Biological approach

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Heredity
The passing of psychological characteristics from one generation to the next.
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Hereditability
The extent to which a particular trait is influenced by genetic factors. Psychologists often examine concordance rates between monozygotic (identical) and dizygotic (non-identical) twins.
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Genes
Carry instructions for particular characteristics..
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Genotype
The genetic code that is written in DNA. Ex - eye color
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Phenotype
Genotype + environment. Inherit dominant and recessive genes from each parent. Ex - weight
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Biological evolution
Darwin argued that organisms adapt to their environment. Natural selection theory.
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Evaluation: Strenghts
Uses scientific methods, so highly controlled and replicable - practical applications (drugs)
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Evaluation: Limitations
Some research is socially sensitive (criminal behavior is genetic) - Behavior is cultural in origin and has nothing to with survival or reproduction.
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Central Nervous System (CNS)
Composed of the brain and the spinal cord. Two functions: The control of behavior and the regulation of biological processes. Sensory -> Spinal cord -> Muscles and glands.
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CNS - Spinal Cord
Main function - relay information between the brain and the rest of the body. Enables us to perform reflexes without direct involvement of the brain.
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CNS - The brain
Four parts of the brain: Cerebrum, Cerebellum (motor skills and balance), Diencephalon and Brain stem (automatic functions, breathing, heart rate). The outer layer is the cerebral cortex (higher order functions - images/thoughts.)
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CNS - The brain (2)
Four lobes: Frontal lobes - thought and speech production. Occipital lobes - processing visual images. Temporal lobes - hearing and memory. Parietal lobes - sensory information (touch)
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Peripheral Nervous System (PNS)
All nerves outside of the CNS. Function: To relay information to and from the CNS from other parts of the body. Devided into the Somatic Nervous system and the Autonomic Nervous system.
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PNS - Somatic nervous system
Made up of cranial nerves (brain) and spinal nerves. These nerves have sensory neurons which relay info to the CNS and motor neurons that relay info from the CNS. Involved in reflex responses without the CNS.
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PNS - Autonomic nervous system
Split into the sympathetic nervous system (uses adrenaline to prepare us for flight or fight. Increases heart rate and blood pressure.) and the parasympathetic nervous system (uses acetylcholine to relax the body after the threat has passed.)
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Neurons
Consist of: Dendrites (receive signals from other neurons.) Cell body (control centre) and the axon (the impulse terminates.)
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Neurons - Sensory
Carry nerve impulses from sensory receptors to the spinal cord and brain. Convert info into neural impulses. Found in various locations. (Tongue, eyes, nose.)
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Neurons - Relay
Allow sensory and motor neurons to communicate. Found in the brain and spinal cord.
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Neurons - Motor
Project their axons outside of the CNS and directly or indirectly control muscles. Found in the CNS.
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Neurons - Synaptic gap
The gap between two neurons is the synaptic gap. Synaptic vesivles are sacs at the end of the axon which contain chemical messengers (neurotransmitters). It ends with a reuptake, where the presynaptic neuron stores the transmitter.
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Neurotransmitters - Excitatory
Ex - Acetycholine and noradrenaline. Increase the likelihood that the neuron will fire, they switch the nervous system on.
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Neurotransmitters - Inhibitory
Ex - Serotonin. Decrease the likelihood that the neuron will fire, they are responsible for calming the mind and body.
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The Endocrine System (TES)
A network of glands throughout the body that release hormones. Uses blood vessels. Main glands: Pituitary gland, adrenal glands and reproductive glands. Hormones only affect their target cells.
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TES - Pituitary gland
"Master gland" Produces hormones to encourage the release of hormones from the other glands. Controlled by the hypothalamus. High levels of hormones in the other glands can prevent the pituitary gland releasing more of its own hormones
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TES - The anterior pituitary (front)
Releases ACTH as a response to stress -> stimulates the adrenal glands to produce cortisol. Produces two hormones controlling reproductive functioning.
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TES - The posterior pituitary (back)
Releases oxytocin which stimulates the contract of the uterus during childbirth and is important in mother-infant bonding.
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TES - Adrenal glands - Adrenal cortex
Sit above each kidney. Adrenal cortex (cardiovascular and anti-inflammatory.) Cortisol production is increased in response to stress.
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TES - Adrenal glands - Adrenal medulla
Releases adrenaline and noradrenaline which prepare the body for fight or flight.
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Other cards in this set

Card 2

Front

The extent to which a particular trait is influenced by genetic factors. Psychologists often examine concordance rates between monozygotic (identical) and dizygotic (non-identical) twins.

Back

Hereditability

Card 3

Front

Carry instructions for particular characteristics..

Back

Preview of the back of card 3

Card 4

Front

The genetic code that is written in DNA. Ex - eye color

Back

Preview of the back of card 4

Card 5

Front

Genotype + environment. Inherit dominant and recessive genes from each parent. Ex - weight

Back

Preview of the back of card 5
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