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16 Cards in this Set

  • Front
  • Back
an automatic, stereotyped movement produced as the direct result of a stimulus
reflex
the two symmetrical halves of the brain that constitute the major part of the brain
cerebral hemispheres
a characteristic of an organism that permits it to produce more than the average number of offspring of its species
selective advantage
the principle that the best way to understand a biological phenomenon (a behavior or a physiological structure) is to try to understand its useful functions for the organism
functionalism
type of scientific explanation; a phenomenon is described in terms of the more elementary processes that underlie it
reduction
a change in the genetic information contained in the chromosomes of sperms or eggs, which can be passed on to an organism's offspring; provides genetic variability
mutation
a gradual change in the physiology of plant and animal species- generally producing more complex organisms- as a result of natural selection
evolution
a large bundle of nerve fibers that connect one side of the brain with those of the other
corpus callosum
(kor pus ka low sum)
the research method in which the function of a part of the brain is inferred by observing the behaviors an animal can no longer perform after that part is damaged
experimental ablation
type of scientific explanation; a general conclusion based on many observations of similar phenomena
generalization
a mathematical or physical analogy for a physiological process
model
the process by which inherited traits that confer a selective advantage (increase an animal's likelihood to live and reproduce) become more prevalent in the population
natural selection
a scientist who studies the physiology of behavior, primarily by performing physiological and behavioral experiments with laboratory animals
physiological psychologist
Muller's conclusion that because all nerve fibers carry the same type of message, sensory information must be specified by the particular nerve fibers that are active
doctrine of specific nerve energies
brain surgery that is occasionaly performed to treat a form of epilepsy; the surgeon cuts the corpus collosum, which connects the two hemispheres of the brain
split-brain operation
a slowing of the process of maturation, allowing more time for growth; an important factor in the development of large brains
neoteny