Chptr_05 - Physiological Processes - Chapter 5 Chapter 5:...

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PSYCHOLOGY: Exploring Behavior Physiological Processes - Chapter 5 147 Chapter 5: Physiological Processes Physiological Processes The Nervous System Neurons Nerves Organization in the Nervous System The Brain The Hindbrain and Midbrain The Forebrain Glands Natural Changes in Behavior Sleep Biofeedback Meditation Hypnosis Artificial Changes in Behavior USING PSYCHOLOGY: Effects of depressants and stimulants USING PSYCHOLOGY: Effects of hallucinogens REVIEW ACTIVITIES INTERESTED IN MORE? Physiological Processes WHAT'S THE ANSWER? "I went to see a lady out on old State Highway 711. It was all a big ritual. The room was sort of dark. The only light was provided by candles. She told me she had discovered a technique for telling what people were good at by feeling the bumps on their head. She said bulges projecting from the brain indicated what people were best at. She said I'd be a good dancer and that I'd be able to impress the girls because of my natural abilities." Is the woman correct? Do bumps on the head indicate a person's abilities? Maybe sometime you've overheard a conversation like this one: Aunt Gerda says to Uncle Bert, "Well, I’m glad she finally had that baby. The child looks beautiful! Her head is a little big, but that runs in his family. They're all smart, you know. Amy's a doctor, Jerry's a vet, and Sheila's a pharmacist. All of them in medicine." Says Bert, "Yup!"
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PSYCHOLOGY: Exploring Behavior Physiological Processes - Chapter 5 148 "But you'd expect that. They've all got large heads, and it takes that to hold all the brains you need to do such things. Big head means a smart person. You can count on it." Says Bert, "Yup!" Are they right? Is head size or brain size related to intelligence? "I met a man on the street the other day who had a small gadget about the size of a pack of king-size cigarettes in his pocket. We were both waiting for the bus. I asked him what it was. He said it was attached to a sensor under his shirt, and it monitored his blood pressure. He said he had already had two heart attacks. His doctor gave him the device. Every time his blood pressure gets above a certain level, the machine starts buzzing. His job is to get it to turn off again by lowering his blood pressure." Was the man telling the truth? Is it possible to monitor and control "involuntary" responses like blood pressure? The discussion begins most appropriately with an analysis of the general features of the nervous system itself. All cells in the nervous system share two attributes: irritability and conductivity. The neuron is the basic cell of the nervous system. After a neuron fires it enters an absolute refractory period during which it cannot be fired again. This is followed by a relative refractory period during which the neuron needs stronger stimulation than usual in order to fire. Neurons fire according to an all-or-none principle. If the stimulation is severe, they fire more rapidly. The firing of a neuron greatly changes the electrical potential within the cell. However, to
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Chptr_05 - Physiological Processes - Chapter 5 Chapter 5:...

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