Exam 2- Biological Approach Flashcards Preview

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Flashcards in Exam 2- Biological Approach Deck (41):
1

what are the key assumptions of the biological approach

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

2

what is the ANS

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

3

what makes up the CNS

the brain and the spinal cord

4

what is the PNS

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

5

what joins the brain together in the middle

corpus callosum

6

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

7

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.

8

what are nerves part of

PNS

9

what is the process of an action

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

10

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

11

what are the 4 main parts of a neuron

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

12

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

13

what do the dendrites do

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

14

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.

15

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.

16

what are neurotransmitters

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

17

what is the difference between motor neurons and sensory neurons

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

18

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)

19

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.

20

what happens if a neurotransmitter is not taken up

If it is not taken up the message is stopped

21

what happens if a neurotransmitter is not used

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

22

what are the main neurotransmitters our body produces

Dopamine
Serotonin
GABA
Norepinephrine
Acetylcholine
Glutamate

23

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.

24

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

25

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)

26

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)

27

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

28

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

29

what is the mode of action for alcohol

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

30

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)

31

what is the mode of action for cocaine

causes short-lived high following an immediate depression
agonist- stops recycling of neurotransmitters

32

how does taking drugs lead to addiction

most drugs work on the dopamine pathway
as repeated use occurs a tolerance is built up
people then take more to reach the same level of high, continued use then ends up being a dependency

33

why might someone take drugs after just taking them

the dysphoria or comedown faced straight after taking a drug motivates them to take more

34

what is the dopamine pathway

the pleasure principle- area of brain sensitive to dopamine and GABA causes pleasure

35

what is desensitisation

over time brain releases more neurotransmitters such as dopamine when not on the drug to get to a "normal" level

36

what leads someone to addiction and withdrawal symptoms

desensitisation

37

is drugs research generalisable

There is a lot of evidence to support the biological effects of drugs on the brain e.g. Olds & Milner (1954) found a pleasure centre in the brain of rats and Straiker et al (2012) looked at the effect of cannabis and found an effect in the hippocampus of mice. However, as much research is carried out on animals this is not generalizable to human beings as species are qualitatively different.

38

is drugs research reliable

Although research uses standardised procedures and scanning tools which accurately record information, scanning receptor activity is not straightforward and requires greater sophistication, therefore the interpretation of information can be subjective.

39

are drugs research applicable

Observations re: desensitisation and tolerance, work in enhancing the reliability of theories and can be used to advise treatments e.g. the effective treatment of addiction via drugs

40

are drugs research valid

Validity id reduced as the complexity of how the transmission works in the brain is hard to capture. Current tools cannot measure transmission.

41

is drugs research ethical

As drugs have been identified as harming physical and mental functioning using them on either animals or humans should be undertaken with extreme caution.