Introduction to Biological Psychology

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NOTE: Questions may appear in a different order than they are listed on this study guide.


Chapter 1 + Lectures (Introduction)

  • Be familiar with the three perspectives on the mind-brain problem: idealism, dualism, and materialism
  • According to David Chalmers, what are easy and hard questions in neuroscience?
  • What did Galvani and Fritsch & Hitzig discover about how the nervous system operates?
  • Who was Santiago Ramon y Cajal, and what role did he play in brains science?
  • What is phrenology? How did it shape our ideas about how the brain works?
  • Who was Paul Broca and what role did he play in the history of brain research?
  • Who was Phineas Gage and what role did he play in the history of brain research?

The Neuron

Chapter 2 + Lectures (The Neuron)

  • What is a neuron? Be familiar with the basic structures of the neuron (e.g., dendrites, axon, terminals, )
  • Be familiar with the features of the membrane of a
  • What is a resting potential? What is an action potential?
  • The movement of which ions produce an action potential?
  • Where does the action potential occur?
  • What is myelin? How does myelin benefit the neuron?
  • What is the gap between neurons called? How do neurons communicate across this gap?
  • How do neurons communicate between cells?
  • What does it mean for a neuron to become hypopolarized? To become hyperpolarized?
  • What is an EPSP? What is an IPSP? How are these connected to hypopolarization and hyperpolarization?

The Nervous System & Development

Chapter 3 + Lectures (The Nervous System & Development)

  • Know the branches of the nervous system: central, peripheral,
  • Know the basic functions of the following 10 brain regions: Occipital Lobe, Hypothalamus, Prefrontal Cortex, Pons & Reticular Formation, Postcentral Gyrus, Posterior Parietal Cortex, Precentral Gyrus, Cerebellum,

Broca’s Area, and Superior & Inferior Colliculus

  • What are the four stages of nervous system development?
  • Be familiar with the cases of Elizabeth and Holly presented in the film The Secret Life of the Brain

Research & Ethics

Chapter 4 + Lectures (Research & Ethics)

  • What is the difference between an experiment and a correlational study?
  • What is the clinicoanatomical method of research? What does it involved?
  • What is the difference between lesioning and ablation? What do these procedures involve?
  • What device is used to record the electrical activity of the brain?
  • Be familiar with the imaging techniques discussed in class (CT, MRI, PET, fMRI) and how they
  • In psychology research, what is informed consent?
  • Under what conditions are psychologists allowed to use deception in research?
  • What are the criticisms of using non-human animals for medical/brain research?

Psychoactive Substances & Addiction

Chapter 5 + Lectures (Psychoactive Substances & Addiction)

  • Ultimately, how do all psychoactive substances alter brain activity?
  • What is an agonist? What is an antagonist? How does each affect brain activity? How do they differ?
  • What is tolerance? What is cross-tolerance? What are withdrawal symptoms?
  • Be familiar with the psychoactive drugs covered in our in-class
  • What brain regions make up the mesolimbocortical dopamine system? What is its function?
  • What role does dopamine play in drug cravings and addictive behavior?


Motivated Behavior

Chapter 6 + Lectures (Motivated Behavior)

  • When psychologists use the term “motivation,” what are they referring to?
  • Be familiar with three traditional approaches to motivation: drives, incentives, and arousal
  • What tastes do we find pleasurable? What tastes do we avoid?
  • What is sensory-specific satiety?
  • What is learned taste aversion and why is it adaptive?
  • What regions of the hypothalamus play important roles in regulating hunger and eating behavior?
  • What hormone does the stomach produce to promote hunger?
  • What chemicals do our bodies produce to satiate and reduce hunger?
  • What evolutionary factors appear to contribute to modern issues with obesity?

Last Updated on October 13, 2019 by EssayPro