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Flashcards in Physio & Psychopharm Questions Deck (15)
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Deficits in organizational ability, decision-making, and problem-solving are most likely to be the result of damage to the
A. corpus callosum.
B. prefrontal lobe.
C. parietal lobe.
D. basal forebrain.

B. prefrontal lobe.
The activities listed in the question are "executive functions," which are mediated by the frontal lobes, or, more specifically, by the prefrontal lobes. (The basal forebrain connects with the temporal lobes and is involved in long-term memory.)


What is the area of the brain in which lesions cause indifference or apathy?
A. Corpus callosum
B. Frontal
C. Parietal
D. Pyramidal system

B. Frontal
The frontal lobe contains the prefrontal association cortex. Lesions in this area disrupts the control and regulation of cognition and planning (so-called executive functions). Individuals with such lesions show decreased initiative, deficient self-awareness and concreteness in thinking.


The phenomenon of cross-modal perception, for example, hearing colors or tasting shapes is referred to as:
A. achromatopsia
B. sensory hallucinations
C. nystagmus
D. synesthesia

D. synesthesia
Synesthesia is a perceptual condition in which stimulation of one sensory modality is reliably perceived in one or more other senses. For example, individuals with synesthesia may hear odors or see sounds. The cause of synesthesia is unknown, but is more prevalent among women and non-right-handed people. Achromatopsia (A) is a rare form of color blindness that is accompanied by hypersensitivity to light and poor visual acuity. Hallucinations (B) are sensory perceptions that occur without external stimulation of the sensory organ. Nystagmus (C) refers to involuntary jerky eye movement.


The term "neuronal threshold" refers to the fact that
A. all nerve cells fire simultaneously.
B. the strength of a nerve cell's action is positively correlated with the electrical stimulation it receives.
C. the strength of a nerve cell's action is negatively correlated with the electrical stimulation it receives.
D. a nerve cell's stimulation must reach a certain intensity before it fires.

D. a nerve cell's stimulation must reach a certain intensity before it fires.
The term "neuronal threshold" refers to the minimum level of energy required for a neuron to fire. If the energy in the cell is below this threshold level, the cell will not fire at all. And increasing the energy in the cell above the threshold does not increase the intensity of firing. This is referred to as the "all-or-none" law -- either the cell fires at maximum intensity or it does not fire at all.


Use of which of the following strategies is most likely to increase a person's level of chronic pain?
A. biofeedback
B. active coping
C. passive coping
D. cognitive-behavioral therapy

C. passive coping
Several studies have found that passive coping strategies (e.g., depending on others, restricting social activities, use of medication for immediate pain relief) result in an increase in subjective pain among chronic pain patients. Conversely, helping patients reduce the frequency of passive coping strategies is believed to result in decreased pain. Active coping strategies (e.g., staying busy or active, distracting attention from the pain), as well as biofeedback and cognitive-behavioral therapy, have most often been found to decrease pain [A. C. Mercado, L. J. Carroll, J. D. Cassidy, & P. Cote, Coping with neck and low back pain in the general population, Health Psychology, 2000, 19(4), 333-338].


Clonidine, an alpha-noradrenergic drug, is often preferable to dopaminergic blocking agents for treating Tourette's Disorder because it is safer for chronic use. However, clonidine does produce some undesirable side effects including:
A. Parkinsonism, akathesia, and dysphoria.
B. dry mouth, headache, and hypotension.
C. anorexia, sexual dysfunction, and emotional blunting.
D. vomiting, dizziness, and irritability.

B. dry mouth, headache, and hypotension.
Since the question mentions that clonidine is safer for chronic use, you'd want to look for less serious side effects, which narrows it down to responses b and d. In addition to dry mouth, headache, and hypotension, clonidine may also cause sedation and dizziness.


According to the catecholamine hypothesis, depression is due to a deficiency in:
A. dopamine
B. gamma-aminobutyric acid
C. acetylcholine
D. norepinephrine

D. norepinephrine
Research with drugs led to the formulation of the “catecholamine hypothesis” about the cause of mood disorders. First presented in 1965, Schildkraut et al.’s theory of depression emphasized the association of depression with a decrease in the levels of brain catecholamines dopamine (DA) and norepinephrine (NE), especially norepinephrine. This hypothesis in its simplest form, stated that depression was due to a deficiency of norepinephrine, one of the major catecholamine systems in the brain. This early hypothesis is based on evidence from three groups of drugs: reserpine, monoamine oxidase (MAO) inhibitors, and tricyclics. Reserpine depletes the brain of dopamine and norepinephrine and is used primarily to treat hypertension. It is also used for severe agitation. MAO inhibiters and tricyclics, although they work in somewhat different ways, are used to treat depression and tend to increase the amount of norepinephrine available in the central nervous system. A variety of approaches, especially in the United States, tested this hypothesis and the results are inconclusive. Nonetheless, this theory served as the “standard” theory for depression in the United States until the 1980s. (See: McNeal, E. T., and Cimbolic, P. (1986). Antidepressants and Biochemical Theories of Depression. Psychological Bulletin, 99(3), 361-374.)


A unilateral throbbing headache that is aggravated by light, sound, or any movement is characterized as a:
A. cluster headache
B. migraine headache
C. tension headache
D. sinus headache

B. migraine headache
Migraine headaches are typically unilateral, that is, felt on one side of the head and are typically throbbing in nature. Migraines are also frequently accompanied by sensitivity to light, sound, and movement, and may be accompanied by nausea and vomiting. Cluster headaches (A) are characterized by severe pain usually behind one eye and typically last for a few minutes to several hours and reoccur at the same time each day for several weeks, until the cluster period is over. Tension headaches (C) are described as a constant, dull, pain on both sides of the head. They are typically accompanied by tension in the head or neck muscles and begin slowly and gradually. Sinus headaches (D) are usually located in the mid-facial area and are described as a dull ache often accompanied by nasal congestion.


In Huntington's Disease, the first brain structure to show signs of damage is the
A. superior colliculus.
B. medulla oblongata.
C. nucleus cuneatus.
D. caudate nucleus.

D. caudate nucleus.
Huntington's Disease is due to degeneration of neurons in the basal ganglia, and the degeneration is usually first apparent in the caudate nucleus. (The basal ganglia include the caudate nucleus, the putamen, and the globus pallidus.)


If someone presents with complaints and symptoms including anxiety, irritability, and hypomania, and the diagnosed disorder is not exclusively psychogenic, the most likely non-psychiatric cause would be
A. Addison's Disease.
B. hyperthyroidism.
C. Sleep Apnea.
D. Alcohol Amnestic Disorder.

B. hyperthyroidism.
Hyperthyroidism, or over secretion of thyroxine by the thyroid gland, is a possible physiological cause of symptoms that resemble generalized anxiety or hypomania.


The inability to perform complex, purposeful movements, which cannot be explained by problems related to comprehension, coordination, or strength is referred to as:
A. ataxia.
B. alexia.
C. agnosia.
D. apraxia.

D. apraxia.
You may have been able to answer this one by the process of elimination if you're not familiar with apraxia. There are many forms of apraxia including ideomotor, constructional, and dressing apraxia.


Following a stroke or head trauma, which of the following memory functions is most likely to be affected?
A. iconic memory
B. long-term store
C. memory for newly learned information
D. verbal memory

C. memory for newly learned information
Questions like this can be frustrating because it is really impossible to make blanket generalizations. When the brain is compromised by a medical problem (or by substance use), the nature of impairment always depends on the location in the brain of damage and the extent of damage. However, if memory is impaired, the ability to retain newly learned information is most likely to be affected. Impairment in other types of memory, such as long-term episodic memory or verbal (semantic) memory, usually indicates more severe memory damage in which impairment in learning new information is also present.


A person with agnosia is unable to identify a familiar object by sight but does identify it when it is placed in her hand. This is most likely due to
A. a visual impairment.
B. visual inattention.
C. a deficit in iconic memory.
D. visual "not knowing."

D. visual "not knowing."
The type of visual agnosia described in this question is referred to as apperceptive agnosia and involves an inability to recognize familiar objects, especially in low-light conditions, when there are many shadows, when objects overlap, etc.


Damage to the prefrontal cortex is most likely to cause:
A. impaired motor coordination
B. impaired memory and attention
C. alterations in the sleep/wake cycle
D. “psychic blindness”

B. impaired memory and attention
The prefrontal cortex is associated with a variety of cognitive functions, including attention and certain aspects of memory. An individual with damage to the prefrontal cortex may exhibit distractibility, impaired working memory, a reduced attention span, and impaired prospective memory. “Psychic blindness” (d.) is associated with Kluver-Bucy syndrome, which is caused by damage to certain areas of the temporal lobes.


Medications used for the treatment of Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder mostly target:
A. dopamine
C. norepinephrine
D. serotonin

D. serotonin
Knowing that SSRIs are the most prescribed medications for the treatment of OCD should have helped you choose the correct answer. SSRIs target serotonin, which is believed to reduce the symptoms of OCD. Although the mechanism of action is not fully understood, and may differ from the mechanism involved in its antidepressant effects, serotonin is believed to be the primary target.