MCAT Psychology and Sociology Freestanding Practice Questions: biological foundations of behavior

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1. A demyelinating disorder, such as multiple sclerosis, would cause all of the following symptoms EXCEPT:

  • A. a reduction of white matter in the central nervous system.
  • B. increased saltatory conduction.
  • C. slower propagation of signals along the axon.
  • D. a deficiency of sensation.

2. Which area of the brain is responsible for coordinating complex motor functions?

  • A. Frontal lobe
  • B. Occipital lobe
  • C. Reticular activating system
  • D. Cerebellum

3. What structure in the middle ear generates vibrations that match the sound waves striking it?

  • A. Basilar membrane
  • B. Tympanic membrane
  • C. Cochlea
  • D. Malleus

4. In the human visual pathway, what cell type comprises the bundle of fibers called the optic nerve?

  • A. Photoreceptors
  • B. Bipolar cells
  • C. Ganglion cells
  • D. Fovea cells

5. All of the following brain areas are associated with the experience of emotion EXCEPT the:

  • A. temporal lobes.
  • B. amygdala.
  • C. hypothalamus.
  • D. pons.

6. Acetylcholine is stimulatory to which of the following?

I. Skeletal muscle

II. Postganglionic neurons

III. Cardiac muscle

  • A. I only
  • B. I and II only
  • C. II and III only
  • D. I, II, and III

7. Cortisol has a direct inhibitory effect on:

  • A. the posterior pituitary.
  • B. the hypothalamus.
  • C. the adrenal cortex.
  • D. glycogen mobilization.


Instead of perceiving a series of lines in the figure above, humans perceive two shapes: a circle and a rectangle. What best accounts for this phenomenon?

  • A. The principles of Gestalt psychology
  • B. Bottom-up processing
  • C. Parallel processing
  • D. Weber's Law