AP Psychology : Brain and Nervous System

Study concepts, example questions & explanations for AP Psychology

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Example Questions

Example Question #71 : Brain And Nervous System

The brain has many different lobes, each with its own cells to carry out different tasks. The occipital lobe is located at the back of your brain. This lobe is responsible for which of the following functions?

Possible Answers:

The occipital lobe is responsible for habitual, automatic behaviors

The occipital lobe is responsible for coordination of motor movements and regulatory functions

The occipital lobe is responsible for vision

The occipital lobe is responsible for higher-order thought processes such as memory and thought

The occipital lobe is responsible for recognizing and understanding auditory information

Correct answer:

The occipital lobe is responsible for vision

Explanation:

The occipital lobe is responsible for vision. The rest of the answers are functions that belong to different parts of the brain. For instance, auditory information processing belongs to the temporal lobe, while higher-order cognitive processes tend to be done by the frontal lobe. The medulla is responsible for habitual, automatic behaviors, and the cerebellum is responsible for coordination of motor movements and regulatory functions. 

Example Question #72 : Brain And Nervous System

After experiencing a brain injury, Ben has difficulty expressing words, including putting together grammatically correct sentences. His comprehension is mostly intact. What part of Ben's brain has most likely been damaged?

Possible Answers:

Right temporal lobe

Amygdala 

Right frontal lobe

Left temporal lobe

Left frontal lobe

Correct answer:

Left frontal lobe

Explanation:

Ben's presentation is consistent with Broca's aphasia, which is an expressive aphasia that includes difficulty producing language. Broca's aphasia occurs due to damage to the left frontal lobe. It is important to remember that the left hemisphere of the brain is involved with language. Wernicke's aphasia, a receptive aphasia, is due to damage to the left temporal lobe. Damage to the amygdala affects memory and expression of emotions, including anger and fear. 

Example Question #73 : Brain And Nervous System

Which part of the brain is responsible for coordinating movement and balance?

Possible Answers:

Frontal lobe

Amygdala

Occipital lobe

Cerebellum 

Temporal lobe

Correct answer:

Cerebellum 

Explanation:

The cerebellum is located adjacent to the spinal cord and is responsible for motor control, posture, and balance. On the other hand, the frontal lobe is located at the front end of the brain and is responsible for higher level functions like thinking, planning, problem solving, and impulse control. The amygdala is a part of the limbic system and involved in emotions. The temporal lobe houses the limbic system and its functions include memory, language, emotions, taking in sensory information, and listening. The occipital lobe processes visual information. 

Example Question #74 : Brain And Nervous System

Which part of the brain is responsible for functions that are essential to survival, including regulating hunger, thirst, body temperature, and sleep?

Possible Answers:

Thalamus

Hippocampus

Medulla

Pons

Hypothalamus

Correct answer:

Hypothalamus

Explanation:

The hypothalamus is considered the "powerhouse" of the brain because it is responsible for several functions that are imperative to survival. It does this by controlling the release of hormones by the pituitary gland. The hypothalamus is involved with hunger, thirst, sleep, body temperature, sex drive, and emotions like anger and stress. On the other hand, the thalamus receives sensory signals and then relays them to the appropriate part of the brain. The hippocampus is a part of the limbic system and involved with storing long-term memories. The medulla controls autonomic functions, including heart rate and breathing. The pons relays information and plays a part in sleep and motor movements like facial expressions.

Example Question #75 : Brain And Nervous System

The parasympathetic nervous system is part of which branch of the nervous system?

Possible Answers:

Central nervous system

Autonomic nervous system

Sympathetic nervous sytem

Somatic nervous system

Correct answer:

Autonomic nervous system

Explanation:

The parasympathetic nervous system, which is responsible for slowing down the body after a stress response, is part of the autonomic nervous system. The autonomic system helps regulate involuntary functions of our body such as heart rate, internal organ activity, gland secretions, etc. The sympathetic nervous system is also part of the autonomic system. Alternatively, the somatic nervous system controls our voluntary muscle movements and our central nervous system only refers to the brain and spinal cord. 

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Example Question #76 : Brain And Nervous System

While working in the mines, Ken was involved in an accident that damaged his brain. Doctors found that he became very impulsive and emotional after the accident. He also lost his ability to foresee consequences and make decisions. 

Which part of Ken's brain was damaged during the accident?

Possible Answers:

Frontal lobe

Occipital lobe 

Parietal lobe

Temporal lobe

Correct answer:

Frontal lobe

Explanation:

Similar to the famous case of Phineas Gage, Ken's frontal lobe was damaged. The frontal lobe is responsible for emotional control, abstract thought, and executive functions such as foreseeing consequences, making good judgements, and pursuing goals. Due to the damage in his frontal lobe, Ken had a lack of emotional control as well as impaired judgment.

Example Question #77 : Brain And Nervous System

Which of the following is not one of the functions that the hypothalamus regulates?

Possible Answers:

Visual information processing

Sleep

Sexual arousal

Maintaining homeostasis

Hunger

Correct answer:

Visual information processing

Explanation:

The hypothalamus is involved in regulating several functions, which includes: maintaining homeostasis, body temperature, hunger, thirst, sexual drive, sleep, and mood. It does this by releasing hormones through the pituitary gland. The occipital lobe is the part of the brain that is involved in processing visual information.

Example Question #78 : Brain And Nervous System

Which of the following plays a role in the onset muscular rigidity and tremors found in Parkinson's disease?

Possible Answers:

A deficiency of serotonin

An overabundance of serotonin

None of these

An overabundance of dopamine

A deficiency of dopamine

Correct answer:

A deficiency of dopamine

Explanation:

Parkinson's disease is a degenerative disorder that affects the substantia nigra, among other nerve cells. This region is responsible for the production of dopamine, a neurotransmitter that facilitates smooth and coordinated body movements by allowing communication between the brain and muscles. When dopamine receptors related to movement are inadequately stimulated the result can be inhibitory, causing muscle rigidity and tremors. On the other hand, an overabundance of dopamine may produce symptoms of paranoia and psychosis as can be found in true schizophrenia. A deficiency in serotonin has been associated with depression, increased aggression, and overeating. Overly high serotonin levels on the other hand result in symptoms including confusion, a rapid heart-rate, agitation, and restlessness.

Example Question #79 : Brain And Nervous System

Which area of the brain works to consolidate memories from short-term memory into long-term memory?

Possible Answers:

Corpus callosum 

Frontal lobe

Hippocampus

Central sulcus

Amygdala

Correct answer:

Hippocampus

Explanation:

The "hippocampus," part of the brain's limbic system, plays an important role in the consolidation of information from short-term memory to long-term memory. In addition, the hippocampus helps with our spatial navigation.

Example Question #80 : Brain And Nervous System

Which of the following brain structures is not located in the limbic system?

Possible Answers:

Hippocampus

Fornix

Cerebrum

Cingulate gyrus

Amygdala

Correct answer:

Cerebrum

Explanation:

The "cerebrum" is a large part of the brain containing the cerebral cortex, as well as several subcortical structures. The cerebrum is not located in the limbic system, while the other answer choices are.

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