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PSC 1 Week 8 Notes

by: Kayla Dillard

PSC 1 Week 8 Notes PSC 1

Kayla Dillard

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About this Document

These notes cover the week 8 lectures.
General Psychology
Dr. Simonton
Class Notes
PSC1, ucdavis, general, Psychology
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This 5 page Class Notes was uploaded by Kayla Dillard on Monday May 23, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to PSC 1 at University of California - Davis taught by Dr. Simonton in Spring 2016. Since its upload, it has received 12 views. For similar materials see General Psychology in Psychlogy at University of California - Davis.


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Date Created: 05/23/16
5/16/16 Biological Psychology The Brain • cerebrospinal fluid—fluid the brain floats in inside the skull • protects the brain • brain has two hemispheres that are symmetrical • you use 100% of the brain almost all the time—no right brain or left brain personalities The Neuron • cells that communicate info within the nervous system • cell body—regulates neural function and contains the nucleus • dendrites receive info from outside the neuron • axons send signals from the neuron to neighboring cells synapses are connection points between neurons • Action potentials • resting potential—default voltage of a neuron without stimulation • action potential—electrical signal sent out from a neuron along its axon • refractory period—short period of time after a neuron fires before it can fire again Synaptic Cleft • synapse or synaptic cleft is the gap between one neuron’s axon and the next neurons dendrite • neurotransmitters are released into the synapse following an action potential • neurotransmitters then bind to receptors on the post-synaptic membrane Neurotransmitters • glutamate—very common excitatory neurotransmitter • increases the firing of post-synaptic neurons • GABA—an inhibitory neurotransmitter • decreases the firing of post-synaptic neurons • anadamide—appetite and pain (activated by THC, active ingredient in marijuana) • endorphins—neuropeptide that reduces pain (activated by opioid drugs like heroine and codeine) • monoamine neurotransmitters: • serotonin—mood, aggression, sleep • norepinephrine—arousal, mood, hunger • dopamine—involved in goal-directed behavior and reward • dopamine and reward: • all animals including humans can be trained to repeat an action if it is consistently followed by an increase in dopamine levels • prolonged use of stimulant drugs reduces the number of dopamine receptors in the brain • agonist—activates a receptor • antagonist—blocks a receptor Glial Cells—the “Glue” • astrocytes—star shaped cells that connect directly to neurons • help create the blood-brain barrier that separates the spine and brain from the blood stream • oligodendrocytes—attach to axons creating a myelin sheath which speeds up action potentials Neural Development • neural plasticity—the ability of a nervous system to change its structure in response to external stimuli • Neurogenesis—neurons divide and migrate to different brain regions • synaptogenesis—neurons generate synapses and axons to connect with one another pruning—the brain prunes (destroys) excess synapses and neurons that are not useful or • functional • myelination—important connections are myelinated to speed up neural transmissions 5/17/16 Central Nervous System • cerebral cortex—outer folds, important in higher cognition • frontal lobe—abstract reasoning, planning and inhibition • parietal lobe—upper rear pat of the cortex, processes locations of objects, attention and movement in space • occipital lobe—back of brain, processes visual info • temporal lobe—important in memory, language, and identifying objects • limbic system—“old” brain • basal ganglia—movement, planning Measuring BrainActivity • fMRI 5/18/16 Sensation and Perception • sensation—detection and transmission of sensory info as its coming into the brain • perception—how our mind organizes sensory info to build a model of the world • distal stimulus—object in the world that we are trying to perceive • proximal stimulus—sensory signal available to the observer • transduction—how the stimulus every transformed by sensory receptors into neural impulses How do we measure perception? • psychophysics—studying the link between external stimuli and internal psychological experiences • absolute threshold—lowest intensity stimulus that can be reliably detected 50% of the time • just noticeable difference (JND)—smallest change required before you can detect a difference between two stimuli Weber’s Law • the JND for a stimulus is not constant SensoryAdaptation adaptation—a reduction in sensory response to a continuous, unchanging stimulus • • ex: adapting to constant hum of air conditioning Visual Perception • need to know all the parts of the eye! • visible light—electromagnetic energy with a wavelength of 400-700nm • additive color mixing—(think cellphones) combining red, gree, and blue light can produce all the colors we can perceive • subtractive color mixing—(think printers) pigments absorb different wavelengths of light, reflecting back the perceived color Visual Transduction • retina—thin membrane at the back of the eye that contains photoreceptors (rods and cones) • rods—more numerous, show lower acuity, no color, critical for vision in dim light • cones—fewer, responsible fro color vision and high acuity vision in the fovea (middle of the retina?) • Ishihara test can test for colorblindness (one type of cone is missing or has the wrong color sensitivity, much more common in males than females) • myopia—nearsighted • hyperopia—farsighted • accommodation—ciliary muscles change the shape of the lens to focus near/far objects onto the retina Visual Impairments • blight sight—reports a complete absence of vision (cortical blindness), but can still correctly guess the presence of color or motion • prosopagnosia—normal visual acuity but is unable to recognize face, even friends and loved ones • visual agnosia—normal visual acuity but cannot recognize common objects by sight 5/19/16 Auditory Perception • sound—mechanical vibration traveling through a medium like water or air (not in space) • frequency—number of “pulses” per second, determines pitch • amplitude—amount of displacement, determines loudness (measured in decibels) Auditory Impairments • tinnitus—persistent tones or ringing in the ears, can be debilitating • conductive hearing loss—mechanical issue that obstructs hearing (ex. ear wax) • sensorineural hearing loss—damage to the auditory nerve or cells in the cochlea (can sometimes be corrected with cochlear implant) Touch • free nerve endings—heat, cold, itch, pain • mechanoreceptors—sensitive to mechanical changes in the skin surface • merkel disk—pressure • messier corpuscle—flutter • ruffini ending—stretch • pacinian corpuscle—vibrator Touch Sensitivity • two-point touch threshold—most sensitive on lips and fingertips, least sensitive on lower back Pain • unpleasant or distressing sensation caused by an intense or potentially damaging stimulus • nociceptive pain—firing of pain receptors n the skin • pathological pain—typically chronic pain, can be very difficult to treat • endogenous opiods—naturally produced chemicals that can block pain, mimicked by opiate drugs like oxytocin or heroin • endorphins—naturally produced chemicals that can block pain, mimicked by opiate drugs like oxycontin or heroine Proprioception • “6th sense” • touch fingers together with eyes closed • receptors: muscle spindle and golgi tendon Touch Disorders • Christina the “disembodied woman” would collapse after closing her eyes • Phantom Limb syndrome—loss of limb results in “phantom sensations” of itching or pain (mirror therapy can help reduce symptoms • congenital insensitivity to pain—cannot experience pain, usually die before age 3 The Vestibular Sense • semicircular canals—provide info about rotation of our head in space • hair cells detect the movement of fluid • vertigo—improper feedback from vestibular senses (10% of population) • motion sickness—mismatch between visual and vestibule input Taste • taste buds carry receptors for dissolved ions in solution (2,000-5,000 buds, 100 receptors each) • sweet, salty, sour, bitter, umami (found in meaty foods, fermented foods, tomatoes and parmesan) supertasters—people with a different genetic makeup have different numbers of taste • receptors and are more or less sensitive, particularly to bitter tastes • miracle fruit—changes the shape of taste receptors so sour tastes sweet


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