Biological Psychology

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What are the two main parts of the nervous system?
The central nervous system (CNS) and the peripheral nervous system.
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What does the CNS include?
The brain and spinal column.
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Where does the brain receive information from and what does this allow?
The brain receives messages from the nerves and this allows information to be transferred around the body, so that it can be responded to.
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How many hemispheres does the brain have? Name them.
Two: Left Hemisphere and Right Hemisphere.
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Describe the functions of the Left Hemisphere.
Receives info from and controls the RHS of the body and receives info from the right visual field. The LH controls: speech, language and comprehension; analysis and calculations; time sequencing; recognition of words, letters and numbers.
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Describe the functions of the Right Hemisphere.
Receives info from and controls the LHS of the body and receives info from the left visual field. The RH controls: creativity; spatial ability; context perception; recognition of faces, places and objects.
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What is the function of a neuron?
Neurons are cells in the CNS that allow messages to be transferred. They are part of a network in your body that allows us to function and respond to stimuli.
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Axon Terminals:
Have axon buttons, these pass nerve impulses from the cell body to the part that they control or activate (e.g. a muscle). They also store neurotransmitters.
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Cell Body:
Contains the cell nucleus which holds genetic material for the neuron. Also contains mitochondria which give the cell energy (ATP).
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Dendrites:
Receive messages from other neurons to trigger an action potential (electrical impulse).
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Axon:
An extension of the cell body which passes the electrical impulse towards the axon terminals.
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Myelin Sheath:
Fatty deposits that provide an insulating layer and speed up the transmission.
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Nodes of Ranvier:
Break along the myelin sheath on the cell body.
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Summarise the process of synaptic transmission (6 marks). (Part 1)
Electrical impulse triggered due to a change in charge in the neuron (action potential). When electrical signal reaches terminal button, changes to a chemical message - a neurotransmitter released from vesicles. (Continue on next card)...
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Summarise the process of synaptic transmission (6 marks). (Part 2)
Neurotransmitter travels across synapse to post-synaptic neuron, binds with receptors on next neuron to pass message on. Neurotransmitter then either reabsorbed (re-uptake) or destroyed by enzymes in the synapse, returning neuron to resting state.
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Describe the function of neurotransmitters.
Chemical messengers acting between neurons in brain. Allow brain to process thoughts + memories. Released into synapse, taken up by dendrite receptors of other neurons to send messages. Can inhibit a message; left in synapse, not taken up, but reused
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Functions of Acetylcholine:
Stimulates muscle contractions and deals with movement. Needed for memory and attention processes, also emotions such as anger.
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Functions of Noradrenaline:
Associated with mood control, sleeping, dreaming, and learning.
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Functions of Dopamine:
Related to emotion and cognitive functioning, posture, control of movement and ADDICTIONS.
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Functions of Serotonin:
Deals with mood control, feeling pain, sleep, hunger and regulation of body temperature.
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Why are recreational drugs referred to as psychoactive?
As they alter brain functioning, which alters mood, perception and/or concious experience.
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Give a few examples of recreational drugs.
Cocaine, cannabis, alcohol and nicotine.
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The brain contains a 'Reward Pathway', what happens when it becomes activated?
When activated it causes us to experience a pleasant and rewarding feeling, which encourages the REPETITION of the behaviour.
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Some rewards have an 'Adaptive Function', what does this mean?
The reward and the feelings it causes encourages us to engage in behaviours that protect us. E.g. eating fatty foods to give us extra fat for times of famine.
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How do drugs affect the reward pathway and adaptive function systems?
Drugs allow us to feel the rewards without an adaptive function.
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Drugs change the way neurotransmitters operate in the brain. which neurotransmitter do most addictive drugs work on?
'Dopamine' - (which is implicated in schizophrenia)
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How does the recreational drug 'Heroin' effect the transmission process in the CNS?
Heroin increases the amount of dopamine in the reward pathway by boosting activation of dopaminergic synapses, causing a feeling of euphoria (high). So, the brain reduces its natural levels of dopamine to compensate.
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What are the effects of the brain reducing its natural levels of dopamine? (Continuation of effects of heroin card).
It means that when the drug leaves the system, person is left with lower dopamine levels than they would have for normal brain functioning; causes disphoria (an unpleasant feeling), motivating the person to take more heroin to stop feeling bad.
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What does further repetition of heroin use cause?
Further repetition of using the drug leads to further depletion (down-regulating) of dopamine stores, which makes the individual reliant of the drug in order to avoid withdrawal symptoms.
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Name another recreational drug (apart from heroin) that can impact brain functioning.
Cannabis.
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How can the use of cannabis affect memory?
Cannabis receptors are located in many areas of the brain, including the hippocampus (which is very important in the formation of memories). Cannabis affects memory functioning due to it binding to the cannabinoid receptors, blocking them. ...
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...What is the result of cannabis blocking the cannabinoid receptors?
It causes less activity in the neurons in the hippocampus, making memory making difficult.
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How else can the use of cannabis affect the transmission process in the CNS? (Apart from affecting memory).
Cannabis also works in a similar way to heroin; it produces a release of dopamine in the reward system creating a 'high'.
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What is addiction caused by and why do users need ever greater doses?
Addiction is caused by the need to experience the euphoria or pleasure associated with taking the drug. Users often need ever-greater doses to get the same effect, due to depleting levels of dopamine in the system.
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Finish the sentence: 'Once levels of dopamine go down...'
'... they can't go back up naturally.' -( Some drugs can cause them to come back up though).
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Other cards in this set

Card 2

Front

What does the CNS include?

Back

The brain and spinal column.

Card 3

Front

Where does the brain receive information from and what does this allow?

Back

Preview of the front of card 3

Card 4

Front

How many hemispheres does the brain have? Name them.

Back

Preview of the front of card 4

Card 5

Front

Describe the functions of the Left Hemisphere.

Back

Preview of the front of card 5
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