AP Psychology Notes

Chapter 3: Biological Bases of Behavior

  1. Neuroanatomy
    1. Neuroanatomy
      1. ​The study of the parts and functions of nerves
      2. Neurons
        1. ​individual nerve cells
    2. ​​Parts of the Neuron
      1. ​Dendrites
        1. ​root like parts of the cell
        2. stretch out from the cell body
        3. ​​grow to make synaptic connections with other neurons
      2. ​Cell body (soma)
        1. ​contains the nucleus and other parts of the cell necessary for its life
      3. ​Axon
        1. ​wire like structure ending in the terminal buttons
        2. extend from the cell body
      4. ​Myelin sheath
        1. ​a fatty covering around the axon of some neurons that speeds neural impulses
      5. ​Terminal buttons
        1. ​end buttons, terminal branches of axon, synaptic knobs
        2. branched end of the axon
        3. contains neurotransmitters
      6. ​Neurotransmitters
        1. ​chemicals contained in terminal buttons that enable neurons to communicate
      7. ​Synapse
        1. ​the space between the terminal buttons of one neuron and the dendrites of the next neuron
  2. ​​​How a Neuron “Fires”
    1. ​Resting State
      1. ​Neuron has negative charge with positive ions surrounding the cell
    2. ​Steps
      1. ​Neuron is stimulated
        1. ​it releases neurotransmitters
      2. ​Neurotransmitters bind to receptor sites on the dendrites of the receiving neuron
      3. ​​If the threshold is reached, the cell membrane of the receiving neuron becomes permeable
        1. ​positive ions rush in
        2. action potential
      4. ​Axons release neurotransmitters to another neuron
    3. ​All-or-None Principle
      1. ​The neuron will fire completely or not at all
    4. ​Neurotransmitters
      1. ​Acetylcholine
        1. ​motor movement
        2. ​​lack → Alzheimer’s
      2. ​Dopamine
        1. ​motor movement and alertness
        2. lack → Parkinson’s disease
        3. too much → schizophrenia
      3. ​Endorphins
        1. ​pain control
        2. involved in addiction
      4. ​Serotonin
        1. ​mood control
        2. lack → clinical depression
  3. ​​​Nervous System
    1. ​Afferent Neurons (Sensory Neurons)
      1. ​Take information from the senses to the brain
    2. ​Interneurons
      1. ​Send information to elsewhere in the brain or to efferent neurons
    3. ​Efferent (Motor) Neurons
      1. ​Take information from the brain to the rest of the body
    4. ​Central Nervous System (CNS)
      1. ​Consists of the brain and the spinal cord
        1. ​​​spinal cord- a bundle of nerves
    5. ​​Peripheral Nervous System (PNS)
      1. ​All nerves not encased in bone
      2. ​Somatic
        1. ​controls voluntary muscle movements
      3. ​Autonomic
        1. ​controls responses to stress
        2. sympathetic arouses
        3. parasympathetic calms
      4. ​Our pain reflexes help prevent us from harming ourselves
  4. ​​Brain
    1. ​Ways to Study it
      1. ​Accidents
        1. ​studying the effects
      2. ​Lesions
        1. ​the removal or destruction of part of the brain
        2. studying the effects
      3. ​Electroencephalogram (EEG)
        1. ​detects brain waves
        2. examines brain waves in different stages of consciousness, especially                                          sleep
      4. ​Computerized Axial Tomography (CAT) Scan
        1. ​sophisticated x-ray
        2. shows brain structure
        3. uses x-ray cameras to get a 3-D picture
      5. ​Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI)
        1. ​shows brain structure
        2. ​​uses magnetic fields to measure the density and location of brain                                                 material
        3. no radiation
        4. more detailed than a CAT scan
      6. ​Positron Emission Tomography (PET) Scan
        1. ​shows how much of a certain chemical parts of the brain are using
        2. measures which parts of the brain are most active during certain tasks
      7. ​Functional MRI
        1. ​ties brain structure to brain activity during cognitive tasks
        2. combines elements of MRI and PET
    2. ​​Brain Structure and Function
      1. ​Hindbrain
        1. ​controls basic biological functions that keep us alive
        2. medulla
          1. controls blood pressure, heart rate, and breathing
        3. ​pons
          1. ​controls facial expressions
          2. connects the hindbrain with the rest of the brain
        4. ​cerebellum
          1. ​“little brain”
          2. coordinates muscle movement
          3. on the bottom of the brain
      2. ​​Midbrain
        1. ​coordinates simple movements with sensory information
        2. integrates sensory information and muscle movements
        3. reticular formation
          1. ​​​controls general body arousal and the ability to focus our attention
      3. ​​Forebrain
        1. ​controls thought and reason
        2. thalamus
          1. ​receives sensory signals coming up the spinal cord and sends them to other forebrain areas
        3. ​hypothalamus
          1. ​controls hunger, sexual arousal, thirst, and the endocrine system
        4. ​amygdala
          1. ​vital for emotion
        5. ​hippocampus
          1. ​vital for memory and retaining new information
    3. ​​​Cerebral Cortex
      1. ​Gray wrinkled surface of the brain
        1. ​the wrinkles are called fissures
          1. ​increase available surface area
      2. ​​Hemispheres
        1. ​contralateral control
          1. ​left hemisphere- right half of body
          2. right hemisphere- left half
        2. ​brain lateralization (hemispheric specialization)
          1. ​the specialization of function in each hemisphere
        3. ​split brain patients
          1. ​the corpus collosum has been cut to treat severe epilepsy
          2. can’t orally report information presented to only the right hemisphere of the brain
      3. ​​Association area
        1. ​any area of the cerebral cortex not associated with receiving sensory information or controlling muscle movements
      4. ​Frontal lobes
        1. ​prefrontal cortex
          1. ​at front of frontal lobe
          2. ​brain’s central executive
          3. foreseeing consequences, pursuing goals, and emotional control
        2. ​Broca’s area
          1. ​left hemisphere of frontal lobe
          2. controls the muscles involved in producing speech
        3. ​motor cortex
          1. ​at the back of the frontal lobe
          2. controls our voluntary movements
          3. top controls toes, bottom controls top of body
      5. ​​Parietal lobes
        1. ​sensory (somato-sensory) cortex
          1. ​right behind the motor cortex
          2. receives incoming touch sensations
          3. top receives information from the bottom of the body
      6. ​​Occipital lobes
        1. ​interprets messages from the eyes in the visual cortex
        2. messages in the left half of the retina go the to right visual cortex
      7. ​Temporal lobes
        1. ​process sound
        2. sound waves are processed by the ears and turned into neural impulses that temporal lobes interpret
    4. ​​Brain Plasticity
      1. ​Parts of the brain can adapt to perform other functions
      2. Because dendrites grow throughout our lives
      3. Younger brains are more plastic
  5. ​​Endocrine System
    1. ​Adrenal Glands
      1. ​Produce adrenaline → “fight or flight” prep
    2. ​Ovaries and Testes
      1. ​Produce sex hormones
      2. May explain gender differences
    3. ​Controlled by the hypothalamus
  6. ​Basic Genetic Concepts
    1. ​Twins
      1. ​Identical (monozygotic) twins
        1. ​effective psychological environment
          1. ​​​physical similarity in twins causes them to be treated the same way
    2. ​​​Chromosomal Abnormalities
      1. ​Turner’s Syndrome
        1. ​only single X chromosome
        2. ​​causes shortness, webbed necks, and different sexual development
      2. ​Klinefelter’s Syndrome
        1. ​XXY chromosome pattern
        2. causes minimal sexual development and extreme introversion
      3. ​Down’s Syndrome
        1. ​extra chromosome on 21st pair
        2. intellectual disability

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Aboukhadijeh, Feross. "Chapter 3: Biological Bases of Behavior" StudyNotes.org. Study Notes, LLC., 12 Oct. 2013. Web. 02 Mar. 2024. <https://www.apstudynotes.org/psychology/outlines/chapter-3-biological-bases-of-behavior/>.