chapter 3: biological psychology (scientific study of links between biology and behavior)

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why do psychologists study biology?
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everything psychological is biological
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neuron
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building blocks of nervous sytem *a single nerve cell that sends messages to various parts of the body
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Parts of a Neuron
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1.) Dendrite 2.) Cell Body (Soma) 3.) Axon 4.) Terminal Branches
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Dendrite
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Receives messages from other neurons
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Cell Body (Soma)
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Provides life support for the neuron and contains the nucleus
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Axon
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Conducts messages to the next neuron (Covered by myelin sheath) – multiple sclerosis
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Terminal Branches
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Release chemicals (neurotransmitters) that go to the next neurons dendrite
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glial cells
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protects the neuron and repairs it
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nerve
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bundle of axons in the body example: siatic nerve, auditory nerve, optical nerve
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Action Potential
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A brief ELECTRICAL charge that travels down the axon.
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Threshold
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level of stimulation required to trigger a neural impulse that follows the ALL – OR – NONE principle
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How do nerve cells communicate?
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Action potential (neural impulse) passes through axon to the terminal branches that release neurotransmitters across the synapse (gap between the neurons) to receptor sites in the receiving neuron’s dendrite.
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How do neurotransmitters influence us?
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Drugs or chemicals that we take affect the brain chemicals (neurotransmitters) at the synapse. – Drugs or chemicals we take either excite (speed up) or inhibit (stop) the neural impulse
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Agonist
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Speeds up neural message s Examples: caffiene, cocaine
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Antagonist
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Slows down or stops neural messages Examples: Poison, botox
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Endorphins
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Chemicals produced by the brain that reduce pain and give pleasure (Morphine within)
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Central Nervous System
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Brain and Spinal Cord (Body Center)
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Peripheral Nervous System
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Neurons that send messages to and from the central nervous system (sense organs, tissue, muscles) ( body sides)
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Sensory Neuron
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Sends messages from the 5 senses to the brain (through the spinal cord)
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Motor Neurons
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Sends messages from the brain to the muscles (through the spinal cord)
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Interneuron
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Neurons that connect sensory and motor messages in the spinal cord
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What are the two parts of the Peripheral Nervous system?
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1.) Autonomic Nervous System 2.) Somatic Nervous System
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Autonomic Nervous System
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Controls automatic life functions of the body, especially in emergency (heart rate)
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Sympathetic Portion
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Speed up body functions, especially in emergency
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Parasympathetic Portion
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Slows down body functions again
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Somatic Nervious System
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Connects sensory receptors to the central nervous system and controls voluntary movement
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what does the central nervous system consist of?
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the spinal cord &reflexes
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spinal cord
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\”information highway\” connecting the brain to the muscles & organs of the body
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reflexes
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are automatic, unlearned patterns of behavior that 1protect us from harm 2. adapt to the environment ex.sucking reflex, startled reflex
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Endocrine System
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A system of regulating activities by means of glandular secretion Hormone communication system The slower information system (because it has to go through the blood stream)
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What does the Endocrine System affect?
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The Endocrine system affects homeostasis, growth, metabolism, sexual function, reproduction, sleep cycles and other body functions that influence behavior – * Glands
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Pancreas
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An organ in the body that regulates blood sugar
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Homeostasis
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A balanced internal body state
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Pituitary Gland
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The \”Master Gland\”, secretes hormones that affect the functioning of other hormones
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Pineal Gland
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Releases Melatonin; involved in sleep wake cycles
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Adrenal Gland
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Glands in the body that secrete stress hormones
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Gonads
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Glands related to sexual characteristics and the processes involved in reproduction
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Testes
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Male reproductive gonads that secrete testosterone and produce sperm
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Germ Cells
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The cells that unite to create a new human organism
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Thyroid Glad
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Regulates the body’s metabolism; Different levels associated with different behaviors
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Brain Stem
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The oldest part of the central part of the brain. (hind brain)
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What are the main functions of the brain stem?
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1.) Autonomic basic life functions needed for survival (heart rate,breathing) 2.sending info to the rest of the brain ( messages to the senses in the body organs
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medulla
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at the base of the brainstem- controls hr and breathing
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pons
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(bridge) coordinate’s movement
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thalamus
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the human brain’s sensory switchboard receives info from all the senses except smell and sends it to varios parts of the brain for processing
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reticular formation
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a nerve network that is involved in arousal
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Cerebellum
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At rear brain stem – processes sensory info and coordinates movement and balance- motor memory
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Limbic System
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(Mid Brain). At the border between the brainstem and cerebral hemispheres It consists of the hipppocampus, Amygdala and the hypothalamus
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Hippocampus
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Memory processing – Storage bin for new info
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Amygdalla
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Emotions like aggression and fear
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hypothalamus
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helps control hunger, thirst, body temp and sexual behavior
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fore brain
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(front of the brain)
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Cerebral Cortex
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Covers the cerebral hemispheres and is the body’s ultimate control center. Where we do our own thinkng, problem solving and decision making and interpret what our senses are telling us
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How many lobes does the cerebral cotex have?
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4
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Frontal Lobe
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(behind forehead) – Speaking, muscle movement and making plans.
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Prefrontal lobe
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Controls personality and judgement
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Parietal Lobe
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(Top of head), receives sensory info for the skin senses from parts of the body
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occipital lobe
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(back of head) visual info from the opposite visual field
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temporal lobe
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(above ear) auditory info from opposite ear
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what are the functions of the cerebral cortex?
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1.sensory function 2.motor function 3.associative function
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sensory function
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sensory cortex ( at front of perietal lobe) -info from senses
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motor function
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motor cortex (behind frontal lobe) -controls muscles of movement (contralateral\”cross connect\”)
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associative function
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brings together info in leaning,memory, and thinking -pulls all info together -organizes info into message
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broca’s area
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(frontal lobe, left hemisphere) – speech
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Wernecke’s area
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(left temporal lobe) – language reception -understanding spoke word
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brain plasticity
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the ability of the brain to restore itself
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left hemisphere
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language, verbal info -math,writing, controls right side of body and right visual field
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right hemisphere
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non verbal info, visual,spatial – recognizes faces, expressions of emotion, music, art,puzzles,maps -controls left side of body and left visual field

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