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Psychology Paper 2 > BIOPSYCHOLOGY > Flashcards

Flashcards in BIOPSYCHOLOGY Deck (55):
1

What is a neuron?

Neurons are nerve cells that process and transmit messages through electrical and chemical signals in the nervous system.

2

What are the four lobes of the cerebral cortex? and describe location

Frontal Lobe (front top), Parietal Lobe, (top back) Occipital Lobe (bottom back), Temporal Lobe.(front bottom)

3


What are the four areas of cortical specialisation in the brain? and where are they located

Motor Cortex - Voluntary Movement. (back of frontal lobe)
Somatosensory Cortex - Information related to the skin. (front of parietal lobe)
Visual Cortex - Information from the eye - left visual field to right cortex. (in occipital lobe)
Auditory Cortex - anaylsesspeech based information.(temporal lobe)

4

Outline the contribution of scientists such as Brocca and Wernicke to our understanding of the brain.

Established the areas of language in the brain.
Broca's area = left frontal lobe - Speech production.
Wernicke's area = left temporal lobe - Speech understanding / coherence.

5

What happens when Broca's area is damaged

Broca's aphasia characterised by slow speech and lacking fluency - difficulty finding words and name objects

6

what happens when wernickes area damaged

wernickes aphasia so will often produce nonsense words (neologisms)

7

Outline 2 studies in which localisation of function in the brain has been investigated.

Peterson et al. (1988). Used brain scans to show how Wernicke’s areas was active during a listening task and Broca’s area during a reading task → different functions.

Tulving 1944 - showed that episodic and semantic memory are located in different parts of the prefrontal cortex.

8

Outline a a case study evidence for localisation

Phineas Gage -Steel rod through the brain removing a lot of the left frontal lobe. Change of personality → turned rude, quick tempered, aggressive. Suggests localisation in the brain.

9

What is meant by plasticity and why does it challenge the idea of localisation?

When the brain becomes damaged and a particular function has been lost, the brain appears to be able to reorganise itself to recover function. Basically another part of the brain takes over the function. The brain physically adjusts the location of function if damage occurs, which suggests that localisation is not fixed to specific areas. The brain is working as a whole unit rather than specific areas for specific functions

10

What is meant by plasticity?

Brains ability to change and adapt because of experience
Brain creates new neural pathways in response to changing experience

11

Outline research into plasticity

Maquire et al. (2000) - london taxi drivers. More grey matter in their posterior hippocampus ( was larger) in comparison to non taxi drivers → spatial and navigational skills. The “knowledge” (complex test) - Brain structure is altered w/ experience

12

How has research into brain plasticity helps us in the ‘real world’?

Neurorehabilitation. Physiotherapy following illness or injury e.g. motor therapy and electrical stimulation of the brain to counter negative effects and deficits in motor /cognitive functions

13

How has research into brain plasticity helps us in the ‘real world’?

Neurorehabilitation. Physiotherapy following illness or injury e.g. motor therapy and electrical stimulation of the brain to counter negative effects and deficits in motor /cognitive functions

14

What is meant by functional recovery?

Healthy brain areas take over functions of areas damaged or destroyed after trauma.

15

What happens in the brain during functional recovery.

Neural unmasking where dormant synapses open connections to compensate for damaged areas of the brain
Secondary neural pathways are activated to carry out certain functions.
Axonal sprouting. Growth of new nerve endings which connect with undamaged nerve cells to create new pathways.
New blood vessels.
Recruitment of similar areas. E.g. Broca’s area damaged on the left side, the equivalent would be recruited on the right.

16

Outline research into functional recovery

Hubel and Wiesel
Sewed one eye of a kitten shut and analysed the cortical responses
Visual cortex associated with the shut eye did not remain idle but processed info from open eye
Loss of function leads to compensatory activity in brain ( recruitment of similar areas)

17

Outline research into functional recovery

Hubel and Wiesel
Sewed one eye of a kitten shut and analysed the cortical responses
Visual cortex associated with the shut eye did not remain idle but processed info from open eye
Loss of function leads to compensatory activity in brain ( recruitment of similar areas)

18

Negatives of functional recovery and plasticity

Biologically reductionist
Limits understanding

19

Negatives of functional recovery and plasticity

Biologically reductionist
Limits understanding

20

What is meant by hemispheric lateralisation

the idea that behaviours are controlled by one particular hemisphere

21

Outline the key study conducted by Sperry (1968). Include the aim, procedure and 2 key findings.

Sperry wanted to demonstrate the two hemispheres were specialised for certain functions and could perform tasks individually - studied group of epileptics who had the corpus callous cut (can't share info)

Image projected to patients RVF (processed by LH) and other to LVF (processed by RH)

RVF: patients can easily describe what is seen
LVF: nothing there ( no language centres in RH)

Objects shown to LVF
Couldn't name but could select a matching object using left hand
Could select an object associated with image presented

Couldn't verbally identify but could understand and use RH To select corresponding object

22

Briefly evaluate the methodology used in split-brain research.

Standardised procedure (same for every person)
Participants started at a fixed point with one eye for only 0.1 seconds so no time to move eyes over WELL CONTROLLED

23

Issues with split brain research

Generalisation - can't be widely accepted as split brain patients are an unusual sample and only 11 people took part with history of seizures
Limits extent to which findings can be generalised to norma brains reducing validity of conclusions

24

The conclusions drawn from Sperry’s research are key contributors to our understanding of brain processes. Explain these conclusions.

Shows lateralised brain functions as left hemisphere is analytical and verbal and right is adept at spatial tasks and music

25

Explain why the differences in function may be overstated.

Sperry oversimplies and overstates difference in function as many behaviours associated with one hemisphere can be perofomred by the other when required - too simplistic

26

Name 4 ways of investigating the brain

fMRI, EEG, ERG, Post-mortem

27

Outline fMRIs as a way of investigating the brain.

measures blood flow and changes in blood oxygenation by creating a moving 3D map of the brain
More active brain area used most energy (oxygen n glucose) so more blood flow directed to this area
Map shows most active part of brain n therefore what must be involved in particular mental processes

28

Outline one strength and one limitation of fMRI scans as a way of identifying localisation of function in the brain.

strength: good spatial resolution compared to EEG
- can detect the smallest features like 1-2mm
-great accuracy in determining activity of different specific brain regions
limitation: inability to show causation
- only shows and measures changes not direct cause of neural activity
- valid conclusions can't be made

29

Outline EEGs as a way of investigating the brain.

measures electrical activity in brain through electrodes attached to scalp
charges are detected by electrodes that are graphed over a time period

30

Explain one strength and one limitation of EEGs.

strength: good temporal resolution in relation to fMRI
accuracy of scanner in relation to time and how quickly scanner can detect change (1-4secs)
limitation: low spatial resolution so can only detect superficial areas- not good for localisation

31

Explain one strength and one limitation of EEGs.

strength: good temporal resolution in relation to fMRI
accuracy of scanner in relation to time and how quickly scanner can detect change (1-4secs)
limitation: low spatial resolution so can only detect superficial areas- not good for localisation

32


What is meant by a biological rhythm

Periodic activity governed by internal biological clocks ( endogenous pacemakers,) which are influenced by external environmental factors ( exogenous zeitgebers,) to control these periodic changes.

33

What is meant by a circadian rhythm? Give an example.

A 24 hour cycle which is reset by levels of light. An example is the sleep/wake cycle.
Light provides the primary input to this system, acting as the external cue for sleeping or waking.
Light is first detected by the eye, which then sends messages concerning the level of brightness to the suprachiasmatic nuclei (SCN).
The SCN then uses this information to coordinate the activity of the entire circadian system.

A biological clock is left to its own devices without the influence of external stimuli this is free running

34

Outline the aim, procedure and findings from an study into circadian rhythms

Siffre spent long periods in dark caves to examine the effects of free running biological rhythms - 2 months in 1960s and 6 months in 1970s
- in each study his free running rhythm settled down to about usual 24 hours (25 hours)
- He did have a regular sleep/wake cycle

35

Outline 1 other piece of research into circadian rhythms other than Siffre's study.

Aschoff and Wever - participants spent 4 weeks in WW2 bunker deprived of natural light

All but one (who's extended to 29 hrs) displayed a rhythm of 24-25 hrs

Both Siffres and this study suggest 'nature" sleep/wake cycle is slightly longer that 24 hrs

36

Outline 2 practical applications of research into circadian rhythms.

1. Worker Productivity
- Boivin found shift workers experience a lapse of concentration around 6am so accidents more likely
-Thus research may have economic implications in terms of how to best manage worker productivity
2. Drug Treatments
- C Rhythms co-ordinate body basic processes with implications for action of drugs on body n how well they are absorbed
_ Gudielines have been developed for timing of dosing for range of drugs inc chemotherapy drugs
- Research has medical benefits

37

Outline two reasons why the results of research into circadian rhythms lacks generalisability.

1. Studies use small groups so may not be representative of wider population
2. Individual differences / cycles can vary from 13-65 hrs meaning studies may not fully represent individual differences within the population

38

What is meant by a circadian rhythm? Give an example.

A 24 hour cycle which is reset by levels of light. An example is the sleep/wake cycle.
Light provides the primary input to this system, acting as the external cue for sleeping or waking.

A biological clock is left to its own devices without the influence of external stimuli this is free running

39

Outline two reasons why the results of research into circadian rhythms lacks generalisability.

1. Studies use small groups so may not be representative of wider population
2. Individual differences / cycles can vary from 13-65 hrs meaning studies may not fully represent individual differences within the population
Duffy et al. (2001) found that ‘morning people’ prefer to rise and go to bed early (about 6 am and 10 pm) whereas ‘evening people’ prefer to wake and go to bed later (about 10 am and 1 am).

40

What is an infradian rhythm?

Infradian rhythms last longer than 24 hours and can be weekly, monthly or annually.

41

whats an example of an infradian rhythm and explain why

Female menstrual cycle - lasts about 28 days vulation occurs roughly halfway through the cycle when oestrogen levels are at their highest, and usually lasts for 16-32 hours.
After the ovulatory phase, progesterone levels increase in preparation for the possible implantation of an embryo in the uterus.

42

Outline some research into infradian rhythms.

Russell et al (1980) found that the menstrual cycle can be synchronized by exogenous cues, which explains the phenomenon that women who live together often have synchronized cycles.
To demonstrate this the researchers used volunteer participants who did not live together, and transferred sweat from the upper lips of the participants to each other with the results that their cycles quickly became synchronized.
They hypothesized that sweat must contain a pheromone, or chemical messenger, that resets the menstrual cycle.

43

What is seasonal affective disorder?

depressive disorder with a seasonal pattern
symptoms triggered during winter months when number of daylight hours becomes shorted

44

why is SAD a infradian cycle

it is circannual ( yearly)
Psychologists claim that melatonin, which is secreted by the pineal gland during the night, is partly responsible.
The lack of light during the winter months results in a longer period of melatonin secretion, which has been linked to the depressive symptoms.

45

What is an ultradian rhythm? Give an example.

Ultradian rhythms last fewer than 24 hours and can be found in the pattern of human sleep.
This cycle consists of five stages.
Stage 1 /2 : light steep and can be easily woken ( alpha waves) to (beta waves) as sleep gets deeper
Stage 3/4: Deep sleep, slow waves ( delta) and difficult to wake
Stage 5: REM rapid eye movement = fast jerky actions of eyes - body paralysed yet brain activity speeds up (dreams)
repeated every 90 mins

46

Problems with studying sleep cycles

Individual Differences: The problem with studying sleep cycles is the differences observed in people, which make investigating patterns difficult.
Tucker et al. (2007) found significant differences between participants in terms of the duration of each stage, particularly stages 3 and 4 (just before REM sleep).

47

Explain why the menstrual cycle has been suggested to have an evolutionary basis.

May have been advantageous for females to menstruate together and become pregnant together so offspring could be cared for collectively increasing chances of survival

48

Evaluate studies into menstrual synchronisation in terms of methodology.

some argue there are too many favours that may change a women cycle - so synchronisation is by chance - so suggests these studies lack validity

49

Outline what is meant by endogenous pacemakers and exogenous zeitgebers - refer to examples in your answer.

Biological rhythms are regulated by endogenous pacemakers, which are the body’s internal biological clocks,
exogenous zeitgebers, which are external cues, including light, that help to regulate the internal biological clocks.

50

Name and describe an endogenous pacemaker.

The suprachiasmatic nucleus (SCN), which lies in the hypothalamus, is the main endogenous pacemaker (or master clock).
It controls other biological rhythms, as it links to other areas of the brain responsible for sleep and arousal.
The SNC sends signals to the pineal gland, which leads to an increase in the production of melatonin at night, helping to induce sleep.
The SCN and pineal glands work together as endogenous pacemakers; however, their activity is responsive to the external cue of ligh

51

Outline some research into the importance of endogenous pacemakers on biological rhythms.

DeCoursey et al destroyed SCN connections in brains of 30 chipmunks and returned to natural habitat for 80 days
There sleep/wake cycle dispapeared and many were killed by predators

52

What is an exogenous zeitgeber?

environmental events that are responsible for resetting the biological clock of an organism.

53

Name and describe 2 exogenous zeitgebers.

Light
The SNC contains receptors that are sensitive to light and this external cue is used to synchronise the body’s internal organs and glands.
Melanopsin, which is a protein in the eye, is sensitive to light and carries the signals to the SCN to set the 24-hour daily body cycle
Social Cues
social cues, such as mealtimes, can also act as zeitgebers and humans can compensate for the lack of natural light, by using social cues instead

54

One limitation of endogenous pacemakers n exogenous zeitgebers

BIOLOGICALLY REDUCTIONIST For example, the behaviourist approach would suggest that bodily rhythms are influenced by other people and social norms, i.e. sleep occurs when it is dark because that is the social norm and it wouldn’t be socially acceptable for a person to conduct their daily routines during the night.
The research discussed here could be criticised for being reductionist as it only considers a singular biological mechanism and fails to consider the other widely divergent viewpoints.

55

One limitation of endogenous pacemakers n exogenous zeitgebers

Both pacemakers n Zeitgebers interact so total isolation such as suffer is very rare and present an unrealistic view of how the system works