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The Endocrine System for AP Psychology

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By — McGraw-Hill Professional
Updated on Mar 4, 2011

Practice questions for this study guide can be found at:

Biological Bases of Behavior Review Questions for AP Psychology

Your endocrine system interacts with your nervous system to regulate your behavior and body functions. Your endocrine system consists of glands that secrete chemical messengers called hormones into your blood. The hormones travel to target organs where they bind to specific receptors. Endocrine glands include the pineal gland, hypothalamus, and pituitary gland in your brain; the thyroid and parathyroids in your neck; the adrenal glands atop your kidneys; pancreas near your stomach; and either testes or ovaries.

Endocrine Gland Function
PINEAL GLAND Produces melatonin that helps regulate circadian rhythms and is associated with seasonal affective disorder.
HYPOTHALAMUS Produces hormones that stimulate or inhibit secretion of hormones by the pituitary.
PITUITARY GLAND Sometimes called "master gland" because it produces stimulating hormones that promote secretion by other glands including:
  TSH—thyroid-stimulating hormone
  ACTH—adrenocorticotropic hormone stimulates adrenal cortex
  FSH—stimulates egg or sperm production
  Produces ADH (antidiuretic hormone) to help retain water in your body and HGH (human growth hormone).
THYROID GLAND Produces thyroxine, which stimulates and maintains metabolic activities.
  Lack of thyroxine in children can result in mental retardation.
PARATHYROIDS Produce parathyroid hormone that helps maintain calcium ion level in blood necessary for normal functioning of neurons.
ADRENAL GLANDS Adrenal cortex, the outer layer, produces steroid hormones such as cortisol, which is a stress hormone.
  Adrenal medulla, the core, secretes adrenaline (epinephrine) and noradrenaline (norepinephrine), which prepare the body for "fight or flight," like the sympathetic nervous system.
PANCREAS Insulin and glucagon regulate blood sugar that fuels all behavioral processes.
  Imbalances result in diabetes and hypoglycemia, respectively.
OVARIES AND TESTES Gonads in females and males respectively, necessary for reproduction and development of secondary sex characteristics.

Practice questions for this study guide can be found at:

Biological Bases of Behavior Review Questions for AP Psychology

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