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Flashcards in Physiological Psychology Deck (60):

What did Pierre Flourens study?

Extirpation/ablation: Surgically removing brain parts and noting the behavioural consequences.


What did Paul Broca study?

Deficits of people with brain damage; Broca's area is the area responsible for speaking.


What did Johannes Muller suggest about the brain behaviour relationship?

Each nerve is excited by only one kind of energy (light or air).


Helmholtz was the first to measure what?

The speed of a nerve impulse.


What was Sherrington's only false assumption about synapses?

That they were a form of electrical transmission; they are chemical.


What are the three kinds of nerve cells in the nervous system?

Sensory/afferent (from receptors to spinal cord and brain), motor/efferent (from brain to muscles), and interneurons (between neurons for reflexive behaviour).


What is the reflex arc?

Interneurons send messages to the motor neurons as the message is still being transmitted to the brain so as to speed up the response.


Describe a breakdown of the nervous system.

CNS: Brain and Spinal Cord
PNS: somatic nervous system and autonomic nervous system (parasympathetic and sympathetic nervous system).


What did Franz Gall create?

Phrenology, relationship between personality and neuroanatomy.


What does the autonomic system regulate?

Heartbeat, respiration, digestion, gland secretions, involuntary muscles.


Which neurotransmitter is responsible for parasympathetic responses?



What are some physiological responses to the activation of the sympathetic system?

Increased heart rate, blood sugar level, and respiration, decreased digestion, pupil dilation, secretion of adrenaline.


What are the three basic subdivisions of the human brain?

Hindbrain : Balance, coordination, breathing -> essentials.
Midbrain : Sensorimotor reflexes
Forebrain: Complex processes


What is the phylogeny of the human brain?

Brain stem (hindbrain and midbrain), limbic system (emotion and memory), cerebral cortex (most recent cognitive processes).


What are the structures of the hindbrain?

Medulla oblongata (breathing and heart rate), cerebellum (balance and motor movements), reticular formation (arousal, attention and alertness - sleeping).


What structures are in the midbrain?

Involuntary reflexes; superior colliculus has visual input and inferior colliculus has auditory input.


What are the structures in the forebrain (5)?

Thalamus (relay station), hypothalamus (homeostatic functions, hormones, autonomic system, emotional experience of high arousal situations), limbic system (emotion and memory), basal ganglia (movement), cerebral cortex (complex perception and cognition).


Describe the subdivisions of the hypothalamus.

Lateral : Hunger centre. Aphagia = refusal to eat. LH = lacking hunger.
Ventromedial : Satiety centre, enough to eat. Hyperphagia = excessive eating. VH = very hungry
Anterior : Aggressive sexual behaviour


What is sham rage?

Exhibited by cats who had cortices removed but hypothalamus intact.


What is included in the structures of basal ganglia.

Extrapyramidal motor system : Relay platform from basal ganglia to brain and spinal cord. (PD associated with problems with basal ganglia, schizophrenia may also be associated).


Describe the structures in the limbic system.

Septum : Pleasure centre discovered by James Olds and Peter Milner. Also inhibits aggression.
Amygdala : Defensive and aggressive behaviour, docility with lesions. Klüver-Bucy syndrome: bilateral removal in monkeys.
Hippocampus: learning and memory.


What are convolutions?

Bombs and folds in the cortex.


Describe the frontal lobe.

Prefrontal lobes (executive function): association area (combines input from different regions), governs behavioural processes.
Motor cortex: projection area (receive sensory info), send info to muscles
Broca's Area: speech production


Describe the functions of the parietal lobe.

Spatial processing and manipulation. Has a somatosensory cortex (sensory signals of touch pressure, temperature, and pain).


Describe the functions of the occipital lobes.

Has visual cortex/striate cortex, discovered by Hubel and Wiesel.


Describe the regions in the temporal lobe.

Wernicke's area (speech comprehension), auditory cortex, hippocampus is in temporal lobe.


What functions are located in the "dominant" hemisphere.

Language, logic, math.


What functions are located in the "nondominant" hemisphere.

Tone of language, intuition, creativity, music.


Who are Sperry and Gazzaniga?

Researchers who studied the effect of cutting the corpus callosum - hemispheres couldn't communicate.


What is the function of glial cells?

They protect neuronal axons with myelin sheath.


What is a sodium potassium pump?

Cell membrane actively pumping sodium out of the cell to maintain a negative charge.


What are the four stages of an action potential?

Resting potential, depolarization, action potential spike, hyper polarization.


What are the two stages of the refractory period?

Absolute: depolarization, complete unresponsiveness to novel stimulation.
Relative: action potential spike, stronger stimulation required.


What is the all or nothing law?

When depolarization is reached, the neuron fires at the same rate, regardless of amount of pressure or stimulation.


What three things can happen when a neurotransmitter ends up in a synaptic cleft?

It can bind to a receptor on the post synaptic membrane, it can remain in the synapse and be destroyed by enzymes, reuptake by vesicles.


What is a graded potential?

Voltage varies by the amount of neurotransmitter have boning to receptors; they also weaken as they travel along dendrites.


What is habituation?

Idea discovered by Kandel when studying aplysias: when they learned not to withdraw their gills from being touched (ie, deemed the motion harmless and inhibited that reflex), it released less neurotransmitters. Neuronal changes = behavioural changes.


What is acetylcholine?

Transmits nerve impulses to muscles. Linked to AD = less in neurons that communicate with the hippocampus.


What do catecholamines/mono amines have in common?

Molecular composition, role in experience of emotions (epinephrine, norepinephrine, dopamine, serotonin).


Describe the function of norepinephrine.

Alert fullness, implications in depression and mania (too much results in mania, too little in depression).


Describe the function of dopamine.

Movement and posture, found in basal ganglia. Implications in schizophrenia, too much/over sensitivity = hallucinations and delusions. Phenothiazines are antipsychotic meds that produce dopamine sensitivity. PD = loss of dopamine sensitive neurons. Side effect = tardive dyskinesia.


Describe the function of serotonin.

Regulating mood, eating, sleeping, arousal. Oversupply = mania, undersupply = depression. Treated with selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors.


What is GABA?

Makes inhibitory post synaptic potentials by causing hyper polarization, associated with anxiety disorders as it affects brain stability.


What is a peptide and how may it play a role in neurotransmission?

Two or more amino acids together, they are slower but endorphins and enkephalins are natural pain killers in the brain.


What is the function of sedative-hypnotic drugs?

They are depressants and slow the CNS. Reduce anxiety > sedate > coma inducing. Comprised of benzodiazepines and barbiturates, both of which enhance GABA to stabilize brain activity.


Which classes of drugs fall under behavioural stimulants?

Amphetamines : Speed CNS by mimicking sympathetic system, stimulate dopamine, norepinephrine, serotonin receptors.
Antidepressants : elevate mood, increase activity level, improve sleep patterns (eg, tricyclics, MAO inhibitors).
Tricyclics - facilitate norepinephrine and serotonin transmission and inhibit reuptake.
MAO - inhibit MAO enzyme that breaks norepinephrine and serotonin.
Prozac : SSRI
Methylphenidate : Ritalin, more alertness, less activity.


Antipsychotics are prescribed for which two main disorders?

Schizophrenia : Thorazine, chlorpromazine, phenothiazine, haloperidol (block dopamine receptor sites).
Bipolar : lithium carbonate (mood stabilizer)


What are the two types of narcotics?

Pain killers that mimic endorphins by attaching to their receptors in the brain (morphine, heroin, opium) and psychedelics that alter sensory perception and cognition (weed).


What does the endocrine system use to communicate?

The pituitary gland (mostly anterior) which triggers hormone secretion in other glands that travel through the bloodstream.


What is androgen-insensitivity syndrome?

Fetus that grows as a female despite its male genetics due to a lack of androgens.


What are gonadotropic hormones for?

During puberty produce secondary sex characteristics as well as sperm, estrogen, and the menstrual cycle.


What are the results of estrogen and progesterone?

Estrogen: maturation of and release of egg
Progesterone: prepared uterus for implantation of fertilized egg


What is a stereotaxic instrument?

Device that locates brains areas when electrodes are implanted to make lesions or stimulate nerve cell activity.


How did Penfield study neuropsychology?

By stimulating patients' cortices with electrodes and watching the effects.


What is called when y place several electrodes of persons head?



What is regional cerebral blood flow?

Radioactivity in the bloodstream records regional blood flow and devices (CAT, PET, MRI) record the radioactivity.


Who is A. R. Luria?

Russian who wrote about specific disorders resulting from lesions in specific areas of the brain.


What is agnosia and apraxia?

Agnosia - deficit in perceptual recognition.
Apraxia - deficit in acting, difficulty in carrying out a motor response to a verbal command.


What are the four EEG patterns that corresponds with sleep stages?

Beta (attending to mental task), alpha (awake but relaxed), theta (sleep stage 1 & 2 - k complexes), delta (sleep stage 3 - low frequency).


What are the three theories of emotions?

James-Lange: emotion comes after physiological event
Cannon-Bard: combination of arousal and cognition
Schacter-Singer: two-factor theory - appraisal of situation determines emotion.