AP Psychology : Brain and Nervous System

Study concepts, example questions & explanations for AP Psychology

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Example Questions

Example Question #1389 : Ap Psychology

What part of the brainstem is responsible for coordinating movement?

Possible Answers:

Pons

Thalamus

Hypothalamus 

Reticular formation 

Medulla

Correct answer:

Pons

Explanation:

The pons sits above the medulla, making up one of the two structures of the brainstem. It's responsible for aiding in coordinated movement. If a cat has had its reticular formation severed, which connects the pons to the thalamus, it will still carry out the function of the medulla and pons (heart rate and breathing and run, climb and groom) but because it lacks the connection to the higher parts of the brain, it will perform its movements without a purpose. For instance, it will run and climb without the intention of finding food.

Example Question #1390 : Ap Psychology

What is the purpose of association areas?

Possible Answers:

They are involved in maintaining the body's homeostasis

They are involved in the higher mental processes of the brain

They are involved solely in sensory stimuli reception

They are involved in maintaining the integrity of interneurons 

They are involved in depth perception

Correct answer:

They are involved in the higher mental processes of the brain

Explanation:

Association areas are located in the cerebral cortex. They act in learning, speech, memory, etc. These functions are considered to be higher mental functions. 

These are not involved in motor or sensory functions.

Example Question #41 : Brain And Nervous System

What part of the brainstem is responsible for controlling breathing?

Possible Answers:

Cerebellum

Thalamus

Hypothalamus

Pons

Medulla 

Correct answer:

Medulla 

Explanation:

The brainstem is made up of the medulla and pons. Together, these make up the oldest (evolutionarily speaking) region of the brain. In cases of patients with brain damage, there have been observations made that no higher brain power is required to control heart rate and breathing because it's all managed by the medulla. The thalamus is not technically part of the brainstem, although it does attach to it via the reticular formation.

Example Question #42 : Brain And Nervous System

Which of the following is not an old structure of the brain?

Possible Answers:

Broca's area

Pons

Cerebellum

Medulla

Amygdala 

Correct answer:

Broca's area

Explanation:

The medulla and pons make up the brainstem. As does the cerebellum, also known as "the little brain. The cerebellum is responsible for nonverbal learning, memory and balance. The amygdala is considered to be a primitive structure in the brain, tied to fear response. All these structures can be observed in primitive animals. 

Broca's area, however, is tied to language expression - a more recently evolved capability. The "old" structures of the brain are old in terms of their evolutionary development.

Example Question #41 : Brain And Nervous System

Which of the following is not true of the hypothalamus?

Possible Answers:

It is responsible for stimulating the master gland.

It monitors the body as to maintain homeostasis.

It is responsible for evoking fear and aggression.

It is a structure that lies below the thalamus.

It contains "reward centers."

Correct answer:

It is responsible for evoking fear and aggression.

Explanation:

The amygdala is responsible for evoking fear and aggression.

The "reward centers" in the brain were observed in the 1954 study by James Olds and Peter Milner where they mistakenly placed an electrode in a rat's hypothalamus instead of the intended reticular formation. They observed the rat continuously visiting the location where it had previously received the electrode stimulation. The rat continued to return to that location for what appeared to be some perceived reward.

The hypothalamus is responsible for maintaining body temperature, regulating thirst and hunger, etc. In a sense, it's like maintaining a body's equilibrium - that is, homeostasis. In doing so, this may require the activation of the pituitary (master) gland, which will in turn release hormones.

Example Question #44 : Brain And Nervous System

Which of the following terms is best defined as the part of the brain that is in charge of processing visual information?

Possible Answers:

Temporal lobe

Hippocampus

Amygdala

Parietal lobe

Occipital lobe

Correct answer:

Occipital lobe

Explanation:

The occipital lobe is located far in the back of the brain. It is in charge of processing visual signals.

Example Question #45 : Brain And Nervous System

Which of the following terms is best defined as the part of the brain that is in charge of processing auditory information?

Possible Answers:

Temporal lobes

Frontal lobe

Hippocampus

Occipital lobe

Parietal lobe

Correct answer:

Temporal lobes

Explanation:

The temporal lobes are located on the sides of the brain, close to where the ears are. They are in charge of processing auditory information.

Example Question #46 : Brain And Nervous System

Which of the following terms is best defined as the part of the brain that is in charge of movement, balance, and coordination?

Possible Answers:

Brain stem

Amygdala

Hippocampus

Cerebellum

Frontal lobe

Correct answer:

Cerebellum

Explanation:

The cerebellum is important in helping us maintain balance and coordination. It is also in charge of precise timing and other motion related activities. It is located in the back of the brain, under the occipital lobe, and near the brain stem.

Example Question #47 : Brain And Nervous System

Which of the following terms is best defined as the part of the brain that controls essential bodily functions such as heart rate and breathing?

Possible Answers:

Brain stem

Hippocampus

Frontal lobe

Cerebellum

Amygdala

Correct answer:

Brain stem

Explanation:

The brain stem is one of the first parts of the brain to be formed during fetal development. It controls essential bodily functions such as heart rate, body temperature, and breathing. It is located at the base of the brain, near the cerebellum, and connects to the spine through a bundle of nerves.

Example Question #48 : Brain And Nervous System

Which of the following parts of a neuron are responsible for helping speed up neural impulses?

Possible Answers:

Axon

None of these

Myelin sheath 

Dendrites

Terminal Buttons

Correct answer:

Myelin sheath 

Explanation:

The myelin sheath is the fatty layer that covers the axon. It helps to speed up nerve impulses and keeps them channeled on the neuron.

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