Kaplan Ch. 1 - Biology and Behavior Flashcards Preview

MCAT Behavioral Sciences > Kaplan Ch. 1 - Biology and Behavior > Flashcards

Flashcards in Kaplan Ch. 1 - Biology and Behavior Deck (56):

What is Paul Broca famous for doing?

He examined behavioral deficits in people with brain damage (lesions), he was the first to show that specific impairments are linked to these lesions


What is the main neurotransmitter associated with the sympathetic NS?

Epinephrine and norepinephrine


Reflexive Arc

Neural circuit that controls reflexes, helps the organism react before the signal makes it to the CNS


What is phrenology?

Phrenology theorized that if a trait was well developed, then the part of the brain responsible for the trait would expand and press against the skull, causing the skull to bulge. Psychological attributes were then interpreted by feeling / measuring the physical attributes of the skull and linking them to behavior / displayed traits.


Mnemonic for remembering basic function of sympathetic NS?

Fight or flight


Cerebral Cortex

Outer covering of cerebral hemispheres, associated w/ advanced brain function


What is the main role of the parasympathetic NS?

Resting/Sleeping state


Sir Charles Sherrington?

He was the 1st to infer the existence of a synapse


What is the main neurotransmitter of the parasympathetic NS?



1) What important contribution to functionalism did John Dewey make?
2) How did he broaden the concept of functionalism?

1) He wrote an article criticizing the concept of reflex acrs: need to break the reaction/stimulus into discrete parts
2) He believed psychology should focus on the the study of the organism as a whole as it functioned to adapt to the environment, not just the brain


Generally, were to parasympathetic nerves originate?

Brain and pelvis


1) What is Pierre Flourens most known for?
2) What techniques did he use?
3) What were his conclusions?

1) He was the first to study major sections of the brain
2) He used extirpation (ablation) on rabbits/pigeons --> he removed a part of their brains and observed behavioral changes as a result
3) He asserted that the brain has specific parts for specific functions, if you remove 1 part you weaken the whole brain


What are the meninges?

Dura, arachnoid, and pia matters --> protect brain, secure brain to skull, resorb CSF


Limbic System (general definition)

Associated w/ forebrain, group of neural structures that are associated w/ emotions and memory


What was Hermann von Helmholtz known for?

He was the 1st to measure the speed of a nerve impulse as a function of reaction time


What is Franz Gall most known for?

Proposing the theory of phrenology
Proposing a link between behavior, intellect, personality and brain anatomy


What activates the sympathetic nervous system?



From the outermost surface of the head to the brain, what are the layers of tissue encountered?

Skin, periosteum, bone, Dura matter, arachnoid matter, pia matter


What are the 3 kinds of neurons in the body?

Sensory (afferent): Transmit sensory signals to spinal cord / brain from receptors
Motor (afferent): Transmit motor information from brain / spinal cord to muscles / glands
Interneurons: found between other neurons, these are the most abundant kind of neurons, they are mostly located in the CNS and try are linked to reflexive behavior



The hind and mid brain areas


1) Who was William James?
2) What were his key beliefs?
3) He is well known for coining the term functionalism. What does this mean?

1) The father of modern american psychology
2) He believed it was important to study how the mind functioned in adapting to the environment
3) Functionalism is a system that studied how mental processes help individuals adapt to their environments


How do the parasympathetic and sympathetic nervous systems tend to act in relation to one another.

They often oppose one another


What are the ventricles and what do they do?

Internal cavities in the brain that are lined with specialized cells that make CSF


What is the problem with studying human brain lesions to map brain function?

Lesions are often not localized to one brain region so it is difficult to attribute cognitive / functional deficits to a single brain region


What methods of studying brain function exist in animal models (2)?

(1) Extirpation - remove part of brain and observe changes in organism and attribute changes to loss of brain area
(2) Insert electrodes deep into brain to apply intense signals of temperature and electrical shock to areas of the brain --> observe animal's changes in behavior as a result


What are cortical maps?

Cortical maps are made by electrically stimulating the brain with an electrode and recording the resultant brain wave activity. This procedure is done while the patient is awake.


What is an electroencephalogram (EEG)?

Electrodes are placed on the scalp to study brain activity in a general region of the brain, gives general picture of brain function but not specific.


What is regional cerebral blood flow?

The patient inhales a harmless radioactive gas and then a device is used to measure radioactivity in the brain while the patient performs an activity. Theoretically, the areas of the brain with increased radioactivity and thus increased blood flow are involved in the execution of the activity.


What is the function of the thalamus?

It is the relay station for sensory information that enters the brain, it sorts the information and then transmits it to the appropriate areas of the cortex


What are the 4 primary functions of the hypothalamus?

(1) Regulation of homeostasis functions
(2) Plays a role in emotional experience
(3) Regulates endocrine functions
(4) Regulates autonomic nervous system


What 3 areas is the hypothalamus broken down into? What is the mnemonic to remember their functions?

Lateral, Ventromedial, anterior
The four F's: fleeting, fighting, feeding and fucking


What is the function of the lateral hypothalamus?

To regulate hunger and thirst


What is the function of the Ventromedial hypothalamus?

To regulate satiety


What is the function of the anterior hypothalamus?

To regulate sexual behavior, sleep cycle, and body temperature


Where is the posterior pituitary located and what is its primary function?

- Axonal projections from the hypothalamus
- Releases oxytocin (role in satiety) and antidiuretic hormone


What is the function of the pineal gland?

Release melatonin to control circadian rhythms


What is the function of the basal ganglia?

To coordinate / smooth out muscle movements and relay information to brain and spinal cord via extrapyramidal motor system


What is the role of the extrapyramidal motor system?

Gathers information about body position and relays information to central nervous system (brain and spinal cord)


What 3 diseases can be attributed to damage to the basal ganglia?

Parkinson's, schizophrenia, OCD


What are the 6 parts of the limbic system?

(1) Sepal nuclei
(2) Fornix
(3) Hippocampus
(4) Thalamus
(5) Amygdala
(6) Corpus callosum


What is the role of the septal nuclei?

Main pleasure center of the brain


What is the role of the amygdala?

Defensive / aggressive behavior, plays a role in emotional response (facial expression recognition, relays sensory information relating to emotional perception to the cortex, role in emotional memory storage)


What is the role of the hippocampus as it relates to emotion / memory?

Helps consolidate information to form long term memory and can redistribute stored information to the cortex wen needed


What is the Fornix?

Structure that allows the hippocampus to communicate w/ other parts of limbic system


Anterograde amnesia

When a patient cannot establish new long term memories


Retrograde amnesia

When a patient cannot recall past events / memories


Cerebral cortex

Outer surface / covering of brain


Describe the topography of the cortex?

Gyri (bumps) or sulci (folds)


How many spheres and lobes is the brain divided into?

2 hemispheres, 4 lobes / hemisphere


What are the 4 lobes of the brain and what are their general function?

(1) Frontal (executive function)
(2) Parietal (sensory info)
(3) Temporal (hearing)
(4) Occipital (vision)


What is the purpose of conducting family studies? What are their limitations?

Genetically related individuals are more genotypically similar than unrelated individuals. However, it is not possible to separate the influences of environment vs. nature.


What is the purpose of twin studies?

To compare the rates of trait expression in fraternal and identical twins


What is the purpose of adoption studies?

To compare similarities between biological relatives of the adopted child and the adoptive relatives


What is a PET scan?

Positron emission tomography, depicts brain activity by showing each brain area’s consumption of glucose


How is an MRI used to study brain the brain?

In MRI, brain placed in strong magnetic field and atoms of brain align their dipoles with the magnetic field. Then a radio wave disrupts the magnetic field causing the dipoles to become disoriented. When they return to their normal orientation and spin, they emit signals that the MRI detector picks up and gives information about the soft tissues of the brain


What is fMRI and how can it be used to observe brain activity

fMRI stands for functional MRI and it coulombs MRI with observing the flow of blood to different parts of the brain as a person performs a specific task. The idea being that the areas of the brain involved in that task will require more blood (oxygen).