AP Psychology : Brain and Nervous System

Study concepts, example questions & explanations for AP Psychology

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Example Questions

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Example Question #1 : Brain And Nervous System

Which of these areas of the brain is not located in the limbic system?

Possible Answers:

All of these are part of the limbic system

Hypothalamus

Hippocampus

Medulla oblangata

Amygdala

Correct answer:

Medulla oblangata

Explanation:

The limbic system is primarily located in the forebrain. Key structures of the limbic system include the hypothalamus (which moderates biological needs, such as hunger), hippocampus (which stores long-term memory), and the amygdala (which plays a role in emotional associations). The primary purposes of the limbic system are to store memories, moderate survival behaviors, and generate emotional responses. It plays a key role in biological motivations by determining such responses as hunger, sex drive, and fear.

The medulla oblongata is located in the hindbrain and brain stem. Its key purpose is to facilitate functions of the autonomic nervous system, initiating such things as respiration, heart beat, and blood pressure. It is not considered part of the limbic system.

Example Question #2 : Brain And Nervous System

Alcohol consumption increases the secretion of which of these neurotransmitters?

I. Glutamate

II. GABA

III. Dopamine

Possible Answers:

I only

II only

I, II, and III

II and III

III only

Correct answer:

II and III

Explanation:

Alcohol is a depressant that suppresses the secretion of excitatory neurotransmitters like glutamate, while increasing the production of the inhibitory neurotransmitter GABA. At the same time, it increases the release of dopamine to the nucleus accumbens, creating a pleasure sensation.

Example Question #3 : Brain And Nervous System

Damage to the temporal lobe would most likely affect a person's ability to __________.

Possible Answers:

see

hear

balance

smell

Correct answer:

hear

Explanation:

The temporal lobe is one of the four major lobes of the brain, located on the sides of the brain behind the temples and ears. This lobe of the cerebrum houses the auditory cortex, which processes sound.

Vision is processed in the occipital lobe, located in the back of the brain. Balance is maintained by a variety of sensorimotor systems in the vestibular system, located in the inner ear. Smell is processed in the olfactory bulb, which is located in the frontal cortex of the brain.

Example Question #4 : Brain And Nervous System

The feeling of being hungry is sent from what part of the brain?

Possible Answers:

Thalamus

Brain stem

Ventromedial hypothalamus

Frontal lobe

Correct answer:

Ventromedial hypothalamus

Explanation:

The ventromedial hypothalamus controls feelings of hunger.

The thalamus relays sensory and motor signals to the cerebral cortex and regulates conciousness, sleep, and alertness. The frontal lobe carries out higher mental processes such as thinking, decision-making, and planning. The brain stem is the part of the brain that is connected to the spinal cord and controls the flow of messages between the brain and the rest of the body, as well as basic body functions.

Example Question #5 : Brain And Nervous System

What area of the brain is known as the emotional center, and is responsible for emotional reactions such as fear?

Possible Answers:

Hippocampus

Corpus callosum

Thalamus

Hypothalamus

Amygdala

Correct answer:

Amygdala

Explanation:

The amygdala is an almond-shaped region of the inner brain, or the limbic system. It is responsible for emotional learning and emotional reactions.

Example Question #6 : Brain And Nervous System

What area of the brain is responsible for motor control and coordination?

Possible Answers:

Occipital lobe

Amygdala

Thalamus

Cerebellum

Hypothalamus

Correct answer:

Cerebellum

Explanation:

The cerebellum coordinates movements that are initiated by the motor cortex in the frontal lobe. The cerebellum is commonly associated with balance and and coordination. It is located at the back of the head, below the occipital lobe.

Example Question #7 : Brain And Nervous System

Which area of the brain is most associated with executive functions such as decision-making, inhibition, and motor control?

Possible Answers:

Hippocampus

Temporal lobe

Parietal lobe

Frontal lobe

Cerebellum

Correct answer:

Frontal lobe

Explanation:

The frontal lobe is responsible for the higher-level cognitive processes associated with executive functions. It contains the primary motor cortex and is involved in decision-making, as well as many other goal-directed behaviors.

Example Question #8 : Brain And Nervous System

Which of the following is a part of the peripheral nervous system?

Possible Answers:

Autonomic nervous system

Blood vessels

Paraneuronal nervous system

The spinal cord

The brain

Correct answer:

Autonomic nervous system

Explanation:

The nervous system is divided into subsystems based on nerve locations and functionality. Neural tissue located in the brain and spinal cord comprise the central nervous system; all other nervous tissue is considered part of the peripheral nervous system.

The peripheral nervous system is further divided by functionality. Somatic nerve fibers are under voluntary control, while autonomic nerve fibers are under involuntary control. Both of these subdivisions are considered part of the peripheral nervous system (giving us our correct answer). The autonomic nervous system can be further divided into the sympathetic and parasympathetic systems. The sympathetic system is responsible for stress reactions, initiating the fight or flight response, while the parasympathetic system is responsible for resting reactions, often referred to as rest and digest.

Example Question #9 : Brain And Nervous System

What is the "information highway" that connects the two hemispheres of the brain?

Possible Answers:

Primary fissure

Hippocampus

Cingulate gyrus

Corpus callosum 

Amygdala

Correct answer:

Corpus callosum 

Explanation:

The corpus callosum is a bundle of white matter tracts that allows for communication between the two hemispheres of the cortex. The famous "split-brain" experiments involved the severing of the corpus callosum.

Example Question #10 : Brain And Nervous System

Which of the following is the best definition of an electroencephalogram?

Possible Answers:

A tool used to measure blood flow in the brain

The process by which neurons are regenerated in the brain

The electrical current regulating brain activity

A tool used to measure the brain's electrical impulses.

A tool to measure the number of electrons in the brain

Correct answer:

A tool used to measure the brain's electrical impulses.

Explanation:

The purpose of an electroencephalogram (EEG) is to determine the electrical activity in the brain by the use of electrodes. These electrodes are connected to the scalp and are used to detect brain waves from the neurons of the brain. It is often used in sleep research.

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