2.11 MC Answers and Review

7 min readmay 15, 2023

Dalia Savy

Dalia Savy

AP Psychology 🧠

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Answers and Review for Multiple Choice Practice on Biological Bases of Behavior


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Every 90 minutes, we cycle through the four sleep stages: 1-2-3-2-1-REM, then restart.

⛔STOP!⛔ Before you look at the answers make sure you gave this practice quiz a try so you can assess your understanding of the concepts covered in unit 2. Click here for the practice questions: AP Psychology Unit 2 Multiple Choice Questions.
Facts about the test: The AP Psychology exam has 100 multiple choice questions and you will be given 1 hour and 10 minutes to complete the section. That means it should take you around 11 minutes to complete 15 questions.

*The following questions were not written by CollegeBoard and although they cover information outlined in the AP Psychology Course and Exam Description, the formatting on the exam may be different.

1. Mariel was in a car accident and suffered damage to her reticular formation. Which of the following is she most likely experiencing?
A. Convulsive Seizures
B. A Coma
C. Inability to Make New Memories
D. Change in her Personality
Answer: The reticular formation, located in the old brain, plays an important part in arousal--our natural sleep-wake cycle.
📄 Study AP Psychology, Unit 2.6: The Brain

2. After suffering a stroke, Manny lost his ability to comprehend language. It is most likely that Manny suffered damage to
A. His right temporal lobe
B. His hippocampus
C. Wernicke’s Area
D. Broca’s Area
Answer: Wernicke's area, located in the left temporal lobe, is responsible for language comprehension.
📄 Study AP Psychology, Unit 2.6 - The Brain

3.  The somatosensory cortex is to the ______ lobe as the motor cortex is to the _______lobe.
A. Parietal; frontal
B. Occipital; frontal
C. Frontal; temporal
D. Parietal; temporal
Answer: The somatosensory cortex is located in the parietal lobe; the motor cortex is located in the frontal lobe
📄 Study AP Psychology, Unit 2.6: The Brain

4. Polarization is to __________ as depolarization is to _______.
A. Action potential; resting potential
B. Resting potential; refractory period
C. Resting potential; action potential
D. Action potential; refractory period
Answer: When a neuron is stimulated, gates are opened to allow for positively charged sodium ions to flood in, causing depolarization of the axon. This is called an action potential. As the action potential moves down the axon, sodium/potassium pumps restore the axon to its original state, that is is is polarized. This is called the resting potential.
📄 Study AP Psychology, Unit 2.4: Neural Firing

5. Juan was bit by a black widow spider. The venom is an agonist for ACh. What is Juan likely to be experiencing?
A. Paralysis
B. Migraine Headaches
C. Insomnia
D. Muscle spasms
Answer: ACh, or acetylcholine, is one of the best-understood neurotransmitters and can be found at every junction between motor neurons and skeletal muscles. It enables muscle movement, and also plays a role in learning and memory. An antagonist is a molecule that enhances a neurotransmitter's action. The spider venom enhanced Jaun's muscle actions, resulting in spasms
📄 Study AP Psychology, Unit 2.4: Neural Firing

6. Night terrors are to ________ as hypnagogic sensation are to __________.
A. Stage 3; Stage 1
B. REM sleep; REM sleep
C. REM Sleep; NREM sleep
D. Stage 4; Stage 2
Answer: Night terrors, which are different than nightmares that occur during REM sleep, occur during Stage 3--about 2 or 3 hours after falling asleep. Hypnagogic sensations refer to the jerking or sudden feeling of falling that occur right when you are falling asleep ( Stage 1)
📄 Study AP Psychology, Unit 2.9: Sleep and Dreaming

7. What is the role of the suprachiasmatic nucleus?
A. It increases the production of dopamine, causing us to feel pleasure
B. It blocks messages between our motor cortex and brainstem, causing paradoxical sleep
C. It suppresses the pineal gland's production of melatonin, causing us to awaken
D. It interferes with our natural circadian rhythms, causing insomnia
Answer: The suprachiasmatic nucleus (SCN) reacts to light striking the retina. This sends a signal to the SCN to suppress the production of melatonin. At night, the SCN quiets down, which allows for the release of melatonin and thus the feeling of sleepiness.
📄 Study AP Psychology, Unit 2.9: Sleep and Dreaming

8. Aiko has been struggling with depression and finds it difficult to concentrate on her school work. It is most likely that Aiko has a shortage of which neurotransmitter?
B. Dopamine
C. ACh
D. Serotonin
Answer: Serotonin affects our mood, hunger, sleep and arousal and an undersupply has been linked to depression. Prozac and other antidepressant drugs raise serotonin levels by blocking their re-uptake or chemical breakdown
📄 Study AP Psychology, Unit 2.4: Neural Firing

9. Neurotransmitters receptor sites are located on the
A. Soma
B. Dendrites
C. Axon
D. Terminal Branches
Answer: Dendrites are the neuron's branching extensions that receive the neurotransmitters and send the message (impulse) toward the cell body (soma). Neurotransmitters fit into the receptor cells much like a key fits into a lock.
📄 Study AP Psychology, Unit 2.4: Neural Firing

10. Your ability to swat at a fly buzzing around your head is due to your
A. Somatic nervous system
B. Autonomic nervous system
C. Parasympathetic nervous system
D. Endocrine system
Answer: The somatic nervous system is part of the peripheral nervous system. It is responsible for gathering information and directing central nervous system decisions to your body parts.
📄 Study AP Psychology, Unit 2.3: Overview of the NS and the Neuron

11. The "uncommitted" areas of the cerebral cortex that are involved in higher-order cognitive functions and are more pervasive in more intelligent animals are called
A. Hemisphere lobes
B. Cortex interfaces
C. Association areas
D. Wernicke’s area
Answer: Association areas are involved in functions that make us human such as learning, remembering, thinking and speaking. The fact that so much of our brain is "uncommitted," has led to the myth that we only use 10% of our brains.
📄 Study AP Psychology, Unit 2.6: The Brain

12. The part of the brain that links the nervous and endocrine systems is the
A. Pituitary Gland
B. Thalamus
C. Hypothalamus
D. Hormones
Answer: The hypothalamus, located in the limbic system just below (hypo) the thalamus, is responsible for maintaining homeostasis in our bodies. It secretes hormones that send messages to the pituitary gland (the master gland) that in turn sends messages to all of the other glands in the endocrine system to release their hormones into the bloodstream.
📄 Study AP Psychology, Unit 2.2: The Endocrine System

13. What can be expected in someone who has been a long-term user of the drug Ecstasy?
A. An increased production of dopamine, resulting in hallucinations
B. Damaged serotonin-producing neurons, leading to depression
C. Reduced dopamine levels, resulting in depression
D. Decreased production of endorphins, leading to lower pain thresholds
Answer: Ecstasy, also known as MDMA or "Molly," is a stimulant and mild hallucinogen. It triggers dopamine release and blocks the reuptake of serotonin resulting in a feel-good rush of emotions and a feeling of connection with those around you. In addition to the damage to serotonin-producing neurons, Ecstasy also suppresses the nervous system, impairs memory and can disturb the sleep cycle.
📄 Study AP Psychology, Unit 2.5: Influence of Drugs on Neural Firing

14. Which of the following technologies would be most useful for determining what stage of sleep someone is in?
C. PET Scan
Answer: An EEG, or electroencephalogram, amplifies the electrical activity of the brain's surface. Researchers are able to measure the waves by placing electrodes on the scalp. Each stage of sleep has a different type of wave associated with it (e.g. alpha, theta, delta).
📄 Study AP Psychology, Unit 2.7: Tools for Examining Brain Structure and Function

15. If a trait is found to be 85% heritable, what does that mean?
A. It means that you are highly likely to inherit that trait if it is passed down to you by your parents
B. It means that 85% of that trait comes from your genes and 15% from your experiences
C. It means that 85% of the variation of that trait among individuals in a group can be attributed to genes
D. It means that 85% of that trait can be attributed to your experiences and 15% to your genes
Answer: Heritability is often confused with the concept of inherited, but they are very different. Heritability is calculated by behavioral geneticists--often through their studies of identical twins. It is a statistical measure and refers to the proportion of variation among individuals in a group that can be attributed to genetic makeup. If a trait is 85% heritable, it means that genetic influence explains about 85% of the variation among people--not that 85% of that trait the trait is 85% genetic.
📄 Study AP Psychology, Unit 2.1: Interaction of Heredity and Environment

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