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PSYC 342 Study Guide - Midterm Guide: Brainstem, Radioimmunoassay, Negative Feedback

Course Code
PSYC 342
Jens C Pruessner
Study Guide

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PSYC342 Midterm Summary
Lecture 1 - Jan. 10:
Little emphasis on meta-knowledge (teaching how to teach, or learning how to learn…)
In science, for scientists, it’s all about publications
You either ‘publish or perish’
The Journal Impact factor
Tells you about how prestigious or high-quality a journal is
How many times an article will get cited or was cited in one year
The h-index
Designed to tell people about the quality of a scientist
Citations = papers = h
More papers with papers being cited by numerous scientists results in higher h-index
Lecture 2 - Jan. 12:
Organized systems of assumptions designed to explain phenomena and their interrelationships
Attempt to predict or account for a set of phenomena; specify relationships among variables, and are empirically tested
Principle of Falsifiability
A scientific theory must make predictions specific enough to disconfirm the theory
The theory must predict not only what will happen, but also what will not happen
Always be overly skeptical about every claim being made (not just in science, but life in general)
Case studies
A detailed description of a particular individual being studied or treated which may be used to formulate broader
research hypotheses
Naturalistic Observations
Researchers carefully and systematically observe and record behaviour without interfering with behaviour
Naturalistic observation:
Purpose is to observe how people or animals behave in their natural environment
Laboratory observation:
Purpose is to observe people or animals in a more controlled setting
Psychological tests can be objective or projective
Projective test: not directly asked about a certain behaviour or personality traits, only asked to describe what you see in
random pictures; project meaning into pictures. Experimenter then projects
Objective test: IQ Test. Answers can only be interpreted in one way; no ambiguity of how to interpret the results
Characteristics of a good test include:
Sources of Confounding Variables:
Random Variables
Participants’ Expectations
Experimenter Bias
Lecture 3 - Jan. 17:
Somatic Nervous System:
Sends sensory information to CNS for processing
Sends messages from CNS to muscles to direct motion
Autonomic Nervous System:
Controls activities normally outside of conscious control. Includes sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous system
The Spinal Cord:
Cells of the spinal cord can direct simple behaviours - reflex provides speed to escape further harm
Sensory neurons are called afferent neurons
Motor neurons are called efferent neurons
Cerebral cortex is the most developed part of the brain
Limbic System:
Amygdala - deals with emotions; Hippocampus - deals with memory; Cingulate cortex - cognitive processes
Thalamus is first receiving point of sensory information. Emotions are related to memory, thus they initiate responses
which are timely (i.e. Fear to induce fast response)
Two types of cells:
Glia - supporting cells & neurons
Cortex acts as an integrated whole to coordinate behaviour and cognitive processing
Action potential goes from -70mV to +40mV
Six neurotransmitters
Acetylcholine (+ and -)
Dopamine (+)
Adrenaline/Noradrenaline (+)
Serotonin (-)
Glutamate (+)
GABA (-)

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Small Molecule Neurotransmitters
25Monday, 16 January, 12
Basal Ganglia:
Stratum (striped structure): Caudate and Putamen
Globus Pallidus
Motivation, reward, movement, motor control
The Midbrain:
Tetum and Tegmentum (roof and covering)
Superior colliculus and inferior colliculus
Role in sensory processing, attention, arousal, sleep
The Hindbrain:
Medulla Oblongata
Amino acids linked by peptide bonds
Endogenous opiates - kick in when body is in pain, can control the pain (i.e. Marathon people get runner’s high)
Important for pain relief and pleasure
Nigrostriatal pathway:
Substantial Nigra to Striatum; deals with motor control
Death of neurons in this pathway can result in Parkinson’s Disease
Mesolimbic and Mesocortical pathways:
Ventral Segmental Area to Nucleus Accumbens, Amygdala and Hippcampus, and Prefrontal Cortex
Three Different Communication Systems Within the Body:
Nervous system (uses neurotransmitters)
Endocrine system (uses hormones)
Immune systems (uses cytokines)
Interacting: NS controls hormonal release and cytokine release; hormones can affect neuronal firing
Lecture 4 - Jan. 19:
Functional Organization of the Nervous System:
Hierarchical & results in increased environmental control
Controls intellect, cognition, reasoning in the neocortex
Reasons for use of Neurotransmitter in the NS:
Up and down regulation of activation
Failsafe mechanism
Development and learning
Neurotransmitter helps establish new connections
Centralized control
Excursion: Multiple Sclerosis and the Immune system:
Inflammatory disease (traditional hypothesis)
Disease of the myelin sheath; attacks and destroys them resulting in reduce processing of electrical signals
through neurons
Stops perception and motor functions
Impaired veinous drainage in the brain (vascular hypothesis)
Higher pressure in NS causes the disease
Endocrine means ‘the internal secretion of a biologically active substance’
The Definition of a Hormone:
Chemical messenger effective in minute quantities
Synthesized in ductless (no tubing) glands
Secreted into and transported by blood
Acts on receptors located far away from synthesis
Exerts a specific regulatory effect on target cells
Slower than neurons; timing is not an issue for hormones
Does not target a specific area but rather diffuses throughout the body
Exceptions to the Rule (Hormones):
Some hormones not synthesized in ductless glands
Hormones sometimes act as neurotransmitters (paracrine function)
Can influence cell that released them (autocrine function)
Can get feedback from body
Hormones can generalized effects, or different effects depending on the specific receptor type
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