Psychology 110- Chapter 2 Notes
Psychology 110- Chapter 2 Notes 21797
University of Louisiana at Lafayette
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This 8 page Class Notes was uploaded by Courtney Cangelosi on Wednesday September 7, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to 21797 at University of Louisiana at Lafayette taught by Monica B. Tauzin in Fall 2016. Since its upload, it has received 6 views. For similar materials see Introduction to Psychology in PSYC 110 at University of Louisiana at Lafayette.
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Date Created: 09/07/16
Chapter 2: Neuroscience and Behavior • Biological psychology- the scientific study of the biological bases of behavior and mental processes • Neuroscience- the scientific study of the nervous system, especially the brain o Biology, physiology, genetics, and neurology 2.1 • The neuron o Neurons- cells that communicate information in electrical or chemical form; a nerve cell § Extremely small; the brain contains 100 billion neurons o Sensory neuron- conveys information about the environment through our senses o Motor neurons- communicate information to the muscles and glands of the body o Interneurons- communicates information between neurons § Most neurons in the nervous system are interneurons o Mirror neuron- becomes activated both when individuals perform a motor act and when they observe the same motor act done by another individual • Characteristics of the neuron o Cell body (soma)- contains structures that manufacture and process nutrients, providing the energy the neuron needs to function § Contains the nucleus which contains the cell’s genetic material • Chromosomes- twisted strands of DNA o Dendrites- the multiple short fibers that extend from a neuron’s cell body and receive information from other neurons or from sensory receptor cells § Some neurons have thousands of dendrites o Axon- the long, fluid-filled tube that carries messages to other cells in the body, including neurons, glands, and muscles § A neuron has only one axon • Glial cells o Glial cells (glia)- the support cells that assist neurons by providing structural support, nutrition, and removal of cell wastes; manufactures myelin o Microglia- removes waste products from the nervous system o Astrocytes- provide connections between neurons and blood vessels o Oligodendrocytes- glial cell in the brain o Schwann cells- glial cells in the rest of the nervous system o Myelin sheath- a white fatty covering that is wrapped around the axons of some, but not all, neurons § Nodes- myelin sheath occurs in segments that are separated by small gaps § Myelinated neurons communicate messages up to 50 times faster than unmyelinated neurons • Communication within the neuron o Action potential- a brief electrical impulse by which information travels along the axon of the neuron o Ions- electrically charged particles o Ion channels- allow ions to flow into and out of the axon o Stimulus threshold- minimum level of stimulation from other neurons or sensory receptors to activate it o Polarized- waiting to be activated by sufficient stimulation § Means there is a difference in the electrical charge between the inside and outside of the axon • The interior is more negatively charged o Resting potential- the state in which a neuron is prepared to activate and communicate its message if it receives sufficient stimulation § -70 millivolts o Fluid surrounding the axon: sodium o Fluid within the axon: potassium o Depolarize- sodium ion channels open then close. Potassium channels open then close. The electrical charge on the inside of the axon momentarily changes to a positive charge of +30 millivolts o The axon is a poor conductor of electricity o All-or-none law: there is no such thing as partial action potential o Refractory period- time after the action potential during which the neuron cannot fire § During the refractory period, the neuron repolarizes- restores to negative inside and positive outside; then reenters the resting potential and can fire again o The fastest neurons communicate at 270 mph. The slowest communicate at 2 mph. § Speed is determined by axon diameter and the myelin sheath • Communication between neurons o Synapse- point of communication between two neurons § Presynaptic neuron- message sending neuron § Postsynaptic neuron- message receiving neuron § Neurons never touch each other o Synaptic gap- the small space between the axon terminal of one neuron and the dendrite of an adjoining neuron (the gap between the neurons) o Axon terminal- the branches at the end of the axon that contain synaptic vesicles o Synaptic vesicle- tiny pouches in axon terminals that contain neurotransmitters § “dock” on the axon terminal membrane, then release their neurotransmitters into the synaptic gap o Neurotransmitters- chemical messengers manufactured by a neuron o Synaptic transmissions- process of transmitting information at the synapse o Reuptake- neurotransmitters detach from a postsynaptic neuron and are reabsorbed by a presynaptic neuron so they can be reused § Occurs with neurotransmitters that failed to attach to a receptor and were left floating in the synaptic gap § Neurotransmitters that that aren’t reused are broken down by enzymes o A neuron can have one type of three or more types of neurotransmitters o Each neurotransmitter has a chemically distinct shape o Excitatory message- increases the likelihood that the postsynaptic neuron will activate and generate an action potential o Inhibitory message- decreases the likelihood that the postsynaptic neuron will activate o There are up to 100 trillion synaptic interconnections in the brain • Neurotransmitters and their effects o Ability to perceive, feel, think, move, act, and react o Abnormal levels of neurotransmitters lead to physical and behavioral problems o Important neurotransmitters: Neurotransmitter Primary roles Associated disorder Help Acetylcholine Learning, memory, Alzheimer’s muscle contractions Dopamine Movement, thought Parkinson’s, L-Dopa processes, schizophrenia, drug rewarding addiction, ADHD sensations Serotonin Emotional states, Depression Anti-depressants sleep, sensory perception Norepinephrine Physical arousal, Depression, stress Anti-depressants learning, memory, sleep regulation Glutamate Excitatory messages Seizures, Alzheimer’s GABA Inhibitory messages Anxiety Alcohol Endorphins Pain perception, Opioid addiction Acupuncture positive emotions • How drugs affect synaptic transition o Drugs work by interfering with the normal functioning of neurotransmitters in the synapse o Some drugs increase or decrease the amount of neurotransmitters OR change the length of time the neurotransmitters remain in the synaptic gap o Drugs can prolong the effects of neurotransmitters by blocking the reuptake of the neurotransmitters by the sending neuron § Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRI) o Agonist- a drug or other chemical that binds to a receptor § Chemically similar to a specific neurotransmitter and produce the same effect o Antagonist- a drug or chemical that blocks a receptor 2.2 • The nervous system and the endocrine system o Nervous system- the primary internal communication network of the body o Nerves- bundles of neuron axons that carry information in the peripheral nervous system • The central nervous system o Central nervous system (CNS)- contains the brain and spinal cord o Critical to your ability to function o Protected by bone to prevent damage o Meninges- three layers of membranous tissues o Cerebrospinal fluid- keeps the brain and spinal cord suspended o Ventricles- 4 hollow cavities in the brain o Neural stem cells- specialized cells that generate neurons in the developing brain that surround the ventricles o The most important element of the CNS is the brain o The spinal cord handles both incoming and outgoing messages § Spinal reflexes- simple, automatic behaviors that occur without any brain involvement • Sensory neurons- communicate sensation to the spinal cord • Motor neurons- signal the muscles to react • The peripheral nervous system o Peripheral nervous system- comprises all the nerves outside the central nervous system that extend to the outermost parts of the body o Somatic nervous system- communicates sensory information to the CNS and carries motor messages from the CNS to the muscles (voluntary muscle movements) o Autonomic nervous system- regulates involuntary functions such as heartbeat, blood pressure, breathing, and emotions o Sympathetic nervous system- the body’s emergency system, rapidly or activating bodily systems to meet threats or emergencies § Fight-or-flight response: physically prepare you to fight or to flee from a perceived danger o Parasympathetic nervous system- returns your body’s systems to normal after an emergency • The endocrine system o Endocrine system- made up of glands that are located throughout the body o Hormones- messenger chemicals that circulate through the bloodstream § Regulates physical processes and emotions § Hormones are triggered by the hypothalamus- the main link between the endocrine and nervous systems § Important hormones: • Growth hormone- produces prolactin • Oxytocin- aids in childbirth and social bonding • Gonads- sex organs o Women: ovaries § Hormones: estrogen & progesterone o Men: testes § Hormones: androgens & testosterone o Pituitary gland- the endocrine gland attached to the base of the brain that secretes hormones affecting the other glands as well as hormones that act directly on physical processes o Adrenal glands- the pair of endocrine glands that are involved in the human stress response o Adrenal cortex- the outer portion of the adrenal glands o Adrenal medulla- the inner portion of the adrenal glands, which secretes epinephrine and norepinephrine (adrenaline) § Plays a key role in the fight-or-flight response o Immune system- the body’s defense against invading viruses or bacteria 2.3 • A guided tour of the brain o Phrenology- pseudoscientific theory that personality can be determined by examining the bumps on a person’s skull o Cortical localization- different functions are located in different areas of the brain o Neural pathways- link different brain structures formed by neuron cell bodies in one area of the brain that project their axons to other brain areas o Human Connectome Project- mapping the information highways of the brain • The dynamic brain o Neuroplasticity- the brain’s ability to change function and structure o Functional plasticity- ability to shift functions from damaged to undamaged areas o Structural plasticity- ability to physically change its structure in response to learning, active practice, or environmental stimulation o Neurogenesis- development of new neurons o Hippocampus- a brain structure that plays a critical role in the ability to form new memories o Olfactory bulb- responsible for odor perception • The brainstem o Brainstem- a region of the brain made up of the hindbrain and midbrain o Hindbrain § Hindbrain- connects the spinal cord with the rest of the brain § Contralateral organization- information coming in from one side of the body projects to the opposite side of the body § Medulla- a hindbrain structure that controls vital life functions such as breathing and circulation § Pons- a hindbrain structure that connects the medulla to the two sides of the cerebellum • coordinates movements § Cerebellum- a large, two sided hindbrain structure at the back of the brain • responsible for muscle coordination and maintaining equilibrium § Reticular formation- a network of nerve fibers located in the center of the medulla • Regulates attention, arousal, and sleep o Midbrain § Midbrain- the middle and smallest brain region • Processes auditory and visual sensory information § Substantia nigra- an area of the midbrain that contains dopamine- producing neurons • Regulates motor control • The forebrain o Forebrain (cerebrum)- the largest and most complex brain region § Behaviors and mental processes o Cerebral cortex § Cerebral cortex- the wrinkled outer portion of the forebrain, which contains the most sophisticated brain centers § Cerebral hemispheres- the nearly symmetrical left and right halves of the cerebral cortex § Corpus callosum- a thick band of axons that connects the two cerebral hemispheres and acts as a communication link between them § Temporal lobe- an area on each hemisphere of the cerebral cortex, near the temples, that is the primary receiving area for auditory information § Occipital lobe- an area at the back of each cerebral hemisphere of the cerebral hemisphere that is the primary receiving area for visual information § Parietal lobe- an area on each hemisphere of the cerebral cortex located above the temporal lobe that processes somatic sensations § Frontal lobe- the largest lobe of each cerebral hemisphere • Processes muscle movements and is involved in thinking, planning, and emotional control § Primary motor cortex- reflects the diversity and precision of its potential movements § Association cortex- involved in processing and integrating sensory and motor information § Prefrontal association cortex- involved in the planning of voluntary movements o Iambic system § Iambic system- a group of forebrain structures that form a border around the brainstem • Involved in emotion, motivation, learning, and motivation § Hippocampus- a curved forebrain structure • Involved in learning and forming new memories § Thalamus- a forebrain structure that relays sensory information to the cerebral cortex § Hypothalamus- a peanut-sized forebrain structure that regulates behaviors related to survival • Regulates eating, drinking, and sexual activity • “the brain within the brain” • Areas of the hypothalamus: o Suprachiasmatic nucleus (SCN)- regulates daily sleep-wake cycles and other rhythms o Pituitary gland- releases hormones that influence other glands § Amygdala- an almond-shaped cluster of neurons in the temporal lobe • Involved in memory, and emotional responses especially fear • Specialization in the cerebral hemispheres o Each function of the left and right hemispheres are located in the same places in each hemisphere • Language and the left hemisphere o Cortical localization- different functions are located in different areas of the brain or understand spoken or written language because of brain damage o Aphasia- partial or complete inability to articulate ideas o Pierre Paul Broca § French surgeon and neuroanatomist § Treated people with difficulty speaking but could comprehend written or spoken language § Expressive aphasia § Broca’s area: lower left frontal lobe o Karl Wernicke § German neurologist § Treated people with difficulty understanding spoken or written communications. They could speak quickly and easily, but their speech often made no sense § Receptive aphasia § Wernicke’s area: left temporal lobe o Lateralization of function- speech and language functions are lateralized on the left hemisphere • Cutting the corpus callosum o Split-brain operation- a surgical procedure that involves cutting the corpus callosum § Used to stop or reduce recurring seizures in severe cases of epilepsy that can’t be treated in any other way o Roger Sperry § Psychologist and neuroscientist § Tested the abilities of a split-brain person • Right hemisphere: recognizing faces and emotional facial cues, reading maps, copying designs, drawings, music appreciation • Left hemisphere: language, speech, reading, writing • Visualization
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