Edexcel GCE Biology
Topic 8: Grey matter
Describe the structure and function of sensory, relay and motor neurones including the role of Schwann cells and myelination.
Describe how a nerve impulse (action potential) is conducted along an axon including changes in membrane permeability to sodium and potassium ions and the role of the nodes of Ranvier.
Locate and state the functions of the regions of the human brain’s cerebral hemispheres (ability to see, think, learn and feel emotions), hypothalamus (thermoregulate), cerebellum (coordinate movement) and medulla oblongata (control the heartbeat).
Consider the methods used to compare the contributions of nature and nurture to brain development, including evidence from the abilities of newborn babies, animal experiments, studies of individuals with damaged brain areas, twin studies and cross-cultural studies.
AQA GCE Biology
3.5.1 Stimuli, both internal and external, are detected and lead to a response
A simple reflex arc involving three neurones. The importance of simple reflexes in avoiding damage to the body.
3.5.2 Coordination may be chemical or electrical in nature
Nerve cells pass electrical impulses along their length. They stimulate their target cells by secreting chemical neurotransmitters directly on to them. This results in rapid, short-lived and localised responses.
The structure of a myelinated motor neurone.
The establishment of a resting potential in terms of differential membrane permeability, electrochemical gradients and the movement of sodium and potassium ions.
Changes in membrane permeability lead to depolarisation and the generation of an action potential.
The all-or-nothing principle.
The passage of an action potential along non-myelinated and myelinated axons, resulting in nerve impulses.
The nature and importance of the refractory period in producing discrete impulses.
Factors affecting the speed of conductance: myelination and saltatory conduction; axon diameter; temperature.
The detailed structure of a synapse and of a neuromuscular junction.
OCR GCE Biology
(a) Outline the roles of sensory receptors in mammals in converting different forms of energy into nerve impulses;
(b) describe, with the aid of diagrams, the structure and functions of sensory and motor neurones;
(c) describe and explain how the resting potential is established and maintained;
(d) describe and explain how an action potential is generated;
(e) describe and explain how an action potential is transmitted in a myelinated neurone, with reference to the roles of voltage-gated sodium ion and potassium ion channels;
(h) compare and contrast the structure and function of myelinated and non-myelinated neurones;
(i) describe, with the aid of diagrams, the structure of a cholinergic synapse;
(j) outline the role of neurotransmitters in the transmission of action potentials;
(k) outline the roles of synapses in the nervous system.
WJEC GCE Biology
4.7 The nervous system
(a) Responding to a stimulus requires information from a receptor to be relayed to an effector. Effectors are either muscles or glands.
(c) The structure of the motor neurone, to include drawing and labelling a diagram. The nature and transmission of the nerve impulse. Analysis of oscilloscope traces. Factors affecting speed of conduction in other organisms.
(d) The structure and role of the synapse and synaptic transmission. The effect of chemicals such as organophosphates and psychoactive drugs (in brief) on transmission.
SQA Advanced Higher Biology
Ion channels and nerve transmission.
Detecting and amplifying an external stimulus.
International Baccalaureate Diploma Biology
Option E: Neurobiology and Behaviour
E5 The human brain
Label, on a diagram of the brain, the medulla oblongata, cerebellum, hypothalamus, pituitary gland and cerebral hemispheres. Outline the functions of each of the parts of the brain.
AQA GCE Psychology
3.1 Unit 1 PSYA1: Cognitive Psychology, Developmental Psychology and Research Methods
Models of memory.
Memory in everyday life.
3.2 Unit 2 PSYA2: Biological Psychology, Social Psychology and Individual Differences
Stress as a bodily response.
Stress in everyday life.
Social influence in everyday life.
3.3 Unit 3 PSYA3: Topics in Psychology
Biological rhythms and sleep
Disruption of biological rhythms.
Disorders of sleep.
Edexcel GCE Psychology (2015 draft specification)
Topic 2: Cognitive psychology
Students must show an understanding that cognitive psychology is about the role of cognition/cognitive processes in human behaviour. Processes include perception, memory, selective attention, language and problem solving. The cognitive topic area draws on the likeness of cognitive processing to computer processing.
Individual differences and developmental psychology can be considered when learning about, for example, memory differences and memory deficits, and when learning about how this develops as the brain ages.
Topic 3: Biological psychology
Students must show an understanding that biological psychology is about the mechanisms within our body and how they affect our behaviour, specifically focusing on aggression.
Individual differences and developmental psychology can be considered when learning about, for example, issues such as aggression caused by an accident, and when learning about how the function of structures of the brain can be affected by the environment.
Remaining post-16 psychology specs will be updated as and when they are ratified.
About this resource
This resource was first published in ‘Thinking’.