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72 Cards in this Set

  • Front
  • Back
a nerve cell; The basic building block of the nervous system
the bushy, branching extensions of a neuron that receives messages & conducts impulses toward the cell body
the extension of a neuron, ending in branching terminal fibers, through which messages are sent to other neurons or to muscles or glands
Myelin Sheath
a layer of fatty cells segmentally encasing the fibers of many neurons
Neural impulse
electrical signal passing through axon
Action Potential
A neural impulse; a brief electrical charge (all or none, happens or doesn’t based on threshold) that travels down an axon
The level of stimulation required to trigger a neural impulse (a value in mV)
Junction between the axon tip of the sending neuron & the dendrite or cell body of the receiving neuron
Chemical messengers that traverse the synaptic gaps between neurons;When released by the sending neuron, neurotransmitters travel across the synapse & bind to receptor sites on the receiving neuron, thereby influencing whether it will generate a neural impulse
sac that contains neurotransmitters
Acetylcholine (ACh)
Enables muscle action, learning & memory; Undersupply as ACh-producing neurons deteriorate, marks Alzheimer’s disease, think autism
Influences movement, learning, attention, & emotion
;Excess dopamine=schizophrenia. Starved of dopamine=tremors & decreased mobility of Parkinson’s (deals with reward, novelty, mobility)
Affects mood, hunger, sleep, & arousal (elation, runner’s high); Undersupply = depression
Helps control alertness (concentration, attention) & arousal (waking up); Undersupply can depress mood
GABA (gamma-amino butyric acid)
a major inhibitory neurotransmitter, “quiets” brain(Parkinson’s);Undersupply linked to seizures, tremors, & insomnia
a major excitatory neurotransmitter; involved in memory; Oversupply can over stimulate brain, producing migraines and seizures
natural, opiate-like neurotransmitter, linked to pain & to pleasure
neurochemical that will bind the receptor in a way that mimics an androgynous chemical (like serotonin)
Nervous System
The body’s speedy, electrochemical communication system; Consists of all the nerve cells of the peripheral & central nervous systems (peripheri [arms & legs] and viscera [body])
Central Nervous System (CNS)
The brain & spinal cord (if it is not encased in bone it is not in the CNS)
Peripheral Nervous System (PNS)
The sensory and motor neurons that connect the central nervous system (CNS) to the rest of the body
Neural “cables” containing many axons;Part of the peripheral nervous system;Connects the CNS with muscles, glands, & sense organs;Several axons going to the same place to do the same thing
Sensory Neurons
Neurons that carry incoming information from the sense receptors to the CNS
CNS neurons that internally communicate & intervene between the sensory inputs & motor outputs (are located everywhere)
Motor Neurons
Carry outgoing information from the CNS to muscles & glands (in particular part of the brain, axons go throughout the body)
Somatic Nervous System
The division of the PNS that controls the body’s skeletal muscles (e.g. reflexes)
Autonomic Nervous System
The part of the PNS that controls the glands & the muscles of the internal organs (such as the heart; sensory & motor neurons)
Sympathetic Nervous System
Division of the Autonomic Nervous System that arouses the body, mobilizing its energy in stressful situations (sensory, motor, interneurons)
Parasympathetic Nervous System
Division of the Autonomic Nervous System that calms the body, conserving its energy (stress & cortisol; response of body in reverse; sensory, motor, interneurons)
A simple, automatic, inborn response to a sensory stimulus touch
Neural Networks
Interconnected neural cells;With experience, networks can learn, as feedback strengthens or inhibits connections that produce certain results;Computer simulations of neural networks show analogous learning
Endocrine System
The body’s “slow” chemical communication system
;A set of glands that secrete hormones into the bloodstream
Chemical messengers, mostly those manufactured by the endocrine glands, that are produced in one tissue & affect another
Adrenal Glands
A pair of endocrine glands just above the kidneys
;Secrete hormones epinephrine (adrenaline) & norepinephrine (nonadrenaline), which help to arouse the body in times of stress
Pituitary Gland
Under the influence of the hypothalamus, the pituitary regulates grown & controls other endocrine glands
Tissue destruction (not necessarily a stroke, can be a deficiency);A brain lesion is a naturally or experimentally caused destruction of brain tissue
Electrocephlogram (EEG)
An amplified recording of the waves of electrical activity that sweep across the brain’s surface; These waves are measured by electrodes placed on the scalp (not sensitive enough to detect deeper)
CT Scan (computed tomography (CAT scan)
A series of x-ray photographys taken from different angles & combined by computer into a composite representation of a slice through the body (can show blood clots and other build ups of fluid)
PET Scan (position emission tomography
A visual display of brain activity that detects where a radioactive form of glucose goes while the brain performs a given task (used to look at people who are mentally ill with a physiological marker- Alzheimer’s, Schizophrenia)
MRI (magnetic resonance imaging)
A technique that uses magnetic fields & radio waves to produce computer-generated images that distinguish among different types of soft tissue; allows us to see structures within the brain
The oldest part & central core of the brain, beginning where the spinal cord swells as it enters the skull
Base of the brainstem
;Controls heartbeat & breathing
Reticular Formation
A nerve network in the brainstem that plays an important role in controlling arousal (norepinephrine)
The brain’s sensory switchboard, located on top of the brainstem;It directs messages to the sensory receiving areas in the cortex & transmits and replies to the cerebellum
The “little brain” attached to the rear of the brainstem;It helps coordinate voluntary movement & balance
Limbic System
A doughnut shaped system of neural structures at the border of the brainstem & cerebral hemispheres
;Associated with emotions such as fear and aggression & drives for food, sex, drugs, video games—reinforcing rewards
;Includes septum, hippocampus, amygdala, & hypothalamus
2 almond shaped neural cluster that are linked to components of the limbic system & are linked to emotion
Neural structure lying below (hypo) the thalamus, directs several maintenance activities (eating, drinking, body temp);Helps govern the endocrine system via the pituitary gland;Linked to emotion: fear, aggression, lust, protection, nurturing
Cerebral Cortex
The intricate fabric of interconnected neural cells that covers the cerebral hemispheres;The body’s ultimate control & information processing center (amout of surface area determines how much it allows you to inhibit, aka what you can’t do)
Glial Cells
cells in the nervous system that support, nourish, & protect neurons (in the cortex)
Frontal Lobes
involved in speaking & muscle movements and in making plans & judgments (individualism)
Parietal Lobes
include the sensory cortex (involved in sensory integration and higher order thought)
Occipital Lobes
visual areas
Temporal Lobes
auditory areas
Motor Cortex
area at the rear of the frontal lobes that controls voluntary movements (responsible for initiation of movement)
Sensory Cortex
area at the front of the parietal lobes that registers & processes body sensations (more intelligent animals dedicate less area to this in the brain)
impairment of language, usually caused by left hemisphere damage, either to Broca’s area (impairing speaking) or to Wernicke’s area (impairing understanding)
Broca’s Area
an area of the left frontal lobe that directs the muscle movements involved in speech (near beginning of temporal lobe)
Wernicke’s Area
an area of the left temporal lobe involved in language comprehension & expression (near end of temporal lobe)
The brain’s capacity for modification, as evident in brain reorganization following damage (especially in children) & in experiments on the effects of experience on brain development
Corpus Callosum
Large band of neural fibers;Connects the two brain hemispheres;Carries messages between the hemispheres
Split Brain
A condition in which the two hemispheres of the brain are isolated by cutting the connecting fibers (mainly those of the Corpus Callosum) between them
Threadlike structures made of DNA that contains the genes
Complex molecule containing the genetic information that makes up the chromosomes;Has two strands-forming a “double helix” held together by bonds between pairs of nucleotides
Biochemical units of heredity that make up the chromosomes;A segment of DNA capable of synthesizing a protein
The complete instructions for making an organism;Consisting of all the genetic material in its chromosomes
Natural Selection
The principle that, among the range of inherited trait variations, those that lead to increased reproduction & survival will most likely be passed on to succeeding generations (Darwin, Functionalism)
A random error in gene replication that leads to a change in the sequence of nucleotides (Darwin, Functionalism)
Evolution Psychology
The study of the evolution of behavior & the mind, using the principles of national selection
In psych, the characteristics, whether biologically or socially influenced, by which people define male & female
Behavior Genetics
Study of the relative power & limits of genetic & environmental influences on behavior
Every non-genetic influence, from prenatal nutrition to the people & things around us