Chapter 4 Review - 9-30-07

Chapter 4 Review - 9-30-07 - Psychology Chapter #4 Outline...

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Psychology – Chapter #4 Outline – 9/30/07 The Nervous System The function of the nervous system is: o To gather and process information o Produce responses to stimuli o Coordinate the processes of different cells Central Nervous System: o Receives, processes, interprets, and stores information and sends messages destined for muscles, glands, and organs The peripheral nervous system transmits information to and from the central nervous system by way of sensory and motor nerves Neurons are the basic units of the nervous system In the peripheral nervous system, axons (and sometimes dendrites) are collected together in bundles called nerves . Axons are insulated by a myelin sheath that speeds up the conduction of neural impulses and prevents signals in adjacent cells from interfering with one another. Scientists now know that precursor cells in brain areas associated with learning and memory continue to divide and mature throughout adulthood. o A stimulating environment enhances this process of neurogenesis . Communication between neurons happen at the synapse . o New learning results in new synaptic connections in the brain. When a wave of electrical voltage ( action potential ) reaches the end of a transmitting axon, neurotransmitter molecules are released into the synaptic cleft . Neurotransmitters play a critical role in mood, memory, and psychological well- being through their effects on neural circuits. o Abnormal levels of neurotransmitters have been implicated in several disorders, including depression, Alzheimer’s disease, and Parkinson’s disease. Endorphins , which act primarily as neuromodulators that affect the action of neurotransmitters, reduce plain and promote pleasure. o Levels of endorphins increase when you are afraid or under stress.
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Hormones are produced by endocrine glands and they affect the nervous system. o Types: Melatonin – promotes sleep and “biological clock” – coordinates bodily rhythms Adrenal Hormones Epinephrine Norepinephrine o These are involved in emotions, memory, and stress Sex Hormones Physical changes of puberty Menstrual cycle (estrogens and progesterone) Sexual arousal (testosterone) Researchers study the brain by: o Observing patients with brain damage o Using the lesion method with animals o Using techniques such as electroencephalograms (EEGS), positron-emission tomography (PET scans), and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) All modern brain theories assume localization of function . Limbic system o Amygdala (Ami-g-dala) – Initial emotional response to new sensory information o The hippocampus – “THE GATEWAY TO MEMORY” – involved with storing new information to memory The brain’s circuitry (connections to other parts of the brain) is packed into the cerebrum , which is divided into two cerebral hemispheres and is covered by thin layers of cells known collectively as the cerebral cortex . o
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Chapter 4 Review - 9-30-07 - Psychology Chapter #4 Outline...

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