The sympathetic nervous system

Custom Student Mr. Teacher ENG 1001-04 8 May 2016

The sympathetic nervous system

V1. What are the two main functions of the sympathetic nervous system? (A) Activating system that arouses the body, mobilizing its energy in stressful situations – fight/flight (B) Regulates strong emotional reactions 2. What are the two main functions of the parasympathetic NS? “Rest and Digest,” Calming system that conserves energy. 3. How do the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous systems work together (what are some images and metaphors used to describe them)? As one is more active, the other is less active.

Imagers are of two rheostats with sliding controls that allow you to turn a light up and down gradually rather than on and off. Examples include sexual arousal and nausea. Common analogy gas pedal and brake in a car, living in san Francisco uphill’s you apply the break and then when the light turns green to prevent from rolling into the car behind release the break and step on the gas at the same time. 4. What is the “autonomic specificity hypothesis”?

This is the hypothesis that different emotions involve different physiological profiles -were inconclusive. An example is an individual study might show specific patterns associated with different emotions, but different studies would find completely different results. 5. Which measure of physiological activity appears to be a “pure” measure of SNS activity, unaffected by parasympathetic activity?

Galvanic skin response

6. What are some disadvantages of using measures of ANS activity as a way to measure emotion? Similar physiological measures may indicate different emotions (fear vs. anger)

7. What is “emotional response coherence”?

The extent to which self-reports of emotion actually predict physiological changes and simple behaviors like facial expressions, offered pretty weak evidence for this claim. 8. What has research revealed about the heart rate change of happiness, compared to anger, fear, and disgust? How self-reports of emotion, physiological changes, and behaviors (facial expressions) are interrelated. Happiness shows less physiological around when compared to negative emotions like sadness. Heart rate increases more during anger, fear, and sadness than for disgust. 9. What emotion appears to have both high levels of temperature change AND heart rate change?


10. What is meant by the “undoing effect” of positive emotions?
Having positive emotions shortens the time it takes to get back to baseline after undergoing negative emotions

11. How do psychologists define stress?
The process by which we perceive and respond to certain events appraised as threatening or challenging

12. Is stress an emotion? Why or why not?
It has all the aspects of emotions, but also contains mixes of frustration, anger, and hopelessness therefor not making it an emotion.

13. What are the two main models that attempt to explain stress? Selye’s General Adaptation Syndrome, and McEwens

14. What is the General Adaptation Syndrome? At what stage of the GAS is there MOST arousal in the body? GAS is the bodies’ reaction to any threat. The most arousal is found in the stage alarm.

15. What are some weaknesses of the GAS model?
Doesn’t operationalize threats (not cumulative), Doesn’t take into account daily hassles, doesn’t measure changes in events (being born blind), difficult to gain empirical evidence,

16. What is meant by “allostatic load”?
Level that it takes to push one off balance (differs from each persons and appraisals and coping strategies. Everything gets appraisal (subjective scores)

17. Explain the mechanism of the HPA axis.
It’s a stress response system including the hypothalamus, pituitary gland, and adrenal gland.

18. What hormone is most associated with the stress response?
Cortisol, an adrenal gland hormone that enhances metabolism and increases the availability of fuels in the body.

19. In what way is stress related to poor memory?
Prolonged stress leads to increased release in cortisol that magnifies the amount of toxins in the hippocampus associated with long-term episodic memories. This causes Attention deficit disorder and distraction.

20. What are the different ways in which the immune system becomes dysfunctional?
Initial response to stress activates immune systems; prolonged stress weakens the immune system making you more susceptible to getting sick.

21. What are the main factors contributing to the emergence of cancers?
Poor diet, no exercise, smoking,

22. What has research revealed about the relationship between “emotional” personalities and heart disease?
Frequent intense but inhibited bouts of anger lead to an increase in frequency of transient myocardial ischemia (brief period of inadequate blood flow to the heart-painless, but seen as a precursor to heart attack)

23. What are some variables related to better health that are also related to emotions?
Healthy social network/ support, exercise, good diet, sleep,

24. What areas of emotion appear to be associated with parasympathetic NS activity?
Possibly associated with positive emotions (contentment, affection/attachment, social engagement)

Chapter 5 Study Guide

1. What three areas of the brain are designated in the “triune brain model”? Reptilian (sensory, survival, and reflex action), Mammalian-limbic (emotion), and Neocortex (complex cognition and reasoning).

2. What are the advantages and disadvantages of using the following measures to examine emotions in the brain? a. Lesion method: disadvantages-no control over location of lesion, brain lesions resulting from trauma or neurodegenerative disease rarely confine themselves neatly to one structure, and some brain structures are more likely to be harmed by trauma than others. Advantages: b. EEG: Advantage: excellent temporal precision Disadvantage: inability to assess neural activation deep in the brain, sensors limit movement and natural behavior. c. MRI: Disadvantage: extremely loud for patients. d. fMRI: Advantage: terrific spatial resolution,

3. What is a neurotransmitter?
The chemicals neurons use to communicate with each other.

4. Which neurotransmitter is associated with feeling happy?

5. Name the important components of the limbic system and their functions Supports a variety of functions, including emotion, behavior, motivation, long-term memory, and olfaction. It appears to be primarily responsible for emotional life, and it has a great deal to do with the formation of memories.

6. What is the role of the amygdala in emotion? Receives input representing vision, hearing, other senses, and pain.

7. What is the Kluver-Bucy syndrome? A pattern of emotional changes accompanying removal of both anterior temporal lobes, including the amygdalae. 8. Which brain structure is associated with the formation of episodic memories? Amygdala

9. What is homeostasis, and what brain structure is associated with regulating it? The hypothalamus is associated with regulating it and homeostasis is the body’s ability to maintain acceptable levels of temperature, blood chemistry, hydration, and other factors.

10. What brain structure is most active during the experience of disgust?

11. What did we learn from Elliot, a man who suffered damage to his pre-frontal cortex? He had trouble making decisions; interrupt an important task for something trivial, made continuous bad decisions. Expressed less empathy couldn’t experience emotions.

12. What is the “reward circuit” of the brain?
It is a brain circuit that, when activated, reinforces behaviors. The circuit includes the dopamine-containing neurons of the ventral tegmental area, the nucleus acumens, and part of the prefrontal cortex.

13. What is the role of serotonin in depression?
When you lower the serotonin in someone with history of depression they become depressed.

14. What is the role of beta-endorphins in emotion?
Neurotransmitter that serves as the body’s natural painkiller, may be involved in feelings of pain.


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  • University/College: University of Chicago

  • Type of paper: Thesis/Dissertation Chapter

  • Date: 8 May 2016

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