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Unit 4
Biological Bases of Psychology
“Everything psychological is
simultaneously biological.”
Phineas Gage
• Study of bumps
• Focused attention to certain
areas of the brain has
certain functions
• Fundamental building block of nervous system
• Cell body
• Receives messages from the dendrites
• Dendrites
• Communicates the nervous signal from the tips of the
neuron to the cell body
• Axon
• Fiber that communicates the signal down the neuron and
away from the cell body
• Myelin sheath
• Fat based insulation around the axon
• Multiple Sclerosis (MS)
• Caused by a deterioration of the myelin sheath
• Results in loss of controlling muscle movement
Action Potential
• Brief electrical impulse by which information is
transmitted along the axon of a neuron
• Communication within a single neuron
• Threshold
• Level of stimulation needed to trigger a neural response
• All-or-none Response
• Neuron’s reaction of either firing or not
• Can fire more or more often but not faster or harder
• video
• Gap between nerve
cells or a nerve cell
and a muscle
• video