AP Psychology : Brain and Nervous System

Study concepts, example questions & explanations for AP Psychology

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Example Questions

Example Question #51 : Brain And Nervous System

Which individual is commonly credited with the discovery of the brain structure called the pons?

Possible Answers:

Andreas Vesalius

Gabriele Falloppio

Giulio Aranzio

Costanzo Varolio

Correct answer:

Costanzo Varolio

Explanation:

Varolio, a 16th-century anatomist and lecturer, was likely the first anatomist to study the brain from the bottom upwards, instead of the traditional top-down approach used by anatomists until that time. He also correctly theorized the pons as being vital in communication between the brain and spinal cord.

Example Question #52 : Brain And Nervous System

A patient arrives in the hospital after a sudden injury to the head. The patient is lucid enough to talk, has a fast, thready pulse, is hyperventilating without fear response, and has abnormally low blood pressure and body temperature. Which part of the brain most likely took damage from the injury?

Possible Answers:

Midbrain

Forebrain

Brainstem

Hindbrain

Correct answer:

Hindbrain

Explanation:

The hindbrain is the division of the brain containing the pons, medulla, and cerebellum, which are together largely responsible for autonomous processes of the body, such as breathing, blood pressure, heart rate, and body temperature.

Example Question #53 : Brain And Nervous System

Which of the following is closest to how many times faster a myelinated nerve sheath can transmit a neural impulse compared to an unmyelinated sheath?

Possible Answers:

There is no difference in speed.

Correct answer:

Explanation:

Myelination works by providing a faster medium (fatty material) for the transmission of electrical impulses than could otherwise be achieved. While not present on all nerve fibers, myelinated nerves are found throughout the body.

Example Question #53 : Brain And Nervous System

Too much __________ in the body can cause muscle spasms and tremors, while too little can cause paralysis and torpor.

Possible Answers:

acetylcholine

dopamine

GABA

epinephrine

Correct answer:

dopamine

Explanation:

The presence of dopamine in excess causes the classic symptoms of agitation, which can include inattention, aggressiveness, inability to focus the eyes, and in severe cases muscle tremors or spasms. In severe cases of dopamine limitation, paralysis, torporous aspect and even death can occur.

Example Question #55 : Brain And Nervous System

When an impulse reaches the end of one neuron and needs to cross the synaptic gap, neurotransmitters are released by the ____________.

Possible Answers:

Dendrites

Synaptic branch

Myelin sheath

Synaptic vesicles

Correct answer:

Synaptic vesicles

Explanation:

The vesicles, located in the synaptic knob, also help with the resorption of used neurotransmitters during the reuptake phase.

Example Question #53 : Brain And Nervous System

Areas of the cerebral cortex which are associated neither with primary motor movements nor with sensory input or processing are referred to as _____________.

Possible Answers:

limbic areas

sympathetic areas

association areas

coordination areas

Correct answer:

association areas

Explanation:

Association areas, such as Broca's area, are involved in "higher" brain processes such as pattern recognition, speaking, thinking and memory.

Example Question #57 : Brain And Nervous System

Which of the following is the best definition of neuroplasticity?

Possible Answers:

The ability of each of the brain's halves to duplicate the function of the other half, allowing humans to survive/thrive with only half a brain if necessary

The ability of the brain to change, in structure, shape, and function, over the course of a lifetime

The ability of the brain to "work around" damaged areas, diverting the former functions of damaged tissues elsewhere

The ability of the brain to, over time, regenerate lost neural tissue, and replace broken neural connections

Correct answer:

The ability of the brain to change, in structure, shape, and function, over the course of a lifetime

Explanation:

Neuroplasticity replaced the former "static organ" model of brain functioning through recognition that in response to changes in behavior, environment, or even injury to the brain, the brain's functions, structure and shape can change. This plasticity occurs at both the synaptic and non-synaptic levels.

Example Question #51 : Brain And Nervous System

The __________ is/are a ring-shaped association of different brain structures in the forebrain, commonly associated with emotions and memories.

Possible Answers:

limbic system

somatic system

hippocampal grouping

association areas

Correct answer:

limbic system

Explanation:

The limbic system is composed of the septum, cingulate gyrus, hypothalamus, and amygdala, plus other more minor formations. This system is particularly associated with the formation of memory.

Example Question #51 : Brain And Nervous System

The transmission of neural impulses in the brain is regulated through __________.

Possible Answers:

the action of enzymes that break down neurotransmitters

the process of reuptake of neurotransmitters

the release of excitatory neurotransmitters

All of the other answers

the release of inhibitory neurotransmitters

Correct answer:

All of the other answers

Explanation:

All of the answers lead to regulation of neurotransmitters in the brain, thus leading to regulation of neural impulses. A combination of releasing inhibitory and excitatory neurotransmitters and also removing them from the synapses leads to the diverse neural impulses in the brain.

Example Question #60 : Brain And Nervous System

Angie comes home after school and discovers that her front door is ajar and several windows on her house have been broken. Suddenly, her breathing and heart rate quicken. Her blood pressure increased and she has goose bumps and sweaty palms. Which of the following parts of Angie's nervous system is being activated?

Possible Answers:

Somatic nervous system

Basic nervous system

Central nervous system

Autonomic nervous system

Correct answer:

Autonomic nervous system

Explanation:

The autonomic nervous system is made up of nerves that connect to the heart, blood vessels, smooth muscles, and glands. The autonomic nervous system controls automatic and involuntary physiological arousals that occur when people experience emotions. In this case, Angie is experiencing a lot of fear or other emotions due to the break in and her autonomic nervous system is hijacking her body, preparing her for a possible fight or flight situation. 

Like the autonomic nervous system, the somatic nervous system is part of the peripheral nervous system; however, its function is for voluntary skeletal muscles and sensory receptors. The central nervous system consists of the brain and spinal cord, but doesn't include the peripheral nerves that made Angie react the way she did. The basic nervous system is not a real system. 

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