Chapter 6

The characteristics of light waves

The parts of the eye

The structure of the retina

the receptor sites on rods and cones

The differences between rods and cones

3 theories of color vision and where each seems to apply

the basis for color blindness/deficiency

The route taken by visual messages through brain

What is the difference between the “dorsal stream” and the “ventral stream”? The possible Middle stream?

Damage to different parts of the visual pathways can lead to different losses of visual ability? What happens in each of these cases?

Primary visual cortex totally damaged

Dorsal stream/parietal damage

Ventral stream/Inferior temporal cortex/fusiform gyrus damaged

Middle temporal cortex damage


Chapter 7 

How sensory receptors have become specialized to respond to something other than a neurotransmitter message

Which sensory receptors make use of ionotropic mechanisms, which are metabotropic

Characteristics of sound waves

Parts of ear and how they transmit sound input

Structure of cochlea and the hair cells in the organ of Corti on the basilar membrane

What triggers the electrical responses of the hair cells

Stops along the auditory pathway to cortex (superior olives, inferior colliculus, medial geniculate of thalamus)

How having 2 ears helps in sound localization

Frequency, volley and place theories of pitch perception

Organization of auditory cortex

2 types of deafness

Cochlear implants and how they work 

The sensory organs and receptors of the vestibular system and what they respond to

Pain as one of the body sensations (somatosensory) and where those sensations are processed

pain receptors and what irritates (activates) them

Neurotransmitters related to pain

The gate theory (or gate control theory) of pain
 and things that influence the gate

What is the descending pain suppression pathway?

The characteristics and types of taste receptors

Individual differences in taste sensitivity

The difference between experiencing taste and experiencing flavor

Location and characteristics of olfactory receptors

What is anosmia (and specific anosmias)?

What is a pheromone? Example in animals? Example in humans?

Chapter 9 Sleep and Biorhythms

What recordings are a typical part of the polysomnogram used in sleep research?

How does the EEG change as we go from wakefulness to relaxation to falling asleep and then going deeper and deeper into sleep?

How do we move through the stages of sleep during a typical night of sleep?

How is NREM sleep different from REM sleep?

What parts of the brain are involved in maintaining wakefulness/alertness? What neurotransmitters are involved in keeping you awake?

What neurotransmitters are involved in making you sleepy?  

Why, specifically does caffeine keep you awake and do some anti-histamines make you sleepy?

What are the characteristics of each of these sleep disorders:

REM behavior disorder

Narcolepsy

Sleep-walking

Night terrors

Sleep apnea

What are some of the types of insomnia and possible physiological correlates (e.g. why might someone have “onset insomnia”?)

What are the 2 main theories about why we sleep?

2 theories about REM sleep?


What is the difference between a circadian rhythm, a circalunar rhythm and a circaannual rhythm?

What do we mean when we say biorhythms are "endogenous"?

What is a free-running rhythm? How do they differ in characteristics from the rhythms seen under normal conditions?

What is a zeitgeber?

What is the research evidence about the location of the circadian biological clock?

Describe 2 biological mechanisms by which the functioning of this biological clock may make us sleepy?

What stimulus is most effective in resetting the biological clock?

Describe at least 2 ways that you can “encourage” the resetting of your biological clock if, for example, you were going to London?


Chapter 14

What is meant by lateralization of function? 

the anatomy and function of the corpus callosum 

review the relationship between the right & left visual fields and the 2 hemispheres 

What is a seizure?     When do seizures qualify as epilepsy? 

2 main types or categories of epilepsy and their causes 

why cutting the corpus callosum would be expected to limit the spread of focal seizures 

How are split brain patients tested by researchers?

What kinds of results from split brain research support the notion of lateralization? 

What functions each hemisphere is dominant for (make a detailed list for each) 

Give an example or 2 of competition between the hemispheres after surgery 

What is the relationship between handedness and lateralization? 

What is the planum temporale? What right left differences have been noted here?

Name, locate and explain the function of the various parts of the language system of the brain

What happens if the frontal lobe portion of the language system is damaged and what are the symptoms?

What happens if the temporal lobe portion of the language system is damaged and what are the symptoms?