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Biology 2e

Critical Thinking Questions

Biology 2eCritical Thinking Questions


How are neurons similar to other cells? How are they unique?


Multiple sclerosis causes demyelination of axons in the brain and spinal cord. Why is this problematic?


Many neurons have only a single axon, but many terminals at the end of the axon. How does this end structure of the axon support its function?


How does myelin aid propagation of an action potential along an axon? How do the nodes of Ranvier help this process?


What are the main steps in chemical neurotransmission?


Describe how long-term potentiation can lead to a nicotine addiction.


What methods can be used to determine the function of a particular brain region?


What are the main functions of the spinal cord?


Alzheimer’s disease involves three of the four lobes of the brain. Identify one of the involved lobes and describe the lobe’s symptoms associated with the disease.


What are the main differences between the sympathetic and parasympathetic branches of the autonomic nervous system?


What are the main functions of the sensory-somatic nervous system?


Describe how the sensory-somatic nervous system reacts by reflex to a person touching something hot. How does this allow for rapid responses in potentially dangerous situations?


Scientists have suggested that the autonomic nervous system is not well-adapted to modern human life. How is the sympathetic nervous system an ineffective response to the everyday challenges faced by modern humans?


What are the main symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease?


What are possible treatments for patients with major depression?

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