AP Psychology : Brain and Nervous System

Study concepts, example questions & explanations for AP Psychology

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Example Questions

Example Question #61 : Brain And Nervous System

Typically, research on cerebral specialization has supported which of the following findings?

Possible Answers:

The left hemisphere of the brain handles most visual-spatial functions while the right brain handles language

The right hemisphere of the brain handles most visual-spatial functions while the left brain handles language

If you lose functioning in one side of the brain, then the other side of the brain cannot compensate for the loss

The left and right hemispheres handle visual-spatial functions and language functions about equally

Correct answer:

The right hemisphere of the brain handles most visual-spatial functions while the left brain handles language

Explanation:

Research has shown that different parts of the brain handle different tasks. Typically, the right hemisphere of the brain handles most visual-spatial functions while the left hemisphere handles language. Exceptions to this rule are when a person is born or develops some sort of brain abnormality or damage. In this case, the brain often adapts so that one hemisphere takes over the job of the other one. 

Example Question #61 : Brain And Nervous System

Which of the following parts of the brain enables communication between the left and right hemispheres? 

Possible Answers:

Corpus callosum

Frontal lobe

Frontal gyrus 

Temporal lobe

Correct answer:

Corpus callosum

Explanation:

The corpus callosum is a large band of fibers that relays signals between the two hemispheres of the brain.

Example Question #61 : Brain And Nervous System

Prescription painkillers typically have the greatest effect on which of the following neurotransmitters?

Possible Answers:

Endorphins

GABA

Serotonin

Dopamine

Glutamate

Correct answer:

Endorphins

Explanation:

Endorphins—released during exercise, sex, and excitement—work in relieving pain symptoms. Analgesics, painkillers, are developed to have similar neurological reactions with longer-lasting effects.

Example Question #62 : Brain And Nervous System

Which of the following lobes of the brain plays an important role in processing visual information, but not processing auditory information or producing motor movements.

Possible Answers:

None of these

Occipital lobe

Temporal lobe

Parietal lobe

Frontal lobe

Correct answer:

Occipital lobe

Explanation:

The occipital lobe is important for the sense of sight, and contains areas such as the primary visual cortex (i.e. V1). The temporal lobe is important for the sense of hearing. The parietal lobe is important for integrating sensory information of all types. Last, the frontal lobe is important for planning and decision-making.

Example Question #65 : Brain And Nervous System

Cynthia hears her mother scream downstairs. Immediately she feels agitation and fear. Which nervous symptom is responsible for this response?

Possible Answers:

Central nervous system

Parasympathetic nervous system

Somatic nervous system

Sympathetic nervous system

Correct answer:

Sympathetic nervous system

Explanation:

The sympathetic nervous system is responsible for the "fight or flight" response, which is generally due to a rush of adrenaline that allows the body to respond maximally to a potential threat. 

While interesting, the other answers are incorrect. The parasympathetic nervous system is incorrect because this is the system that counters the body's stress response produced by the sympathetic nervous system. The central nervous system is responsible for the nerves within the skeletal structure as well as motor movements. It consists of the brainstem and spinal cord. Last, the somatic nervous system controls voluntary muscle movements. 

Example Question #61 : Brain And Nervous System

Which of the following is not a neurotransmitter?

Possible Answers:

Melanin

Glutamate

Norepinephrine

Acetylcholine

Correct answer:

Melanin

Explanation:

Melanin is a pigment found in the skin and eyes, but also in the brain. It is not to be confused with melatonin, a hormone and neurotransmitter. Acetylcholine is a neurotransmitter associated with, among other things, the stimulation of muscle contractions. Norepinephrine is both a hormone and a neurotransmitter and helps return the body to homeostasis after the release of epinephrine (adrenaline). Last, glutamate is a neurotransmitter associated with nearly all (about 90%) synapse connections.

Example Question #62 : Brain And Nervous System

A patient who sustained damage to her hippocampus would afterwards most likely experience which of the following symptoms?

Possible Answers:

Difficulty in regulating emotions, especially aggression and fear

Difficulty in recognizing faces

No issues associated with the recall of short-term memories or earlier long-term memories, but the loss of the ability to store new long-term memories

Difficulty associated with the recall of earlier long-term memories, but an increased ability to retain short-term memory and new long-term memories

Correct answer:

No issues associated with the recall of short-term memories or earlier long-term memories, but the loss of the ability to store new long-term memories

Explanation:

The hippocampus is a brain structure located in the limbic system, which is associated with memory and emotion. Arguably, its most important role is associated with the transfer of information from short-term to long-term memory. Patients with non-functional hippocampi have little to no trouble consulting their long-term memories made before damaging this region; however, they are unable to form new long-term memories.

Example Question #62 : Brain And Nervous System

Which of the following areas of the brain contains all efferent neurons as well as controls motor actions and speech production?

Possible Answers:

Temporal lobe

Occipital lobe 

Parietal lobe

Frontal lobe

Cerebrum 

Correct answer:

Frontal lobe

Explanation:

The frontal lobe contains the motor strip and is responsible for speech production. The motor strip is composed of all sending, or efferent neurons. When activated, these neurons contract muscles throughout the body. Speech production occurs in Broca's area, located in the left frontal lobe. Speech is produced through muscle actions; therefore, it is also dependent on efferent neurons in the frontal lobe.

Example Question #62 : Brain And Nervous System

Which of the following areas of the brain contains all afferent neurons and possesses areas associated with math, body image, and spatial orientation?

Possible Answers:

Parietal lobe 

Thalamus 

Frontal lobe 

Occipital lobe 

Cerebrum

Correct answer:

Parietal lobe 

Explanation:

The parietal lobe contains the input strip and has association areas involved with the following: math, body image, and spatial orientation. The input strip is the opposite of the motor strip located in the frontal lobe. The input strip receives information from sensory neurons from all over the body. The association area for math is located in the left angular gyrus. Association areas for body image and spatial orientation give us awareness of our body in 3D space and enable us to envision 3D space.

Example Question #70 : Brain And Nervous System

If an individual has trouble producing coherent speech but seems to understand language, he or she might have damage to which of the following areas?

Possible Answers:

Broca’s area, in the left frontal lobe

Wernicke’s area, in the left temporal lobe

Wernicke’s area, in the left frontal lobe

Broca’s area, in the left temporal lobe

Correct answer:

Broca’s area, in the left frontal lobe

Explanation:

Broca’s aphasia results from damage to Broca’s area. It is a language disorder in which the individual has difficulty expressing language through speech and writing. These individuals must exert great effort to generate even ungrammatical or poorly structured speech. For this reason Broca’s aphasia is also called non-fluent aphasia; however, it is thought that their ability to understand language is significantly less affected. Contrastingly, Wernicke’s aphasia is a language disorder in which the individual is able to generate syntactically correct language that is semantically nonsensical (e.g. “the football offered to wash its hand). These individuals also do not seem to understand or correctly interpret language either. This aphasia is also called fluent aphasia and is related to damage to Wernicke’s area. Broca’s aphasia is located in the left frontal lobe in the brain, while Wernicke’s area is located in the left temporal lobe.

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