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General Psychology - Week 5

by: SJenkins

General Psychology - Week 5 121-02


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About this Document

These notes cover the following topics: - The neuron, neuron structure, neurotransmitters and how neurons communicate. - The brain, brain structure, the three major divisions and the four majo...
General Psychology
Ashleigh Gallagher
Class Notes
Psychology, brain, neuron, consciousness
25 ?




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This 4 page Class Notes was uploaded by SJenkins on Sunday January 24, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to 121-02 at University of North Carolina - Greensboro taught by Ashleigh Gallagher in Spring 2016. Since its upload, it has received 41 views. For similar materials see General Psychology in Psychlogy at University of North Carolina - Greensboro.


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Date Created: 01/24/16
The Neuron  ● Neurons​ : Accommodate, receive and transmit information in the nervous  system.   ● The Nervous System​ : the reason for everything that we do, think and feel. > Central Nervous System (CNS): ​ consists of only the brain and  the spinal cord.  > Peripheral Nervous System (PNS): ​ The remaining nerve cells in  the body.  Basic Neuron Structure:  ­ Neurons are composed of three essential parts: the cell body, the  dendrites and the axon.  1.)  Cell Body(aka the soma):Largest part of the neuron. Coordinates  information processing. Aids in keeping the cell alive. Functions include  metabolism, protein synthesis and energy production.   2.) Dendrites: Take in information from the neurons and send it to the cell  body. Appearance resembles tree branches.   3.)  Axon:Takes information to other neurons, glands and muscles.   4.) Terminal Buttons: Located at the ends of the axons. Holds tiny sacs that  consist of neurotransmitters.   5.) Synapse: The part between the axon one neuron and the cell body or  dendrites of another.   6.) Myelin Sheath: Covers the axon. An insulated, fatty material.   7.) Glial CellsMake up the myelin sheath. Cells that are used for support.  Found in the nervous system.   8.) Synaptic Cleft The narrow space in which neurotransmitters are active.    Types of Neurons  1.) Sensory Neurons​: Takes in information from the outside and sends it to the  brain via the spinal cord. Light, touch, taste, smell and sound.  2.) Motor Neurons: Transport signals from the spinal cord to the muscles for  production of movement.   3.) Interneurons​: Makes up most of the nervous system. Connects both sensory  and motor neurons.   Communication  ­ Neurons communicate through a series of firing impulses. These impulses  are known as ​action potential. ​ ction potential fires if the stimulant is  sufficient enough. The response can vary based on the size of the stimulus  and it is always “all­or­nothing.” Either it fires or it doesn’t.     Neurotransmitters  1.) Acetylcholine​: Triggers hormone excretion and muscle contractions.  Involved in aggression, sexuality, thirst and anger. A disease associated with  a lack of Acetylcholine is alzheimer's.   2.) Norepinephrine: ​ Hormone released into the blood that causes the heart rate  to increase. Involved in emotions, learning, sleeping and dreaming. Mood  disorders and depression are associated with this neurotransmitter.   3.) Serotonin: ​Regulates appetite, body temperature, pain and mood. Impulsive  decisions, aggressiveness and suicidal tendencies are associated with  serotonin.   4.) GABA: ​ Inhibitory neurotransmitter. Vision, motor control and regulation of  anxiety. Increased levels of GABA are used to treat epilepsy and trembling  of Huntington’s disease victims.   5.) Dopamine: ​ Controls posture and movement. Loss of dopamine is what  contributes to Parkinson’s disease.                   Brain Structure  Hindbrain ­ Lowest Level  1.)Spinal Cord: Reflexes. Taks sensory information to the brain and moves  motor signals away from the brain.   2.) Brain Ste: consists of:  > Medulla​: Affects circulation, respiration and heart rate.  > Reticular Formation:Regulates arousal, wakefulness and sleep  > Pons: Takes info from the cerebellum to the rest of the brain.  >Cerebellum​: Very large. Controls motor memory and motor skills.  When damage occurs it can affect coordination and balance.    Midbrain  ­ Important for movement and orientation.  > Tectum and Tegmentation: ​Helps with deciphering where something is in  relation to yourself. (example: Locating a sound that you can hear but can not see.    Forebrain  ­ 2 cerebral hemispheres, right and left.  ­ Subcortical structures are below the cerebral cortex.  1.) Hypothalamus: Regulates body rhythms, body temperature, glucose levels  and blood pressure. Influences lust, thirst, aggression and hunger.  2.) Thalamus: Pathway to cortex. Receives all sensory info (except for smell)  and sends it to the cortex. Partially shuts down the doorway of incoming  sensations during sleep.  3.) Hippocampus: New memory storage.  4.) Amygdala​ Where emotions and motivation comes from.   5.) Basal Gangli: Essential for planning and being able to make movements.     The Four Lobes  1.)Occipital Lobe:Processing of visual information.  2.) Parietal Lo: Processing of information pertaining to touch.  3.) Temporal Lobe: Language and hearing.  4.) Frontal Lobe​ : Consists of certain areas that are specific to planning,  judgement, movement and abstract thinking.            Consciousness  ­ Brain activity resulting in a state of awareness or one’s own  perception/experiences of the world.  ­ Variations in consciousness range from person to person.   ­ Variations include: Sleep/Wake Cycles, automatic tasks (like driving or  walking) and controlled processing which aids in allowing us to perform in  complex situations.   ­ fMRI allows psychologists to examine and measure consciousness.  1.) Persistent Vegetative Stat: Full blown coma exceeding a month’s time.  2.) Minimally Conscious State​ : Intentional movement and communication can  happen.    Unconscious Processing  ­ There are some mental processes that we are aware of and some that we are  not.   1.) Subliminal Perception: ​ Processing incoming information without being  aware.  2.) Freudian Slip​: Unconscious thought let out at a bad time.   3.) Stereotype Activation​ : 1996 study found that people primed with  stereotypes about a certain type of people behaved consistently with those  stereotypes.  


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