PG 683 Study Guide

Winter, 2000

General Issues

1)     Describe and give examples of the two different forms of reductionism discussed in Marr's paper. Reducing "voluntary" behavior to the three-term contingency would be an example of ________ reduction, while reducing it to the activity of dopamine in the ventral tegmental area would be an example of _______ reduction.

2)     Describe some different approaches to understanding a brain-behavior phenomenon (e.g., developmental, anatomical, behavioral, evolutionary, functional, physiological).


a)     Briefly describe the problem that dualism and monism have attempted to solve, and the different approaches to the solution taken by dualism and two forms of monism.

b)     Where would you categorize the radical behaviorist approach to this problem?

4)     List all the phenomena in your reading for the first exam whose understanding has not involved the use of nonhuman species.

5)     Describe the split-brain operation and its functional consequences.

6)     Describe the doctrine of specific nerve energies.

7)     Be able to discuss Darwin, natural selection, and, especially, selective advantage in a nonteleological way.

8)     Compare and contrast (define each, identify at least one important similarity and one important difference)

a)     Wernicke's area and Broca's area.

b)     Descartes and Galvani.

Cells of the Nervous System.

1)     Be able to identify and name the important parts of a neuron on a sketch, spell them, and describe in a sentence their role. Be able to go from the name to the definition or from the definition to the name (as in "fill-in-the-blank").

2)     Be able to draw a representative unipolar, bipolar, and multipolar neuron and show the important parts.

3)     Distinguish between axons and dendrites.

4)     What is an enzyme? Name two that we have discussed in class. What happens if an enzyme is not present? Where do they come from?

5)     Describe glia cells and give examples. Don't forget radial glia.

6)     Be able to spell oligodendrocyte and Schwann. Know how to define them, distinguish between them, and fill-in-the-blank.

7)     Draw the basic elements of the circuit representing the withdrawal reflex.

8)     What is the blood-brain barrier? How was it discovered? What passes through it and what does not? Describe the characteristics of the class(es) of molecules that pass through the blood-brain barrier. Where is the blood-brain barrier weak?

9)     Define, spell, understand, and give examples of the various combination of hydro/lipo/philic/phobic.

10)  What is the "neural doctrine?" When and how did it arise and who is responsible for it?

11)  The measure of electrical potential is:

12) The measure of the flow of electrical charge is:

13) The measure of the facility of the flow of charge is:

14) An _____ is used track changes in ______ across a neural membrane in time.

15) Compare and contrast:

a)     Voltage and current.

b)     Conductance and resistance.

16) Positively charged ions are called _____ while negatively charged ions are ______

17) Describe the separation of charge across the neural membrane. Be specific about which ions are present and the forces acting on them.

18) Sketch the lipid bilayer. Why does the lipid bilayer organize itself as it does? Show how ion channels are positioned in this layer.

19) Compare and contrast voltage-gated and chemically gated ion channels. Give examples.

20) Draw an action potential. Identify the specific portions of it and the membrane events responsible for these different portions. Be able to do this in several directions, i.e., be able to discuss, fill-in-the-blank, identify drawings, and define.

21) What good is a sodium-potassium transporter (pump)?

22) What is tetrodotoxin, where is it found and what does it do to manly sushi eaters? Spell it.

23) Be able to say in a sentence why an action potential does not reverse course and travel backward.

24) Be able to define saltatory conduction, the role of myelin, the rate law, and the different forms of neural integration, presynaptic and postsynaptic potentials, EPSPs and IPSPs. Be able to state what events on an ionic channel could produce EPSPs and IPSPs.

25) The following is a form of the Nernst equation for potassium:

Ek = RT log10 ([Ko]/[Ki])


26) Answer the following questions, where Ek is the Nernst potential for potassium.

1)     What would happen to Ek if there is a fever?

2)      What would happen to Ek if the extracellular potassium increases?

3)     What would be the value of Z be for Potassium? Chloride? Calcium?

4)     What is the Nernst potential for Sodium, Chloride, and Potassium?

5)     Distinguish among neurotransmitters, neuromodulators, and odorants. What is the common element across all of them?

6)     How does a gap junction differ from a synapse?

7)     Describe and spell the stages of neurotransmission from synthesis through termination. Be able to do this in several ways so you can answer fill-in-the-blank, discussion, draw-picture, and definition type questions.

8)     Note: Page 44, right column, 4th sentence should say ". . . just inside the pre-synaptic . . ."

9)     Compare and contrast an ionotropic and a metabotropic receptor. What is a second messenger?

10) Be able to describe the role of the following in the action potential:

a)     Na+ and K+ channels.

b)     postsynaptic effects of presynaptic action potentials.

c)     role of calcium

11) Distinguish among post-synaptic, presynaptic, and autoreceptors. What is a gap junction?

12) Compare and contrast competitive and noncompetitive binding.

13) Distinguish among receptor, synaptic, and graded potentials in amplitude, duration, summation, propagation, effect of signal and type of propagation.


1)     Be able to identify on a figure the items in figure 3.9, 3.11, 3.12, 3.18, 3.19. Be able to state what general functions are associated with those regions.

2)     Know Table 3.2 and Fig. 3.8. Do not memorize 3.8d, but be able to locate the structures, given the name.

3)     Be able to identify rostral, caudal, dorsal, ventral, anterior, posterior, sagittal, horizontal, and coronal.

4)     Locate the middle cerebral artery, the basilar artery, the four ventricles.

5)     Be able to distinguish between the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous systems in several contexts. For example, be able to fill in a table, predict drug actions, and distinguish them functionally, chemically (i.e., neurotransmitters) and structurally.

6)     You need not memorize the cranial nerves (but feel free to if you wish!).

7)     What is a dermatome?

8)     What is meant by "migration?" Name one compound that interferes with it.

9)     How do neurons find each other during development?


1)     Describe the different routes by which drugs are administered. Rank order them according to the time to peak effect for cocaine (where known).

2)     Distinguish among the chemical, generic, and proprietary names of drugs.

3)     Be able to name all the classes of drugs. For the classes that we covered in class (including sub-headings) be able to name (generic and proprietary) a representative drug and mechanism of action.

4)     Describe the distribution of drugs after administration. Include a discussion of the role of lipophilicity and binding to blood proteins.

5)     Name the principal ways by which drug action is terminated or drugs are eliminated (as described in your book).

6)     Describe the principle types of tolerance.

7)     Define and give an example of sensitization.

8)     Define affinity.

9)     Compare and contrast agonist and antagonist; indirect and direct agonist.

10) Be able to draw dose response curves showing ED50's, LD50's, ED01. Define margin of safety.

11) Spell the amines. The monoamines.

12) Spell indolamine and give a representative example.

13) Name the monoamines and the two amino acids that are precursors.

14) Spell acetylcholine and acetylcholinesterase. Name the two subclasses of ACh receptors that we have discussed and the actions of agonists and antagonists on them. Name one agonist and one antagonist for each class of receptor.

15) Name the four compounds described in the biosynthesis of norepinephrine.

16) Where are dopamine cell bodies primarily located? Where do they go to? (Fig. 4.14)

17) Distinguish between D1 an D2 receptors. What endogenous chemical(s) activate them.

18) Name two inhibitory and two excitatory amino acids.

19) Name two neuropeptides.

20) What is adenosine?

21) Describe the GABA/Chloride ionophore. What happens to the membrane when this opens? What does this do to neural activity? Be able to describe the drugs that act on this and how they act.

22) Name the receptor that is both voltage- and neurotransmitter- gated ion channel. What is required to activate it? Remember this when we cover learning.

23) Name the classes of inhalants and one example from each. What is common about all of them.


  1. Be able to describe, compare, and contrast the following terms:
    1. Magnetic Resonance Imaging
    2. positron emission tomography
    3. computed axial tomography.
    4. Define stereotaxis.
    5. electroencephalogram.
    6. autoradiogram.
    7. electrical brain stimulation.
    8. microdialysis
    9. microiontophoresis

  1. Compare and contrast
    1. anterograde and retrograde labeling techniques.
    2. microelectrode and macroelectrode.


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Last modified: January 18, 2000