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Unit 2 Learning Objectives and Study Guide

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Unit 2

Unit 2: Biological Psychology and Perception (chapters 3-4)


Learning Objective 1 (pp. 86-89): Nerve Cells — Synapses

1. What are neurons? What do they do?

2. What is the cell body and what role does it play in the functioning of the neuron?

3. What are dendrites and what role do they play in neuronal communication?

4. What are axons and axon terminals? What roles do they play in neuronal communication?

5. What are synaptic vesicles?

6. What are neurotransmitters, and where are they stored?

7. When a neuron fires, what is the order of neuronal parts through which the impulse travels?

8. What are synapses? What role does the synaptic cleft play in the neuronal communication?


Learning Objective 2 (pp. 89-93): Glial Cells — Neurotransmitters and Psychoactive Drugs

1. What are glial cells and what do they do?

2. What is the role of a myelin sheath? What can occur if myelin sheaths are damaged?

3. When a neuron is at its resting potential, what does this mean? How is this related to negative and positive ions?

4. What is the absolute refractory period?

5. What is the all-or-none law?

6. What are receptor sites and what role do they play in neurotransmission?

7. Describe the process of reuptake.

8. What are neurotransmitters?


Learning Objective 3 (pp. 93-95): Neural Plasticity — Stem Cells

1. What do we mean by brain plasticity or neural plasticity?

2. Be able to recognize examples of plasticity in the central nervous system, including how the brain responds after brain injury and how everyday experiences affect it.

3. Be able to define potentiation and neurogenesis.


Learning Objective 4 (pp. 95-97): The Brain-Behavior Network — The Cerebral Cortex

1. What are the two main subsystems of the nervous system?

2. What subdivision of the nervous system is made up of the brain and the spinal cord?

3. What is the peripheral nervous system, and what does it do? What two divisions does it consist of?

4. What is the forebrain (cerebrum)?

5. What is the cerebral cortex? What are the two halves of the cerebral cortex called?

6. What is the corpus callosum? What role does it play in the cerebral cortex?

7. What are the four lobes of the cerebral cortex?


Learning Objective 5 (pp. 98-99): Frontal Lobes — Parietal Lobes

1. Describe the location and main functions of the frontal lobe.

2. Where is the motor cortex, and what does it do?

3. Where is the prefrontal cortex, and what does it do?

4. What is Broca's Area? How does damage to this area affect speech?

5. Describe the function of the primary sensory cortex. What lobe is it in?

6. Where are the parietal lobes located?


Learning Objective 6 (pp.99-101): Temporal — Occipital Lobes

1. Describe the location and main functions of the temporal lobe.

2. What is Wernicke’s area? How does damage to this area affect speech?

3. Describe the location and main functions of the occipital lobe.

4. Where is the visual cortex and what does it do?


Learning Objective 7 (pp.101-103): Cortical Hierarchies — The Cerebellum

1. What are basal ganglia and where are they located?

2. What structures make up the limbic system, and what does the limbic system regulate?

3. What is the function of the thalamus?

4. What functions does the hypothalamus regulate?

5. What does the amygdala do?

6. What does the hippocampus do?

7. What does the cerebellum do?


Learning Objective 8 (pp. 103-104): The Brain Stem — The Spinal Cord

1. What is the reticular activating system (RAS) and what does it do?

2. Where is the brain stem located and what structures does it include?

3. What does the medulla do?

4. What does the spinal cord do?

5. Explain the role of sensory and motor nerves.

6. What are interneurons?

7. What is a reflex? Explain the role of the spinal cord, interneurons, sensory neurons, and motor neurons in generating a reflexive response.


Learning Objective 9 (pp.104-106): The Peripheral Nervous System — The Autonomic Nervous System

1. What are the two divisions of the peripheral nervous system?

2. What does the somatic nervous system do?

3. What is the autonomic nervous system, and what kinds of functions is it responsible for?

4. What are the two divisions of the autonomic nervous system?

5. What does the sympathetic nervous system do? What is the fight-or-flight reaction?

6. What does the parasympathetic nervous system do?


Learning Objective 10 (pp. 106-108): The Endocrine System — Sexual Reproductive Glands and Sex Hormones

1. What is the endocrine system?

2. What are hormones?

3. What is the role of the pituitary gland? 

4. What are the functions of the pituitary hormone oxytocin?

5. What do the hormones of the adrenal glands do?

6. What are the sexual reproductive glands and what hormones do they release?


Learning Objective 11 (pp. 108-112): Mapping the Mind — How to Interpret and Misinterpret Brain Scans

1. What does an electroencephalograph (EEG) measure?

2. What is the biggest problem with functional brain scans?

3. What is a CT scan and what does it tell us about the brain? 

4. What is an MRI and what are its strengths over the CT scan? 

5. How does a PET scan work? What can a PET scan tell us about brain functioning, and what are its limitations?

6. What is fMRI, and what information does it provide?

7. What is the TMS and how does it work?


Learning Objective 12 (pp. 112-115): How Much of Our Brain do We Use? — Are some People Left-Brained and Others Right-Brained?

1. Be familiar with the myths regarding how much of the brain we use.

2. Be familiar with the advantages and disadvantages of relying on neuroimaging tests.

3. Explain the term localization of function.

4. What is lateralization and how was it discovered?

5. What is split-brain surgery, and why is it performed?

6. What functions are mainly controlled by the right hemisphere?

7. What functions are mainly controlled by the left hemisphere?

8. Explain the myth regarding right brain vs left brain people.


Learning Objective 13 (pp.116-118): How We Come to Be Who We Are — Human Brain Evolution

1. What are chromosomes? Where are they found? How many do humans have?

2. What is a genotype?

3. What is a phenotype?

4. Explain the difference between dominant and recessive genes.

5. What is fitness and what role does it play in adaptation?

6. Why do humans have such big brains relative to our body size?


Learning Objective 14 (pp. 118-121): Behavioral Genetics: How We Study Heritability — Adoption Studies

1. Define heritability.

2. How do adoption studies help us study the heritability of a trait?

3. How do twin studies help us study the heritability of a trait? What are the two kinds of twins?

4. What is selective placement and how is it a potential confound in adoption studies that look at heritability of traits?

5. What is meant by a trait’s reaction range?


Learning Objective 15 (pp. 128-131): Two Sides of the Coin: Sensation and Perception — Sensory Systems Stick to One Sense - or Do They?

1. What is a sensation?

2. What is perception?

3. What is an illusion?

4. What is transduction?

5. What is a sense receptor and what role does it play on transduction?

6. What is sensory adaptation?

7. What is the absolute threshold?

8. What is the just noticeable difference (JND)?

9. Explain what is meant by signal-to-noise ratio.

10. What is synesthesia?


Learning Objective 16 (pp. 131-133): The Role of Attention — The Binding Problem: Putting the Pieces Together

1. What is selective attention?

2. What is inattentional blindness? What role does selective attention play in this phenomenon?

3. What is the binding problem? Explain the role of the binding problem in perception.


Learning Objective 17 (pp. 134-137): When Our Senses Meet Our Brains — Gestalt Principles

1. What is bottom-up processing?

2. What is top-down processing?

3. What is a perceptual set? How does it related to top-down processing?

4. Explain perceptual constancy. Be familiar with the different kinds of perceptual constancies (shape, size, and color).

5. What are Gestalt principles, and how do they explain how we perceive information?

6. What is the Gestalt principle of figure-ground?


Learning Objective 18 (pp. 137-141): How We Perceive Faces — When Perception Deceives Us

1. What is the phi phenomenon?

2. What are monocular depth cues? Be familiar with linear perspective, interposition, light and shadow, texture gradient, and relative size.

3. What is the binocular depth cue of binocular disparity?

4. What are binaural cues? What do they help us perceive?

5. Be familiar with these visual perceptual illusions: the Ames room, the moon illusion, the Muller-Lyer illusion, the Ebbinghaus-Titchener illusion, the Ponzo illusion, and the horizontal-vertical illusion.


Learning Objective 19 (pp. 141-142): Subliminal and Extrasensory Perception — Subliminal Perception and Persuasion

1. What is subliminal perception?

2. What are subliminal stimuli?

3. What is subliminal persuasion and how effective is this method?


Learning Objective 20 (pp. 143-146): Extrasensory Perception (ESP): Fact or Fiction? — Psychic Predictions

1. What is extrasensory perception (ESP)?

2. Be familiar with the three types of ESP (precognition, telepathy, and clairvoyance).

3. What have scientific studies on ESP found?

4. How do the scientific thinking principles of falsifiability, replicability, and Occam’s razor pertain to ESP?

5. What is cold reading? What is the psychic trick known as multiple end points?


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