Biopsychology Flashcards Preview

Psychology A Level > Biopsychology > Flashcards

Flashcards in Biopsychology Deck (190)
Loading flashcards...

What is the Nervous system broken down into?

Central Nervous System

Peripheral Nervous System


What are the two parts of the Central nervous system?


Spinal cord


What is the brain?

The brain is the centre of our conscious awareness. The brain's outer layer, the verbal cortex, is highly developed in humans and is what distinguishes our higher mental functions from those of animals.


What is the Spinal cord?

An extension of the brain. It is responsible for reflex actions.

E.g. Pulling your hand away from a hot plate.


What are the two parts of the peripheral nervous system?

Somatic nervous system

Autonomic nervous system


What is the somatic nervous system?

Is our voluntary behaviour it controls muscle movements and receives information from sensory receptors.


What is our autonomic nervous system?

It is our involuntary behaviour that governs vital functions in the body such as breathing, heart rate, digestion, sexual arousal and stress responses.


What does the peripheral nervous system do?

The peripheral nervous system transmits messages via millions of neurons, to and from the central nervous system.


What are the two parts of the Autonomic nervous system?

Sympathetic division

Parasympathetic division


What does the Sympathetic division do?

It is responsible for our fight-or-flight response


What does the Parasympathetic division do?

Returns our body back to normal after a fight-or-flight response.


What is the human nervous system?

A body wide system of nerve cells that collects information from the world, processes this information then takes action by directing body organs and muscles via the transmission of electro chemical messages.


What are the two parts of the nervous system?

Central nervous system
Peripheral nervous system


What is the central nervous system?

The central nervous system consists of the brain and the spinal cord and is the origin of all complex commands and decisions.


What is the nervous system composed of?

100 billion cells called neurons.


What do neurons do?

Pass on messages via electrical and chemical signals.


How do neurons differ?

Although different types of neurons vary in size and function they all operate in the same way.


What is a synapse?

The point where one neuron (presynaptic) can send a chemical message to an adjacent neuron (postsynaptic).


What are neurotransmitters?

Chemical messengers released by neurons. Stimulating or inhibiting the development of an action potential in other postsynaptic neurons.


What is the process of synaptic transmission?

Synaptic transmission is the process by which one neuron communicates with another.

Information is passed down the axon of the neuron as an electrical impulse known as action potential. Once the action potential reaches the end of the axon it needs to be transferred to another neuron or tissue. It must cross over the synaptic gap between the presynaptic neuron and post-synaptic neuron. At the end of the neuron (in the axon terminal) are the synaptic vesicles, which contain chemical messengers, known as neurotransmitters. When the electrical impulse (action potential) reaches these synaptic vesicles, they release their contents of neurotransmitters. Neurotransmitters then carry the signal across the synaptic gap. They bind to receptor sites on the post-synaptic cell, thereby completing the process of synaptic transmission


Neurotransmitters can have two effects on the neighbouring neurons what are they?




What does it mean if a neurotransmitter at a synapse is Excitatory?

It makes a nerve impulse more likely to be triggered.

For example dopamine or serotonin which produce states of excitement/activity in the nervous system and in our mental state/behaviour?


What does it mean if a neurotransmitter at a synapse is inhibitory?

Makes a nerve impulse less likely to be triggered.

For example, GABA calms activity in the nervous system and produces states of relaxation.


What are sensory neurons?

These carry messages from the peripheral nervous system to the central nervous system. They have long dendrites and short axons.


What are motor neurons?

These connect the central nervous system to effectors such as muscles and glands .

They have short dendrites and long axons.


What are relay neurons?

These connect the sensory neurons to the motor or other relay neurons.

They have short dendrites and short axons.


What is the central nervous system made up of?

The brain and spinal cord.


What is the hindbrain?

Contains pons, medulla and cerebellum.

Pons and medulla Is a continuation of the spinal cord carrying on into the bottom of the brain, the brain stem, mainly composed of sensory and motor neurons.

The cerebellum controls movement and motor coordination.


The forebrain is divided into 2 parts, what are they?

The diencephalon.

The cerebral hemispheres.


What does the diencephalon contain?