What is plasticity and how does it help the brain and nervous system adapt?


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Chapter 3 Reading Assignment: Biological Foundations of Behavior

1. Name and explain the four characteristics that allow the nervous system to direct human behavior.

2. What is plasticity and how does it help the brain and nervous system adapt?

3. Identify and describe the purpose of the two major divisions of the nervous system. Identify the main parts of each division and describe each parts’ functions.

4. List the parts that make up a neuron and briefly describe the function of each part.

5. How do neurons communicate? How do neurotransmitters influence us?

6. What is meant by the neuron’s action potential and how does the all-or-nothing principle apply to it?

7.  List and briefly describe the neurochemical messengers introduced in our course text.

8. What is a neural network? What purpose does it have for processing incoming information?

9. What are three ways researchers study the brain? Briefly describe each and the benefits and limitations of these forms of data collection and analysis.

10. Understand the organization of the brain. What are the primary functions of the forebrain, midbrain and hindbrain? What are the major functions of the frontal, parietal, occipital and temporal lobes? Identify which lobe is responsible for complex mental functions like thinking and planning.

11. What is the endocrine system? What is its functions? What are the major glands of the endocrine system?

12. Describe three ways in which a damaged brain may repair itself.

13. Describe dominant and recessive genes and explain how they are different. According to dominant-recessive genes principle, explain how could two brown-haired parents have a blonde-haired child?

14. Compare and contrast genotype and phenotype and also address how they are related.

15. Explain the relationship between chromosomes, genes, and DNA.

16. Explain what stress and stressors are.

17. What part of the nervous system sets off the fight-or-flight reaction and how does this reaction affect the body?

18. Explain the difference between chronic and acute stress.

With regard to research methodology you should be able to define and discuss the following terms.

Limbic system


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