Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Psychology GRE Study Guide Page 7

I’m too lazy to link all of the previous pages, but you can find them in the archives and under the label “GRE”. Page 1 has a link to the official Practice GRE from which this guide is developed.

a. Acetylcholine is a messenger in the central and peripheral nervous systems. One function of this neurotransmitter is muscle contractions.
b. Dopamine often has inhibitory effects which dampen and stabilise brain communications allowing for things like smooth, voluntary muscle control, sleeping without physically acting out dreams, and maintaining posture. Dopamine is linked to schizophrenia and Parkinson’s.
c. Epinephrine (adrenaline) is a hormone which induces fight-or-flight effects such as increased heart rate, diverting blood supply from digestion to muscles, and increasing blood-glucose levels. The sympathetic nervous system regulates homeostatic processes and is involved in the flight-or-fight response.
d. Norepinephrine does the same thing as epinephrine.
e. GABA (gamma-amino-butyric acid) plays an inhibitory role in the regulation of anxiety.

52. Naloxone is used to counter the effects of an opioid overdose as it has a high affinity for opioid receptors.

53. It takes about 25 minutes for your eyes to adjust to the dark after being exposed to light. Photopigments in receptor cells in the eye allow for visual transduction. In bright light, some of these photopigments are broken down so when you enter a dark environment, there are not enough photopigments available for visual responses, but they are regenerated over time allowing for increased vision in the dark setting. When entering the dark, the cones are more sensitive than the rods, but achieve their threshold more quickly the threshold needs to be overcome in order for vision to occur, so a lower threshold means less light is needed in order to see). At about this time, the rods take over.

54. Elaboration is a learning process whereby memorisation is achieved by forming meaningful connections between new information and that already stored in memory. (Four of the answers are related to cognitive processes and one answer is related to literal interpretation).

55. Iconic memory is short-lived (1/2sec) and produces and stores visual sensory memories such as light trails, which are not actually present but are visible because of the memory of light stored in the iconic memory system (like a photograph). The same concept applies to other flashed, visual information such as cue cards. Echoic memory is similar but stores auditory information. Short-term memory is often referred to as working memory.

a. Metacognition refers to self-awareness and the ability to think about cognitive processes.
b. The concrete operations stage (7-11yrs) is when children become able to perform mental operations on objects. They can consider what will happen to an object when an action is performed on it (the object can be material or symbolic like math) and they can also consider what will happen if the action is reversed.
c. Lexical knowledge relates to understanding the vocabulary of a language.
d. Linguistic competence is the ability to express ideas verbally (writers).
e. Deep structure refers to the underlying meaning of words (whereas surface structure is the literal ordering of words. Chomsky speculated that language is the transformation of deep structure into surface structure).

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