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75 Cards in this Set

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Contains the cell nucleus and much of the chemical machinery common to most cells.
soma, or cell body (from the Greek for "body")
The parts of a neuron that are specialized to receive information.
dendrites (from the Greek for "tree")
A long, thin fiber that transmits signals away from the soma to other neurons or to muscles or glands.
axon (from the Greek for "axle")
Small knobs that secrete chemicals called neurotransmitters.
terminal buttons
A junction where information is transmitted from one neuron to another.
synapse (from the Greek for "junction")
Cells found throughout the nervous system that provide various types of support for neurons.
glia (literally "glue")
A neurons stable, negative charge when the cell is inactive.
resting potential (this charge is about -70mV)
A brief shift in a neuron's electrical charge that travel along an axon.
action potential
The minimum length of time after an action potential during which another action potential cannot begin.
absolute refractory period (the "down time" is only about 1 or 2 milliseconds)
The microscopic gap between the terminal button of a neuron and the cell membrane of another neuron.
synaptic cleft
Chemicals that transmit information from one neuron to another.
neurotransmitters
A voltage change at a receptor site on a postsynaptic cell membrane.
postsynaptic potential (PSP)
A process in which neurotransmitters are sponged up from the synaptic cleft by the presynaptic membrane.
re-uptake
A chemical that mimics the action of a neurotransmitter.
agonist
A chemical that opposes the action of a neurotransmitter.
antagonist
Internally produced chemicals that resemble opiates in structure and effects.
endorphins
Made up of all those nerves that lie outside the brain and spinal cord.
peripheral nervous system
Bundles of neuron fibers (axons) that are routed together in the peripheral nervous system.
nerves
Made up of nerves that connect to voluntary skeletal muscles and to sensory receptors.
somatic nervous system
Axons that carry information inward to the central nervous system from the periphery of the body.
afferent nerve fibers
Axons that carry information outward from the central nervous system to the periphery of the body.
efferent nerve fibers
Made up of nerves that connect to the heart, blood vessels, smooth muscles, and glands.
autonomic nervous system (ANS)
The branch of the autonomic nervous system that mobilizes the body's resources for emergencies.
sympathetic division
The branch of the autonomic nervous system that generally conserves bodily resources.
parasympathetic division
Consists of the brain and the spinal cord.
central nervous system (CNS)
Nourishes the brain and provides a protective cushion for it.
cerebrospinal fluid (CSF)
A device that monitors the electrical activity of the brain over time by means of recording electrodes attached to the surface of the scalp.
electroencephalograph (EEG)
Involves destroying a piece of the brain.
lesioning
Involves sending a weak electrical current into a brain structure to stimulate (activate) it.
electrical stimulation of the brain (ESB)
A new technique that permits scientists to temporarily enhance or depress activity in a specific area of the brain.
transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS)
Includes the cerebellum and two structures found in the lower part of the brainstem: the medulla and the pons.
hind-brain
The segment of the brainstem that lies between the hind-brain and the fore-brain.
mid-brain
The largest and most complex region of the brain, encompassing a variety of structures, including the thalamus, hypothalamus, limbic system, and cerebrum.
fore-brain
A structure in the forebrain through which all sensory information (except smell) must pass to get to the cerebral cortex.
thalamus
A structure found near the base of the forebrain that is involved in the regulation of basic biological needs.
hypothalamus (hypo means "under")
A loosely connected network of structures located roughly along the border between the cerebral cortex and deeper subcortical areas.
limbic system (limbic means "border")
The convoluted outer layer of the cerebrum.
cerebral cortex
The right and left halves of the cerebrum.
cerebral hemispheres
The structure that connects the two cerebral hemispheres.
corpus callosum
Neurons that are activated by performing an action or by seeing another monkey or person perform the same action.
mirror neurons
The formation of new neurons.
neurogenesis
The bundle of fibers that connect the cerebral hemispheres (the corpus callosum) are cut to reduce the severity of epileptic seizures.
split-brain surgery
Left-right imbalances between the cerebral hemispheres in the speed of visual or auditory processing.
perceptual assymetries
Releases a great variety of hormones that fan out around the body, stimulating actions in the other endocrine glands.
pituitary gland
A male sex hormone produced by the testes; women secrete smaller amounts from the adrenal cortex.
testosterone
Strands of DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid) molecules that carry genetic information.
chromosomes
A single cell formed by the union of a sperm and an egg.
zygote
When two genes in a specific pair are the same.
homozygous condition
When two genes in a specific pair are different.
heterozygous condition
A gene that is expressed when paired genes are different.
dominant gene
A gene that is masked when paired genes are different.
recessive gene
Refers to a person's genetic makeup.
genotype
Refers to the ways in which a person's genotype is manifested in observable characteristics.
phenotype
Characteristics that are influenced by more than one pair of genes.
polygenic traits
Researchers assess hereditary influence by examining blood relatives to see how much they resemble one another on a specific trait.
family studies
Researcher's assess hereditary influence by comparing the resemblance of identical twins and fraternal twins with respect to a trait.
twin studies
Emerge from one zygote that splits for unknown reasons.
identical (monozygotic) twins
Result when two eggs are fertilized simultaneously by different sperm cells, forming two separate zygotes.
fraternal (dizygotic) twins
Assess hereditary influence by examining the resemblance between adopted children and both their biological and their adoptive parents.
adoption studies
The process of determining the location and chemical sequence of specific genes on specific chromosomes.
genetic mapping
The reproductive success (number of descendants) of an individual organism relative to the average reproductive success in the population.
fitness
Posits that heritable characteristics that provide a survival or reproductive advantage are more likely than alternative characteristics to be passed on to subsequent generations and thus come to be "selected" over time.
natural selection
A inherited characteristic that increased in a population (through natural selection) because it helped solve a problem of survival or reproduction during the time it emerged.
adaptation
A limited time span in the development of an organism when it is optimal for certain capacities to emerge because the organism is especially responsive to certain experiences.
critical period
A legendary British naturalist, who identified natural selection as mechanism that orchestrates the process of evolution in his landmark book "The Origin of Species".
Charles Darwin
Consists of glands that secrete chemicals into the bloodstream that help control bodily functioning.
endocrine system
The chemical substances released by the endocrine glands.
hormones
The sum of a individual's own reproductive success plus the effects the organism has on the reproductive success of related others.
inclusive fitness
She and her colleagues found that adult monkey's form thousands of new brain cells each day in the dentate gyrus of the hippocampus, thus she was an advocate and proponent of neurogenesis.
Elizabeth Gould
They researched with axons removed from squids and learned that the neural impulse is a complex electrochemical reaction, unraveling it's mysteries.
Alan Hodgkin and Andrew Huxley
Individual cells in the nervous system that receive, integrate, and transmit information.
neurons
They discovered, by chance, that the limbic system was full of "pleasure centers." In brain stimulation research with rats, they observed that their subjects would seek out bursts of electrical stimulation in a specific spot in their brains.
James Olds and Peter Milner
They showed that a morphine like substance could be secreted by endorphins and that morphine exerts its effects by binding to special receptors in the brain.
Candace Pert and Soloman Snyder
He discovered that heredity and enviroment are interactive.
Robert Plomin
They discovered opposition of functions throughout left/right sensory input and right/left cognitive processes.
Robert Perry and Michael Gazzaniga (split-brain research)