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Body and behavior. Chapter 6. Standards. Standard II: Biopsychological Biological basis of behavior IIA-1.1 Structure and function on neuron IIA- 2.1 Organization of the nervous system . The nervous System. Controls your movement, emotions, thinking, and behavior (almost all you do)

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  • Standard II: Biopsychological

  • Biological basis of behavior

  • IIA-1.1 Structure and function on neuron

  • IIA- 2.1 Organization of the nervous system

The nervous system
The nervous System

  • Controls your movement, emotions, thinking, and behavior (almost all you do)

  • Never at rest

  • Divided into 2 parts:

  • Central Nervous System (CNS) – the brain and spinal cord

  • Peripheral Nervous System (PNS) – nerves branching beyond the spinal cord

Nervous system
Nervous System

  • All parts are protected:

  • Brain – skull and layers of sheathing (coating)

  • Spinal cord – the vertebrae

  • Peripheral – layers of sheathing

    - nerves about as thick as a pencil

  • Extremities – nerves get smaller and smaller


  • Strips of long cells that carry messages to and from the brain

  • Carry messages by chemical-electrical signals

  • Neuron can “fire” over and over again

  • Messages are sent from neuron to neuron

  • Body contains millions

Parts of a neuron
Parts of a neuron

  • 4 Basic Parts:

  • Dendrites

  • The cell body (contains the nucleus)

  • An axon

  • Axon terminals


  • Short, thin fibers that protrude from the cell body

  • Receive impulses (messages) from other neurons and sends them to the cell body


  • Single extension

  • Carries impulses from cell body to the axon terminals

  • Usually short, but can be several feet long

  • Myelin sheath (white fatty substance) insulates and protects the axon; can speed the transmition

Axon terminal
Axon Terminal

  • Branch out at the end of the axon

  • Release neurotransmitters to stimulate dendrites of the next neuron

  • Positioned opposite of the dendrite of another neuron

Synapse neurotransmitters
Synapse & Neurotransmitters

  • Synapse – space between the neurons; transmits messages to the next neuron

  • Neurotransmitters – chemicals released by neurons

    - locks or excites receptors

    Ex:endorphin – inhibits pain

    norepinephrine – involved with memory and learning

Afferent efferent and interneurons
Afferent, Efferent, and Interneurons

  • Afferent neuron (sensory neurons) – relay messages from the sense organs (eyes, nose, skin) to the brain

  • Efferent neuron (motor neurons) – send signals from the brain to the glands and muscles

  • Interneurons – processes signals only to other neurons

Voluntary vs involuntary activites
Voluntary vs involuntary activites

  • Somatic Nervous System (SNS) – the part of peripheral nervous system that controls voluntary activities (skeletal muscles)

  • Autonomic Nervous System (ANS) – part of the nervous system that controls involuntary activities

  • Ex: heartbeat, breathing, digestion, etc.

The brain
The brain

  • Composed of 3 parts:

  • Hindbrain

  • Midbrain

  • Forebrain


  • Rear base of the skull; controls basic processes of life

  • Includes:

  • Cerebellum (behind spinal cord) – controls posture, balance and voluntary movements

  • Medulla – controls heart rate, breathing, and reflexes

  • Pons – bridge between spinal cord and brain and produces chemicals needed for sleep


  • Small, above the pons

  • Integrates sensory information and sends it upwards

  • Medulla and pons extends upward into the midbrain

  • Reticular Activating System (RAS)- spans across medulla, pons, and midbrain

    - Alerts brain of incoming signals and involved in sleep/wake cycle


  • Brains central core

  • Includes:

  • Thalamus – integrates sensory information

  • Hypothalamus – controls hunger, thirst, and changes in temperature

Cerebral cortex cerebrum
Cerebral Cortex & Cerebrum

  • Cortex - Outer layer of forebrain

  • Cerebrum – inner layer

  • Higher thinking processes

  • Gives you ability to learn and store complex and abstract information

  • Site of conscious thinking processes

Limbic system
Limbic System

  • Core of forebrain

  • Regulates our emotions and motivations

  • Includes: Hypothalamus, thalamus, hippocampus, and amygdala

  • Amygdala - controls violent emotions such as rage and fear

  • Hippocampus: - formation of memories

Lobes of the brain
Lobes of the Brain

  • Cerebrum – 2 hemispheres

  • Connected by: Corpus callosum

  • Each hemisphere has deep grooves = regions or lobes

  • Occipital lobe – vision

  • Parietal lobe – body sensations

  • Temporal lobe – hearing, memory, emotion, speaking

  • Frontal lobe – organization, planning, creative thinking

Hemispheres left right
Hemispheres (Left & Right)

  • Corpus callosum – carries messages back and forth between the 2 hemispheres

  • Right: Controls left side of body

    - Nonverbal, spatial, and holistic

  • Left: Controls right side of body

    - Verbal, Mathematical, Analytic

Corpus callosum
Corpus Callosum

  • Can be severed = Split-Brain Operation

  • Now have “2” brains; operate independently, no communication between the two sides

How psychologists study the brain
How Psychologists Study the Brain

  • Record electrical activity in brain – EEG

  • - wires and electrodes attached to a machine

  • Stimulation – “make” neurons fire on certain parts of brain and record; determine function

  • Lesions – cutting or destroying part of brain to see if animal behaves differently

  • Accidents – learn from brain trauma and tragedies


  • CT scans – pinpoint injuries and deterioration

  • PET scans – capture picture of brain as different parts are being used

  • MRI – able to see/study activity and structures

    - combines benefits of CT and PET scans