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Communication and Defense - The Amazing Human Brain and Human Development Quiz


 

1. Human communication, through the recent advent of language, is a relatively new phenomenon to which our brains have adjusted quickly.
The Correct Answer: False
Comment: Communication was the critical capacity required for survival during the thousands of generations of our evolution. Naked, slow, weak, and without biological armor or weapons, humans survived by living and hunting in groups, an arrangement which necessitated communication.


2. Although maltreated and traumatized children may suffer from terror, chaos, and threat, as long as they don't sustain a serious head injury, their brains are not chronically affected.
The Correct Answer: False
Comment: As we've been learning in this course, these types of experiences can actually alter the physical brain of the child in a very negative and often permanent way.


3. The Reticular Activating System (RAS) plays a major role in arousal, anxiety, and the modulation of limbic and cortical processing.
The Correct Answer: True
Comment: The RAS and other brainstem and midbrain monoamine systems work together to provide the flexible and diverse functions necessary for anxiety regulation.


4. The hippocampus is the place where fear learned from past experiences is permanently stored.
The Correct Answer: False
Comment: Remember the lab rats that had their amygdalas removed and no longer feared cats? It is the amygdala that stores past experiences of fear. The hippocampus is where short-term memory is converted into long-term memory.


5. New faces are judged to be safe unless a direct threat is presented.
The Correct Answer: False
Comment: Recall that tens of thousands of years ago, a new face was a person who was as likely to attack as he was to decide to affiliate or cooperate. Across generations, wariness of new individuals, groups, and ideas was selected and built in to the circuits of the human brain's alarm response.


6. The locus coeruleus (LC) is a critical brain stem nuclei involved in initiating, maintaining, and mobilizing the total body response to threat.
The Correct Answer: True
Comment: The LC plays a major role in mobilizing the body in response to threat. It determines the valence, or value, of incoming sensory information, increasing in activity if the information is novel or potentially threatening.


7. The quality and intensity of any emotion, including anxiety, is dependent upon objective interpretation or cognitive appraisal of the given situation.
The Correct Answer: False
Comment: The quality and intensity of any emotion, including anxiety, is dependent upon subjective interpretation, or cognitive appraisal, of the given situation. Objectivity is impossible when appraising various situations. One person's molehill is another's mountain.


8. The monoamine neurotransmitters (epinephrine, norepinephrine, dopamine, and serotonergic) have disproportionate "power" to regulate human behavior, emotional functioning, and cognition.
The Correct Answer: True
Comment: These monoamine neurotransmitter systems, despite comprising only a minor fraction of the brain's neurons, have disproportionate "power" to regulate human behavior, emotional functioning, and cognition. This is because these systems originate in the brainstem and have connections in virtually all brain areas.


9. Nonhuman primates, with their high intelligence and lack of formal language, have a much more extensive repertoire of facial expressions for use in communication than do humans.
The Correct Answer: False
Comment: Actually, it is we humans who have far more extensive ways of communicating via facial expressions. Have you ever seen a chimp smirk, wink, turn up its nose in disdain, or roll its eyes in frustration?


10. The hippocampus takes short-term memory and converts it into long-term memory.
The Correct Answer: True
Comment: If you still remember most of this course material in two years, your hippocampus has been hard at work!


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