Elza Ibragimov

1. Biological Psychology and Neurotransmission

  • Study of links between biological and psychological processes
  • Phrenology - physical attributes determine psychological abilities


  • Dendrites - recieve info and conduct impulses toward the cell body
  • Axon- passes messages through to other neurons
  • Myelin Sheath- encases axons and provides insulation and speeds up impulses
  • Action Potential- electrical charge that may or may not fire
  • Refractory Period- short period of time after a charge has been fired
  • Threshold- level of stimulation required for an impulse to fire


  • Chemical messengers that cross the synaptic gaps between neurons
  • Synapse- the junction between an axon and dendrite
  • Endorphins- natural neurotransmitters linked to pleasure and pain
  • Agonist- molecule that binds to a receptor and stimulates a response
  • Antagonist- molecule that binds to a receptor and blocks a response
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2. -The Nervous System

  • The body's electro chemical communication network consisting of all the nerve cells of the peripheral and nervous systems
  • Sensory Neurons (afferent)- carry messages from the body's tissues and sensory receptors inward to the brain and spinal cord for processing
  • Motor Neurons (efferent)- carry instructions from the central nervous system to the muscles and glands
  • Inter neurons- neurons between the motor and sensory that communicate

Peripheral Nervous System

  • Sensory and motor neurons that connect the central nervous system to the rest of the body
  • Somatic Nervous System- enables voluntary movement of muscles and glands
  • Autonomic Nervous System- automatic control of muscles and glands, including internal organs

- Sympathetic Nervous Sytem - arousing

- Parasympathetic Nervous System- calming

Central Nervous System

  • Brain and Spinal Cord
  • Spinal Cord- connects the central nervous system. And the brain
  • Reflex- automatic response to a sensory stimulus

- Endocrine System

  • Chemical communication system, set of glands and that secrete hormones into the bloodstream
  • Hormones- chemical messengers that are manufactured by the glands and travel down the bloodstream


  • Adrenal Glands- helps arouse the body in times of stress (adrenaline/ epinephrine)
  • Pituitary Gland- most influential gland, regulates growth and controls other endocrine glands
  • Hypothalamus- controls pituitary gland
  • Thyroid Gland- metabolism
  • Parathyroid - regulates level of calcium
  • Pancreas- regulates level of sugar
  • Testes/ ovaries- male/ female sex hormones

3. Studying the brain

  • Lesion- naturally caused destruction of brain tissue

Examining The Brain

  • Electroencephalogram (EEG) - recording of the brain activity in waves
  • Computed Tomography (CT) - X-ray taken from different angles and combined into one computerized image
  • Positron Emission Tomography (PET) - display of brain activity that detects radioactive glucose goes while the brain performs
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) - uses magnetic fields and radio waves to produce computer generated images of soft tissue
  • Functional MRI- shows the brain as it functions as well as structure

Brain Structures

The Brainstem - oldest and central core of the brain, responsible for automatic survival functions.
  • Medulla- base of the Brainstem, controls breathing and heartbeat
The Thalamus - sensory control center, directs messages from the cortex and transmits to the cerebellum and medulla
Reticular Formation - travels through the Brainstem and Thalamus, controls arousal
Cerebellum- processes sensory input, coordinates movement and balance
The Limbic System- emotions and drives.
  • Hippocampus- processes conscious memories
  • Amygdala- processes aggression and fear
  • Hypothalamus- governs the endocrine system, rewards with emotion

4. The Cerebral Cortex

  • Covers the two hemispheres and is the body's control center
Glial Cells- support, nourish, and protect neurons

Motor Cortex - behind the frontal lobes, controls voluntary movement

Somatosensory Cortex - behind the motor cortex, processes touch and movement sensations

Association Areas - involved in higher learning functions

Plasticity- the brains ability to change by building new pathways over damaged synapses

Neurogenesis- formation of new neurons

Lobes of the Brain

Frontal- involved in speaking, muscle movement, making plans and judgement

Parietal- receives sensory input for touch and body position

Occipital- involved in visual information

Temporal- involved in auditory areas

5. Hemispheres of the Brain

Corpus Callosum- large bands of fibers that connects the two hemispheres

Split Brain- condition resulting from the cutting of the corpus callosum

Consciousness- awareness of ourselves and our environment

Cognitive Neuroscience- study of the brain activity linked with cognition

Dual Processing- information is often simultaneously processed on seperate conscious and unconcsious tracks