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psych 304


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what is biological psychology
a branch of neuroscience, the scientific study of the biological bases of psychological processes and behavior.
looks at the structure of the brain
activity and function of nervous system
focussssed on neurotransmitters
interaction between endocrine system and teh nervous system
nervous system developmental disorders and their impact.
the action of drugs on the nervous system.
cephalocentric theories
fluid filled ventricles determined our psychological experience

important contribution functional location - the idea that differant parts of the brain had differant functions.

hydraulic theory
sees nerves as hollow tubes which filled with fluids when stimutelated which cuase a reaction in the pineal gland sending lfuids back down causing a person to have a reaction.
argued that the brain was responsible for thought and behvoir.
descartes dualism
argued that the pineal gland was teh seat of the soul or mind, controlling action by directing the movement of fluid within the ventricies.
luigi galavani
demonstrated that electrical stimulation of the nerves produces muscle contraction, that is, that nerves conduct electricity
found that the rate of electricity was 90 feet per second.
argued that the cerebral cortex consists of separate regions each of which is associated with a distinct psychological or behavioral function.
concluded that cerebral matter was equipotnetial, that any part of the brain could perform another function.
identied brocas area, damage to this region amoung pateints resulted in a inability to speak, with no inability to understand.
identified wernikes area, damage to this region amougn patiehents resulted in a inability to comphrend lanuguage.
using golgi staining method discovered the brain is comprised of networks of communicating neurons.
cajals Neuron Doctrine
the beleif that the nervous system is made up of discrete neurons that communicate with eachother.
quasi experimental studies
designed to contrast two or more existing groups on a variable of interest.

used when it is not possible to conduct an experiment with random assignment.

allows researchers to observe the structure organization adn connections of the nerve cells

nerve tissue is fixed by freezing it or treating it with formalin.

allows researchers to examine nervous system structures that are too difficult to accesses using alternative techniques.
computerized tomogrophy CT
computers are used to enhance x ray images of the nervous system
Position Emission tommograpy
Subjects are adminsitered radioactive subtance often attached to glucose. a scanner detects radioactive substance indicating where glucose consumption and phsiological activity is greatest.
Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging.
specfically focused on activity, magnetif feilds are used to detect changes in oxygen flow. a scanner detects brain regions where oxygen is delivered at high concentrations indicating where physiological activity is greatest.
electrodes, placed on the scalp, measured the electrical activity of a large number of nerve cells. changes in EEG signals that are evolved elicited by the presentation of sensory stimuli are referred to as sensory evoked potentials.
single cell recordings
surgically implanted micro electrodes measure electrical activity of a single nerve cell
aspiration lesions
the cortical tissue is suctioned through a fine tipped ehld held glass pipette.
radio frequency lesions
high-frequency currents are passed through the target tissue from the tip of an electrode. The heat from the current destroys the tissue (irreversible)
iii. Cryogenic blockade
coolant is pumped through an implanted probe. Neurons near the tip are cooled until they stop firing. When the tissue warms, normal neural activity returns
central nervous system
comprised of neural tissue in the skull and spine, two main parts, brain and spinal cord.
peripheral nervous system
located outside the skull and spine
cranial nerves
controls head neck, diaphram delties writs tricept and hands
other types of nerves
thoracic, lumbar, sacral, coccygel.
dorsal root
associated with the intake of sensory information
ventral roots
associated with output information to our muscles and internal organs.
PNS subdivisions


somatic nervous system
regulates responses to the external environment

composed of afferent out and efferent in

Autonomic nervous system
regulates the bodies internal enviroment.
sympathetic efferent nerves
state of arousal

emerge from the thoracic and lumbar region (middle section of the spine

parasympathetic efferent nerves.
state of relaxation

emerge from brain and sacral region, sandwiches the sympathetic efferent nerves.

meninges layers
Dura matter; tough membrane

arachnoid membrane; immediately inside the dura matter, a fine spider weblike membrane.

Pia matter; innermost meninx delicate membrane that adheres to the surface of teh CNS.

subarachanoid space, cerebral fluid circulates here allowing for further cushioning and proection of the brain.

cerebrospinal fluid
a clear fluid found in three regions

subarachoind space

central canal of the spinal cord

cerebral ventricles

lateral ventricles
lined with choroid plexus produce CSF by filtering blood.

lateral ventricle - third ventrical- cerebral aqueduct - forth ventricle- passes through small openings

every day we make about 500 ml of CSF

water head, typically a result from a tumor forming in the cerebral aqueduct, must drain the CSF and attempt to remove obstruction.
medial lateral
medial - toward the midlife of hte body

lateral; away from the midline of the body, towards the side.

proximal - close to the CNS

Distal - far from the CNS

superior; below the structure
inferior; below the structure
on the opposite side of the body.
on the same side of the body, ex. our right hemisphere is ipsilateral to our right arm.
myelencephalon (medulla)
composed largely of tracts carrying signals between the brain and teh body, important relay station between the brain and the rest of the body


- reticular formation


pituatary gland
optic chiasm.

cerebral cortex
a layer of tissues that covers the cerbral hemispheres is deeply convoluted in large mamals including hunans. this allows us to enlarge the surface area of the brain by tucking it inot tolded tissues
cerebral cortex contributes to higher functioning such as ability to plan and assess.

characterisied by fissues or sulci and ridges gyri.

occipital lobe
analyzes visual input
parietal lobe
analysises sensations from the body. determines locations of objects
temporal lobe
involved in hearing language and memory identifies complex visual patterns
frontal lobe
invovled in motor coordination complex cognative functions.
composed of six layers

these layers
consist of pyramida and stellate cells
organized in vertical columns.

telencephalon continued

Limbic system

a circuit of mid line structures around the thalamus, involved in the regulation of motivated behaviors (such as feeding and sexual behavior.
associated with memory , in the limbic system
important role in our expeirnce of hostile emtions, such as rage agression and fear.
cingulate cortex
thought to play a role in autonomic function as well as decision making error detection dn possibly the experience of pain.
associated with emotion, stimulation of hypothesis does contribute to our emotional experience.
mamillary bodies
implicated in the experince of emtion.
emtional experince.
huntingtons disease
associated with degeneration of neurons within the basal ganglia

symptoms; invovluntary writing movments, restelesness incomplete actions, lack of coordiations.

grey matter
bodies of nerve cells
white matter
projections form cell bodies, myelinated axons..
efferent nerves
exit the spinal cord via the ventral root
afferant nerves
incoming nerves enter through dorsal roots.
efferent neverves
exit the spinal cord through the ventral roots.
cell body
metabolic center of the neuron

production of enzymes/proteins

cell membrane
a semi permiable membrane that encloses the neuron comprised of two fatty layers through which some substances actively pass an dsome have to be actively transported.
a long narrow extension that projects from the cell body.
axon hillock
a cone shaped regions at the junction between the axon and the cell body.
myelin sheath
fatty insulation surrounding the axon
nodes of ranvier
gaps between sections of myelin

the action potential jumps from node to node, making for faster transmission along the axon.

a short extension emaning from the cell that receives contacts from other neurons.

are not myelinated

are considered receiving end of the neuron (input side)

terminal buttons (axon terminals)
button like endings on axon branches which contain chemicals for communication between cells.
spherical DNA containing structure of the cell body
the clear internal fluid of the cell, containing ions (potassium, calcium, sodium ions for example)
sites of energy production and realease
endoplasmic reticulum
a system of folded membranes; rough portions are invovled in protein synthesis; smooth portions are invoved in fat synthesis.
located on rought endpolasimc reitculum. theya re the structure on which proteins are sythesiszed.
golgi complex
a system of membranes that packages molecules into vesticles.

allows for storage of products in the cell body, such as packaging lisosomes, hormones etc.

micro tubules
tubules that allow for rapid transport of materials throughout the neurons

run down the length of the axon.

synaptic vesticles
sepherical membrane that are released from terminal buttons of active neurons adn hav einflucnes on activity of other cells.
4 primary classifications of neurons
unipolar neurons; have one projection extending from cell body

bipolar - have to projections extending from cell body

multi polar neurons have more than two projections extending form cell body, tycpally one axon and many dendties.

interneurons; have short axons or no axon, teh pirmarly fucntion of intenrues is to communicate between sensory and motor neurons.

critical to myelination of axons in the nervous system,they produce myelin sheaths.
4 types of glial cells
1- Oligodendrocytes]
2- Schwann cells
3- Microglia
4- Astrocytes

schwann cells
wrap around the axons of a single neuron therby insualting the axons and increasing the spead of the axons

restirticed to a single segment of a axon.

specially function with the CNS
the smallest glial cell

trigger inflammatory responses to brain damage and removed injured or dead neurons

the largest glial cell

4 distinct functions

hold neurons in place

provide nutreints

limit dispersion of neurontrasmitters released by terminal buttons

removed dead or injured neurosn.

multiple sclerosis
Multiple Sclerosis is associated with damage to myelin in particular, and axons in the central nervous system
- The PNS is largely unaffected

The myelin associated with the CNS is damaged/attacked and not readily regenerated
- Attacked by one’s own immune system (regarded as an autoimmune disorder)
- Your body recognized myelin as a foreign substance and attacks it
- As a result, the myelin surrounding areas on the brain and spinal cord is absent
- Eventually, the axons underlying the myelin become damaged
- Once damaged, astrocytes and microglia come in and through phagocytosis fill the area with themselves, forming plaques (areas of hardness)
This leads to areas of neural loss

denritic spine
a protrusion from the dendrite that greatly increases the surface area as is the usual point of the dendrites contact with axons of other cells
axon collateral
branch of an axon
terminal button
a tip of the axon that conveys information to other neurons
junction between one neuron and another neuron, usually between an end foot of the axon of one neuron and the denritic spine of another neuron.
branching extension of neurons cell membranes increases the surface area of the cell and collects information from other cells.
sensory neuron
are the simplest neurons structurally,
somatosensory neuron
brings sensory information from teh body into the spinal cord. structurally the somatosensory dendrite connects directly to its axon and so the cells body sits to one stide of the long pathway.
motor neurons
to collect information from many sources , motor neurons have extensive networks of dendrites, large bodies and long axis that connect to muscles. motor neurons are located in the lower brainstem adn spinal cord. all outgiong neuronal inforamtion msut pass through them before they go back to teh msucle.
a neuron interposed between sensory neuron and motor neuron, thus interneurons constitute the most neurons in the body.
bi polar neuron
neuron that carries infomration from the brain to the spinal cord ot make the muscles contract.
pyramidal cell
distinctive interneuron found in the cerebral cortex.
purkinjue cell
a distinctive inter neuron found in the cerebellum.
either exite other neurons turn them on or inhibit them

the neurons responce to all those inputs is domcratic it sums them a neuron is spurred into action only if its excitatory inputs exceed its inhibitaory inputs.

glail cells
often described as support cells. they help neurons carry out this task binding them together providing support, regualting the internal enviroment of the brain.
ependymal cells
on the walls of the ventricles the cavities inside your brain are ependymal cells that produce and secrete the cerebrospinal fluid that fill the ventricles.
prevents adjacent neurons from short circuiting each others activity.
schwann cells.
each schwann cell wraps itself repeatedly around a part of the axons firming up structure.

both microlgia and schwann cells play a part in reparing damage to the perihpheral nervous system but CNS cannot be fixed.

Endoplasmic reticulum;
is an extension of the nuclear membrane, the cells protein produces are assmed in the ER in accordance of instructions recevied from teh nucleas.

assemblage and package stations.

golgi boddies
provide packing rooms were proteins are wrapped addressed and shipped.
sacklike vesticles that transport incoming supplies and move the store wastes.
the nucleus
the nucleus is the cells executive office, where the blueprints called genes, segments of DNA that encode the synthesis of particular proteins.
what are the four nucleotide bases
thymine, guinaine, cytosene adenine.


translation in the endoplasmic reticulum.
mrna from the nucleas are trnaspformed into codons , which are directly placed in polypeptide chains.
amino acid that are linked together chemically by speical peptie bond.

a folded up polypeptite chain constitues a protein.

chromisomes and Genes
- Chromosome pairs 1 through 22 called autosomes and they contain genes that contribute to most of our physical appearance and behavioral functions. The 23rd pair is sex chromosomes which eventually produce our physical and behavioral sexual characteristics. XX and XY (male)
- Two matching copies of genes are called Alleles. The two alleles are Homozygous. If they are different, the two allels are heterozygous.

refers to the full set of all genes that an organism possesses.
refers to the appearance of an organism that results from a interaction of genes with one another and with the environment.
dominant and recessive Alleles
if both alleles in a pair of genes are homozygous they two encode the same protein if the two allels in a pair are heterozygous they encode two different proteins.
Genetic Mutations
- A mutation may be as small as a change in a single nucleotide base. Because the average genes has more than 1200 nucleotide bases an enormous number of mutations can potentially occur on a single gene.
- Can be lethal

Tay Sachs Disease
caused by dysfunctional protein that acts as an Enzyme known as hex a. which fails to break down fats into the brain. Dysfunctional Tay Sachs enzyme is caused by a recessive allele.
- Huntington’s Chorea:
the build up of an abnormal version of protein known as Huntington causes death of brain cells especially cells in the Basal ganglia and cortex.
- Involve abnormal involuntary movement

cardio centric theories
when mummified they discarded the brain, took care of the heart
cephalocentric theores
fluid filled ventricles determined our psychological experince

important contrbution; functional separation.

bio electric theories
communication through nerves was electrical
heart was the center of human functioning, brain was cooling device
hippocrates galen
argued that the brain was responsible for behovir
300-1300 AD
Dominant theories argued that behavior was regulated by the fluid-filled ventricles of the brain
argued that the pineal gland was the seat of the soull or mind controlling action by directing movmoent within teh ventricles

dualism, the brain and body are independant of eachouther

dualism - the brain
and body are independant of eachouther.
luigi Galvani
demonstrated that electrical stimulation of the nerves produces msucle contraction, that is nerves conduct electricty.
observed that damage to specific regions of the brain was associated with distinct behavioral impairments.
what types of reserach methods to biological psychologists use
releis upon the sceintific method - systematic and objective observation..

theory - hypothesis - opertinalization - research - data thaeroy etc.

comparative apporach
the comparison of biological processes and bhevoir across peicies, assumption that thier is evolutionary contuinity in the brain.
golgi stain
can see entire neuron, structure, cell body process

effective stain for examining single neurons

nissl stain
stains structures within the cell body DNA RNA
myelin stain
looks at the direction axons and dendrites go stains myelin sheath.
beta waves
alpha waves
theta waves
light sleep
delta waves
deep sleep
electrical stimulation
causal not correaltion, we are able to actively assess that activation of this brain area produces this behvoir.

critical for functional locatilzation.

repeated trans cranial magnetic stimulation (RTMS)
method reduces the symptoms associted with depression, mania and obessive complulsive disorder
cyogenic blockade
coolant is pumped through an implanted probe. neurons near the tip are cooled until they stop firing. when tissue warms, normal neural activity returns.
drugs that increase the effects of neurotransmitters

cocaine - dopamine

drugs that reduce the effect of neurontransmitters.
gene knockout studies
engineered defective, genes are instead in to the chromosomes of animal subjects.

cancellation of one gene is likely to affect how other genese operate so the behvoiral change may be indirect.

adoption studies
adopted children are comapred ot their biolgicakl parents and adopting parents on a trait of interest.
twin studies
monozygotic twins are comapred to dizygotic twins on traits of interest. greater similarity between MZ twins suggest hertaibltiy.
ventral root
associated with output of information to our muscles and internal organs.
cranial; olfactory nerve
exlusvely smell
cranial; optic nerve
oculomotor nerve ; exclusively motor
eye muscles
cranial trochlear nerve
eye muscles
trigeminal nerve
sensory and motor - facial sensation and chewing
vestibulocochlear nerve
exclusvely sensory - hearing balance.
glossopharangeal nerve
sensory and motor, taste
vargas nerve
sensory and motor
acessory nerve
neck shoulder head
hypoglossal nerve
exclusively motor- tongue muscle.
lay beneath the bone and protect the CNS

consists of Dura matter

arachnoid membrane; immediately inside the dura matter, a fine spider web like membrane.

blood brain barrier
unique feature of blood vessels that nourish the brain.

the cells that comprise the walls of blood vessels of the brain are tihgtly bcked preventing the passage of many undesible moelcues from the blood to the brain.


- composed largely of tracts of carrying signals between the brain and the body, important relay station between the brain and the rest of the body



the brain is comprised into five major divisions
1) myelencephalon (medulla)
2) metencephalon
3) mesencephalon
4) Diencephalon
5) telencephalon

myelencaphalon (medulla)
contains the reticular formation, and the medulla, realy station between the brain and the rest of the body
contains the tectum: auditory and visual localization (inferior colliculi)

tagmentum; motor centers, implcated in Parkinson disease.
(substania niagra.

the first human
dates about 2 million years ago
the primates that left these skeletal remans had strong semplace to austrolipithicus but more closely resembed modern human in one important aspects they made simpe stone tools.

leaky named it homo habilis

the firs thumans whos popualtions pread beyond africam migrated into europe and asai .

encephalization quoteint.
a comparison of brain size and the complexity of behvoir suggest that a larger brain is needed for increasinly complex behvoir.
changeling and enlarging the homind brain
the nearly threefold increase in brain size from apes to modern humans appear to ahve taken place in a number of steps, evidence suggests that each new specieis appearted after climate changes which produced new enviroments. populations of exsitng hominds were islated enabling a rapid seelction of trait for each new enviroment.
reshaping the aferican landmass left a wet jungle climate to the wset and a much drying savanaa climate to the west, apes unchanged but the humans in responce to selective pressure of treeless areas they adapted to the new habitat by becvoming scavengers ont eh dead of the large hoards of grazing anaimasl athen roamed the open grass land.
radiator hypothesis
the idea that selection for improved brain cooling through increased blood circulation in the brains of early hominids allowed the brain to grow.
process in which maturation is delayed and so an adult retain infant characteristics, idea derived from observation that newly evovled specieis resemble their young of thier common ancesotr.
automatic nervous system
balance the bodies itnenral organs to rest and digest incldues parasytmpatheic and sympathetic nerovus sytem.
three layers of protective tissue, the dura matter, arachnoid, and pia matter encase the brain and spinal cord.
parkinsons disease
disorder of the motor system correlated with loss of dopamine in the brain and characterized by tremors, muscular regidity and a reduction in voluntary movement.
major arteries
namely the anterior, middle and posterior cerebral artiers. becuase the brain is very sesntive to a loss in blood or blockage will ead to death of the affected regions.
large collection of axons coursing together outside the central nervous syste,m.
spinal cord
it is not a single structure but rather a set of segmented switching stations. each segement receives information from a discrete part of the body and send out command to that area.
brain stem
the brain stem receives afferent nerves from all the bodies senses and it send efferent nerves to the spinal cord and to control all the bodies movement except the most complex movements.
hind brain
controls varous motor fucntions ranging from breathing to balance to fine movments such as those used for dancing

the hind brain icnludeds the reticular formation, pons and medulla

mid brain
contains the tectum,

superior colliculus; locaizes visual and auditory sonds

reticular formation
mid brain area in which the nuclear and fiber pathways are maximized producing a netlike apperance associted witht he sleep wake cycle.
evoltionary the newest part of the brain the brain coordiantes advanced cogantive functions uch sa sthinking plannign lanuge contins limbic system basal ganglia and neo cortex

basilia ganglia
controls voluntary movement
system regualtes emtions and behvoirs that create and require memory.
cortical layers
the neo cortex has six layers of gray matter a top a layer of white matter
different layers have diffent types of cells

the density of cells in each layer varies ranging from virtually no cells in layer 1 to top layer which is very dence

other difference in appearence realted to the function of different cortical layers
cortex is connected to all other parts of the brain.

spinal nerves are categorized into five anatomical categories
thoracic, lumba sacral and cocygeal.
law of bell magendie
the general principle that sensory fibers are located dorsally and motor fibers are located ventrally
thee types of neurons
sensory neurons
somtaosensory neuron
motor neuron

sensory neurons
are the simplest neurons structurally. bipolor dendrite and axon short cell body
purjunkie cell
a distinctive interneuron found in the cerebellum.
were brain cells are damaged the microlgia glial cells invade the area provide growth factors and aid in repair and engulf and remove foreign matter and debris.
produces through transciption much like a strand of DNA except uracil repalces thyamine
DNA- RNA through a copying of amino acids and the replacement of thyamine with Uracil
a particular sequence of nucleotide bases in mrna are translated into a particular chain of aminco acids called polypetide chain. each group of three consequative nucleotide bases one particular amino acid draw diagram.
crossing the cell membrane
membrane proteins play a number of important roles one of which is to transprot substances across the membraine. this works through gates channels and pumps.

some proteins change shape when other chemcials bind with them others change shape as function of temperature and still others change shape in responce to electrical charge.

a proteins ability to change shape enables substance to cross the cell membrane

gates; regualtes the passage of substance across the cell membrane by chaning proteins shape in responce to some trigger. change in the shape of a protein can also allow it to at as a pump; when NA k_ ions bind it changes shape to carr a pump the substance across the membrane.

tay sacs
caused by a disfunctional protein that acts as a enzyme nknown as hex a which fails to break down fats in teh brain

Huntington chorea
the build up of an abnormal version of protein known as Huntington causes death of brain cells especially cells in the basal ganglia and cortex.
the oscilloscope
a device that serves as a sensative voltmeter. in an oscilloscope an electron beam leaves a trice on a screen and d edicion of the bream can be used to recored the voltage.
can deliver electrical current to a single neuron and record form it.
can be used from a glass tube
how the movement of ions creates electrical charges
because molecules move constantly, they spontanously tend to spread out from where they are more concentraed to where theya re less concetrated. thsi spreading out is diffusion
concentration gradeint describes realtive concentration of a substance in sapce or in a soltion.

becuase ions carry an electrical chrage and like charges repel one another ion movement can be described either by a concetration gradient or a volatge greinds.

a semi permeable membrane acts as a partial barrier to the movement of ions between teh interio and expetior.
at some equlbruim point is reached in which teh concentrationg gradeint is counter ated by the influx flow of chlorie ions down the chlroide voltage greinds.

threshold potential
the membrane charge undergoies a remarkable further change in with no additional stimulation. the relative voltage of a membrane drops to zero and then continues to deporliize unitl the charage on the inside o the membrane is as great s 30 millivoltos and then the ptoneial reverse again.

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