Biological Psychology

The Psych Show: how to learn the major parts of the brain quickly:

Link to 3-D brain:

TED Talk: Growing evidence of brain plasticity…

TED Talk: How childhood trauma affects health across a lifetime…

What is the theory of natural selection and what is its relevance in understanding the brain?

What are genes? What is DNA and where do you find it?

  1. What is the difference between genotype and phenotype?
  2.  What are the different parts of a neuron and what do they do?
  3.  What are glial cells and what do they do?
  4.  What is the myelin sheath and what does it do?
  5.  What is an action potential and what causes it? What is a threshold and what role does the threshold play in an action potential?
  6.  Action potentials are an “All or None” phenomenon. What does that mean? How does the activity of an excited neuron differ from the activity of an inhibited neuron?
  7.  Describe neural communication in terms of its electrical and chemical aspects.
  8. Describe the roles of the axon terminal, receptor site, and reuptake in neural communication.
  9.  What are different neurotransmitters and what do they?
  10.  What is the difference between central nervous system (CNS) and peripheral nervous system (PNS)?
  11.  Where is cerebral cortex located and what are its parts (lobes)? List the four lobes of the cerebral cortex and cognitive functions associated with each lobe.
  12.  One of the regions of prefrontal cortex is Broca’s area. In what lobe is the prefrontal cortex located? What is the main function associated with this area in the brain?
  13.  Who was Phineas Gage? Why his story is important? What was the consequence of the accident he had?
  14.  Where are the basal ganglia located in the brain? What symptoms of Parkinson disease are related to the damage to the basal ganglia?
  15.  What is the limbic system? List four parts of the limbic system and describe the functions of each.
  16.  How does the limbic system interact with the endocrine system?
  17.  What are hormones and what do they do? What does the pituitary gland do?
  18. What brain structure is sometimes called the “little brain” and what it is responsible for?
  19.  Where is the brain stem located and what functions does it have? What are the parts of the brain stem?
  20.  Identify and describe methods used to record and create images of neural activity.
  21. What is lateralization? What cognitive functions exhibit lateralization? What are some of the functions that are “located” in left hemisphere?
  22.  Why would a person undergo split-brain surgery? What structure is cut to create a split brain?
  23.  What have psychologists learned from studying individuals who have undergone such surgeries?

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