Questions and Answers - Stress - Psychology AS




Q1. What is stress?

A1. Stress is the emotional and physical reponse to stimulus from the environment (stressor)

Q2. Do you think stress allowed early humans to survive? Why?

A2. I do think stress allowed early humans to survive. They entered a 'fight or flight' response which was wired into their brains for survival. This would give them adrenaline and allowed them to escape from early animals etc. The physical changes that happened in the 'fight or flight' mode include increased heart rate, breathing rate, glucose use, muscle tension and blood clotting. All of these changes benefited the humans.

Q3. Is stress necessary in today's world?

A3. I believe that stress isn't need as much as it used to be when early humans were first around. In today's world people do not get themselves into the 'fight or flight' situation nearly as often as they used to be. For example, cave men used to have to run from wild animals that would cause a threat to their families etc. In today's world this is unlikely to happen, especially in the UK.


Q1. Explain how neurons work

A1. The body is made up of billions of cells organised into tissues and systems. The cells that make up the nervous system are called neurons. The biochemical structure of the neurons allows them to conduct electrical activity known as action potentials. Impulses begin on the dendrites and then travel across the cell body and along the axon. All aspects of human behaviour, memory, perception, emotion and personality are coded by patterns of nerve impulses in different parts of the neuron system. Neurotransmitter is a substance released from the end of a neuron into the synapse (gap between neurons), causing the adjacent neuron to be excited or inhibited.

Q2. How important are neurons?

A2. Neurons are very important as they control all aspects of human behaviour. Nerves are not physically attached, so when a nerve impulse reaches the end of a nerve it must send the impulse. The nerve impulse cannot jump from one neuron to another so it is transmitted across a synaptic cleft chemically. Without neurons this would not take place and then feelings etc. would not be felt

Q3. What changes does the body experience when stressed?

A3. The physical changes that stress causes are: sweat, nausea, diarrhoea, increased adrenaline release, increased heart rate and blood pressure, heavy and fast breathing and pupils dilating.


Q1. Summarise the sympathomedullary pathway

A1. When an animal is exposed to an acute stressor, the sympathetic nervous system (SNS) is activated, preparing the body for 'fight or flight'. A key part of this response is the sympathetic adrenal medullary system (SAM); together the SNS and SAM make up the sympathomedullary pathway. Neurones from the SNS travel to virtually every organ and gland within the body, preparing the body for the rapid action necessary when the animal is under threat. Noradrenaline is the neurotransmitter released by the SNS


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