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BIOL-415 Nerve cell mechanisms in behavior
BIOL-615 Neural bases of behavior
Final exam - Thursday, May 8, 2008, 12:00 noon - Prof. Stark
All questions are short answer. 65 points total.

1. What do dihydropyridine and ryanodine receptors have to do with each other?

dihydropyridine in t tubules interact with ryanodine in sarcoplasmic reticulum, calcium channels

2. Make a statement about how many different metabolic muscle types connect to one motor unit.

each motor unit has only one metabolic type

3. How would you go about visualizing the cell bodies of all the spinal motor neurons that connect to one muscle?

backfill from the nerve

4. Pick one: (1) What is the source of the signal that comes up the Ib afferent? (2) What is the function of the signal that comes up the Ib afferent?

Golgi tendon organ, let go (as opposed to contract

5. What is the function of the enzyme deficient in familial amyotropic lateral sclerosis?

get rid of superoxide

6. Where are the cell body and the synaptic terminal of an axon in the lateral corticospinal tract?

precentral gyrus to spinal motor neuron

7. "The motor loss from a half spinal cord lesion is more like the lemniscal sensory loss than it is like the spinothalamic sensory loss." Why?"

decussation in medulla, so ipsilateral

8. Why would motor control of the lower part of the face be more susceptible to nerve damage than the upper part?

not bilaterally innervated

9. "Corticobulbar control of the face involves connections to the brainstem nuclei for the hypoglossal, facial, accessory, and vagus nerves." Woops, I left (what?) obvious nucleus- nerve from the list?


10. With respect to output from the thalamus to the cortex, Huntington's is the opposite of Parkinson's." in what way?

Too much excitation

11. Pick one (1) The Purkinje cell gets connections from lots of these cells. Or (2) The Purkinje cell gets connections from one of these cells.

granule cells (parallel fibers), climbing fiber

12. In what way, neurologically, is the trochlear output to the superior oblique uniquely different from that of the oculomotor and abducens to the other extraocular muscles?


13. What is different when you jiggle your eyeball with your finger vs with saccades, smooth pursuit, vergence, drift, and vestibular-controlled eye movements?

there is no space constancy

14. After a peripheral nerve cut or crush, answer either the role of (1) growth cones, (2) macrophages, or (3) proliferating Schwann cells in regeneration.

1 fresh extension from stump, 2 clear debris, 3 conduit

15. Answer either (1) What factor(s) might lead to down-regulation of the anti-apoptotic gene Bcl-2? Or (2) What would be the immediate result of the down-regulation of the anti-apoptotic gene Bcl-2 in the spectrum of CNS degeneration-regeneration?

1 damage, 2 involvement through mitochondria of caspases

16. What are the phagocytic cells after CNS injury?


17. Receptor molecules on the axonal growth cone are inhibited by well-studied molecules derived from damage to (what?) in CNS injury.


18. "Alpha and gamma secretases act on p75ntr to yield an ECD and an ICD." Translate.

these enzymes cut in the membrane neighborhood to give intracellular and extracellular domains

19. Fibroblast growth factor (FGF) is the ligand in a pathway with ras and MAPK signaling to the nucleus. Describe the receptor, pick one (1) location (in the cell), (2) structure, or (3) specific biochemical function.

1 membrane, passes one time, dimerizes, phosphorylates tyrosine

20. A mouse embryonic stem cell can be converted to a neural stem cell that expresses neuron-specific proteins by what important developmental ligand?

retinoic acid

21. With respect to anterior vs posterior (as opposed to segmentation), why is bicoid referred to as "maternal" (as opposed to zygotic)?

laid down into egg by mother as opposed as involving expression after the egg is fertilized

22. "Bride of sevenless (Boss) is the ligand for sevenless (sev). Answer either: (1) What cell's expression of Boss "tells" the R7 precursor to become R7? Or (2) What happens to this precursor if sev is mutant?

1 R8, 2 becomes cone cell

23. A sympathetic progenitor can become an adrenergic neuron or a cholinergic neuron." How is this determined?

with NGF vs CNTF

24. An explant of developing spinal cord is placed near some tissue that is a source of netrin. What is observed?

neurites going toward source

25. In the cerebellum, what cell type is "inside" the Purkinje nuclear layer? (Its terminals are "outside" [i.e. toward the meninges] the Purkinje nuclear layer.)

granule cell

26. "In the neural tube, cells exit the cell cycle to become post-mitotic neuroblasts." Address either (1) At what stage are they arrested in the cell cycle? Or (2) At what surface are these new cells found?

G1, pial

27. Name a gene product associated with mutations that disrupt axon crossing the midline.

slit, robo (roundabout)

28. "Netrin is an extrinsic cue while DCC is an intrinsic cue." State this in terms of the geometry of cellular and extracellular components.

Netrin is secreted ligand, DCC is on membrane (receptor)

29. In what way does lissencephaly relate to the topic of neuronal migration in development?

mutant phenotype from loss of cell migration

30. Removing or adding a supernumerary limb bud speaks to a general mechanism to regulate the number of spinal motor neurons. How is this number regulated?

too many precursors, apoptosis prunes numbers

31. Using Diazepam, how was GABA implicated in visual experience and cortical connectivity?

GABA-A receptors needed for developmental maintenance in visual experience, diazepam blocks

32. "Habituation of the gill withdrawal reflex in Aplysia:" What aspect of this work shows that it is not receptor adaptation or muscle fatigue?

it is at a synapse, not receptor or muscle

33. Classical (Pavlovian) and operant conditioning are referred to as "associative learning." What are the properties of the performance of a rat in a Skinner box that qualify it as "associative learning?"

repeated pairings of reinforcement with bar press

34. With the help of the ubiquitin system, how is long term sensitization achieved via PKA?

the inhibitory subunits are gone long term

35. A Schaffer collateral is stimulated to "tetanus" to show long term potentiation at the synapse with a CA1 pyramidal neuron. What is the control for this experiment?

another collateral is not prestimulated but it is tested (and shows no LTP)

36. Recent literature, "parietal-frontal pathway subserving spatial awareness" and "widespread cortical networks underlie memory and attention" (2005) showed neurosurgeons addressing what bizarre human syndrome?

contralateral (hemispatial) neglect

37. FOXP2's function in zebra finches and rodents relates to what behavior in humans?


38. How can one side of the brain be anesthetized to study laterality of language ?

circle of Willis notwithstanding, barbituate to one intenal carotid goes preferentially to one side of the brain

39. Ghrelin and leptin should have (similar or different?) effects on (what?).

ghrelin stimulates leptin inhibits food intake

40. "Neuropeptide Y neurons control the activity of POMC cells." Say something about POMC.

proopiomelanocortin forms anorexogenic peptides

41. A subject stares at a fixation point in front of his or her nose. An object to the right of the fixation point is displayed. Say why the subject can (or cannot) say what is seen.

right visual field = left retinal field, goes to left hemisphere the side with language

42. Why would a cat restrained with a dish of water in front of it be specifically deprived of REM sleep?

loss of neck tone during REM would drop face in water and wake the cat up

43. Why is REM sleep called paradoxical sleep?

EEG appears like aroused state

44. A person put in the constant darkness after having been in a light-dark cycle of 12 hr on - 12 hr off will have an activity cycle that is not exactly 24 hr. Give details.

would go to >24 hrs, sleep in on Saturday morning

45. By what visual pigment do ganglion cells of the eye mediate entrainment of a circadian rhythm?


46. "Carotenoid deprivation decreases visual sensitivity in Drosophila (obviously) but not the sensitivity to stimuli to change the cycle for pupal emergence." What does that mean about the photoreceptive pigment?

it is not a rhodopsin based on retinoids (it is cryptochrome)

47. "Per mutations affect the ultradian rhythm of the courtship rhythm in the same way they affect the circadian rhythm." What does ultradian mean in this context?

way shorter than 24 hrs, courtship song is

48. This question relates to sodium channels and pain. In some kinds of pain, including diabetic neuropathy, there is up-regulation and/or down-regulation of certain channels. How else can sodium channel alterations be responsible for pain (use erythermalgia as an example)?

there can be missense (or even nonsense) mutations

49. Changes in neuron function can mediate pain that does not originate from overstimulation of nociceptors. One is allodynia. What is this?

increased excitability, or loss of inhibition, of nociceptors after peripheral nerve injury

50. Earlier in the semester, several analgesics, opioids and NSAIDS, were discussed. Angie's pain presentation introduced us to lidocaine. How does that work?

anesthetic blocks channels

51.How do you prepare an animal to demonstrate that electrical self stimulation can serve as a positive reinforcement?

anesthetize, install electrodes with head mount, allow recovery, plug in

52. Duchenne noted that people with certain kinds of brain damage could not "will" a symmetrical smile. How could you elicit a symmetrical smile from such people (without resorting to "faradizations")?

elicit a spontaneous smile (emotional, tell a joke)

53. "The limbic system has been implicated in olfaction, emotion and memory - whew!" Which part was involved in classic studies of long term potentiation directed toward understanding memory?


54. A graduate of a neuroscience course is required to be able to say who Phineas Gage was.

A guy who had a spike blown through his brain and acted strangely after that

55. Say why Money was (or was not) correct about environment dominating over biology in determining gender identity.

the chromosal boy turned to a girl was never adjusted to being a girl, so biology > upbringing in contradiction to Money's idea

56. What is the product of 5-alpha-reductase?

dihydrotestosterone (DHT)

57. Name at least one of the substances in early male development contributing to sexual dimorphism.

testicular determining factor, testosterone, Mullerian Inhibiting Factor

58. Why was the term "receptive fields" applied to describing the difference between lactating and non-lactating rats?

size of receptive field changes with the increased sensory inptu from ventrum (nipples)

59. With some neural damage, you might forget word meanings but still retain practiced motor skills. How does your text characterize this dichotomy?

declarative vs procedural

60. You've just gotten electroconvulsive shock. What are you likely to have forgotten? (Hint, the answer is not "The answer to this question.")

events during the hour before, not your earlier life

61. Perhaps it is true that McConnell found that Planaria that ate Planaria that had been "trained" were trained in less trials. What legitimate criticism was leveled at the claim that memory was transferred through RNA?

no controls for sensitization

62. Answer either (1) What did Lashley mean by "engram?" Or (2) Where did he find it to be?

the memory trace, distributed with equipotentiality throughout cortex

63. Why do they use the expression "working memory" for performance in the radial 8-arm maze?

each time, animal can accurately remember which of the arms visited until (s)he reaches all of them

64. List at least one of the products of the five most obvious genes underlying familial Alzheimer's disease?

amyloid precursor protein, presenillins 1 & 2, apolipoprotein E, tau

65. How does Sperry rationalize his faith in "the powers of perception, cognition, reason, and judgment" in human action and free will?

while physical laws still apply, there are emergent properties when the parts are assembled to the whole

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