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126 Cards in this Set

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  • Back
What are two examples where the subject's mind had power over the body?
Dr P, who mistook his wife's head for a hat, and the phenomenon of phantom limbs
What is the phantom limb phenomenon?
Individuals who have lost a limb still experience pain and other sensations in that limb.
What is the mind?
the same as our consciousness, or our experience of awareness
What is the "ultimate question of psychology"?
the nature of the mind, or consciousness
What two influences lead to the biological perspective?
the mind-body relationship and the influence of heredity on behavior
Who founded dualism?
Rene Decartes
What is dualism?
the statement that the mind and body are separate entities which interact through the pineal gland in the brain
What has replaced dualism?
What is monism?
the belief that the mind and body are the same thing
What is materialism?
the assumption that all behavior has a physical basis
Who founded monism?
Julien de La Mettrie, who noticed his fever affected both his body and his mind and claimed they were one
Who discovered the localization of function?
Paul Broca found that a man could not speak coherently after a head injury, and he showed after the man's death that a specific part of his brain was injured.
Name the scientists listed as being involved in the discovery of heredity.
Linnaeus, Lamarck, Darwin, and Mendel
Where is the brainstem?
the middle of the lower part of the brain
What happens if a cat (or chicken) loses the rest of its brain but keeps the brainstem?
It will still live, breathe, and act instinctively, but cannot perform higher brain functions.
Where do the nerves connecting the different sides of the brain cross over to the other side of the body?
the brainstem
Where is the reticular formation?
inside the brainstem
What does the brainstem do?
It controls your heartbeat and breathing.
What does the reticular formation do?
It filters incoming messages to the brain and relays them to other parts of the brain.
How was the reticular formation discovered to be associated with arousal?
Cats zapped there woke up immediately and cats who lost the connections to elsewhere went into a coma.
Where is the thalamus?
above the brainstem
What does the thalamus look like?
two egg-shaped blobs
What does the thalamus do?
It acts as a connecting point for all sensory input; inputs and outputs to the brain go through it.
Where is the cerebellum?
behind the brainstem
What does the cerebellum look like?
two wrinkled hemispheres
What does the cerebellum do?
It influences one type of learning/memory and coordinates voluntary movement, like walking.
Where is the limbic system?
between the lower and upper brain
What does the limbic system look like?
a donut
Where is the amygdala?
in the limbic system
What does the amygdala do?
It influences aggression and fear.
What does the amygdala look like?
two almonds
Why can't we say that the amygdala is the fear control center?
because every process involves multiple parts of the brain
What is psychosurgery and why is it not performed on humans?
surgery that messes with brain tissue to affect behavior, but is not allowed due to ethical reasons
Where is the hypothalamus?
below the thalamus
What does the hypothalamus do?
It influences various desires, like hunger, by monitoring blood chemistry.
How was the hypothalamus discovered?
College students made a mistake, stimulating rats' hypothalamus, and found that they liked it.
How do animals' and humans' hypothalami differ?
Animals like rats are driven by an obsession to get their hypothalamus stimulated, but humans are not, although some have a reward deficiency syndrome.
What is a reward deficiency syndrome?
an inherited deficiency in pleasure in the natural brain systems, leading people to crave pleasure and become addicted
Where is the cerebral cortex?
the outside layer of the cerebral hemispheres
What does the cerebral cortex do?
controls actions and processes information, allowing adaptability to the circumstances
What enables humans to be so intellectually capable?
our large cerebral cortex
What percentage of the brain's weight is in the hemispheres?
How thick is the cerebral cortex?
1/8 inch
How many nerve cells and glial cells make up the cerebral cortex?
30 billion and 270 billion
What do glial cells do?
guide neural connections, provide nutrients and myelin, and mop up ions and neurotransmitters, perhaps also playing a role in memory
Why is the cortex wrinkled?
to maximize its surface area
What are the four lobes of the cerebral cortex?
frontal, parietal, occipital, and temporal
What separates the lobes?
prominent folds in the outside
Why are the lobes differentiated as they are?
by convenience
Who discovered the motor cortex when?
German physicians Gustav Fritsch and Eduard Hitzig in 1870
Where is the motor cortex?
on the back of the frontal lobe, ear to ear
What does the motor cortex do?
It controls voluntary movements, with each part localized on a section of the cortex.
What complicates the motor cortex?
Complicated gestures, especially in the fingers and wrist, require multiple, possibly overlapping, areas of the motor cortex.
Where is the sensory cortex?
on the front of the parietal lobe, ear to ear
What does the sensory cortex do?
It receives information from sensitive regions of our skin, with a larger area for the more sensitive areas.
What happens to the sensory cortex when a portion of the body is lost?
The neighboring regions of the cortex steadily take over the region.
Where is the visual cortex?
in the occipital lobes
Where is the auditory cortex?
in the temporal lobes
Where does the myth come from that says, "We only use 10% of our brain."?
10% of our brain is sensory and motor cortex, and the rest is association areas, which are not dormant.
What is Phineas Gage an example of?
how the association areas of the frontal lobe affect one's personality and morality
Where are complex mental functions like solving a maze localized?
all over, they aren't localized
What is aphasia?
difficulty with language
What did Paul Broca discover when?
Damage to an area now known as Broca's area in the frontal lobe made people struggle to say words, discovered in 1865.
What did Carl Wernicke discover?
Damage to an area known today as Wernicke's area in the temporal lobe made people's words muddled, making no sense.
Who developed the current theory of language in the brain?
Norman Geschwind
What is the current theory of language in the brain?
A written word reaches the visual cortex, passes through the angular gyrus where it is heard, then passes through Wernicke's area, where it is interpreted, then Broca's area, where it is planned to be physically spoken, and finally to the motor cortex where it is said.
What two areas can be damaged to cause aphasia?
Broca's and Wernicke's
What is sight split into in the brain?
color, depth, movement, and form
Which hemisphere was for a long time considered "dominant"?
the left
What does the corpus callosum do?
It handles communication between the hemispheres.
Who became the object of split-brain studies?
epileptics whose epilepsy bounced back and forth between the hemispheres and thus, whose corpus callosum was removed
How many nerve fibers are in the corpus callosum?
200 million
What have split-brain studies shown about sight and the brain?
The left visual field, not the left eye, is connected to the right hemisphere, and vice versa.
What are the last names of three split-brain studying psychologists?
Sperry, Myers, and Gazzaniga
Based on split-brain patients, what does the left hemisphere do?
rationalization, constructing theories and explanation, and speech in most
Based on split-brain patients, what does the right hemisphere do?
simple tasks, good at perception, copying drawings, recognizing faces, and emotion
What is a non-split-brain example of hemispheric specialization?
When given a drug that sedates just one side of the brain, the functions of that hemisphere cease and the opposite side of the body lies limp.
What is phrenology?
the wrong idea invented by Franz Gall that said that skull bumps indicated mental capacities and character traits (or lack thereof)
What feature of animal brains makes them useful?
They are very similar to our brains.
What are the three components of a neuron?
the cell body, dendrites, and the axon
What do the dendrites do?
receive impulses from other cells
What does the axon do?
sends new information to other cells
What can stimulate a neuron to fire an impulse?
pressure, heat, light, or chemicals
What is the technical name of the neural impulse?
action potential
What do the myelin sheaths do?
insulate the axons of some neurons from external stimuli
What are the stages of an action potential?
It starts at resting potential, then gets depolarized, then goes through a refractory period before it is ready to fire again.
How does a neuron increase the strength or importance of its message?
It fires more rapidly, rather than "stronger", since it is all-or-nothing.
What is a synapse?
the gap between two nerve cells, also known as a synaptic gap or cleft
How does a message cross a synapse?
Neurotransmitters are released from the axon of the presynaptic neuron and bind to the postsynaptic neuron, either exciting or inhibiting the postsynaptic neuron.
What is the CNS?
the central nervous system: the brain and spinal cord
What is the PNS?
the peripheral nervous system: all the neurons not in the brain or spinal cord
What is a nerve?
a bundle of neurons that work together, like the optic nerve for vision
What are the three types of neurons?
sensory neurons, interneurons, and motor neurons
What do sensory neurons do?
send info towards the CNS
What do interneurons do?
communicate with each other
What do motor neurons do?
send instructions from the CNS to the effectors
What are the two components of the nervous system?
central and peripheral
What are the two components of the peripheral nervous system?
skeletal and autonomic
What does the skeletal nervous system do?
control voluntary movements of the skeletal muscles
What does the autonomic nervous system do?
control glands and internal organ muscles, only rarely overridden consciously
What are the two components of the autonomic nervous system?
sympathetic and parasympathetic
What does the sympathetic nervous system do?
What does the parasympathetic nervous system do?
calms one down
What are reflexes?
automatic responses to stimuli
What are the parts of the simplest reflex?
a sensory neuron, an interneuron, and a motor neuron
How do reflexes avoid the brain?
They interact directly with the spinal cord, so the reflex takes place before the brain gets the message.
How is pain and pleasure achieved?
The information must get to the brain.
What does the brain really do?
It processes sensory inputs, interprets them, mixing sources, and provides output messages.
What does the endocrine system do?
secrete hormones
How do the endocrine and nervous systems interact?
Some hormones are chemically identical to neurotransmitters, so the endocrine system influences the nervous system connections while under the direction of the nervous system itself.
What do the adrenal glands do?
release epinephrine (adrenaline) and norepinephrine (noradrenaline)
What does the pituitary gland do?
releases growth hormones and tells other glands to release hormones, under the direction of the hypothalamus
What are the three major contributions of the biological perspective to psychology?
rejection of extreme environmentalism, an appreciation for the role of physical health in psychological functioning, and a more accurate understanding of some mental and emotional disorders
Why did extreme environmentalism arise?
due to the Western tradition of perfectability and equality of humans, the popularity of behaviorism, and the negative connotation of biological psychology as eugenics and racism
What are 4 examples of physical conditions affecting the psychology of an individual?
Exercise reduces stress; people don't get enough sleep; a balanced diet is best, and toxins can affect individuals psychologically.
What are 6 examples of behaviors and diseases better explained through the biological perspective?
senility, Alzheimer's disease, Down's syndrome, and partially depression, antisocial personality disorder, and schizophrenia
What is biological reductionism?
explaining complex problems with only a few resources, making the problem overly simplified
What is "PMS"?
stands for premenstrual syndrome, a popular, but unsubstantiated by evidence, theory that says that emotional stress is introduced just before a woman's menstrual period
How was "PMS" tested?
Women (and men) were told to keep a diary for 70 days without being told the purpose, and their emotional state was analyzed from the diaries, showing little variation over a menstrual cycle.
What are the four common misapplications of the biological perspective?
biological reductionism, premature conclusions, unwarranted cause-and-effect inferences, and biological politics
How do premature conclusions get made?
A result is verified once; it makes headlines, but is not later repeated.
What are examples of disorders for which genes have been "discovered" but not replicated later?
manic depression, a type of alcoholism, sexual orientation, and chronic worrying
What are two premature conclusions reached regarding differences in the genders?
One study suggested women have a larger splenium (section of the corpus callosum), but contradicted prior and later studies, and one study found some women but no men using both halves of their brain in a rhyming task, but was more or less meaningless in itself; they did equally well.
What is the underlying cause and effect error in the biological perspective?
Experience and the brain both shape each other.
What are four examples of experience shaping the brain?
Bilinguality at a young age occurs in the same Broca's area, while other languages learned later develop another area; musical training at young ages changes musical portions of the brain; longer-tenured London cabdrivers had a larger posterior hippocampus for storing environmental images, and rats who grew up with more complicated tasks developed a larger cortex.
What are examples of political issues that the biological perspective influences and is influenced by?
differences between the races and genders, homosexuality, and extremely violent activity