus  Damage to this part is fatal  Manufactures new cell components  Dendrites  Receive information from other neurons  Branchlike extensions  Axons and Axon Terminals  Axons—transmitters; specialized for sending messages to other neurons o Very thin near cell body o Synaptic vesicles—tiny spheres that travel the axon to the axon terminal  Axon terminal—far end of the axon o Synaptic vessels burst upon arriving to axon terminal o Burst synaptic vessel releases neurotransmitters—chemical messengers  Synapse—tiny fluid-filled space between neurons where neurotransmitters travel  Synaptic cleft—a gap in which neurotransmitters are released from the axon terminal o Surrounded by membrane on the sending axon and the receiving dendrite  Glial Cells—“glue” cells which perform a variety of functions o 1:1 ratio of neurons to glial cells o Astrocytes  Most abundant  Increase reliability of neuron transmission  Control brain’s blood flow  Astrocytes found in blood-brain barrier—shield that insulates brain from infection  Vital role in development of embryo  Intimately involved in thought, memory, and immune system o Oligodendrocyte  Promotes new connections among nerve cells  Release chemicals to help healing  Produces myelin sheath—insulating wrapper around axons  Contains nodes—gaps along the myelin sheath o Help conduct electricity more proficiently  Multiple Sclerosis—autoimmune disease in which myelin sheaths are “eaten away” o Loss of insulation of neural message results in variety of physical and emotional symptoms o Glial cells also get rid of debris in the brain’s cells  Electrifying Thought o Neurons generate electrical activity which can be measured by electrodes o Potential difference—difference in charge inside versus outside neuron o Resting potential—baseline state when no neurotransmitters are acting on the neuron o Threshold—When the neuron’s inner electrical charge reaches a high enough level relative to the outside an action potential is produced o Action potential---waves of electric discharge triggered by change in charge inside the axon  Neuron’s “all or none” law—neurons either fire or they don’t o Action potential is followed by an absolute refractory period— brief interval where another action potential cannot occur  Limits rate at which neurons fire  Chemical Communication: Neurotransmission o Released neurotransmitters bind to receptor sites along the dendrites of neighboring neurons o Neurotransmission may be stopped by reuptake—process where synaptic vesicle reabsorbs the neurotransmitter o Neurotransmitters  Different neurotransmitters have their own unique message; they can excite or inhibit the nervous system  See table 3.1 on page 89  Glutamate  main excitatory neurotransmitter  Relay of sensory info and learning  GABA  Main inhibitory neurotransmitter  Anxiety medications  Acetylcholine (Ach)  In PNS—muscle contraction  In CNS—arousal, selective attention, sleep  Monoamines—contain one amino acid  Norepinephrine o Brain arousal, mood, hunger, sleep  Dopamine o Motor function and reward  Serotonin o Mood, temperature regulation, aggression, sleep cycles  Anandamide  Eating, motivation, memory, sleep, pain reduction  Example: THC in marijuana  Neuropeptides  Short string of amino acids that are narrowly targeted in jobs  Endorphins o Specialized in pain reduction o Neurotransmitters and psychoactive drugs—affect mood, arousal, or behavior  Agonists—increase receptor site activity  Reduce emotional response to pain by binding with opioid receptors  Antagonists—decrease receptor site activity  “fake neurotransmitters”  Neural Plasticity: How and When the Brain Changes o Plasticity—the nervous system’s ability to change o Neurons in the brain change during development  1. Growth of dendrites and axons  2. Synaptogenesis—formation of new synapses  3. Pruning—death of neurons and retraction of axons  myelination—insulation of axons with myelin sheath o Learning can create new synapses or strengthen existing synaptic connections o Plasticity after Injury and Degeneration  Limited regeneration after injury or serious illness  Certain brain regions can take over another’s function  Neurogenesis—creation of new neurons in the adult brain  Stem cells—have the ability to become a wide variety of specialized cells  Controversial topic for ethical reasons II. The Brain-Behavior Network  The Central Nervous System (CNS): The Command Center o Meninges (thin layer of membranes) protect the spinal cord and the brain o Cerebral ventricles—fluid-filled pockets that act as another protective feature of the CNS  Cerebrospinal fluid (CSF)  Provides nutrients and protection o Cerebral cortex—sensory information, reasoning and language  Outermost part of the cerebrum (gray matter)  Consists of four regions/lobes  Frontal lobe o Front part of brain (forehead area) o Motor function (movement), language, and memory o Executive functioning—oversees most brain functions  Motor cortex—part of the frontal lobe in front of the central sulcus (central sulcus separates frontal lobe from rest of cortex) o Prefrontal cortex—thinking, planning, language  Also contributes to: mood, personality, and self-awareness  Broca’s area—language production  Parietal lobe o Upper middle part of the brain, behind the frontal lobe o Primary sensory cortex  Sensitive to touch, pressure, pain, temperature o Helps to track object’s location, shapes, orientations, process others’ actions, and represent numbers  Temporal lobe o Hearing, understanding language, storing memories o Lateral fissure separates temporal lobe from rest of cortex o Auditory cortex  Hearing o Wernicke’s area  Understanding language  Occipital lobe o Back of brain o Visual cortex  Associated with sight  Cortical hierarchies o Sensory information (sight, hearing, touch)primary sensory cortex of that senseassociation cortex o Primary sensory cortex—area where information from a specific sense is translated to in the brain o Association cortex—allows us to process information to perform complex functions o Basal ganglia  Structures inside the cortex associated with movement o Limbic System  Associated with emotions, smell, motivation, memory  Watches over internal states (blood pressure, heart rate, respiration, perspiration)  Thalamus  Sensory relay station  Senses are processed here before going to the cortex  Hypothalamus (“below thalamus”)  Regulates internal body states: thirst, hunger, sexual desire, emotional behavior, internal temperature  Amygdala  Excitement, arousal, fear  Hippocampus  Memory  Damage to this area leaves problems in keeping new memories o Cerebellum  Coordinates movement and balance, learn motor skills  Also: helps with executive memory, spatial, and linguistic abilities o Brain Stem  Midbrain  Movement, tracking visual stimuli, sound reflexes  Pons  Triggers dreams, connects the cortex to the cerebellum  Medulla  Regulates breathing, heartbeat, nausea, vomiting  Reticular Activating System (RAS)  Connects with forebrain and cerebral cortex  Connected to arousal o Spinal Cord  Conveys information between the brain and the body  Interneurons—neurons that communicate to neurons that are close by  Can explain how reflexes occur  The Peripheral Nervous System (PNS) o Consists of the nerves in the rest of the body o Somatic Nervous System  Controls voluntary muscle movement o Autonomic Nervous System  Controls involuntary muscle movement  Also helps to regulate emotions with the limbic system  Sympathetic Nervous System  Activates during emotional stimulation  “fight-or-flight” response  Parasympathetic Nervous System  Activates during rest and digestion III. The Endocrine System  The Pituitary Gland and Pituitary Hormones o Pituitary gland controls other glands, but is also controlled by the hypothalamus o Releases various hormones  Including: oxytocin  Associated with reproductive functions and romance  Adrenal Glands and Adrenaline o Adrenal Glands—“emergency center of the body”  Located above kidneys  Releases Adrenaline  Contracts heart muscle and blood vessels  Opens airways to allow more air in the body  Breakdown of fat to fatty acids  Breakdown of glycogen into glucose  Opens pupils for better vision  Releases Cortisol  Activated during physical and psychological stressors  Associated with anxiety  Sexual Reproductive Glands and Sex Hormones o Reproductive organs  Male: testes  Female: ovaries o Sex hormones  Testosterone (dominant in males)  Estrogen (dominant in females) IV. Mapping the Mind: The Brain in Action  Brain Mapping Methods o Phrenology  Popular in the 1800s  Assumed physical bumps/enlargements of the skull corresponded to physiological capacities  Proved to be incorrect, no longer used o Brain Damage  Neuroscientists damage areas of the brain in animals in order to find the location of certain brain areas  Allows scientists to map out the brain o Electrical stimulation (EEG)  Electroencephalograph (EEG) used to measure electrical activity in the brain  Used to illustrate which parts of the brain are active when performing specific tasks  Disadvantages  Can’t tell much about what is happening within the neuron  Isn’t always reliable to determine where the activity is happening  Brain Scans and Imaging Techniques  Structural Imaging o CT Scans  Uses multiple X-rays to construct a 3D image in detail o MRI  Measures water’s release of energy  Better for soft tissues (like brain tumors)  Functional imaging o Positron emission tomography (PET) scan  Measures change in activity due to stimuli o Functional MRI (fMRI)  Measures changes in oxygen blood level, which allows us to visualize activity in neurons  Disadvantages  Sensitive to motion  Magnetic Stimulation and Recording  Transcranial magnetic stimulations (TMS) o Momentarily interrupts brain signals o Allows us to see which brain regions are involved in which psychological processes o Noninvasive and allows us to infer causation  Magnetoencephalography (MEG) o Shows which areas on the surface of the brain are active due to stimuli o Able to track brain changes more quickly than PET and fMRI scans  How to Interpret Brain Scans  Many images are the product of two images: brain activity on an “experimental” task subtracted from brain activity of “control” task  Neurons that light up may be inhibiting neurons rather than exciting them  These images should be viewed with skepticism  How Much of Our Brain Do We Use? o Myth: We only use 10% of our brains o However, brain imaging has found that all areas of the brain become active at some point  Which Parts of Our Brain Do We Use for What? o We can use multiple brain parts for a specific function o It is wrong to oversimplify psychological functions to a single brain area  Which Side of Our Brain Do We Use for What? o Lateralization—functions generally rely on one cerebral hemisphere more than the other. Table 3.3 in book o Left Hemisphere  Fine-tuned language skills  Speech comprehension and production  Syntax  Reading/writing  Actions  Facial expressions  Detecting motion o Right Hemisphere  Coarse language skills  Simple speech/writing  Visuospatial skills  Perceptual grouping  Face perception o Left hemisphere generally controls the right half of the body; the right hemisphere generally controls the left half of the body o Hemispheres connected by corpus callosum o Split-brain surgery—surgeon severs corpus callosum  Brain hemispheres are no longer able to transfer information between each other V. Nature and Nurture  Genotype—genes passed on to us from our parents o Passed down genetically by chromosomes which carry our genes  Phenotype—observable traits (appearance) o Shaped by our environment  Darwin’s theory of evolution can be applied to psychological behaviors o However, hard to decide if a behavior is caused by genes of natural selection o Example: anxiety may help us to be wary about threats  Human Brain evolution o Changes in the cortex o Brain size increased  Behavioral Genetics: How We Study Heritability o Heritability—used to explain the extent of a gene’s contribution to difference in a trait o Scientists use family studies, twin studies, and adoption studies to design an experiment  Family studies  Researchers examine characteristics that are similar in family members  Drawback: families who live in the same house have similar genes and environments  Twin Studies  Monozygotic—identical twins o Better for examining nature vs. nurture  Dizygotic twins—fraternal twins  Adoption Studies  Researchers observe an adopted child in a new home and compare similarities to his/her biological parent


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