Genetics (Lecture 2; 2 questions)
What attributes of genes (e.g., heterozygous vs. homozygous; dominant vs. recessive) determines what type of
protein, and thus trait, will be expressed?
What types of natural and experimental procedures can be used to differentiate between genetic and
environmental influences on behavior? Twin studies, knockout mice
Cells of the nervous system (Lecture 3; 2 questions)
• What are neurons specialized to do? Send information to eachother
• Name the parts of neurons that enable this specialization. The structure, and function. Dendrites: recieved,
Neuronal resting and action potentials (Lecture 4-5; 3 questions)
• What forces act on what types of ions to affect their distribution inside and outside the cell? -- for example, why
does Na+ "want" to go into the cell but why "can't" it? sodium (Na+) and potassium (K+) ions want to mix
because of their different chemical nature, but repel one another due to their similar electrical natures
• What protein complex on the cell membrane actively restores and maintains this distribution, and how? Na+/K+
pump moves 3 Na+ out for every 2 K+ it moves into the cell
• What must happen for a neuron to reach its threshold of excitation, and what happens when it does? When
they become to depolarized (same on the inside and outside), Na+ rushes in and causes action potential
Chemical synapses and receptors (Lecture 6-7; 5 questions)
Describe how two neurons communicate across a chemical synapse -- how does this differ from electrical
synapses? Differs from electrical because chem is between multiple cells while electrical is between 1 neuron.
For chemical the electrical synapse is reconfigured to move across the synaptic cleft. Communicate b/t the pre
and postsynaptic cells.
What ion is directly responsible for the movement of neurotransmitters into the synaptic cleft? Ca++
What are two ways in which neurotransmitter can activate receptors? How do the effects differ?
o Excitatory: increase probability of an action potential
o Inhibitory: decrease probability of an action potential
Integration of neural signals (Lecture 8; 2 questions)
• Define and give examples of temporal and spatial summation. Temporal summation: recurrent small
stimulation to the same place. Spatial summation: small stimulation to multiple areas.
What effect do EPSPs and IPSPs have on the membrane potential of a neuron? Excitatory postsynaptic
Results from an influx of sodium ions
Increases probability of an action potential
• Inhibitory postsynaptic potential (IPSP)
Results from influx of chloride ions or efflux of potassium Decreases probability of an action potential
• Are PSPs graded or do they follow the all-or-none law? graded
Drugs (Lecture 9; 2 questions)
Describe in what ways drugs can act at receptors in order to mimic or block natural neurotransmitter action
(e.g., serve as agonists or antagonists – be prepared for examples). Agonist: increases, enhances, facilitates, or
mimics natural action of receptor. (makes things stay in the synapse, allows more production, etc) [drug like
dopamine, goes to dopamine]Antagonist: decreases, blocks, or opposes natural action of receptor. (binds to
receptor and blocks dopamine)Affinity: how well a drug “sticks” to a receptor. Efficacy: how well a drug
activates a receptor.
What neurotransmitter system does all abused drugs, as well as natural rewards, act upon? dopamine
Differentiate between the actions of stimulants, depressants, and hallucinogens.
Neuroanatomy (Lectures 10-11; 5 questions)
Name and differentiate between the two main subcategories of the vertebrate nervous system. Describe the
subdivisions of the PNS. Peripheral Nervous System- Sympathetic Nervous System (SPNS).Parasympathetic
Nervous System (PSNS). Central Nervous System- Spinal chord, and brain.
What are some of the functions of the hindbrain?
Regulates vital reflexes like breathing, heart rate, salivation
nuclei that deal primarily with swallowing, bladder control, taste, posture (via communication
First place where information becomes contralateral
Info from right starts getting processed by the left, and vice versa.
Important for movement, balance, and coordination, as well as attention and timing
What structure found in the midbrain uses dopamine? Substansia Nigra
Describe the function of the two systems found in the forebrain and name the structures that compose them.
What is meant by saying that the thalamus acts as an information relay station?
– Outer layer of cerebrum
– Higher order processing (more next lecture …)
– Thalamus: relays info to and from cortex
– Limbic system: reward, motivation, emotion
– Basal ganglia: movement, attention, planning
What is the cortex composed of? Gray matter What about the corpus colosum? White matter
Name the four brain lobes and describe their primary functions. Frontal: decision making, motor temporal:
hearing occipital: vision parietal: Somatosensation and special perception Research design and tools (Lecture 12; 0 questions)
Development and plasticity (Lectures 13-14; 3 questions)
Describe how connections between neurons are made in a developing embryo. The CNS begins as a fluid-filled
tube of neural tissue
The cells of the neural tube finalize as separate brain and spinal cord networks across five stages:
Proliferation: production of new cells
Migration: chemical- and glia-guided movement of neurons
Differentiation: growth of specialized structures (e.g., dendrites, axon)
Myelination: glial cells coat axons in myelin
Synaptogenesis: synapses form and are pruned throughout life
What chemical must be received in order for a newly formed synapse to remain? Nerve growth factor. What
happens to neurons if they don’t receive this chemical (technical term)? apoptosis Describe a syndrome that
occurs when things go wrong with this process. Fetal alcohol syndrome
Where and in what situations will an axon regrow? What adaptations can occur if axons do not grow back?
Crushed axons in PNS can regrow because they have a path to follow. If nerve is cut and cannot grow back, CNS
compensates via: Collateral sprouting: intact axons make new connections (presynaptic) Denervation
supersensitivity: remaining receptors are more easily stimulated (postsynaptic)
Learning and memory (Lectures 15-16; 4 questions)
Distinguish between and give examples of classical and operant conditioning. Classical (Pavlov): stimulus +
stimulus = response, operant (skinner)– reward/punishment, response = stimulus
Differentiate between explicit and implicit memory and the brain areas necessary for them. Basal ganglia-
implicit, muscle memory hippocampus- explicit, history, facts
Describe how the activity of glutamate at its receptor subtypes establishes long-term potentiation of the
synapse. AMPA : directly opens sodium (Na+) channels, cause depolarization of membraneNMDA: directly
opens Na+ and calcium (Ca++) channels, but membrane must already be depolarized enough to eject
magnesium (Mg++) from ion channel.
Long-term potentiation: dendrites are