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Flashcards in Neuropsychology 4 Deck (40):

What are the primary sources of sex hormones?

Pituitary glands and gonads.


What sex hormones are produced by the pituitary gland?

Luteinizing hormone (LH), stimulating the gonads to produce androgens (both ovaries and testes) and estrogen (ovaries only), and follicle stimulating hormone (FSH), casing production of sperm and release of ova.


What are androgens and what do they do?

Testoterone and others cause virilization (development of secondary sex characteristics in males) and sexual appetite in both sexes.


What are estrogens and what do they do?

Found both sexes, but male function is unknown. In females, they regulate normal developement and healthy function of reproductive system.


What is progresterone and what does it do?

Necessary for healthy functioning of reproductive system and functioning of placenta during pregnancy.


What is menopause?

A reduction in estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone in women.


What are typical symptoms of menopause?

Hot flashes, insomnia, mood swings, urinary incontinence, vaginal dryness, loss of elasticity (which can cause discomfort or pain during intercourse)


What are the two main types of hormone replacement therapy?

Estrogen Replacement Therapy (ERT) and Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT). ERT is estrogen-only, while HRT combines estrogen and progesterone.


What are the pros and cons of Estrogen and Hormone Replacement Therapy?

Both treatments can alleviate menopausal symptoms and may reduce risk of osteoporosis and heart disease. On the other hand, ERT my increase breast cancer risk and can have side effects like nausea, depression, and changes in weight and libido.


What effects to hormones have on female sexual behavior?

In humans, experience is a larger factor in female sexual behavior than hormones. However, hormonal changes due to hypothalamic dysfunction may mediate sexual behavior changes associated with depression and anorexia nervosa. Loss of sexual desire while breastfeeding or following removal of sex organs seems related to reduced androgens.


What effects do hormones have on male sexual behavior?

In men with normal sexual functioning, there is little correlation between circulating levels of testosterone and sexual behavior. Castration can cause a decline in sexual potency and libido.


What is hypogonadism?

A condition in which androgen levels are low in men. Hypogonadal men are generally capable of erections, they have low levels of interest and sexual behavior.


What effects do hormones have on men with hypogonadism?

Sexual behavior appears to have some correlation with circulating levels of testosterone. Androgen replacement therapy can increase libido and overall number of erections.


What effects does spinal cord injury have on sexual behavior.

In women, it appears to have relatively little effect. In men, it generally does not effect libido. Depending on location and severity, it can affect ejaculation and, less commonly, erection.


What is the "sleep switch?"

In rats, activity in the ventrolateral preoptic area of the hypothalamus has been correlated with sleep stages.


Name the five stages of sleep.

4 slow-wave (as per EEG), non-REM stages (1-4) and Stage 5, Rapid Eye Movement (REM) sleep.


What are some different types of EEG waves?

Alpha: typical of relaxed wakefulness. Beta: faster than alpha waves and predominant during active, alert states. Theta: slower than alpha waves. Delta: very large, slow. K-complex: single, large amplitude, bilateral waves; typically followed by sleep spindles. Sleep spindles: high frequency, small to moderate amplitude wave bundles; typically following K-complexes; look like old-fashioned spindles.


What EEG waves characterize different stages of waking and sleep?

Wakefulness: mix of alpha and beta waves. Stage 1: alpha waves disappear, give way to thetas. Stage 2: theta waves mixed with K-complexes and sleep spindles. Stage 3: appearance of delta waves. Stage 4: predominance of delta waves. Stage 5/REM: mixed frequency, appearance of alpha waves; aka "paradoxical sleep."


What physiological changes characterize different stages of sleep?

Stage 1: transition from waking to sleep; muscles relax, heart rate slows. Stage 2 and 3 are marked by EEG changes. Stage 4: breath is deep, heart rate slow, and blood pressure low. Stage 5/REM: rapid eye movements, absence of muscle tone, low response to environment.


Describe the rhythms and patterns of sleep stages.

A cycle of all stages typically takes ~100 minutes and recurs four to six times in a normal night. Initially, REM periods are about 10 minutes, but they increase to as much as 50 minutes by the end of the night. Stage 4 delta sleep is longest early and gets shorter as the night passes.


When do dreams occur and of what types?

REM sleep dreams are vivid, bizarre, emotionally laden, and more likely to be remembered upon waking. Non-REM sleep dreams also occur, but are unlikely to be remembered.


How do overall sleep patterns change with age?

Newborns sleep ~16 hours per day. Preadolescents sleep ~10 hours per day. Adults need ~8 hours or less. Older adults' sleep patterns may change, e.g., different sleeping and waking times, difficulty falling asleep, awakening during the night, etc., they do not require less sleep that younger adults.


How to REM sleep patterns change with age?

First two or three months of life, sleep begins with REM. First six months, REM and non-REM sleep are only stages. With age, REM decreases both in total time and as a fraction of a full night's sleep, from 50% in infancy to 20% in adulthood.


What effects does REM sleep deprivation have on individuals?

Increase in anxiety and irritability, compromised cognitive functioning. Effects are not permanent and disappear when person is allowed to sleep normally.


What is a REM rebound?

Upon commencement of normal sleep, person who is REM sleep deprived will experience a temporary increase in time spent in REM sleep. (This occurs in Stage 4 delta sleep deprivation, as well.)


During what stage of sleep does Nightmare Disorder occur?



During what stage of sleep do Sleepwalking and Sleep Terror Disorders occur?

Delta Stage 4


What are some characteristics of insomniacs' sleep?

Less delta Stage 4 sleep, more movement during sleep, more changes in sleep stages, tendency to underestimate amount of time spent asleep.


What is Korsakoff's syndrome?

Lesions in the mammillary bodies of the hypothalamus due to alcoholic thiamine (vitamin B1) deficiency. Characterized by retro- and anterograde amnesia, confabulation, apathy.


Name two neurological theories of memory.

Long-term potentiation and RNA production.


What is long-term potentiation?

Increases in the sensitivity of hippocampal neurons, arising from high frequency stimulation, which results in changes in synapses and formation of new receptor sites.


What role might RNA production have in memory?

Training or experience increase the amount of RNA in cells; kinds of RNA vary with kinds of experiences. Data in the RNA appears to be transferable between individuals in planaria worms.


Name two pituitary hormones that act on organs directly.

Growth hormone (GH) and antidiuretic hormone (ADH).


What does growth hormone (GH) do?

Stimulates growth of epiphyseal plates at the ends of bones. Aka, somatotropic hormone (STH). Undersecretion results in dwarfishm, oversecretion in giantism; in adults, oversecretion can cause acromegaly, a gross enlargement of the hands, feet, and face.


What does antidiuretic hormone (ADH) do?

Inhibits urination when fluids are needed. Undersecretion results in diabetes insipidus (excessive water loss).


What pituitary hormone acts on the adrenal cortex?

Adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH) stimulates release of cortisol. Undersecretion results in fatigue, fainting, appetite and weight loss, depression and apathy (Addison's disease). Oversecretion results in obesity, memory loss, mood swings, depression, and somatic delusions (Cushing's disease).


Where does cortisol come from and what does it do?

Secreted by the adrenal cortex. Stimulates liver to convert energy stores to glucose (ready energy).


What is the relationship of cortisol to psychological stress?

Stress increases cortisol levels. Chronic elevations of cortisol are associated with negative health consequences. Stress also increases epinephrine and norepinephrine levels. Relaxation exercises have been shown to be effective in lowering cortisol levels.


How does the hypothalamus control release of luteinizing hormone (LH) and follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) in the pituitary gland?

Neurons containing gonadotropic releasing hormone project to the pituitary gland, where they control LH and FSH release.


How are developing fetuses affected by dysfunctions in sex hormone release?

A genetically male fetus receiving insufficient androgens during a critical period may not develop normal male genetalia. A genetically female fetus exposed to androgens during early pregnancy will develop male reproductive organs.