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79 Cards in this Set

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Acetylcholine
Neurotransmitter at motor neuron synapses in autonomic ganglia and a variety of central synapses; binds to two types of receptors: ligand gated ion channels (nicotinic receptors) and G-protein coupled receptors (muscarinic receptors)
Achromatopsia, cerebral
Loss of color vision as a result of damage to extrastriate visual cortex
Action Potential
The electrical signal conducted along acons or muscle fibers by which information is conveyed from one place to another in the nervous system
Activation
The time-dependent opening of ion channels in response to a stimulus, typically membrane depolarization.
Adaptation
The phenomenon of sensory receptor adjustment to different levels of stimulation; critical for allowing sensory systems to operate over a wide dynamic range.
Adenylyl cyclase
Membrane bound enzyme that can be activated by G-proteins to catalyze the synthesis of cyclic AMP from ATP
Adrenal Medulla
The central part of the adrenal gland that, under visceral motor stimulation, secretes epinephrine and norepinephrine into the bloodstream
Adrenergic
Refers to synaptic transmission mediated by the release of norepinephrine or epinephrine
Adult
The mature form of an animal, usually defined by the ability to reproduce
Afferent
An axon that conducts action potentials from the periphery toward the central nervous system.
Agnosia
The inability to name objects
Alpha motor neurons
Neurons in the ventral horn of the spinal cord that innervate skeletal muscle.
Amacrine Cells
Retinal neurons that mediate lateral interactions between bipolar cell terminals and the dendrites of ganglion cells.
Amblyopia
Diminished visual acuity as a result of the failure to establish appropriate visual cortical connections in early life.
Amnesia
The pathalogical inability to remember of establish memories; retrograde amnesia is the inability to recall existing memories, whereas anterograde amnesia is the inability to lay down new memories.
Amphetamine
A synthetically produced central nervous system stimulant with cocaine-like effects; drug abuse may lead to dependence
Ampullae
The juglike sweelings at the base of the semicircular canals that contain the hair cells and cupulae
Amygdala
A nuclear complex in the temporal lobe that forms part of the limbic system; its major functions concern autonomic, emotional and sexual behavior.
Adrogen Insensitivity Syndrome
A condition in which, due to a defect in the gene that codes for the androgen receptor, testosterone cannot act on its target tissues.
Anencephaly
A congenital defect of the neural tube closure, in which much of the brain fails to develop.
Anosmia
Lack of the sense of smell
Anterior
Toward the front; sometimes used as a synonym for rostral and sometimes used as a synonym for ventral
Anterior Commissure
A small midline fiber tract that lies at the anterior end of the corpus callosum; like the callosum it serves to connect the two hemispheres
Anterior hypothalamus
Region of the hypothalamus containing nuclei that mediate sexual behaviors; not to be confused with the region in rodent called the medial preoptic area, which lies anterior to hypothalamus and also contains nuclei that mediate sexual behavior (most notably the sexually dimorphic nucleus)
Anterograde
A movement of influence acting from the neuronal cell body toward the axonal target
Anterolateral pathway/system
Ascending sensory pathway in the spinal cord and brainstem that carries information about pain and temperature to the thalamus
Antiserum
Serum harvested from an animal immunized to an agent of interest
Aphasia
The inability to comprehend and/or produce language asa result of damage to the language areas of the cerebral cortex (or the white matter interconnections)
Apoptosis
Cell death resulting from a programmed pattern of gene expression; also known as programmed cell death
Aprosodia
The inability to infuse language with its normal emotional content
Arachnoid mater
One of the three coverings of the brain that make up the meninges; lies between the dura mater and the pia mater
Association cortex
Definied by the exclusion as those neocortical regions that are not involved in primary sensory or motor processing.
Associativity
In the hippocampus, the enhancement of a weakly activated group of synapses when a nearby group is strongly activated
Astrocytes
One of the three major classes of glial cells found in the central nervous system; important in regulating the ionic milieu of nerve cells and in some cases transmitter uptake.
Astrotactin
A cell surface molecule that causes neurons to adhere to redial glial fibers during neuronal migration
Athetosis
Slow writhing movements seen primarily in patients wtih disorders of the basal ganglia.
ATPase pumps
Membrane pumps that use the hydrolysis of ATP to translocate ions against their electrochemical gradients
Atropy
The physical wasting away of tissue, particularly muscle, in response to disuse.
Attention
The selection of a particular sensory stimulus or mental process for further analysis
Auditory meatus
Opening of the external ear canal
Auditory space map
Topographic representation of sound source location, as occurs in the inferior colliculus
Autonomic nervous system
The components of the nervous system (peripheral and central) concerned with the regulation of smooth muscle, cardiac muscle, and glands
Axon
The neuronal process that carries the action potential from the nerve cell body to a target
Axoplasmic transport
The process by which materials are carried from nerve cell bodies to their terminals (anterograde transport) or from nerve cell terminals to te neuronal cell body (retrograde transport)
Baroreceptors
Sensory receptors in the visceral motor system that respond to changes in blood pressure
Basal ganglia
A group of nuclei lying deep in the subcortical white matter of the frontal lobes that organize motor behavior. The caudate and putamen and the globus pallidus are the major components of the basal ganglia; the subthalamic nucleus and substantia nigra are often included
Basal lamina
aka basement membrane. A thing layer of extracellular matrix material (primarily collagen, laminin, and fibronectin) that surrounds muscle cells and Schwann cells. Also underlies all epithelial sheets
Basilar membrane
The membrane that forms the floor of the cochlear ducts, on which the cochlear hair cells are located
Basket cells
Inhibitory interneurons in the cerebellar cortex whose cell bodies are located within the Purkinje cell layer and whose axons make basketlike terminal arors around Purkinje cell bodies
Biogenic amines
The bioactive amine neurotransmitters; includes the catecholamines (epinephrine, norepinephrin, dopamine), serotonin, and histamine.
Bipolar cells
Retinal neurons that provide a direct link between photoreceptor terminals and ganglion cell dendrites.
Blastomere
A cell produced when the egg undergoes cleavage
Blastula
An early embryo during the stage whent he cells are typically arranged to form a hollow sphere
Blind spot
The region of visual space that falls on the optic disk; due to the lack of photorecceptors in the opotic disk, objects that lie completely witin the blind spot are not perceived.
Blood-brain barrier
A diffusion barrier between the brain vasculature and the substance of the brain formed by tight junctions between capillary endothelial cells.
Bouton
A swelling specialied for the release of neurotransmitter that occurs along or at the end of an axon
Bradykinesia
Pathologically slow movement
Brain-derived Neurotrophic Factor
One member of a family of neurotrophic factors, the best-known constituent of which is nerve growth factor
Brainstem
The portion of the brain that lies between the diencephalon and the spinal cord; comprises the midbrain, pons and medulla
Broca's aphasia
Difficulty producing speech as a result of damage to Broca's area in the left frontal lobe
Broca's Area
An area in the left frontal lobe specialized for the production of language
CA1
A region of the hippocampus that shows a robust form of long term potentiation
CA3
A region of the hippocampuse containing the neurons that form the Scaffer collaterals
Cadherins
A family of calicum-dependent ccell adhesion molecules found on the surfaces of growth cones and the cells over which they grow
Calcarine sulcus
The major sulcus on the medial aspect of the occipital lobe; the primary visual cortex lies largely within this sulcus
cAMP response element binding protein (CREB)
A protein activated by cyclic AMP that binds to specific regions of DNA, thereby increasing the transcriptioon rates of nearby genes
cAMP response elements (CRE's)
Specific DNA sequences that bind transcription factors activated by cAMP
Carotid bodies
Specialized tissue masses found at the bifucation of the carotid arteries in humans and other mammals that respond to chemical composition of the blood (primarily the partial pressure of oygen and carbon dioxide)`
Catecholamines
A term referring to molecules containing a catechol ring and an amino group; examples are the neurotransmitters epinephrine, norepinephrine, and dopamine
Cauda equina
The collection of segmental ventral and dorsal roots that extend from the caudal end of the spinal cord to their exit from the spinal cord
Caudal
posterior or tailward
Caudate Nucleus
One of the three major commponents of the basal ganglia (the other two are the globus pallidus and putamen)
Cell adhesion molecules
A family of molecules on cell surfaces tat cause them to stick to one another (ex: fibronectin and laminin)
Central nervous system
The brain and spinal cord of vertebrates (by analogy the central nerve cord and ganglia of invertebrates)
Cenral pattern generator
Oscillatory spinal cord or brain stem circuits responsible for prorammed rhythmic movements such as locomotion
Cerebellar ataxia
A pathological inability to make coordinated movements associated with lesions to the cerebellum.
Cerebellar Cortex
The superficial gray matter of the cerebellum.
Cerebellum
Prominent hindbrain structure concerned with motor coordination, posture, and balance. Composed of a three-layered cortex and deep nuclei; attached to the brain stem by cerebellar peduncles.
Cerebral Aquaduct
The portion of the ventricular system that connects the third and fourth ventricles.