Psychology 101 Chapter 2 Study Guide

Topics: Nervous system, Brain, Neuron Pages: 8 (1472 words) Published: September 8, 2013
Chapter 2

The Brain and Behavior
Chapter Preview
This chapter will cover the following domains:
The nervous system
Structures of the brain and their functions
Brain damage, plasticity, and repair
Genetics and behavior
As with chapter 1, this presentation will serve as a study guide, highlighting the most important concepts which you should study for your midterm by reading your textbook in depth

Nervous System: Characteristics
The nervous system is a massive electrochemical communications system. This system is notable for its: •Complexity – there are billions of neurons and trillions of connections between them •Integration – the different systems of the brain work together seamlessly •Adaptability – the brain can adapt to certain amounts of damage in certain areas. How well it handles this depends on many factors, from the system affected to the age of the person (children are more adaptive than adults). The concept of plasticity reflects the brain’s ability to rewire or re-route around damage. Nervous System: Characteristics

This chapter has a lot of terminology – names for parts and systems of the nervous systems of the brain. This study guide will not repeat all of these definitions. However, any such terms listed in this study guide may be on your exam, and so you should be sure to focus on those listed here are you study. Nervous System: Pathways

Afferent Nerves
Also called sensory nerves, they carry information about the environment to brain and spinal cord •Efferent Nerves
Also called motor nerves, they carry information from the brain and spinal cord to the rest of the body •Neural Networks
Networks of cells that integrate sensory input and motor output Nervous System: Primary Divisions
Central Nervous System (CNS)
Brain and spinal Cord
Peripheral Nervous System (PNS)
Network of nerves connecting CNS to body
Two subdivisions:
Somatic nervous system
Autonomic nervous system

Nervous System: PNS Divisions
Somatic nervous system
Carries sensory information from skin and muscles to CNS •Autonomic nervous system
Communicates to and from internal organs
Two subdivisions:
Sympathetic nervous system arousing
Parasympathetic nervous system calming
Nervous System: Cells
Nerve cells
Information processing
Glial cells
Cells that support functionality of neurons
Nutritional benefits

Neurons: Structure
See next slide for a picture
Cell body
Contains nucleus
Fibers projecting from neuron
Carries information from cell body toward other cells
The Neuron
Neural Impulse
Neurons communicate by sending electrochemical impulses (signals) from an axon to the dendrite of the next neuron •Normally, an axon exists in a stable, negative electrical state. This is called the resting potential •However, when the neuron is stimulated, positive ions flow into the axon, creating a change in electrical charge called an action potential •Once this impulse reaches a certain level of intensity, called a threshold, it moves all the way down the axon to the terminal buttons at the end of the axon.

Synapses and Neurotransmitters
The terminal buttons exist at the synapses, which are sites where axons meet dendrites from other neurons. These do not touch; rather they meet at a synaptic gap •Once the action potential is reached, the terminal button will release neurotransmitters across this gap •These are chemicals which transmit information across the synaptic gap Synapses and Neurotransmitters

Neurotransmitters are excitatory (stimulating neurons to fire), inhibitory (telling the next neuron not to fire), or both •Different neurotransmitters are tied to different functions. Please review the list on the next slide, and study the general functions of each neurotransmitter as described in your book...
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