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Chapter 3 Psychology notes

by: Taylor Van Roekel

Chapter 3 Psychology notes PSY150A1

Marketplace > University of Arizona > Psychlogy > PSY150A1 > Chapter 3 Psychology notes
Taylor Van Roekel
GPA 4.0

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These notes cover chapter three
Psychology 150A: Structure of Mind and Behavior (PSY 150A1)
Adam Lazarewicz
Class Notes
psych, psych notes, chapter 3
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This 8 page Class Notes was uploaded by Taylor Van Roekel on Tuesday February 9, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to PSY150A1 at University of Arizona taught by Adam Lazarewicz in Summer 2015. Since its upload, it has received 16 views. For similar materials see Psychology 150A: Structure of Mind and Behavior (PSY 150A1) in Psychlogy at University of Arizona.


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Date Created: 02/09/16
Biological Psychology (aka. biopsychology, neuroscience): studies link between biology and behaviors/mental processes The Neuron Neuron: nerve cell, basic building block of the nervous system  Human brain has around 100 billion neurons  10x as many glial cells  3 Functions of a Neuron (Steps to neurotransmission)  Receive signals from other neurons or senses  “Process” signals  Send signals to other neurons, muscles, organs  “Neurotransmission” (process of passing signals along) Glial Cells: fill the gaps between neurons, aid neural communication, care and upkeep of neurons Neuron Structure Cell Body (soma): central part neuron, contains nucleus (step 2 of neurotransmission) Dendrites: branches that receive messages from other neurons (“antennae”) (step 1 of neurotransmission) Axon: long, cable-like extension that delivers messages to other neurons (step 3 of neurotransmission) Myelin Sheath: layer of fatty tissue that insulates axon and speeds up neurotransmission Schwann Cells: segments of myelin sheath Multiple Sclerosis: deterioration of myelin slowed communication with muscles, impaired sensation in limbs Terminal Buttons: structures a the ends of axon branches  Contain neurotransmitters Neuron Functioning Neurotransmission is an electrochemical process! All-Or-None Law: neuron is always either at rest or firing (like a light switch) Resting Potential: negative charge within neurons at rest  Sodium (Na+) ions outside neuron)  Resting potential until neuron receives message Action Potential: shifting electrical charge moving down the axon  2-200 mph  electro part of the electrochemical process Excitatory Messages: Like the gas pedal in your car, gets the message going quickly Inhibitory Messages: Like the break pedal in your car, Threshold: amount of excitatory signal needed for neuron to fire (all or none)  Sodium channels open Na+ rushed into axon charge opens adjacent channels Neural Communication  About 100 billion neurons average 10000 connections to other neurons (hundreds of trillions of connections)  Synapse: gap between terminal button and next neuron Neurotransmitter: chemical that sends signals from one neuron to another over the synapse  Chemical part of the electrochemical process  Neurotransmitters stored in vesicles in the terminal buttons  Bind to receptors on the next neuron  **Each receptor can only bind with one kind of neurotransmitter. (lock and key analogy)**  Some neurotransmitter remains in synapse after receptors are occupied  Reuptake: reabsorbing neurotransmitter into vesicles Acetylcholine (ACh): muscle movement (main one)  Also attention arousal, memory  Decreased Ach production in Alzheimer’s Dopamine: controls brain’s reward and pleasure centers (main one)  Helps regulate emotions, movement  Deficits: Parkinson’s disease  Excess: schizophrenia Norepinephrine: helps control alertness and arousal (“fight-or-flight response”)  Low levels in clinical depression Serotonin: helps regulate mood  Deficits link to clinical depression  Neurotransmitters at Work: 2 Examples Example #1: SSRIs  Serotonin levels negatively correlated with clinical depression symptoms  Depression often treated with SSRIs  Selective serotonin-reuptake inhibitors  e.g. Prozac, Zoloft, Paxil Example #2: Endorphins  Pert & Snyder (1973): Morphine is a pain-killing, mood-elevating drug. How does this work?  Injected rats with morphine + radioactive tracer  Neurotransmitter receptors “for” morphine exist in brain areas linked to pain, mood… but why?  We have receptors sites for endorphins: “morphine within”  Neurotransmitters that act as natural painkillers  Released in response to pain, exercise, excitement, sex, love  “Runner’s high”, spicy foods, acupuncture, etc. Altering Neurotransmission 2 types of drugs/chemicals that influence neurotransmission: Agonist: excite promote neurotransmission  Mimic neurotransmitter effects due to similar structure (e.g. morphine and endorphins)  Or block reuptake (e.g. SSRIs) Antagonist: inhibit block neurotransmission  Similar enough to occupy receptor (thus blacking real neurotransmitter), but not similar enough to activate next neuron (e.g. curare)  Or may prevent release of a neurotransmitter (e.g. Botox) Mapping Brain Functions Different parts of the brain have different roles. Brain Damage Patients: e.g. stroke victims Phineas Gage (1823-1860): railroad worker, rod launched through is check, through his brain, and out his head, lived 10 years after the accident, Neuroimaging: techniques that image the STRUCTURE and/or FUNCTION of the brain Electroencephalograph (EEG): recording of brain’s electrical activity (“brainwaves”)  Measures function  Looks for spikes/differences in electrical activity Advantages: high temporal resolution: (1 msec): good at measuring brain’s response time, non-invasive, not dangerous or painful Disadvantage: low spatial resolution: does not show precise location of activity Magnetoencephalograph (MEG): advantages: disadvantage: Computer-Assisted Tomography (CT scan): 3D image of brain structure using X-rays  Examine brain injuries, tumors, strokes, etc. Advantages: direct view of level of interest, high spatial resolution Disadvantage: high levels of radiation Positron Emission Tomography (PET scan): inject radioactive glucose track glucose use in brain  Neurons use more glucose when active glucose delivered to most active areas  Measures brain function Advantage: glucose consumption = activity (function!) Disadvantages: radiation exposure, low temporal resolution (up to 40 seconds), expensive equipment needed Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI): uses 2 magnetic fields to take pictures of the structure (brain, other soft tissue) Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI): type of MRI that detects bloodflow through brain  Increased bloodflow oxygen delivery structures working hardest  Measures function Advantages: Disadvantages: Scientific Mind Reading  Thinking of different objects = different patterns of brain activity Structure of the Brain 1 Hindbrain: “older” parts: lower structures, responsible for basic survival mechanisms a Brainstem, cerebellum 2 Forebrain: “newer” parts: higher level structures responsible for more advance human facilities a Limbic system, cerebral cortex Brainstem: set of neural structures at bas of the brain (includes medulla pons, and reticular formation) Medulla: heartbreak, breathing, swallowing Pons: sleep, coordinate motor movements, posture, and control of facial muscles  Connects brainstem and cerebellum Reticular Formation: bundle of nerves running through brainstem  Alertness, fight-or-flight response Cerebellum: “little brain”  Coordinates movement, posture, balance, and timing  Estimating time, paying attention 2. Midbrain: Thalamus: sensory relay station (except for smell…)  Receives sensory info appropriate brain structures  Receives info from higher brain structures hindbrain, body 3. Forebrain: Limbic System: structures responsible for emotion, motivation, and memory (“the emotional brain”) (includes amygdala, hypothalamus, and hippocampus) Amygdala: emotions, emotional behavior, motivation  Especially anger and fear  Kluver and Bucy (1939): lesion the amygdala Lesion: natural/experimental destruction of brain tissue  Lesion rhesus monkey’s amygdala mellow, “unangerable” Electrically stimulating one par of cat’s amygdala anger response  Another spot fear  Amygdala activity when viewing other races in humans  Amygdala damage in humans lack usual response to personal space violations Hypothalamus: maintains homeostasis (balance) in the body  Hunger and thirst  Body temperature, blood pressure, and heart rate  Sleep, circadian rhythm, fatigue  Controls pituitary gland  Olds and Milner (1954): hypothalamus = “pleasure center”/”reward center”  Accidentally attached electrode to rat’s hypothalamus Hippocampus: triggers processes that store/retrieve memories throughout brain H.M.: (famous case study) He had hippocampi surgically removed at age 27 to control epileptic seizures, had anterograde amnesia Anterograde Amnesia: unable to form new memories Retrograde Amnesia: inability to retrieve old memories Cerebral Cortex: wrinkled surface of the brain  Where most higher-level mental processes take place Cerebral Hemispheres: 2 left and right cerebral hemispheres  Left Hemisphere: analytical and verbal (language, number skills)  Right Hemisphere: intuitive and perceptual (insight, art, creativity)  Control opposite side of body  LH controls right side  RH controls left side Corpus Callosum: connects left and right hemispheres, shares information between them Split-Brain Patients: sever corpus callosum to help treat epilepsy  Seizures due to uncontrolled neural firing  Left visual field right hemisphere  Right field left hemisphere  Normal brain: info shared by corpus callosum  Split brain: info stuck in hemisphere that receives it  Left hemisphere: sees object on right side, can name it  Right hemisphere: sees object on left side, cannot name it 4 lobes of the cerebral cortex: frontal lobe: directly behind the forehead (planning, memory search, reasoning, decisions, morality, personality, language, judgement) motor cortex: controls fine movements, organized by body part parietal lobe: top of the cortex, behind frontal lobe sensory cortex: sense of touch, integrates senses --> spatial, location, navigation temporal lobe: under the temples, in front of the ears  Hearing  Understanding language occipital lobe: back of the cortex  Vision  Separate areas for shape, color, motion, etc. The Brain’s Flexibility plasticity: brains ability to modify itself  All brains, but most evident after brain damage  Example: aputate finger= sensory cortex reassigns that fingers section --> info from other fingers instead  Other fingers become more sensitive  ***brain most plastic in childhood, easier to recover from brain damage***


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