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Unit 3: Biological Bases of Behavior. Mr. McCormick A.P. Psychology. Essential Question. How are human thought and behavior affected by the following: The Nervous System The Endocrine System The Brain Genetics. Unit 3-A (A): The Neuron. Mr. McCormick A.P. Psychology.

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Unit 3 biological bases of behavior

Unit 3:Biological Bases of Behavior

Mr. McCormick

A.P. Psychology

Essential question
Essential Question

How are human thought and behavioraffected by the following:

  • The Nervous System

  • The Endocrine System

  • The Brain

  • Genetics

Unit 3 a a the neuron

Unit 3-A (A):The Neuron

Mr. McCormick

A.P. Psychology

Do now discussion

What is Biological Psychology?

What parts of the body do Biological Psychologists primarily study?

In understanding psychology, why do you think it is important to understand biological processes?

Biological psychology
Biological Psychology

  • Biological Psychology:

    • A branch of Psychology concerned with the links between biology and behavior

    • Biological Psychologists:

      • Behavioral Neuroscientists

      • Neuropsychologists

      • Behavior Geneticists

      • Physiological Psychologists

      • Biopsychologists

The neuron
The Neuron

  • Neuron:

    • Nerve cell

    • Basic building block of the nervous system

The neuron1
The Neuron

  • Types of Neurons:

    • Sensory Neurons:

      • Carry incoming information from sensory receptors to the brain/spinal cord

      • E.g. Perceiving something as “hot”

    • Motor Neurons:

      • Carry outgoing information from the brain/spinal cordto the muscles/glands

      • E.g. Clenching a fist

    • Interneurons:

      • Located within the brain/spinal cord

      • Communicateinternally betweensensory inputs and motor outputs

      • E.g. Reflexes

The neuron2
The Neuron

Provide an example of information that sensory neurons may transmit.

Provide an example of information that motor neurons may transmit.

Provide an example of information that interneuronsmay transmit.

The firing of a neuron
The Firing of a Neuron

  • Neurons transmit messages when stimulated by our senses, or triggered by chemicals of other neurons

    • Resting Potential:

      • Fluid interior of axon: negatively charged ions

      • Fluid exterior of axon membrane: positively charged ions

    • Threshold:

      • Level of stimulation required to trigger a neural impulse (action potential)

      • Excitatory signals (accelerator) minus inhibitory signals (brakes) must reach minimum intensity

    • Action Potential:

      • Neural impulse

      • Depolarization occurs

      • Brief electrical charge that travels down an axon

      • “All-or-None” Response


  • What is a neuron?

  • Differentiate between the 3 types of neurons:

    • Sensory Neurons

    • Motor Neurons

    • Interneurons

  • Discuss the functions of the following parts of the neuron:

    • Dendrites

    • Axon

    • Myelin Sheath

    • Terminal Branches

  • What causes neurons to fire?


  • Research Study # 2: “More Experience = Bigger Brain” (Pgs. 11-18)

  • Unit 3-A FRQ:

  • Unit 3-A Quiz: “The Neuron”