sdn AAMC Official Content List for the MCAT 2015 Psych/Soc Topics: 7A

question

sensory neurons
answer

afferent neurons, transmit info from receptors to spinal cord and brain
question

motor neurons
answer

efferent neurons, transmit motor info from brain and spinal cords to muscles and glands
question

interneurons
answer

found between other neurons, most numerous. predominately in brain and spinal cord, deal with reflexive behavior
question

reflex arcs
answer

neural circuits control reflexive behavior, step on nail, foot detects pain and pain signal transmitted by sensory neurons to spinal cord, then interneurons bypass brain and send signals to muscles of leg directly
question

central nervous system (CNS)
answer

brain & spinal cord`
question

peripheral nervous system (PNS)
answer

made up of nerve tissue and fibers outside the brain and spinal cord. i.e. 12 pairs of cranial nerves and 31 pairs of spinal nerves. connects cns to rest of body, subdivided into somatic and autonomic
question

somatic nervous system
answer

consists of sensory and motor neurons distributed throughout the skin, joints, and muscles
question

autonomic nervous system
answer

generally regulates heartbeat, respiration, digestion, glandular secretions, involuntary muscles assc with internal organs and glands
question

ANS Subdivisions
answer

parasympathetic and sympathetic nervous system
question

parasympathetic
answer

conserve energy, resting/sleeping states, reduces heart rate/constrict bronchi, increase peristalsis/exocrine secretions, acetylcholine is NT responsible
question

sympathetic
answer

activated by stress, inc. heart rate, blood to muscles of locomotion, inc. blood glucose, dec. digestion/peristalsis, dilate eyes, epinephrine release
question

meninges
answer

brain covered with thick sheath of connective tissue, protect brain, keep it anchored with skull, resorb CSF.
question

3 layers of meninges
answer

dura mater, arachnoid mater, pia mater
question

dura mater
answer

outermost layer
question

arachnoid mater
answer

middle layer
question

pia mater
answer

innermost layer, closest to brain
question

cerebrospinal fluid
answer

aqueous soln in which brain and spinal cord rest, produced by specialized cells that line ventricles (internal cavities) of brain
question

three basic brain subdivisions
answer

hindbrain, midbrain, forebrain
question

brainstem
answer

hindbrain + midbrain, most primitive region of the brain
question

limbic system
answer

group of neural structures primarily associated with emotion and memory. aggression, fear, pleasure, and pain are related to limbic system
question

cerebral cortex
answer

most recent evolutionary development of human brain, outer covering of cerebral hemispheres, associated with language processing to problem solving, impulse control, long term planning
question

forebrain structures (5)
answer

cerebral cortex, basal ganglia, limbic, thalamus, hypothalamus
question

forebrain function (5 sections)
answer

complex perceptual, cog, behavioral processes/ movement/ emotion, memory/ sensory relay station/ hunger, thirst, emotion
question

midbrain structures (2)
answer

inferior and superior colliculi
question

midbrain function
answer

sensorimotor reflexes
question

hindbrain structures (3)
answer

cerebellum, medulla oblongata, reticular formation
question

hindbrain function (3)
answer

refined motor movements, vital functioning (breathing, digestion), arousal and alertness
question

swellings of neural tube
answer

hindbrain (rhombencephalon) – metencephalon, myelencephalon; midbrain (mesencephalon); forebrain (prosencephalon) – telencephalon, diencephalon
question

hindbrain (rhombencephalon)
answer

controls balance motor coordination, breathing, digestion, general arousal processes. vital functioning essentially vital functioning, divides to metencephalon (medulla oblongata) & myelencephalon (pons/cerebellum)
question

medulla oblongata
answer

derived from metencephalon, lower brain structure responsible for regulating breathing, heart rate, BP
question

pons
answer

derived from meyencephalon, contains sensory/motor pways between cortex and medulla, lies above medulla
question

cerebellum
answer

derived from myencephalon, top of hindbrain, mushrooms out of back of pons, maintains posture and balance, coordinates body movements
question

midbrain
answer

mesencephalon, receives sensory and motor info from rest of body, involuntary reflex responses triggered by visual (superior colliculus), auditory (inferior)
question

forebrain
answer

prosencephalon, associated with complex perceptual cognitive behavioral processes, emotion, memory.
question

telencephalon
answer

cerebral cortex, basal ganglia, limbic system arise
question

diencephalon
answer

thalamus, hypothalamus, posterior pituitary, pineal gland
question

neuropsychology
answer

refers to study of functions and behaviors associated with specific regions of the brai
question

methods used in study the brain
answer

1. brain lesions 2. stimulating certain parts of cortex and recording brain activity creating cortical maps 3. EEG 4. rCBF
question

electroencephalogram (EEG)
answer

involves placing several electrodes on scalp, electrical activity generated by larger groups of neurons, broad patterns of electrical activity can be detected/recorded
question

regional cerebral blood flow (rCBF)
answer

detects broad patterns of neural activity based on increased blood flow to different parts of the brain
question

thalamus
answer

important relay station for incoming sensory info all except smell. sorts and transmits sensory impulses to appropriate areas
question

hypothalamus
answer

lateral and ventromedial, anterior (serves homeostatic fxns) key player in emotional experiences during high arousal states, aggressive behavior, sexual behavior, controls endocrine fxns and ANS, regulate metabolism, balance, temp, water balance, hunger/thirst. *** 4 F’s: feeding, fighting, flighting (sexual) functioning
question

lateral hypothalamus
answer

hunger center, detects when body needs food and fluids
question

ventromedial hypothalamus
answer

satiety center, provides signals to stop eating
question

anterior hypothalamus
answer

sexual behavior, sleep, body temp
question

posterior pituitary
answer

axonal projections from hypothalamus and is site of release of ADH (vasopressin) and oxytocin
question

pineal gland
answer

melatonin secretion for regulation of circadian rhythms; direct signals from retina for coordination with sunlight
question

basal ganglia
answer

coordinate muscle movement as it receives info from cortex and relay this info via extrapyramidal motor system to brain and spinal cord, smooths movements/steady posture
question

extrapyramidal motor system
answer

gathers info about body position and caries info to CNS
question

Parkinson’s disease
answer

parts of basal ganglia destroyed, jerky movements, uncontrolled resting tremors
question

septal nuclei
answer

contain one of primary pleasure centers in the brain
question

amygdala
answer

defensive/aggressive behaviors
question

hippocampus
answer

vital role in learning and memory processes, communicates through fornix
question

gyri & sulci
answer

bumps and folds respectively
question

cerebral hemisphere
answer

cerebrum divided into two halves
question

frontal lobe
answer

prefrontal lobe and motor cortex
question

prefrontal lobe
answer

manages exec fxn by supervising and direction operations of other brain regions. supervises processes associated with perception, memory, emotion, impulse control, and long term planning, assc. area
question

association area
answer

area that integrates input from diverse brain regions
question

projection areas
answer

perform rudimentary or simple perceptual/motor tasks
question

primary motor cortex
answer

located on precentral gyrus in front of central sulcus, initiates voluntary motor movement by sending neural signals down spinal cord toward muscles,
question

broca’s area
answer

part of frontal lobe, vitally important for speech production, found in only one hemisphere (left)
question

parietal lobe
answer

located to rear of frontal lobe, central region assc with spatial processing and manipulation – makes it possible to orient oneself and other objects in three dimensional space
question

somatosensory cortex
answer

located on postcentral gryus (behind central sulcus), involved in somatosensory info processing, this projection area is destination for all incoming sensory signals
question

occipital lobes
answer

very rear of brain, contain visual cortex (striate cortex), learning/motor control
question

temporal lobe
answer

auditory cortex, wernicke’s area, memory processing, emotional, language
question

auditory cortex
answer

primary site of most sound processing, including speech, music, sound info
question

cerebral hemisphere laterality
answer

communicates contralaterally in some cases, neurons on left side of brain activate movements on right side of body or ipsilaterally (hearing)
question

dominant hemisphere
answer

heavily stimulated during language reception and production, used to be based on handedness (right hand = left hemi dominant, etc), usually left, analytical function, well suited for managing details – lang, logic, complex voluntary movement, math skills, lang production (broca), language comprehension (wernickes)
question

nondominant hemipshere
answer

intuition, faces, sense of direction/geometry, creativity, music cognition, spatial processing, simultaneously processes pieces of a stimulus and assembles them into holistic image, intreprets emotional tone of language
question

influences on behavior (3)
answer

chemical, hereditary, environment
question

acetylcholine
answer

neurotransmitter found in both central and peripheral nervous systems. in PNS – acetylcholine is used to transmit nerve impulses to muscles. (moving muscles) CNS – acetylcholine has been linked to attention and arounsal
question

epinephrine, norepinephrine
answer

catecholamines, monoamines, biogenic amines, involved in controlling alertness and wakefulness, NE is local level NT, epi is secreted from adrenal medulla to act systemically as a hormone
question

dopamine
answer

catecholamine, important role in movement and posture, found in basal ganglia/ too much = schizo
question

serotonin
answer

monoamine, regulates mood, eating, sleeping, dreaming, depression and mania, too much – manic states
question

GABA
answer

gamma-aminobutyric acid produces inhibitory post synaptic potentials and is though to play imp role stabilizing neural activity in the brain. cause hyperpolarization of post synaptic membrane
question

peptide neurotransmitters
answer

neuromodulators, complicated chain of events in postsyn cell than that of regular NTs
question

endorphins
answer

natural painkilles, peptide NTs,
question

endocrine system
answer

uses hormones, slower than nervous bc hormones travel to their targets thru bloodstream
question

hypophyseal portal system
answer

hypothalamus, pituitary gland, paracrine release of hormones
question

pituitary gland
answer

master gland, located at base of brain, anterior and posterior parts
question

anterior pituitary
answer

controlled by hypothalamus, master , releases hormones that regulate activities of endocrine glands
question

adrenal glands
answer

on top of kidneys, medulla and cortex
question

adrenal medulla
answer

epi NE as part of sympathetic nervous system
question

adrenal cortex
answer

corticosteroids – cortisol, testosterone, estrogen
question

gonads
answer

sex glands of body, deal with libido, produce sex hormones
question

innate behavior
answer

genetically programmed as result of evolution and is seen in individuals regardless of environment/experience
question

learned behaviors
answer

not based on hereditary but instead on experience and environment
question

adaptive value
answer

extent to which a trait or behavior positively benefits a species by influencing the evolutionary fitness of species
question

nature
answer

hereditary, influence of inherited characteristics on behavior
question

nurture
answer

refers to influence of environment and physical surroundings on behavior
question

family studies
answer

rely on assumption that genetically related individuals are more similarly genotypically than unrelated ppl
question

twin studies
answer

compare concordance rates for trait between monozygotic and dizygotic twins
question

concordance rates
answer

likelihood that both twins exhibit same trait
question

neurulation
answer

when ectoderm overlying notochord begins to furrow forming neural grove surrounded by 2 neural folds
question

neural crest
answer

cells at leading edge of neural fold, migrate throughout body to form disparate tissues including dorsal root ganglia, melanocytes, calcitonin-producing cells of the thyroid
question

neural tube
answer

forms central nervous system from rest of furrow – alar and basal plate
question

alar plate
answer

differentiates into sensory neurons of neural tube
question

basal plate
answer

neural tube, differentiates into motor neurons
question

umbilical cord
answer

fetus attached to uterine wall and placenta by this
question

placenta
answer

transmits foods, o2, water to fetus while returning water and waste to mother
question

primitive reflexes
answer

disappear with age
question

rooting reflex
answer

automatic turning of head in direction of a stimulus that touches the cheek such as a nipple during feeding
question

moro reflex
answer

react to abrupt movements of their heads by flinging out their arms and then retracting and crying
question

babinski reflex
answer

toes to spread apart automatically when sole of the foot is stimulated
question

grasping reflex
answer

occurs when infant closes fingers around an object placed in hand
question

gross motor skills
answer

incorporate movement from large muscle groups and whole body motion, sitting. crawling, walking
question

fine motor skills
answer

involve smaller muscles of the fingers, toes, and eyes
question

stranger anxiety
answer

fear and apprehension of unfamiliar individuals, dev 7 mo
question

separation anxiety
answer

fear of being separated from parental figure, dev 1 yr
question

parallel play
answer

children will play alongside each other without influencing each other’s behavior
question

age 1
answer

play style from solitary to onlooker, stranger/separation anxiety
question

age 3
answer

awareness of gender identity, gender specific play, knows full name
question

age 5
answer

conformity to peers/romantic feelings
question

age 6-12
answer

friend circles are of same sex without romantic feelings
question

teenagers
answer

self-sufficient more so, express desire for independence thru rebellion, cross gender friendships, aware of sexual orientation
question

developmental milestones
answer

gross motor skills progress head to toe order, motor skills develop at core prior to extremities, social skills move from being parent oriented to self oriented to other, language becomes more complex and structured
question

personality
answer

describe set of thoughts, feelings, traits, and behaviors which are characteristic of an individual across time and diff locations, how we act/react to the world around us
question

theories of personality (4)
answer

psychoanalytic/dynamic, humanistic (phenomenological), type and trait, behaviorist
question

psychoanalytic
answer

assumption of unconscious internal states motivate overt actions of individuals and determine personality
question

sigmund freud model of personality
answer

id, ego, superego
question

id
answer

consists of all basic, primal, inborn urges to survive and reproduce, functions according to pleasure principle
question

pleasure principle
answer

aim is to achieve immediate gratification to releive any pent up tension
question

primary process
answer

id’s response to frustration: obtain satisfaction now, not later
question

wish fulfillment
answer

mental imagery, daydreaming, fantasy that fulfills need for satisfaction
question

ego
answer

organizer of mind, receives power from and can never be independent from id, operates according to reality principle, taking into account objective reality as it guides or inhibits activity of id and id’s pleasure principle, meet demands of objective reality. responsible for moderating desires of superego
question

reality principle
answer

postpone pleasure principle until satisfaction can actually be obtained
question

secondary process
answer

guidance of reality principle
question

superego
answer

refined and focused needs on ideal self, personality’s perfectionist, judging actions/responding with pride at accomplishments and guilt at failures. conscience and ego-ideal
question

conscience
answer

collecion of improper actions for which child is punished for
question

ego-ideal
answer

consists of proper actions for which a child is rewarded
question

conscious
answer

type of access to id, ego, superego, thoughts that we have access to right now
question

preconscious
answer

type of access to id, ego, superego, thoughts we aren’t currently aware of
question

unconscious
answer

type of access to id, ego, superego, thoughts that have been repressed
question

instinct
answer

innate psychological representation of biological need – life (eros) instincts, thanatos (death instincts)
question

defense mechanisms
answer

ego’s recourse for relieving anxiety caused by the clash of id and superego. have 2 common characteristics: falsify/distort reality, operate unconsciously
question

types of defense mechanisms (8)
answer

repression, suppression, regression, rxn formation, projection, rationalization, displacement, sublimation
question

repression
answer

ego’s way of forcing undesired thoughts and urges to unconscious, unconscious forgetting
question

suppresion
answer

deliberate, conscious form of forgetting \”i’m not going to think about that right now\”
question

regression
answer

reversion to earlier developmental state
question

reaction formation
answer

suppress urges by unconsciously converting them into their exact opposites; man likes female celebrity but knows he’ll never meet her expresses outward hatred to reduce stress of unrequited feelings
question

projection
answer

defense mechanism by which individuals attribute their undesired feelings to others – i hate my parents turns into my parents hate me
question

rorschach inkblot test
answer

relies on assumption that client projects his unconscious feelings onto the shape
question

thematic apperception tests
answer

series of pictures presented to client and he’s asked to make up a story about each one. story will elucidate client’s unconscious thoughts and feelings
question

rationalization
answer

justification of behaviors in manner that is acceptable to the self and society
question

displacement
answer

describes transference of undesired urge from one person or objects to another
question

sublimation
answer

transformation of unacceptable urges into socially acceptable behavior
question

carl jung
answer

thought of libido as psychic energy in general, not just sexuality
question

personal unconscious
answer

similar to freud’s unconscious
question

collective unconscious
answer

powerful system that is shared among all humans and considered to be residue of experiences of our early ancestors
question

archetypes
answer

images of common experiences of ancestors with emotional element
question

persona
answer

likened to a mask that we wear in public, part of our personality that we present to the world, adaptive to social interactions
question

anima/animus
answer

feminine/masculine, describes sex inappropriate qualities. anima – surppressed female quality in males that explains emotional behavior (man’s inner woman), animus (woman’s inner man)
question

shadow
answer

unpleasant and socially reprehensible thoughts and feelings and actions in our consciousness
question

self
answer

intersection between collective and personal unconscious, and conscious mind, strives for unity
question

mandala
answer

symbol of self for Jung
question

three dichotomies of personality
answer

extraversion, introversion/sensing, intuiting/thinking, feeling
question

inferiority complex
answer

individuals sense of incompleteness, imperfection, and inferiority both physically and socially
question

creative self
answer

force by which each individual shapes his uniqueness and establishes personality
question

style of life
answer

represents manifestation of creative self and describes person’s unique way of achieving superiority (family enviro big factor)
question

fictional finalism
answer

notion that an individual is motivated more by his expectation of future than past
question

horney’s postulation
answer

individuals with neurotic personalities are governed by one of ten neurotic needs, each of these needs is directed toward making life and interactions bearable
question

basic anxiety
answer

vulnerability/helplessness
question

basic hostility
answer

neglect and rejection, anger
question

overcoming basic anxiety/hostility and attaining security (3)
answer

moving toward ppl to obtain goodwill of ppl who provide security; moving against people, fighting them to obtain obtain upper hand; withdrawing from people/moving away
question

object relations theory
answer

object refers to representation of parents or caregivers based on subjective experiences during early infancy
question

humanistic perspective
answer

focus on value of individuals and take a more person centered approach, describing ways healthy people strive toward self realization
question

gestalt therapy
answer

which practitioners tend to take a holistic view of the self, seeing each individual as complete person instead of reducing him to behaviors/drives
question

force field theory
answer

lewin, put very little stock on constraints on personalities such as fixed traits habits or structures such as id, ego, superego, field = one’s current state of mind, simply sum of forces (influences) on individual
question

peak experiences
answer

profound and deeply moving experiences in person’s life that have lasting effect
question

personal construct psychology
answer

individual is scientist, person devises and tests preditions about behavior of people in life
question

client centered/person centered/nondirective therapy
answer

people have freedom to control their own behavior, not slaves to unconsious or subject to faulty learning
question

unconditional positive regard
answer

therapuetic technique by which therapist accepts client completely with empathy
question

type theorists
answer

attempt to create taxonomy of personality types
question

trait theorists
answer

prefer to describe individual persoanlity as sum of person’s characteristic behaviors, use clusters of behaviors to describe ppl
question

somatotypes
answer

personality traits based on body type
question

type a
answer

competitive compulsive behavior
question

type b
answer

laid back/relaxed
question

PEN model
answer

psychoticism, extraversion, neuroticism
question

psychoticism
answer

measure of nonconformity/social deviance
question

extraversion
answer

measure of tolerance for social interaction and stimulation
question

neuroticism
answer

measure of emotinal arousal in stressful situations
question

big 5
answer

OCEAN – openness, conscientiousness, extraversion, agreeableness, neuroticism
question

cardinal traits
answer

traits around with person orhanizes her life
question

central traits
answer

represent major characteristics of personality that are easy to infer like honesty/charisma
question

secondary traits
answer

other personal characteristics that are more limited in occurrence – come during small groups
question

functional autonomy
answer

behavior continues despite satisfaction of the drive that originally created behavior
question

behaviorist
answer

operant conditioning, personality simply reflection of behaviors that have been reinforced over time
question

token economics
answer

used in inpatient therapeutic settings, positive behavior is rewarded with tokens
question

social cognitive
answer

how we interact with enviro not only how enviro influences behavior
question

reciprocal determinism
answer

refers to idea that our thoughts, feelings, behaviors, enviro all interact with each other to determine our actions in a given situation. best prediction of future behavior is past behavior in same situation
question

biological
answer

personality explained as result of genetic experession in the brain

Get instant access to
all materials

Become a Member