IB Psychology SL : Biological level of analysis

Study concepts, example questions & explanations for IB Psychology SL

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Example Questions

Example Question #1 : Biological Level Of Analysis

__________ receive messages from other neurons. Sufficient levels of stimulation trigger the cell’s own __________, sending an electrical current down the __________ to the cell’s __________, which join with yet more cells.

Possible Answers:

Dendrites. . . action potential. . . axon. . . terminal buttons

Neurotransmitter. . . action potential. . . signal. . . terminal buttons

Axons. . . signal. . . myelin sheath. . . terminal buttons

Neurotransmitters. . . signal. . . myelin sheath. . . dendrites

Dendrites. . . neurotransmitter. . . axon. . . nerve ending

Correct answer:

Dendrites. . . action potential. . . axon. . . terminal buttons

Explanation:

Nerve cells, or neurons, have a basic tree-like structure, which allows them to communicate with other nerve cells. Branch-like dendrites extend from the cell body (i.e. soma) and receive electrochemical signals from other cells. The long, thin axon endings—terminal buttons—extend from the other end of the soma. If the positively-charged signals received into the cell from the dendrites exceed the cell’s normally negative charge, then the axon allows the excess positive ions to travel down it to the terminal buttons, which in turn send neurotransmitters into the gap (i.e. synapse) between them and other cell’s dendrites. The myelin sheath does not itself relay signals, but rather is a natural lipid insulation on the axons of some cells. 

Example Question #2 : Biological Level Of Analysis

__________ receive messages from other neurons. Sufficient levels of stimulation trigger the cell’s own __________, sending an electrical current down the __________ to the cell’s __________, which join with yet more cells.

Possible Answers:

Neurotransmitters. . . signal. . . myelin sheath. . . dendrites

Axons. . . signal. . . myelin sheath. . . terminal buttons

Dendrites. . . neurotransmitter. . . axon. . . nerve ending

Neurotransmitter. . . action potential. . . signal. . . terminal buttons

Dendrites. . . action potential. . . axon. . . terminal buttons

Correct answer:

Dendrites. . . action potential. . . axon. . . terminal buttons

Explanation:

Nerve cells, or neurons, have a basic tree-like structure, which allows them to communicate with other nerve cells. Branch-like dendrites extend from the cell body (i.e. soma) and receive electrochemical signals from other cells. The long, thin axon endings—terminal buttons—extend from the other end of the soma. If the positively-charged signals received into the cell from the dendrites exceed the cell’s normally negative charge, then the axon allows the excess positive ions to travel down it to the terminal buttons, which in turn send neurotransmitters into the gap (i.e. synapse) between them and other cell’s dendrites. The myelin sheath does not itself relay signals, but rather is a natural lipid insulation on the axons of some cells. 

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