GRE Subject Test: Psychology : Neuromodulators & Drugs

Study concepts, example questions & explanations for GRE Subject Test: Psychology

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Example Questions

Example Question #1 : Neuromodulators & Drugs

Which of the following is an example of a gender basis in physiological stress reactions?

Possible Answers:

Men experience elevated levels of cortisol activity during stress, whereas women experience decreased cortisol levels

When asked to recall emotionally strong memories, men tend to gravitate towards memories of fear, frustration and violence, and women tend to recall more memories of happiness, contentment, or romantic feelings

Men have slower reuptake of norepinephrine during stressful situations than women do, prolonging the fight-or-flight response

Men show more activation of their limbic system in response to stress than do women

Women react more quickly to olfactory and gustatory signs of stress, whereas men react more quickly to audio or visual signs of stress

Correct answer:

Men experience elevated levels of cortisol activity during stress, whereas women experience decreased cortisol levels

Explanation:

Physiological testing (e.g. blood screenings, radiologic scans and hormonal level measures) have shown that in male primates including humans, cortisol and stress levels have a moderate positive correlation, whereas this correlation is weakly negative in females of the same species.

Example Question #1 : Neuromodulators & Drugs

Atypical antipsychotic medications block dopamine and which other neurotransmitter receptors?

Possible Answers:

Acetylcholine

Seratonin

Melatonin

GABA

Epinephrine

Correct answer:

Seratonin

Explanation:

Remember that typical antipsychotics refer to the first generation of antipsychotics, while atypical antipsychotics refer to the second generation of antipsychotics. Both typical and atypical antipsychotics block dopamine pathways, but many atypical antipsychotics also block seratonin pathways. The other listed neurotransmitters are not associated with psychosis.

Example Question #1 : Neuromodulators & Drugs

Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRIs) are utilized to primarily treat which mental health disorder?

Possible Answers:

Depression

Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD)

Antisocial Personality Disorder

Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)

Correct answer:

Depression

Explanation:

While SSRIs can be utilized to treat multiple disorders, it is primarily used in the treatment of depression. Depression is thought to be caused by low serotonin release, and SSRIs prevent the re-uptake and subsequent breakdown of serotonin. Antisocial Personality Disorder, previously known as Psychopathy, has no known treatment though group therapy can be utilized. ADHD is primarily treated with methylphenidates (ex. Ritalin) or amphetamines (ex. Adderall). BPD is treated with cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT). 

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