If you can not view the graphs, please refer to the section 1 notes that is divided up into sections for the graphs.


Section 1: Intro to Psych

Review the Syllabus

Exams: there will be 4 multiple choice exams

- Questions can be thrown out because of the quality of the question… i.e. if it’s just bad..

What should the field of psychology study?
      Behavior or Experience (feelings)?
            Psychology is a science
                  Use the scientific method
                  Compare results
                  Reach conclusions
            Measuring behavioral patterns is often easier to measure than feelings, but both may be important.

Different types of psychologists or fields of study:

  • Research Psychologists (academic) – do research
    • Biological (or physiological) psychologists – example: mapping neurons
    • Cognitive Psychologists – Learning and Study Skills
            Meta Cognition = cognition of cognition
                  Dr. Leonesio's Specialty
            Meta memory = memory of memory
            How much people know of themselves
            What is memory in general, how do you get people to learn in general
    • Social Psychologists – studies the results of a person with/without/variable group interaction
            Relation between people (larger/smaller groups)
    • Personality Psychologists – Personality tests
            Studies how a person is different from another
    • Education Psychologists
            Study of how people learn (similar to cognitive psychology)
            Specialize in school topics – How do you get kids to learn in school
            Some Clinical Psychologists
    • Some Clinical Psychologists (research effectiveness of different therapies)
  • Applied psychologists – take learned knowledge and applies it – no research on their own.
          Clinical Psychologists (administer different types of therapy)
          School Psychologists (council students and administer tests)
          Industrial Organization Psychologists
                Subcategory – Ergonomics – designing things in such a way so that people can efficiently use them
                Subcategory - Human relations and management styles

Academic Degrees (Related to Psychology)

  • M.S.W. – Master Social Work
  • M.A – Master of Arts
  • Ph.D. Doctor of Philosophy – Research Degree – trained to write papers and do experiments
  • Ed.D. – Doctor in Education
  • M.D. – Medical Doctor – specialize in psychiatry (can prescribe drugs)


Section 1: Perspectives

Some perspectives on causes of human experience and behavior:

Biological perspective

  • Neuroscience
  • Evolutionary
  • Behavioral Genetics


Relates external stimuli to observable responses, without studing the variables that might lie between the stimulus and response (for example: it does not include how the individual interprets the environment)

Not hypothesizing, simply observing the behavior of a person's reaction to a stimulus


Cognitive Perspective (Internal Mental Processes are studied)

Social-Cultural Perspective –

Social Psychology - The study of how an individual behaves in a group
Cross Cultural Research – Perspective as to who we are as a culture.

Determine universal variables and commonalties across the human species

Other Perspectives

Humanistic Perspective - Studies human experience and the art of psycho-theraputic techniques.  Uses an experiential, rather than experimental approach


Section 1: History & People of Psychology

      Psychology: "Established" in 1879 by

Wilhelm Wundt (1879)

Established the first psychology labratory at the University of Leipzig, Germany

Sigmund Freud (1900)

(Austria) introduced his psychoanalytic theory and the interpretation of dreams.
    Studied individuals carefully, but did not do experimental research therefore some of his theories were not supported by scientific data.

William James (1890)

Greatest American psychologist – "Fun to read." Wrote ~ "Principles of psychology"
(1890) Taught at

Ebbinghaus (1885)

The first to scientifically study memory. Took on a challenge that was never done before.  People at the time did not believe memory was anything you could be scientifically studied, they thought is was more philosophical. – He was the first person who took memory and measure it via "savings" he would read "Greek Poetry" to his  children.  Later he found that his children learned the poetry that he read to them in fewer trials then poems that he had not read to them when they were younger.  Found that at first we forget things quickly, then we foget things more slowly as time goes on.

Mary Calkins (1905)

Student of William James – Harvard refused to give her a Ph.D. because she was a woman. Just before her death Harvard was going to give her Ph.D., but she refused it and effectively said "Shove it."

John Watson (1913)

In order for psychology to be a strong science, it had to study human behavior instead of human experience. -  Because of this, many studies were done on animals instead of people because it was a simpler to measure their behavior.


Section 1: Epistemology

Ways of knowing  (in list, Italics = Non Method, bold = a method)

  1. Tenacity - by always knowing it to be true (not a method of knowing)
  2. Authority - Know it by going to a book, or a reference (not a method of knowing)
  3. Empiricism - knowledge through observation
  4. Intuition - having insight, gut feeling, knowing in a "flash" - mystical experiences.
  5. Reason - Logic  - Uses deduction and induction.
          Deduction - used to prove things - Flawless when followed using rules of logic
          Requires that your premises is correct
              All dogs are Animals
              Spot is a dog
              Spot is an animal - TRUE!
          Induction - Arguing from specific to General - "the problem of induction"
              Spot is a dog
              A dog is an animal
              All Animals are Dogs - FALSE!

Induction's other greatest problem is observed in the raven paradox - a scientist is wanting to prove that all ravens are black. So the scientist goes out and looks to find a raven, brings the bird back to the laboratory, and finds that it is completely black, and proves that it is a raven. However, through induction he must find all ravens in the entire world, the universe, parallel dimensions etc. Just one counter-instance would disprove the hypothesis.


Section 1: Bettelheim's Version of Autism

Bruno Bettelheim   (1965-1973)
        Reported on only 3 of 40 patients.
    Did not objectively compare families of autistic children to non-autistic children.

Autism was believed related to the mother's relation to the child

The original study made mothers into monsters

Bettelheim Theorized: mother's lack of affection caused the development of autism.
      But this theory was based on "Case Studies" that were not representative of all autistic children

      He failed to use the scientific method.

   Instead of being psychological like phobias and fears, autism is due to biological factors, for example Neocerebeler vermus is 20% or more smaller in autistics than non-autistics


Section 1: Scientific Method & Experiments

Scientific Method


      Controlling for Expectation

Single Blind - The participant does not know if he or she is receiving the active treatment or the placebo (example: sugar pills)
Double Blind - Neither the participant nor the person adminstering the experiment knows who is getting what.


Random Selection – Every subject has an equal chance to be in the experiment.

Determining a correlation:

Representation of a relationship
   Correlation coefficient.
       R = +.37
       Smallest value = -1
       Largest = +1


Correlational Studies Are Not True Experiments

To infer causation, you need..

  1. A correlation, or co-variation
  2. Time order – cause comes before the effect
  3. Eliminate all other hypothesis


Class example a correlation that does NOT imply causation:

There is a correlation between eating sugar frosted flakes for breakfast and having less cancer. That is people who ate sugar frosted flakes have a reduced chance of acquiring cancer.  But sugar frosted flakes does not cause less cancer.

Explanation of correlation without causation in this example:
The relationship between eating Sugar fosted flakes is due to the age of the participants.   The fact that sugar frosted flakes are so new means that most people who started eating the cereal are still young and healthy (and have not come down with cancer yet), whereas, partipants who did not eat sugar forsted flakes (because they were not available yet) are now old and dying of cancer.

time order:  the manipulation comes before it's effect
: changing the stimulus to which subjects respond in one group and not changing it in another group.

To avoid these problems perform a "True" experiment must use manipulation. This involves changing the stimulus to which subjects respond, assuring time order and also random assignment assures that the two groups are equal to each other before the manipulation begins. Random assignment means that each subject had an equal chance of being in each condition of the experiment.



Test people for Alcohol related Violence:
    Some with No Alcohol (0 ounces of alcohol (control))
    Some with Alcohol (1 ounce of alcohol)
    Some with More Alcohol (8 ounces of alcohol

How are we going to change violence (dependent variable) into a number?

Each time the person raises their voice and it will be counted as one violent action.


There are a number of possible operational definitions of violence



Abstract of a Correlational study presented in lecture:

Key Term:
MR: Magnetic Resonance Image

Study About:
Cerebral N-Acetylaspartate is low in patients with multiple Sclerosis and abnormal Visual Evoked Potentials (VEP’s)


Our purpose was to compare cerebral proton MR metabolite changes in patients with multiple sclerosis MS and abnormal visual evoked potentials (VEP’s) with those in ms patients with normal VEP’s


seventeen subjects with clinically definite MS were studied with VP’s and MR spectroscopic imaging. Proton MR metabolites were measured using a fast spectroscopic imaging technique called proton echo-planar spectroscopic imaging PEPSI. Kurtzke’s Expanded Disability Status Scale (EDSS) score was also ascertained for each subject to obtain a evaluated for levels of N-Acetylaspartate, choline, creatine, and the presence or absence of MR-detectable lesions


PEPEI NAA values (Water-normalized, CSF-corrected were significant lower in ms subjects with abnormal VP’s than in subjects with normal VEP’s. MR-detectable lesion factors and EDSS Scores were also significantly different between the two VEP groups, but NAA comparison and a P value 100 times less than either of these measures.


In patients with MS, NAA measurements in the optic pathways of the brain, were sensitive to VEP abnormalities. NAA was more sensitive to VEP changes than were choline creatine, MR-detectable lesions and EDSS score.


Section 1: Experimental Termonology



Critical Thinking

Thinking that does not blindly accept arguments and conclusions

Control Variable

Factor that is held constant in an experiment, so that it is not allowed to vary.

Independent variable

Factor for which the researcher manipulates at least two levels in order to determine its effect on behavior (on experience).

Individual Difference Variable

  • Research Participates are selected into different groups based on a characteristic or trait that varies consistently across individuals
  • Also called a predictor variable, a subject variable, or a quasi-independent variable
  • Causation cannot easily be determined.

Dependent Variable

  • A measure of behavior (or experience) that is used to assess the effect (if any) of the independent variable or the relationship between itself (the dependent variable) and an individual difference variable.
  • Dependent variables that relate to individual difference variables are sometimes called ‘criterion variables’
  • Must beadle to change the dependant variable into a number

Operational Definition

the procedure whereby a construct is defined solely in terms of the operations used to produce and measure it

Random Sample

A sample that fairly represents a population because each member has an equal chance of inclusion in the sample

Random Selection

Every participant has an equal chance of being in the study as a whole.

Random Assignment

Every participant has an equal chance to be in the experimental (vs the control) aspect of the procedure.

Properties a Case Study

Single participant
Historical/ qualitative (often not reduced to numbers) analysis
Useful for generating hypotheses to be tested with further studies and experiments

Properties of a Correlation Study

Many participants
Operational definition
Descriptions statistics, quantitative data (means, medians, correlation coefficients)
Inferential statistics, the probability that the result of at least this size is due to change is calculated
Can determine a significant relationship, but NOT whether one variable CAUSES changes in another variable.

Properties of an Experiment

Many participants
Operational definitions
The independent variable is manipulated and alternative hypothesis are eliminated (often by using Random assignment to conditions)
Descriptive statistics
Inferential statistics
Can Determine if one variable causes changes in another variable.


(average) volume of participants voice measured in decibels by a sound meter over a 20 minute period while responding to a set of provocative questions EEG (electroencephalogram)


Measure of central tendency


Mean: 10,154,000/7 = 1,450,571.43 (average)
Median: 30,000 (midpoint of the distribution of scores after ordered from "high" to "low")
Mode: 12,000 (most frequently occurring score)


Section 1: Neurotransmitters

Be able to destinguish between:

        Agonist – increases the activity of a neurotransmitter
        Antagonist – Decreases the activity of a neurotransmitter
   Many drugs are agonists/antagonists

Example: an antagonist of Acetylcholine would block Acetylcholine
     Applicable example:Curare,(an Acetylcholine antagonist) blocks Acetylcholine transmission
     Natives would use to curare as the tip on poison darts to hunt animals.  The curare would kill the animal bye paralyzing the diaphragm preventing the animal from breathing



Conversions - VERY IMPORTANT!



Conversions: Not Applicable (too complex)

·         Relieves Pain

·         Responsible for "Joggers High"
Develops about 12 minutes before the endorphins are released

·         Related to Opium

·         Related to heroin
Released by body in stressful/painful situations


Conversions:  (Note: Vitamin B5 makes up part of Acetyl CoA)
Acetyl CoA+ Choline
à Acetylcholine

·         Important in memory

·         Primary Neurotransmitter in the hippocampus

·         Transmitter at the neuromuscular junction

·         Curare (a dart poison) blocks Acetylcholine

·         May aid in Memory storage

·         Nootropic Drugs – drugs that increase learning and memory (are often acetylcholine agonists)


à Tyrosine à L-dopa à Dopamine

·         Too little in Parkinson Disease and Tardive Dyskinesia

·         Cocaine is a dopamine agonist

·         L-dopa – is administered to patients with Parkinson’s disease, L-dopa is very easily converted to dopamine.


  Phenylalanine à Tyrosine à L-dopa à Dopamine à Norepinephrine

·         Increases Alertness

·         There is too little in depression


  Tryptophan à Serotonin

·         Controls sleep onset

·         There is too little in depression

·         Affected by the prescription drugs Prozac and Zoloft – these are Serotonin agonists – allowing for Serotonin to work better.

·         Also involved in our response to stress… more Serotonin higher ability to deal with stress.

GABA (Gama Amino Buteric Acid)

Conversions: Not Applicable (too complex)

·         Acts as a tranquilizer (generally inhibitory)

·         GABA is available as a free form amino-acid

·         Valerian Root is a GABA agonist

·         Prescription tranquilizers are GABA agonists as well (eg. Benzodiazapines)


Section 1: Neurotransmission

Action Potential – an all or none signal. – a digital transmission like a CD – a 1 or a 0 nothing in-between.

Sodium-Potasium Pump - a pumping system in the cell which is an ATP dependent. – The body uses energy only to "bilge" the cell.  Removing the excess Sodium from the axon.

Myelin Sheath - The insulating layer of cells around many axons.

Nodes of Ranvier: The gaps between the individual insulating cells that serve to increase the speed of neurotransmission.

Synaptic GapThe space between the end of an axon and the beginning of the next dendrite


MAO (Monoamine Oxidase) breaks down


An MAO inhibitor prevents the breakdown of these neurotransmitters (therefore they are agonists to Dopamine; Norepinephrine; Serotonin)
    Taking MAO inhibitors Is used in depression, an agonist for the preceding neurotransmitters

Autonomic Nervous System:

Sympathetic Stimulation

Dilates pupil
Stimulates Salivary glands (weakly)
Lungs (relaxes)
Heart – accelerates heartbeat – strengthens contraction
Stomach – inhibits activity
Liver – stimulates glucose release by liver
Adrenal gland – secretion of adrenaline, noradrenaline
Stimulates ejaculation in the male

Parasympathetic Stimulation

Contracts pupil
Stimulates Stimulates salivation (strongly)
Constricts bronchi
Slow heartbeat
Stimulates activity of stomach
Stimulated gall bladder
Contracts bladder
Stimulates erection in the male


More Motor Neuron Information

Speed for the: Human reactions are slow because the transmission is both chemical (neurotransmitters) and electrical (Ion Movement).
Conventional Electricity [electron movement] is much faster than Ionic movement

Electricity is the movement of charge, therefore, Ionic movement is considered electricity because an ion is a charged atom that moves.


Section 1: Anatomy of the Brain

Important Parts of Brain
Thalamus (sensory hub)– message is sent from retina to optic nerve to thalamus – to the occipital lobe of the brain.
Hypothalamus – is our motivation center (hunger, thirst and sexual motivations)
Hippocampus - Memory
- related to emotion (fear and agression)
Cerebellum - motor movements
Medulla - Heart beat and breathing
Reticular Formation - Arousal

Alpha Brain waves:
More Apha = resting
Less alpha = more thinking/processing information

Homunculus –   imaginary little man that maps out locations of the origin of sensations and motor movements in the cerebral cortex.  His feet are in the middle (the fissure) of the brain and his arms and head extended to the outer edge of the brain (laterally)


Section 1: Split Brain

Side of Brain


Left Side of the Brain - Sends/Receives signals from the Right Side of the body

Specailzes in:

Sequential, Temporal and lingual processing:
Language, Speech, writing
Music (as a language)
Time Sense & Order of Events
Explanation/interpretation of the world


Broka’s Area – In front of Motor Strip – understands minor language
Broka’s Area is specifically used for processing the motor part of Spoken language – right next to the motor strip – if damaged – then they speak garbled
Wernicks’s Area – behind the sensory strip – used for perceiving language. – if damaged, then they hear garbled audio

Right Side of the Brain - Sends/Receives signals from the Left Side of the body

Specializes in: Non verbal processing

Reading Emotions
Other non verbal processing
Pattern Recognition
Music (as a talent and appreciation)
Spatial Skills
Simple Language

Epilepsy: seizure activity can spread from across the corpus callosum.
To limit/reduce/stop seizures they can remove the corpus callosum
     Overly active neurons can kill nerve cells during a seizure.

Click here for a Graphical intrepretation of how the eyes translate information to the appropriate side of the brain.

Locating Brain Damage

MAIN NOTES: The humunculs is used to locate brain damage, first note that the left controls the right and the right controls the left.  Secondly infront of the fissure is motor and behind the fissure is sensory..


Section 1: Brain Imaging

Structural Imaging - Reports on Brain Anatomy

  • CT Computerized axial Tomography. (Formerly know as CAT)
    Uses x-rays of the brain -= a three dimensional x-ray of the brain..
    Poor resolution
  • MRI – Magnetic Resonance Imaging
    High resolution
    Shows if there is any structural damage – or tumors, as well as the shape and relative size of objects/structures in the brain.
    Recently – MRI has been able to look for specific elements in the brain – tracing a element that is correlated with cognitive activity, it can be observed how active a certain region of the brain is while a certain task is requested.
    Program the MRI to look for a drug or metabolite of a drug, the search for the parts of the brain that the drug is concentrated in.

Functional Imaging - Reports Chemical and electrical activity

Psychologists are more interested in functional imaging rather than structural – because functional tells what’s happening

  • fMRI - Functional MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging) (See MRI in next imaging section)determines brain activity by tracing the amount of specific substances which are used by the brain during cognitive processing.
  • MEG – (Magnetoencephalogram) – measures the magnetic fields in the brain. meausred by a SQUID(Super Conducting Quantum Interference Device). This device needs to be super cooled superconducting temperatures.  Electrons jump between 2 superconducting rings separated by an insulator, the more elecrons that tunnel from one ring to another, the stronger the magnetic field.
    Resolution: Same as EEG
    No Electrods are needed
  • EEG: One of the first devices devised – brainwave measurer. Electroencephalogram
    Resolution high time resolution (presently low spatial resolution)
          Receptors are placed about an inch or so appart
          Responds to millisecond changes in brain activity.
          Electrods are attached to the scalp of the patient
  • PETPositron Emissions Tomography - Uses a radioactive tracer for specific chemicals (typically radioactive glucose) – helping to determine which part of the brain takes up the most energy (glucose), thus taking up the most radioactive substance.
    The location of the radioactivity indicates higher levels of brain activity.
    The procdure uses radioactive tracers with a short half-life to minimize radioactive exposure


Section 1: Neuro Plasticity


Primary Questions:

  • How do we make memories
  • Why do we remember some things and not others
  • How are we able to learn things
  • What effects do experience have on us
  • How is the brain able to recover from injury


I. What is Neural Plasticity

  • The ability of the neural connections (synapses) in the brain to change
  • Plasticity is brought to underlie our ability to learn; to remember and adapt.


II. History

A. Ramon y Cajal (1893)

·         Learning and experiencing involve formation of new synaptic connections

·         Brain as a neural net

B. Donald Hebb (1949) The organization of Behavior

·         Experience represented by new or modified nural connections

·         "Hebbian synapse"

·         Synapses that are repeatedly activated become stronger and more efficient

·         Possible mechanism of how information is stored

C. Diamond, Rosenzweig & Greenough (1960’s)

·         Learning and experience can have direct physical effects on brain structure.

·         Two types of information storage (Greenough):

1.  Experience-Expectant

·         Organism is developmentally prepared to learn

·         Critical Period

2.  Experience-Dependent

·         Development is dependent on experience


III. Neural Plasticity, Learning ad Experience

A. Hebb’s Rats

1.      Allowed "Free-run" of his house

2.      Out-preformed lab rats on all learning tests

3.      Enriched experience

B. Effects of the enriched environment

1.      Bennett (1964) found "enriched rats" to have a heavier thicker cortex than "Isolated rats"

2.      EC/IC Paradigm

·         Developed by Rosenzweig, Diamond and Greenough late 1960’s

·         Three conditions enriched

a.       Enriched Condition (EC)

b.      Social Condition (SC)

c.       Impoverished Condition (IC)

    3.  Results

a.       EC rats have larger neurons

b.      25% more synapses per neuron

c.       20% more dendrite per neuron

d.      Increased acetycholine

·         SC show many of the same effects of EC, but are still significantly lower than EC

·         Blind Rats show same increases

·         EC rats respond better to stress


Section 1: Auditory System

Cochlea is responsible for Pitch, and the loops (inn in the inner ear are responsible for balance

Low frequency-hearing: 20 hertz
To high frequency can hear 20,000 hertz
Where as dogs hear about 20-40,000 hertz

A nerve has problems firing more than 1000 times per second.. therefore the body uses more than one nerve cell to produce signals faster than 1000 times per second to the brain.

Sound frequency is also coded by spacial location along the organ of Corti (part of the cochlea)

Lower sounds are sensed deeper in the cochlea
Higher sounds are sensed near the entrance/beginning of the cochlea

Middle ear contains 2 muscles – protecting us from loud sounds

When caught off guard, there is no way for these muscles to contract fast enough, therefore there is permanent damage in the cochleae

Vestibular System - Senses Kinesthesis (body position and movement)
two main organs
The Semi circular canals 
Odalith - Senses acceleration


Section 1: Visual System

Key points on visual the visual system

  • Photoreceptors are not on the surface of the retina
  • There are blood vessels over the retina
  • There is a blind spot in the retina at the optic nerve
  • The retinal image is inverted

Inter-species Sensory Differences:

  • Cats do not taste sweet
  • Insects see infrared
  • Frogs only see what moves

Qualia are not properties of matter
    They are properties of mind

Examples of qualia are:

  • Smells
  • Feelings
  • Colors

Reality is not recorded directly, the mind makes a model of reality and stores them as representations.

Our perceptions and our dreams are strongly influenced by our mind's stored representations.

 Miller-lyer illusion:  >––––<    vs  <––––> is infact just as long as although both lines are the same length, we typically percieve the one on the left to be longer (if properly drawn.) this illusion partly culturally determined (societies that have little or no experience angular architecture are less susceptible than westerners to this phenonomon.


Note: Right visual field is being picked up by both eyes… but your retina is also split so …

Click here to go back to the brain section
if you are visiting from the split brain section


Stimulus -

Tactile vision substitute

A camera registers a picture, then converts it to a pixilated image map so that pins in the back of a chair are able to produce a relief of the image.


Binocular Cues - Detection with 2 eyes

Retinal disparity – retinas present an image that is different on each retina.
Convergence – measuring the muscle movements – determine distance of an object


Monocular Cue - Detection with 1 eye

  1. Relative Clarity
  2. Texture Gradient
  3. Relative size
  4. Relative motion
  5. Relative brightness
  6. Linear perspective-


Near sighted verse far sighted

Based on the shape of the eyeball

If the eyeball is too short, then the person is far sighted
If the eyeball is too elongated egg shaped, then the person is near

Ganglia are responsible for higher level processing of the integration of the image that one sees