AP Psychology : Brain and Nervous System

Study concepts, example questions & explanations for AP Psychology

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Example Questions

Example Question #81 : Brain And Nervous System

Which of the following parts of the brain is responsible for maintaining our breathing and heart rate?

Possible Answers:

Cerebrum

Pons

Amygdala

Cerebellum

Medulla

Correct answer:

Medulla

Explanation:

The "medulla," also known as the medulla oblongata, contains the respiratory, cardiac, and vasomotor centers of the brain; therefore, the medulla controls the autonomic functions.  These functions include: breathing, heart rate, and blood pressure. We would be not be able to survive—not even for a minute—without a functioning medulla.

Example Question #81 : Brain And Nervous System

Which part of the brain is responsible for secreting hormones that control our body temperature and circadian rhythm?

Possible Answers:

Gyrus

Corpus callosum

Sulcus

Prefrontal cortex

Hypothalamus

Correct answer:

Hypothalamus

Explanation:

The "hypothalamus" is responsible for synthesizing and secreting neurohormones that stimulate the secretion of pituitary hormones. The hypothalamus controls many important bodily functions, including maintaining a healthy body temperature and circadian rhythm (i.e. our 24 hour internal cycle).

Example Question #81 : Brain And Nervous System

Which part of the brain is chiefly responsible for auditory and olfactory processing?

Possible Answers:

Parietal lobe

Prefrontal lobe

Occipital lobe

Frontal lobe

Temporal lobe

Correct answer:

Temporal lobe

Explanation:

The "temporal lobe" plays an important role in organizing sensory input, auditory information, and language production. All four major lobes of the brain (temporal, parietal, frontal, and occipital) are located in the cerebral cortex.

Example Question #82 : Brain And Nervous System

Which of the following parts of the brain is most heavily involved with decision making processes?

Possible Answers:

Amygdala

Cerebral cortex

Corpus callosum 

Fornix

Correct answer:

Cerebral cortex

Explanation:

The "cerebral cortex" is the large, folded exterior portion of the cerebrum that contains the different lobes of the brain. This structure is responsible for memory, perception, and consciousness—among other things. The fornix and the amygdala are part of the limbic system and do not play a large role in higher level thought. Additionally, the corpus callosum is anatomically defined simply as the connections between the two hemispheres of the brain. 

Example Question #83 : Brain And Nervous System

The function of the parasympathetic nervous system is to __________.

Possible Answers:

activate a "rest and digest" response

voluntarily contract skeletal muscle 

None of these

activate digestion

initiate a "fight or flight" response

Correct answer:

activate a "rest and digest" response

Explanation:

The parasympathetic nervous system (PSNS) is responsible for activating "rest and digest" and returning the body to equilibrium after a fight or flight response. This is opposed to the sympathetic nervous system (SNS) that is involved in the "fight or flight" response. They are both branches of the autonomic nervous system (ANS) which involuntarily regulates function of internal organs.

Example Question #84 : Brain And Nervous System

Which structure connects the left and right cerebral hemispheres of the brain?

Possible Answers:

Corpus callosum

Thalamus

Broca's area

Brainstem

Wernicke's area

Correct answer:

Corpus callosum

Explanation:

The corpus callosum is a band of nerve fibers that connect the brain's left and right hemispheres together. It is the largest white matter structure in the brain, and allows valuable information to be shared across brain hemispheres.

Example Question #85 : Brain And Nervous System

What neurotransmitter triggers muscle contractions?

Possible Answers:

Acetylcholine

Dopamine

Insulin

Norepinephrine

Serotonin

Correct answer:

Acetylcholine

Explanation:

Acetylcholine is located at the neuromuscular junction, and it triggers muscle contraction in the body's cells. This neurotransmitter is most frequently found in neuronal cells in the central nervous system (CNS) and peripheral nervous system (PNS).

Example Question #86 : Brain And Nervous System

Which of the following is a false statement about endorphins?

Possible Answers:

Endorphins act similar to opiate drugs

Endorphins are linked to pleasure centers in the body

Endorphins are linked to pain centers in the body

Endorphins are hormones

Endorphins are neurotransmitters

Correct answer:

Endorphins are hormones

Explanation:

Endorphins are a type of neurotransmitters that are closely linked to pleasure and pain centers in the body. They are not hormones; hormones are chemical messengers that are secreted directly into the blood and travel through the body to various organs.

Example Question #87 : Brain And Nervous System

After suffering a stroke localized to the cerebellum, one would exhibit which of the following symptoms ___________________.

Possible Answers:

inability to comprehend speech

inability to coordinate movements and loss of balance

inability to form new memories

inability to regulate heart rate

inability to produce articulate speech

Correct answer:

inability to coordinate movements and loss of balance

Explanation:

The cerebellum is located near the base of the brain. Its major function is to coordinate movement and preserve balance. Damage to this area from a stroke will prevent an individual from coordinating their movements.

Example Question #81 : Brain And Nervous System

What term describes the brain imaging modality that relies on magnetic fields and electrons?

Possible Answers:

EKG

EEG

MRI

MT Scan

CT Scan

Correct answer:

MRI

Explanation:

An MRI is a brain imaging modality that relies on magnetic fields. Strong magnets redirect the electrons within the body to produce an image. MRIs provide useful imaging of the soft tissue structures of the brain, and can be key in finding tumors, bleeding, and other brain abnormalities.

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