AP Biology : Understanding the Brain and Brain Structures

Study concepts, example questions & explanations for AP Biology

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Example Questions

Example Question #16 : Neural Anatomy

Which of the following is a not a function of the medulla oblongata?

Possible Answers:

Control vomiting reflexes

Control breathing rate

Control speech patterns

Control blood pressure

Control cardiac rate

Correct answer:

Control speech patterns

Explanation:

The medulla oblongata is in the lower half of the brainstem. It controls a variety of functions, mostly involuntary and essential. Heart beat, breathing, and blood pressure are controlled in the medulla oblongata, as is the vomiting reflex.

Speech is controlled by Broca's area, which is located in the frontal lobe of the cerebrum.

Example Question #17 : Neural Anatomy

What is the primary function of the occipital lobe?

Possible Answers:

Integrating auditory input

Integrating visual input

Conscious thought

Integrating tactile input

Correct answer:

Integrating visual input

Explanation:

Each answer corresponds to one lobe of the cerebrum. The frontal lobe is responsible for conscious thought, as well as many other functions. The parietal lobe is responsible for integrating tactile information. The temporal lobe has the functions of interpreting smell and sound. The occipital lobe is associated with processing visual information.

Example Question #18 : Neural Anatomy

What is the fluid in the anterior chamber of the eye called?

Possible Answers:

Vitreous humor

Hippocratic humor

Galen humor

Aqueous humor

All of these refer to the same structure

Correct answer:

Aqueous humor

Explanation:

The eye is divided into two chambers by the lens: the anterior and posterior chambers. The anterior chamber is filled with aqueous humor, while the posterior chamber is filled with vitreous humor. Aqueous humor nourishes the eye and maintains intraocular pressure. Aqueous humor is also important in the refraction of light, which allows humans to distinguish clear images and colors.

Hippocratic and Galen humor do not exist. Hippocrates and Galen were two ancient physicians who would use the four humors (yellow bile, black bile, phlegm, and blood) to diagnose and treat patients.

Example Question #19 : Neural Anatomy

A patient is taken to the hospital after suffering severe head trauma. He is unconscious for two days before waking up. Upon standing, the patient finds he has moderate trouble walking straight and has difficulty maintaining his balance.

Based on these symptoms, what part of the patient's brain do you suspect was damaged in the accident?

Possible Answers:

The amygdala

The medulla oblongata

The cerebellum

The hypothalamus

The cerebrum

Correct answer:

The cerebellum

Explanation:

The cerebellum is mainly responsible for fine tuning the motions of the body, including balance and coordination. As a result, damage to this region would cause difficulty walking straight and maintaining balance. 

Example Question #1 : Understanding The Brain And Brain Structures

Unlike the spinal cord, the brain mainly has grey matter on the __________ and white matter on the __________

Possible Answers:

right half . . . left half

inner layer . . . outermost layer

outermost layer . . . inner layer

left half . . . right half

Correct answer:

outermost layer . . . inner layer

Explanation:

Unmyelinated nervous system components make up grey matter, while myelinated axons make up white matter. The cerebral cortex on the surface of the brain contains unmyelinated neural tissue, namely the cell bodies of neurons in the central nervous system. This region is rich in connections. Below its surface lie many myelinated axon tracts to inner nuclei, the cerebellum, other areas of the cortex, and the spinal cord.    

Example Question #2 : Understanding The Brain And Brain Structures

Please complete the following statement.

The presence of __________ in the brain indicates a modification to __________.

Possible Answers:

multiple lobes. . . surface-area-to-volume ratios

white matter. . . electro-chemical gradients

folds. . . surface-area-to-volume ratios

the corpus callosum. . . circulation patterns

gray matter. . . sunlight exposure

Correct answer:

folds. . . surface-area-to-volume ratios

Explanation:

Folds are present in the human brain due to the rapid evolution of brain-related tasks while the skull shape and size remained relatively constant; therefore, folds are present as modifications to limited surface-area-to-volume ratios in the skull cavity.

Example Question #83 : Nervous System

Which of the following is the best explanation for why we have a "blind spot?"

Possible Answers:

There are only rods in the blind spot, but no cones

None of the choices are true

There are both rods and cones present, but they do not contain opsins

There are only cones in the blind spot, but no rods

The optic nerve exits the optic disc through the blind spot

Correct answer:

The optic nerve exits the optic disc through the blind spot

Explanation:

In the blind spot, there is a lack of photoreceptors as the optic nerve exits the optic disk. We normally overcome this automatically when our brains use the information of the surrounding visual field and "fills in" the blind spot. 

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