1. A dividing stem cell forms a new olfactory receptor cell to replace another lost to receptor turnover. How does it know the right place to connect?

it is based on the particular G protein coupled receptor it expresses

2. Activation of a Golf leads to the opening of a Ca2+/Na+ channel (how?)

by activating adenylate cyclase to make cAMP

3. Olfactory bulb targets (pyriform cortex, olfactory tubercle, amygdala and entorhinal cortex) feed to higher-order areas (orbitofrontal cortex, thalamus, hypothalamus) and (what place is missing from that list?).


4. Where is the protein that is coded for by the Duchenne muscular dystrophy gene?

around (outside) muscle membrane (and all over the place, e.g. brain)

5. In a cross section of the spinal cord at the level of the cervical enlargement, different areas of gray matter mediate different muscles. Describe.

proximal muscles medial gray, distal - lateral, flexors-dorsal extensors-ventral

6. In order to achieve a sustained muscle contraction, how must the spinal motor neuron respond?

with a train of action potentials

7. What cells are affected by ALS (Lou Gehrig's disease)?

spinal motor neurons

8. Where is the pyramidal decussation?

caudal medulla (caudal to the trapezoid body, pyramid)

9. Precentral gyrus to cerebral peduncle to pyramid to spinal motor neuron. Name one place missing in that list of places where the axons of the corticospinal tract pass?

internal capsule lateral (or ventral) corticospinal tract

10. A half spinal cord lesion would lead to motor loss below the injury that is similar to which sensory system in the Brown Sequard syndrome?

like the lemniscal system (2-point discrimination) Not like the spinothalamic (pain and temperature)

11. Trigeminal, vagus, (spinal) accessory, hypoglossal. What cranial nerve for striated motor control of the face is missing from that list?

facial (VII)

12. We know that the vestibular system feeds to the cerebellum and also contributes to the control of eye movements. Also, we know that the superior colliculus feeds to a portion of the reticular formation for eye movement control. What other major area do the superior colliculus AND the vestibular system feed? (Alternatively, you may answer what is being controlled.)

spinal cord (to coordinate body with eye movements or for the reflex-like response to balance disturbance)

13. For extrapyramidal motor control, the substantia nigra and the pars compacta feed to the caudate and the putamen. What other major brain area feeds to the caudate and putamen for monitoring?

cerebral cortex

14. The basal ganglia do not send a tract down the spinal cord. How, then, do they exert their motor control?

via thalamus and motor cortex

15. In a block diagram, decreased input to caudate and putamen from the substantia nigra / pars compacta is shown as the primary locus explaining the final result (bradykinesia). Where is the first place with decreased or increased (or both) feeds in Huntington's chorea (to explain the hyperkinesia)?

from caudate/putamen to globus pallidus

16. Say something about the pathway that gets cerebellar modulation of motor control to the spinal motor neuron.

as with basl ganglia, there is feedback to primary motor cortex / premotor cortex via thalamus (VL complex) (also via deep cerebellar nuclei. The feed down to spinal motor neurons comes by the corticospinal tract

17. Which nerve controls the greatest fraction of extraocular eye muscles?

occulomotor (III)

18. For the abducens nucleus... (answer either) (1) What does it connect to (other than eye muscles)? or (2) Where does it get input from?

occulomotor nucleus, PPRF

19. In contrast with signalling via the heterotrimeric G protein, signalling by Wnt, FGF, BMP, shh and RA were posited as going in a fairly direct pathway into the nucleus. Say something about the effect these ligands have in the nucleus.

ultimately they control transcription into mRNA of specific genes

20. "Inside the larva are these pieces of tissue that are determined to become adult structures but are not yet differentiated. Say something about them (e.g., What are they called? When do they differentiate?).

imaginal disks have cell proliferation in larvae then they differentiate into adult structures in the pupa case

21. A cell from the mouse inner cell mass is treated for 4 days with retinoic acid after 4 days without retinoic acid. This protocol converted the cell from what kind of cell to what kind of cell?

from an embryonic stem cell to a neuronal precursor

22. Why are the first genes to guide Drosophila embryology referred to as "maternal genes?"

the mRNA is active in, and the protein laid down by, the mother, not the zygote

23. Looking into the eye with an ophthalmoscope, how would an eye care professional recognize retinitis pigmentosa?
bone spicule shaped pigmentation, optic disc pale, narrowing of blood vessels
24. What is the cure for retinitis pigmentosa?
there is no cure

25. The genes involved in homeotic mutants-- answer either (1) What shape is the critical domain of the protein they encode? or (2) What is the function of that protein?

helix turn helix, bind DNA to activate transcription

26. Sevenless is a receptor tyrosine kinase. Name another protein in the sevenless signal transduction pathway.

boss, downstream of receptor kinase, sos, ras, MAP kinase,

27. There are 3 layers (suffix ...derm). From which is the neural plate derived?


28. Give one of the fates of neural crest.

sensory ganglia, autonomic ganglia, adrenal medulla, non-neural cells like melanocytes

29. In a classic example of induction, what does an out-pocketing of the diencephalon make the overlying ectoderm turn into?

lens and cornea of the eye

30. Your lab is the best in the world in all histological techniques including the Golgi technique. And yet, NSF and NIH resoundingly reject your grant proposal to look for differences in growth cones in the hypothalamus in male vs female rats at the age when males continue to get heavier but females do not. What is the reviewers' criticism?

there is no axon pathfinding in the adult mammalian brain

31. "The chick spinal cord generates an excess of neurons prior to the differentiation and innervation of the limb. Normally some of these neurons are lost..." Answer either (1) What is the evidence for the first statement? or (2) Say something about this process of loss of neurons.

more neurons if supernumerary limb bud, less if ablated limb bud; apoptosis

32. Learning with electrical stimulation of the brain -- Say something about the more traditional situation for this kind of learning (e.g. what that kind of learning is called, the nature of the behavior, example reinforcements).

operant condition, bar press, water or food if water- or food-deprived

33. You are studying habituation as a model of learning. Convince us that the phenomenon is habituation instead of sensory adaptation or muscle fatigue.

you would need to show that it is a change in a synapse, like change of EPSP strength

34. What is the modification of PKA that characterizes the difference between short term sensitization and long term sensitization?

ubiquitin hydrolase breaks down regulatory (inhibitory) subunits, making the activation persistent.

35. What nutritional supplement is recommended for women of child-bearing age for the prevention of neural tube defects?
folic acid
36. Why would cyclopia be expected in cases of holoprosencephaly?
failure of eye to divide would follow failure of brain to divide
37. Why would premature fusion of the sutures be expected to lead to brain and mental abnormalities?
not enough room for the brain to grow

38. The fruit fly Drosophila is given electrical shock repeatedly in the presence of a specific odor, and it learns to avoid the area where that odor is present. Eventually, it was found that the cAMP signal transduction pathway was important in this learning. What strategy allowed them to make this conclusion?

obtain mutants with learning defects

39. "After a train of stimuli to axons of CA3 pyramidal axons (Schaffer collaterals) the response of the postsynaptic cell (CA1 pyramidal neuron) is larger." Answer either (1) What is this simple kind of learning called? or (2) What part of the brain was being studied?

long term (lasting) potentiation, hippocampus

40. If excitation of the climbing fiber and the parallel fiber are paired, there is a decrease in the effectiveness of the glutaminergic AMPA receptor. Answer either (1) What is the postsynaptic cell? or (2) What is this simple model of learning called?

purkinje cell, long term depression

41. Patients with damage to what brain area have difficulty with the line bisection task?

parietal, temporal, frontal, superior occipitofrontal fasciculus

42. Which of the 6 cortical layers receives input from the thalamus?


43. Motor aphasia (difficulty speaking but normal speech recognition) is associated with lesions in what area?


44. What is the evidence that language is localized on the left side of the brain even in left-handed people?

wada procedure, anesthetize one side of the brain by injection into one carotid

45. What is the typical intellectual capacity of an individual with dyslexia?
at least average
46. Name one brain area needed in processing a word after reading it that is not required for processing a word after hearing it.
visual cortex, angular gyrus

47. With careful eye fixation, images of objects could be presented to one side of the brain of Roger Sperry's subjects. With the same optical presentation, both hemispheres of a normal subject "know" what was presented. How?

information crosses corpus callosum

48. Pontine to (what?) to Occipital, these are "spikes that jerk you at the onset of sleeping.


49. "During arousal, there is alpha blocking." Answer either (1) What is alpha? or (2) How would you observe alpha?

relaxed EEG with eyes closed 8-13 Hz, record EEG with electrodes on the scalp.

50. A sleep pathway involving serotonin and norepinephrine in the area between the pontine reticular formation and the midbrain goes to spinal motor neurons to mediate atonia with what neurotransmitter?


51. Why do they call REM sleep "paradoxical sleep?"

the EEG has the aroused pattern (alpha blocking)

52. Explain in terms of Ashoff''s rule how the human free-running circadian rhythm deviates from 24 hours.

it is longer than 24 hours when a diurnal animal is in the dark, it is like the person is waiting for dawn

53. For mice OR for Drosophila, state the name of a visual pigment molecule involved in entrainment that is not rhodopsin.

melanopsin, cryptochrome

54. The discoveries of long (29 hr) and short (19 hr) per (period) mutants paved the way to the characterization of how the PER gene and the protein it encodes function in the non-mutant animal. How does PER contribute to the biological clock?

the PER mRNA and protein increase and decrease on a daily cycle

55. Say something about where the brain was severed in the classic Bard experiments addressed to the presence or absence of "sham" rage.

if a hypothalamus that is deprived of cortical connection is still able to feed down to the reticular formation, there is sham rage

56. "The 'pyramidal smile' (voluntary facial paresis) results from an inability to voluntarily move the lower facial muscles on one side due to a unilateral lesion. Answer either how you could over-ride this distorted smile or what the symmetrical smile is called.

in the involuntary response, say, to humor, one gets the Duchenne smile

57. There are many differences in brain organization of young male vs female people and rats, feeding behavior (body weight) being one example. How AND when are these differences organized?
there is perinatal testosterone in males (there is virtually none in children or prepubertal juveniles)
58. In the John-Joan-John (Bruce-Brenda-Dave) story, Money's theory about gender identity led to the follow-up treatment from the circumcision. What was Money's proposal?
that gender identity was determined more by environmental factors than by chromosomal or early hormonal factors

59. In Drosophila, the number of X chromosomes determines gender (XX being female, one X being male). Say something about how this situation is the same or different for humans.
a gene on the Y leads to development of testes which make testosterone and Mullerian inhibiting factor
60. Where, according to Simon LeVay's data, do homosexual vs heterosexual men have differences in their brains?
interstitial nucleus of the anterior hypothalamus
61. How is it known that Brenda Milner's tragic subject (HM, with the bilateral hippocampal lesion) does have procedural (non-declarative memory)?
he can "learn" a mirror drawing task
62. Storage oscilloscope fragments were sprinkled on a regular oscilloscope. The entire physiology department at Yale wrote this spoof to criticize what published "finding?"

that RNA from a flat worm that had "learned" (or cannibalism) could transfer the memory
63. Explain why the term "working memory" applies to the radial 8-arm maze task.
withour any defined pathway, the rat knows which of the arms (s)he has visited so as to get all 8 pellets without repeating an arm
64. Nobody had the slightest idea what went wrong in Alzheimer's disease for decades. Now they have identified the involvement of several non-functional enzymes. What breakthrough paved the way for this important understanding?

finding familial inheritance allowed identification of genes

65. In rationalizing free will, what relationship does Nobelist Sperry assign to physical laws vs emergent properties?

physical laws still operate, but emergent properties outclass (supercede) them

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