1. Why doesn't the alpha subunit of the heterotrimeric G protein activate the effector protein forever?


there is GTPase activity, and when it is bound to GDP, alpha re-associates with beta-gamma and is no longer activated



2. In the Gq pathway, state ONE of the products of phospholipase C (PLC).


diacylglycerol and IP3


3. How does caffeine produce its stimulation?


potentiating NE by inhibiting cAMP breakdown


4. Your research mentor assigns you to lesion the rat's FPVH, a nucleus in the hypothalamus. You find it in the stereotactic atlas on one coronal section called "-1.5" at a depth of -2 at 0.75 lateral to midsagittal. Say something about how you aim the electrode tip to that location.


mounting the head in a stereotactic apparatus will allow you rostral-caudal measurements if you know bregma and lamda and the rest is under micrometer control


5. At first, Pruisinger's Nobel Prize winning proposition that a protein, (not a virus or bacterium, no DNA or RNA) was preposterous. How can a protein be contagious?


an altered conformation (PrP-Sc) can turn your normal protein (PrP-C) into the altered form


6. Using the terminology (5 compartments from Telencephalon to Myelencephalon), say where you find the third ventricle




7. In the midbrain, you see the lamina quadrigemina. Give the name of the visual portion of this structure for EITHER (1) the frog OR (2) the sheep.


optic tectum superior colliculi


8. In that area called the pons, there are fibers that your text calls the "middle cerebellar peduncle." When you looked at the floor of the fourth ventricle and teased apart the three cerebellar peduncles, give a different name for what it was called. (Hint, not restiform body or brachium conjunctivum)


brachium pontis


(For figures 9-12, go here)


9. You ran your "orange stick" to note the rostral-caudal direction of these fibers. Answer EITHER (1) the name of ONE of these structures, (2) the function of these fibers, OR (3) the name of this tract.


cerebral peduncle, trapezoid body, motor system, cortico-spinal tract (pyramidal tract)


10. You removed the gray matter of what major structure to reveal this tract?




11. Answer EITHER (1) What is the name of this structure? OR (2) If you removed it, name ONE of the things you would see.


septum pellucidum, lateral ventricle or head of caudate


12. If you removed this structure, what major subdivision of the diencephalon would you be looking at?




(for questions 13-17, go here)


13. Using a tract name, what is the white matter that is being ripped?


internal capsule


14. Using a tract name, why is the outside of this structure white?


the fimbria covers the hippocampus


15. What would this structure be called if this were a frog?


optic tectum


16. Name ONE of these cranial nerves (A or B).


trigeminal or abducens


17. What is the function of the white matter you can see through the brain’s surface here?




(for questions 18-20, go here)


18. If you pulled the two cerebral hemispheres apart here at the medial longitudinal fissure, what white matter would you see?


corpus callosum


19. With respect to its speckled appearance, how do neuroanatomists refer to this view of the basal ganglia?




20. The postsynaptic cells in this area receive their input from cells that are located where?


retina (ganglion cells)


21. What tract was found just caudal to (and parallel to) the fornix by removing gray matter from the massa intermedia?


mammilo-thalamic tract


22. Occulomotor nucleus, trochlear nucleus, and (what?) innervate the extraocular muscles of the eye.




23. “Archipallium” is a term for what structure?




24. Between sacral and lumbar areas of the spinal cord the typical structure often depicted in cross sections ends. What is the name given to the structure caudal to that location?


cauda equina


25. There are several enlargements in the spinal cord. ANSWER EITHER (1) Give the name of one. OR (2) What cells are more numerous in these areas? OR (3) Why is the spinal cord larger in these two places?


cervical and lumbar enlargements, motor neurons, to supply forelimbs and hindlimbs


26. For the pyramidal tract, ANSWER EITHER (1) Where is the cell body where this tract originates? OR (2) Where is the synapse?


precentral gyrus, spinal motor neuron


27. Some of the somatosensory system’s afferents are unmyelinated. What submodality (quality) is coming up these C fibers?




28. Say something about the receptive field of the Pacinian corpuscle


it is large


29. Group IA sensory afferent neurons ANSWER EITHER (1) come in from what receptors? OR (2) have their cell bodies where?


muscle spindles, dorsal root ganglion


30. VR-1 receptors ANSWER EITHER (1) can be stimulated intracellularly by what chemical? OR (2) are stimulated extracellularly by what natural stimulus?


capsaicin, heat


31. The gracile nucleus is ANSWER EITHER (1) located where? OR (2) is in a branch of the somatosensory system called what?


caudal medulla, lemniscal system


32. In the human diving reflex, there is a seemingly contradictory decrease in pulse and increase in blood pressure mediated by sensory input from what cranial nerve?


5, trigeminal


33. Why is there a contralateral loss of sensation of temperature and pain below a half spinal cord injury?


because the decussation is at the point of entry


34. Referred pain from the ureter to the lower back is most commonly expressed in what situation in people?


kidney stone


35. One published article in vision gives the intensity of the stimulus in units of energy. Another visual scientist wants to know the intensity in quanta per square centimeter per second. What equation would (s)he use to figure that out?


the energy of a quantum of light, energy equals Planck’s constant times the frequency of light


36. ANSWER EITHER (1) How would a vision researcher attenuate (decrease) the intensity of his or her light beam by 1/16? OR (2) How was I able to convince you that ultraviolet (UV) light was coming out of the monochromator when you could not see it?


use a 1.2 log unit neutral density filter, show the UV-induced blue fluorescence of paper


37. ANSWER EITHER (1) Even if an animal did have visual sensitivity to UV-B light (below 300 nm), why would this not be useful? OR (2) Even though infrared light does not interact with matter the same way that “visible” light does, some animals have something approximating vision for infrared light; say something about this.


there is no light in that range passing the ozone layer, snakes like pit vipers can image the heat of their prey with pit organs


38. Humans have rod rhodopsin and 3 types of cone rhodopsins. In a pair-wise comparison, which two have the minimum difference in amino acids?


long (yellow) vs middle (green)


39. “The cornea is actually the strongest lens in the eye.” Say something about this.


everything is blurred under water without goggles, the power is 42 diopters, the difference in index of refraction between air and ocular media is huge


40. “You would be able to see a letter that is 5 minutes.” What is the more conventional way of saying that?


you have 20:20 vision


41. Why does the eye care professional (ophthalmologist or optometrist) take your eye pressure when you come in?


high pressure from obstructed drainage of the aqueous humor through the canal of Schlemm leads to glaucoma in which the ganglion cells die


42. “Ring scotoma tunnel vision” Say something about this disorder or why it is so tragic.


retinitis pigmentosa, young people go blind, rods degenerate, mutations of molecules of the visual transduction cascade


43. Unequal crossing over leading to gene duplication explains what phenomenon in the visual system?


evolution of two long wavelength cone opsins such as old world monkeys, apes and humans have from one such as new world monkeys have


44. Why might erectile dysfunction medications such as Viagra affect visual receptor function?


a cGMP PDE is inhibited


45. Why do visual receptors hyperpolarize in response to light?


a sodium – calcium channel closes


46. Say something about contrast detection in the Limulus eye.


lateral inhibition, Mach bands, neural response as a function of space is accentuated relative to light gradient


47. A light is shown into the left eye and neither pupil constricts, but if it is shown into the right eye, both pupils constrict. Which cranial nerve is at fault?


left optic


48. Layers 1, 4 and 6 receive contralateral input while layers 2, 3 and 5 receive ipsilateral input. These layers are in what structure?


lateral geniculate nucleus


49. As an electrode is advanced obliquely, the ocular dominance changes. What else changes?


the orientation preference


50. The ocular dominance columns in the cortex show up on an autoradiogram. Say something about how the radioactivity arrived there.


inject radioactive amino acid into one eye, axon transport to LGN, crosses synapse (amazingly) then axon transport to cortex


51. Monocular deprivation of form vision ANSWER EITHER (1) has what profound effect on the cortex? OR (2) if it is applied (when?).


eliminates ocular dominance columns from that eye, in the first few months of life


52. In the frequency discrimination demonstration, how did you know that the two tuning forks differed by only a few Hz?


there were only a few beats per second


53. What is the significance of 0.0002 dynes per square cm?


it is the denominator of the pressure ratio in the definition of dB=20 log ratio


54. ANSWER EITHER (1) What is it called when the frequency is over 20,000 Hz?

OR (2) Say something about hearing in that range.


ultrasound, bats use it for echolocation and dogs can hear it


55. ANSWER EITHER: (1) what the tonotopic organization of the primary auditory cortex looks like; or (2) how would you demonstrate the tonotopic organization of the primary auditory cortex?


cells that respond to low frequency at one end, high at the other, record from places and run through a range of stimulus frequencies and see which frequency each place responds to best


56. The human audibility curve plots Y as a function of X. Answer either what is on the Y OR X axes.


ordinate is threshold plotted in intensity, plotted logarythmically, abscissa is frequency in Hz where log plotting is for convenience


57. Where is the first place in the auditory projection that receives bilateral input?


superior olive (mid-pons)


58. Cells in the auditory cortex are responsive to a narrow range of frequencies. By contrast, the tuning curve for a cell in cranial nerve VIII is wider. Bekesy, the Nobel Prize winner, argued that this was because of what type of processing?


lateral inhibition


59. The vestibular nucleus feeds to the abducens nucleus which, in turn, feeds to the lateral rectus plus (what nucleus?).


oculomotor nucleus


60. In addition to input from vestibular apparatus, the vestibular nuclei that form the vestibulo-spinal tracts receive input from what major brain location?




61. Bitter taste receptors are what kind of molecule?


g protein coupled receptor, T2R, TRA2R would be acceptable


62. In what way are the receptors unusual and unique for sweet and umami tastes?


this is the only time the G protein coupled receptors have been mentioned as being dimers


63. Say something about the genetics of PTC taste sensitivity.


the T allele is dominant, so only tt is non-taster


64. The solitary nucleus gets input from nerves VII, IX and X, and it feeds to the thalamus and (say another place).


amygdala, hypothalamus


65. In addition to the 5 primary taste receptors that input via nerves VII, IX and X, say something about either the chemical ("tastant") or the receptor type, or the nerve input mediating appreciation of food at the level of watery stimulation in the mouth.


capsacin, polymodal niciceptive fibers, V = trigeminal


revised April 1, 2014


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