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Psych. Chapter 4 Study Guide

Psych. Chapter 4 Study Guide - Psychology-Chapter 4...

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Psychology—Chapter 4 Development of the Brain Neurons and networks of neurons: o Structures and functions Neuron: nerve cell that contains axons and dendrites and grows continuously; shape is highly irregular with many spiky areas sticking up from their surface Axon: send information; main protruding branch in neurons Dendrite: receive information; parts of the neuron that protrude from the surface Synapse: connect axons and dendrites o Growth Dendrites increase in size and complexity This increase means many new synapses are formed (called synaptogenesis) Synaptogenesis is prominent in prenatal development, infancy, and adolescence Axons increase in their number of branches Occurs as they create connections to multiple receiving neurons This also increases the number of synapses Increased brain size and complexity is also a result of myelination Myelination: the process by which axons become covered by myelin Myelin: a fatty coating that insulates the axons and speeds transmission of nerve impulses from one neuron to the next Experience and the development of the brain: o Experience-expectant Brain develops under the genetic control Independent of experience, stimulation, or activity This is a result of a rapid increase in synaptogenesis, which results in the production of more synapses that help the growing embryo’s ability to encounter new experiences Synaptic pruning: process of selective dying off of non-functional synapses The synapses that are not needed will die off This continues until early adulthood o Experience-dependent Synapses are not created in advance of experience, instead they are generated in response to experience Idea that humans learn from experience o Mark Rosenzweig’s experiment with rats (1984) Studied rats in three conditions
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#1 housed individually in standard cages #2 housed with others in standard cages #3 housed in enriched conditions Found that #3 learned faster because they had larger and heavier brains (cerebral cortex) was heavier with more brain enzymes more synaptic connections Central nervous system and brain: o Spinal cord Encased in spinal bones and extends down the back (below the waist to base of brain) and contains spinal nerves The spinal nerves carry messages between the brain and specific areas of the body o Brain stem Located at the top of the spinal cord Controls breathing, sleeping, and elementary reactions (blinking, sucking, etc. At birth, it is one of the most highly developed areas in the central nervous system o Cerebral cortex Divided into two hemispheres, each of which has four lobes, which are separated by deep grooves and specialized for different functions Occipital lobes: specialized for vision Temporal lobes: for hearing and speech Parietal lobes: for spatial perception Frontal lobes: for control and coordination of the other cortical
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Psych. Chapter 4 Study Guide - Psychology-Chapter 4...

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