#Exam 2- Biological Approach Flashcards Preview

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Flashcards in #Exam 2- Biological Approach Deck (82)
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what are the key assumptions of the biological approach

that the closer we are to someone genetically the closer characteristics we share with them


what is the ANS

the automatic nervous system which controls functions such as breathing and the heart


what makes up the CNS

the brain and the spinal cord


what is the PNS

peripheral nervous system, those things which we have conscious control of


what joins the brain together in the middle

corpus callosum


what are the strengths of the biological approach as a whole

The approach is very scientific, and grounded in the 'hard' science of biology with its objective, materialistic subject matter and experimental methodology.
It provides strong counter-arguments to the nurture side of the nature-nurture debate.
Biopsychology's practical applications are usually extremely effective, e.g. the treatment of mental disorder


what are the weaknesses with the biological approach as a whole

Reductionism - the bio-psychological approach explains thoughts and behaviour in terms of the action of neurones or biochemicals. This may ignore other more suitable levels of explanation and the interaction of causal factors.
The approach has not adequately explained how mind and body interact - conscious and emotion are difficult to study objectively.
Over simplistic - neuro-biological psychology theories often oversimplify the huge complexity of physical systems and their interaction with environmental factors.


what are nerves part of



what is the process of an action

incoming information from senses
brain processes that information
brain controls outgoing behaviour


what does the spinal cord allow us to do

pass messages from
the body to the brain
the brain to the rest of the body


what are the 4 main parts of a neuron

1. Cell body
2. Dendrites
3. Axon
4. Axon terminals


what does the cell body do

Contains the nucleus, which holds the genetic information for that neuron. Also contains other material for the cell to function, such as the mitochondria


what do the dendrites do

Receive messages from other neurons in order to be able to continue to pass messages along.


what is the purpose of the axon

Plays a key role in sending messages. The axon carries the electrical impulse (message) towards the axon terminals where information can be passed onto the next neuron.


what is the purpose of the axon terminal

These have terminal buttons on the end where the nerve impulse is passed onto the dendrites of the next neuron, or to the part of the body they control, such as a muscle.


what are neurotransmitters

Neurotransmitters are chemical messengers that travel in the brain between neurons.


what is the difference between motor neurons and sensory neurons

Motor neurons receive messages from the CNS, sensory neurons transmit messages from the senses.


how do neurotransmitters work

-An electrical impulse travels down the axon to the terminal button
-Vesicles containing neurotransmitters are released into the synaptic gap
-The receptors on the nearby dendrite receives the neurotransmitter if it ‘fits’ or not. (lock and key)


what happens if a neurotransmitter is taken up

if it is taken up the message continues to travel down that neuron’s axon so the message continues.


what happens if a neurotransmitter is not taken up

If it is not taken up the message is stopped


what happens if a neurotransmitter is not used

Neurotransmitters that are not used are recycled (reuptake) back into the pre-synapse


what are the main neurotransmitters our body produces



What is an action potential

Action Potential is the process where a nerve impulse (electrical impulse) travels down a neurone. It is an electrochemical impulse that travels along an axon in one direction only, carrying information.


How is action potential transported

it has a resting membrane potential. it is triggered by a change in the electrical potential of the neuron. nerve impulse passes down the axon stimulating release of neurotransmitters


what is an agnostic drug

Some drugs are Agonists, these bind to receptors and stimulate them to increase the messages (eg Cocaine, heroin, morphine, nicotine)


what is an antagonistic drug

Antagonists, these will bind but don’t stimulate receptors instead they reverse or deactivate the effect of agonists (beta blockers, methadone, naloxone)


what are the three ways drugs can work

block receptors- antagonist
attach to receptors to mimic the effect of neurotransmitters- agonist
prevent recycling of neurotransmitters- agonist


describe the effect of one drug in detail

amphetamine- used to make you feel alert and energised, increases dopamine and noradrenaline, increased sex drive and can cause high blood pressure- agnostic


what is the mode of action for alcohol

interferes with brains communication pathways affects how the brain works and changes mood and behaviour


what is the mode of action for nicotine

the strong mood-altering effect occurs, acts on the brain as a stimulant and a relaxant.
agonist (mimics neurotransmitters)