Psychology Chapter 3 recap
Communication on the nervous system
• Neurons are the basic communication links to the nervous system. They normally
transmit a neural impulse (an electric current) along an axon to a synapse with
another neuron. The neural impulse is a brief change in a neurons electrical
charge that moves along an axon. It is an allornone event.
• Action potentials trigger the release of chemicals called neurotransmitters that
diffuse across a synapse to communicate with other neurons. Transmitters that
bind with receptors in the postsynaptic cell membrane, causing excitatory or
inhibitors PSP’s most neurons are linked in neural pathways, circuits, and
• ACh plays a key role in the muscular movement. Disturbances in the activity of
the monoamine transmitters have been related to the development of depression
and schizophrenia. GABA is a widely distributed inhibitory transmitter.
Endorphins contribute to the relief of pain.
Organization of the nervous system
• The nervous system can be divided into the central nervous system and the
peripheral nervous system. The central nervous system consists of the brain and
the spinal chord.
• The peripheral nervous system can be subdivided into the somatic nervous
system, which connects the muscles to the sensory receptors, and the autonomic
nervous system, which connects blood vessels, smooth muscles and glands.
Looking inside the brain: research methods
• The EEG can record broad patterns of electrical activity in the brain. Lesioning
involves destroying a piece of the brain. Another technique is electrical
stimulation of other areas of the brain in order to activate them. In recent years
new brainimaging procedures have been developed, including CT scans, PET
scans, MRI scans and fMRI scans.
The brain and behavior
• The brain has three major regions: the hindbrain, midbrain, and forebrain.
Structures in the hindbrain and midbrain handle essential functions. The thalamus
is primarily a relay station. The hypothalamus is involved in the regulation of
drives such as hunger and sex.
• The limbic system is involved in emotion, motivation, and memory. The cortex is
cerebrums convoluted outer layer, which is subdivided into occipital, parietal,
temporal, and frontal lobes. The brains organization is somewhat malleable.
Right brain/left brain: cerebral laterality
• The cerebrum is divided into ri