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Chapter 2

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Key: O: Optional, it is your choice whether to read it R: Read the material, but you won’t be tested on it M: Learn only the major points of the section D: Learn the material in detail (but not names or individual studies) Pp. 49-54: D Neurons  1. What are neurons and how do they transmit information? o Neurons: nerve cells that are building blocks of our body’s neural info system  Sensory: carry messages from the body’s tissues and sensory organs to the brain and spinal cord for processing  Nervous system has a few million of these  Motor: carries instruction from the brain and spinal cord to the body’s tissues  Few million  Interneurons: processes information from the sensory and motor neurons in the brain’s internal communication system  Our complexity resides here  Billions and billions o Each aspect of a neuron consist of a cell body and its branching fibers  Dendrite: fibers that receive info and conduct it toward the cell body  Listens to axons   Short Axon: passes the message from dendrites along to the other neurons or muscle glands  Speaks to dendrites  Long (project several feet through the body)  Myelin sheath: layer of fatty tissue that insulates the axons of some neurons and helps speed their impulses

Resting pause (refractory period) where the neuron pumps + ions back outside to fire again o Excitatory and inhibitory signals from neurons  If excitatory signals minus inhibitory signals exceed a minimum intensity (threshold). multiple sclerosis results (communication to muscles slow and eventually can lose muscle control) o Neural impulses travel at speeds ranging from 2 mph to 200+ mph depending on the type of fiber  Brain activity is measured in milliseconds  Brain is more complex than a computer but slower o Neurons transmit messages when stimulated by signals from our senses or when triggered by chemical signals from neighboring neurons  Action potential: impulse of a brief electrical charge that travels down its axon  Generate electricity from chemical events  Involves the exchange of ions  Resting potential: when fluid inside of a resting axon has an excess of – charged ions while the outside has more + charged ions  Axon surface is selectively permeable o Process of neuron fire  1. who noticed that neural impulses were taking a long time to travel a neural pathway and inferred there must be a brief interruption    .Laid down (forming) until up to age 25 If sheath degenerates. How do nerve cells communicate with other nerve cells? o Synapse: meeting point between neurons  Coined by Sir Charles Sherrington. it triggers an action potential o Neuron’s reaction is an all or none response 2. Axon open its gates and + charged sodium ions flood through the membrane  depolarization  other axon channels to open like a domino effect  2.

58 (top): M The Nervous System  What are the functions of the nervous system’s main divisions? o Nervous system: body’s speedy electrochemical communications network o Central Nervous System (CNS): brain + spinal cord  Communicates with body’s sensory receptors. 55. letting electrically charged atoms flow in  Reuptake: process in which sending neurons reabsorb the excess neurotransmitters 3. How do neurotransmitters influence behavior. and how do drugs and other chemicals affect neurotransmission? o Acetylcholine (ACh)  Best understood neurotransmitter  Role in learning and memory  Messenger at every junction between a motor neuron and skeletal muscle  Causes muscle contraction o Endorphins  One naturally occurring opiates that body produces  Help with painkilling o Drugs and other chemicals affect brain chemistry at synapses (amplifying or blocking neurotransmitter activity)  Agonist molecule: either mimic effects of neurotransmitter or block its reuptake  Antagonist molecules: block a neurotransmitter’s functioning Pp. o Synaptic cleft: a gap that separates the axon terminal from the receiving neuron (less than a millionth of an inch wide) o Neurotransmitters: chemical messengers released when an action potential reaches the terminals at an axon’s end  Bind to receptor sites on the receiving neuron  Unlocks tiny channels at the receiving site. muscles and glands via the PNS  Neuron cluster work in groups called neural networks .

Spinal cord is the information highway connecting the PNS to brain  Governs reflexes o Peripheral Nervous System (PNS): somatic + autonomic  Somatic nervous system  Enables voluntary control of our skeletal muscles  Autonomic nervous system  Controls glands and the muscles of our internal organs  Influences functions as glandular activity. or challenges you  Parasympathetic nervous system: opposite o Conserves energy and calms you Pp.   heartbeat. 61-62 (top): M The Brain  Brain + body = mind . and digestion 2 basic functions  Sympathetic nervous system: arouses and expends energy o If something alarms. enrages.

 How do neuroscientists study the brain’s connections to behavior and mind? o We can now lesion (destroy) tiny clusters of normal or defective brain cells o Electroencephalogram (EEF): amplified read-out of the waves of electrical activity in the brain’s neurons o Positron emission tomography scan (PET): depict brain activity by showing each brain area’s consumption of sugar glucose (its chemical fuel) o Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI): scanning of brain that provides detailed pictures of the brain’s soft tissues o Functional MRI (fMRI): reveals the brain’s functioning as well as its structure Pp. 68-81: M The Cerebral Cortex  Cerebral cortex: thin surface layer of interconnected neural cells o Ultimate control and info processing center  What functions are served by the various cerebral cortex regions? o Glial cells  provide nutrients and insulating myelin  guide neural connections  mop up ions and neurotransmitters  play a role in learning and thinking o Parts of the brain  Frontal lobes (behind your forehead)  Parietal lobes (at the top and to the rear)  Occipital lobes (at the back of your head) Temporal lobes (just above ears) *lobes are separated by prominent fissures (geographic subdivisions) o Functions of the cortex  Motor function  Motor cortex (left hemisphere section of brain controls the body’s right side)  Controls the actions of the body  .

speculated that major epileptic seizures were caused by an amplification of abnormal brain activity bouncing between two cerebral hemispheres  Corpus callosum: wide band of axon fibers connecting the two hemispheres and carrying messages Splitting brains did not eliminate seizures. intuitive responses are needed  . and is more engaged when quick. easily perceives objects. but the patients were surprisingly normal o Understanding the hemispheres’ complementary functions  Left hemisphere is more active when a person deliberates over decisions (rational)  Right hemisphere understands simple requests. and processing of new memories To what extent can a damaged brain reorganize itself?  o Plasticity: brain’s ability to modify itself after some type of damage  Some neutral tissue can reorganize in response to damage  Constraint-induced therapy: aims to rewire brains by restraining a fully functioning limb and forcing use of the “bad hand” or the uncooperative leg o Amount of plasticity correlates with amount and type of damage  What do split brains reveal about the functions of our two brain hemispheres? o Severing the corpus callosum  1961: 2 LA neurosurgeons. planning. Vogel and Bogen. Sensory function  Sensory cortex (left hemisphere section receives input from the body’s right side)  Gives you the senses of the body  Association areas  Link sensory inputs with stored memories  Found in all four lobes  Enable judgment.

 Undivided brains  Right hemisphere  Perceptual tasks (brain waves. literal interpretations of  language How does handedness relate to brain organization? o 90% of us are primarily right-handed  Right-handers process speech primarily in the left hemisphere (tends to be slightly larger)  Left handers more diverse . bloodflow)  Makes inferences  Helps modulate our speech to make meaning clear  Orchestrate sense of self  Left hemisphere  Speaks or calculates  Makes quick.

develop from a single fertilized egg that splits in two) o Have the same genes but don’t always have the same number of copies of those genes (explains why one twin may be more at risk for a certain illness) o Most share a placenta. not more genetically similar than normal siblings) Shared genes can lead to shared experiences o Identical twin with Alzheimer’s disease. 134-135 (top): M Behavior Genetics  What are genes and how do behavior geneticists explain our individual differences? o Each parent gives you 23 chromosomes (composed of DNA)  DNA composed of genes.Chapter 4 1/31/2013 10:30:00 PM Pp. which can be active or inactive  Environmental factors can “turn on” genes o Most traits are influenced by multiple genes Pp. other twin has 60% chance of getting it too o Fraternal twin with Alzheimer’s disease. Adoptive o Genetic relatives: biological parents and siblings) o Environmental relatives: adoptive parents and siblings     . but some have separate placentas Fraternal twins (develop from separate fertilized eggs but share a fetal environment. other twin has 30% chance of getting it too o Divorce rates are more similar for identical than fraternal twins Separated twins o Ex: Jim Lewis and Jim Springer  Twins separated 37 days after birth and are pretty much the same person. 135 (bottom)-143 (top): D Twins  Identical twins (genetically identical. down to the names of their sons and dogs Biological vs.

relaxed. manners. and predictable in feeding and sleeping  Slow-to-warm-up – tend to resist or withdraw from new people and situations o Temperament differences tend to persist Heredity predisposes temperament differences  Heritability  What is heritability and how does it relate to individuals and groups? o Heritability: the extent to which variation among individuals can be attributed to their differing genes  Genetic influence explains 50% of the observed variation among people  Ex: if the heritability of intelligence is 50%. fidgety. but parents do influence their children’s attitudes. faith. and unpredictable  Easy – cheerful. and politics o Adoptive parents may treat the kids better than biological would have (adoptive parents are screened and natural are not) Temperament and Heredity  Temperament: emotional excitability (whether reactive. intense. this does not mean that your intelligence is 50% genetic ***WE CAN NEVER SAY WHAT PERCENTAGE OF AN INDIVIDUAL’S PERSONALITY OR INTELLIGENCE IS INHERITED  Heritability refers to the extent to which differences among people are attributable to genes  Heritability increases if the environment in which the people are exposed to are equal o Group differences  . easygoing. intense. quiet. values.o People who grow up together don’t necessarily resemble each other in personality o Genetic leash may limit the family environment’s influence on personality. placid) o Ex: infants  Difficult – more irritable.

143 (bottom)-146 (top): M . the most important is our enormous adaptive capacity  Ex: go barefoot for a summer and you’ll develop toughened. and extraversion  To explore the mechanisms that control gene expression o Search links between certain genes or chromosome segments and specific disorders Pp. sexual orientation. baby and was not  Baby 1 gets/seeks more attention and thus grows into an even more sociable person  Baby 2 does not and thus deviates more from baby 1 Evocative interaction: actions and experiences that happen to a person that causes them to react in a certain way and influences their personality Molecular Genetics  What is the promise of molecular genetics research? o Molecular genetics seeks to identify specific genes influencing behavior o Goals:  To find some of the many genes that influence normal  human traits  body weight. sociable.Heritable individual differences need not imply heritable group differences  One person acting a certain way/having certain traits doesn’t imply that the entire group is the same way as well o Nature and Nurture  Among our similarities. and easygoing vs. callused feet (adaptation to friction)   Genes are self-regulating o Gene-environment Interaction  Genes and experience interact  Baby genetically predisposed to be attractive.

Evolutionary Psychology  How do evolutionary psychologists use natural selection to explain behavior tendencies? o Darwin’s principle of natural selection  Organisms’ varied offspring compete for survival  Certain biological and behavioral variations increase their reproductive and survival chances in their environment  Offspring that survive are more likely to pass their genes to ensuing generations  Over time. which is why we love them so much   We are biologically prepared for a world that no longer exists Human Sexuality  How might an evolutionary psychologist explain gender differences in mating preferences? o Males are more likely than females to initiate sexual activity o Men often misattribute women’s friendliness as sexual advancements . contributing to our fitness – our ability to survive and reproduce o Evolutionary Success Helps Explain Similarities Our shared human traits are shaped by natural selection acting over the course of human evolution  We have a common logic across cultures  No more than 5% of the genetic differences among humans arise from population group differences  95% of genetic variation exists within populations o Outdated tendencies  Sweets and fats used to protect ancestors from famine. population characteristics may change o Natural Selection and Adaptation  When certain traits are selected (by conferring a reproductive advantage to an individual or a species) those traits over time will prevail  Mutations: random errors in gene replication  We adapt very easily.

bold. and affluent o Nature selects behavior that increases the likelihood of sending their genes to the future Pp. by parents. Natural selection and mating preferences o Women’s approach to sex is more rational while men’s are more recreational o Men are more attracted to women with signs of fertility but with a youthful appearance o Women are attracted to men who seem mature. and by peers? o Early Stimulation  Both nature and nurture sculpt our synapses  Our experiences trigger a pruning process  Brain’s development does not end with childhood o Parents Power of parenting shape our differences Parenting accounts for less than 10% of shaping the children’s personalities o Peer Influence  Peers have high power  Peer pressure   . dominant. 148 (bottom)-152: M Parents and Peers  To what extent are our lives shaped by early stimulation.

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