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Lecture 1

Psychology Lecture One & Two.docx

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PSYC 2310
Jim Kirkland

Psychology Lecture One & Two September-17-13 7:02 PM Thinking Critically with Psychological Science  Common sense is not sufficient to understand and predict behavior...scientific method is necessary  Intuitive/Folk Psychology: Intuition may not always be correct. Many psychological findings have been counterintuitive.  Facial attractiveness: Intuition says distinctive faces are attractive. Science says that average faces are attractive. Intuition says that an individual's judgement is consistent over time. Science says that interpretation of the attractiveness of a face is inconsistent and depends on hormonal state for example. When a woman is ovulating, the male with the most testosterone driven features (strong jaw for example) is most attractive. Notes on Modules 4 Neural and Hormonal Systems -Building blocks are neurons -Every neuron has a cell body and branching fibers. Dendrite fibers receive information and conduct it into the cell body while the axon fiber carries it to the axon terminal to conduct impulses -Some axons are encased in myelin sheath which conduct impulses quicker. The degeneration of the myelin sheath is what leads to multiple sclerosis -When an impulse reaches the threshold potential, an impulse will fire and the axon brings in sodium ions to depolarize which causes all the channels along the line to follow in a dominos effect. -During a refractory period, the neuron will open potassium channels to allow positive ions to flood out to return to its resting potential of -70 mv. -Increasing stimulation does not affect the neural impulse intensity. Strong stimulus simply triggers MORE neurons to fire. -Axon terminal of one neuron is separated from the dendrite of the next neuron by a synaptic cleft across which neurotransmitters carry messages to bind to receptors on the receiving neuron. -Particular brain pathways can only use certain neurotransmitters and different neurotransmitters affect different behaviours. ACh is a neurotransmitter which plays a role in learning and memory. If Ach transmission is blocked, paralysis could occur as muscle contraction cannot happen -If the brain is flooded with artificial opiates to intensify a good feeling, it will stop making it naturally causing the body to need to depend on the drug. -Drugs and other chemicals affect brain chemistry at synapses by exciting or inhibiting the neuron firing. -Agonist molecules are similar enough to some neurotransmitters that they can bind to a receptor and mimic effects. Agonists are present in many opiates -Antagonists can also bind to receptors, but they block neurotransmitters and do not have the same effects and cannot stimulate the receptor. Antagonists are present in many poisons. -Brain and spinal cord make up the central nervous system -Peripheral nervous system is made up of sensory neurons which carry messages from tissues and receptors to interneurons in the brain or spinal cord, which send out motor neurons to muscles to respond. -Peripheral nervous system has somatic and autonomic components, with somatic being voluntary and autonomic being automatic. Autonomic nervous systems can have parasympathetic impulses, which lower heart rate or blood sugar, while sympathetic impulses raise blood sugar or heart rate. These two systems work together to keep homeostasis within the body. -On spinal cord, ascending neural fibers send up sensory information while descending fibers send back motor information. -Reflexes are automatic responses to stimuli and result from a sensory neuron and motor neuron communicating in the spinal cord without the interneuron input. -Connected with the nervous system is the endocrine system, which use the chemical messengers of hormones. Some hormones are chemically similar to neurotransmitters. Endocrine messages are much slower then neural messages, but with longer lasting effects. -In danger, the adrenal gla
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