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75 Cards in this Set

  • Front
  • Back
central nervous system
Brain + spinal cord
Peripheral nervous system
Extensions from the central nervous system, called nerves make up this system.
Bundle of axons of many neurons within the peripheral nervous system.
Sensory Neurons
This type of neuron carries information from sensory organs (including eyes, ears, nose, tongue, and skin) through nerves into central nervous system.
Motor Neurons
This type of neuron carries messages out from the central nervous system, through nerves, to operate muscles and glands.
3 important factors:
Ratio to other neuron types
2 Functions
Relationship with other neuron types
This type of neuron exists entirely within the CNS and carries messages from one set of neurons to another. Also, bring together, organize, integrate messages from various sources.

Vastly outnumber two other types of neurons.

Makes sense of input that comes from sensory neurons, generates all our mental experiences, and iniates and coordinates all our behavioral actions through their connections to motor neurons.
Cell body
Widest part of neuron; contains cell nucleus and other basic machinery common to all bodily cells.
Thin, tube-like extensions that typically branch repeatedly near the neuron's cell body and are specialized for receiving signals from other neurons.
Thin, tubelike extension from a neuron that is specialized to carry neural impulses (action potentials) to other cells.
Action potentials
Neural impulses; the all-or-nothing electrical bursts that begin at one end of the axon of a neuron and move along the axon to the other end.
Axon terminal
A swelling at the end of an axon that is designed to release a chemical substance (neurotransmitter) onto another neuron, muscle cell, or gland cell
Myelin Sheath
A casing of fatty cells wrapped tightly around the axon of some neurons
Cell membrane
The thin, porous outer covering of a neuron or other cell that separates the cell's intracellular fluid from extracellular fluid.
Resting potential
The constant electrical charge that exists across the membrane of an inactive neuron.
-70 mV
The functional connection through which neural activity in the axon of one neuron influences the action of another neuron, a muscle cell, or a glandular cell.
A chemical substance released from the axon terminal of a neuron, at a synapse, that influences the activity of another neuron, a muscle cell, or a glandular cell; also called a transmitter.
Excitatory synapse
A synapse at which the neurotransmitter INCREASES the likelihood that an action potential will occur, or INCREASES the rate at which they are already occurring, in the neuron which it acts.
Inhibitory synapse
A synapse at which the neurotransmitter DECREASES the likelihood that an action potential will occur, or DECREASES the rate at which they are already occurring, in the neuron upon which it acts.
Transmitters that alter the cell in long lasting ways
A cluster of cell bodies of neurons within the central nervous system.
A bundle of neural axons coursing together within the central nervous system; analogous to a nerve in the peripheral nervous system.
Transcratranial magnetic stimulation
A procedure for temporarily altering the responsiveness of of a localized area of the cerebral cortex by creating a magnetic field over that brain area.
Electroencephalogram (EEG)
A record of the electical activity of the brain that can be obtained by amplifying the the weak electrical signals picked up by recording electrodes pasted to the person's scalp. It is usually described in terms of wave patterns.
Positron emission tomography
A method for visually displaying brain acticity that is based upon the uptake of a radioactive form of oxygen into active areas of the brain.
Functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI)
A method for visually dislplaying brain activity that is based on the fact that protons in certain molecules can be made to resonate and give off radio waves indicating relative amounts of neural activity in each portion of the brain.
Cranial nerves
Spinal nerves
A nerve that extends directly from the spinal cord.
The set of senses that derive from the whole body—such as from the skin, muscles and tendons—as opposed to those senses that come from the special sensory organs.
Skeletal portion of the peripheral motor system
The set of peripheral motor neurons that act upon skeletal muscles.
Sympathetic division of the autonomic motor system
The set of motor neurons that act upon visceral muscles and glands and mediate many of the body's responses to stressful stimulation, preparing the body for possible "fight or flight".
Parasympathetic division of the autonomic motor system
The set of motor neurons that act upon visceral muscles and glands and mediate many of the body's regenerative, growth-promoting, and energy-conserving functions.
The primitive, stalklike portion of the brain that can be thought of as an extension of the spinal cord into the head; it consists of the medulla, pons, and midbrain.
The lowest portion of the brainstem, bounded at one end by the spinal cord and at the other by the pons. It is responsible, with the pons, for organizing reflexes more complex than spinal reflexes.
The portion of the brainstem that is bounded at its lower end by the medulla and its upper end by the midbrain and is responsible, with the medulla, for organizing reflexes more complex than spinal reflexes.
The upper portion of the brainstem, bounded at its lower end by the pons and at its upper end by the thalamus, that contains neural centers that organize basic movement patterns.
The brain structure that sits directly atop the brainstem; it functions as a sensory relay station, connecting incoming sensory tracts to special sensory areas of the cerebral cortex.
The relatively large, conspicuous, convoluted portion of the brain attached to the rear side of the brainstem; it is especially important for the coordination of rapid movements.
Basal ganglia
The large masses of gray matter in the brain that lie on each side of the thalamus; they are especially important for the initiation and coordination of deliberate movements.
Limibic system
An interconnected set of brain structures (including the amygdala and hippocampus) that form a circuit wrapped around the thalamus and basil ganglia, underneath the cerebral cortex. These structures are especially important for the regulation of emotion and motivation and are involved in the formation of long term memories.
A structure in the limbic system that is essential for encoding explicit memories for long-term storage.
A brain structure that is part of the limbic system and is particularly important for evaluating the emotional and motivational significance of stimuli and generating emotional responses.
A small brain structure lying just below the thalamus, connected directly to the pituitary gland and to the limbic system, that is especially important for the regulation of motivation, emotion, and the internal physiological conditions of the body.
Cerbral cortex
The outermost, evolutionarily newest, and by far the largest portion of the brain; it is divisible into two hemispheres (right and left), and each hemisphere is divisible into four lobes—the occipital, temporal, parietal, and frontal.
Occipital lobe
The rearmost lobe of the cerebral cortex, bounded in front by a the temporal and parietal lobes; it contains the visual area of the brain.
Temporal lobe
The lobe of the cerebral cortex that lies in front of the occipital lobe and below the parietal and frontal lobes and that contains the auditory area of the brain.
Frontal lobe
The frontmost lobe of the cerebral cortex, bounded in the rear by the parietal and temporal lobes; it contains the motor area and parts of the association areas involved in planning and making judgements.
Any loss of language ability resulting from brain damage.
Broca's aphasia
A specific syndrome of loss in language ability that occurs due to damage in a particular part of the brain called Broca's area; it is characterized by telegraphic speech in which the meaning is usually clear but the small words and word ending that serve gramatical purposes are missing.
Wernicke's aphasia (fluent aphasia)
A specific syndrome of loss of language ability thatt occurs due to damage in a particular part of the brain called Wernicke's area. Speech typically retains its grammaticial structure but loses its meaning due to the speaker's failure to provide meaningful content words.
Long-term potentiation (LPT)
A process by which repeated activation of synapses results in strengthening of those synapses.
Any chemical substance that is secreted naturally by the body into the blood and can influence physiological processes at specific target tissues (such as the brain) and thereby influence behavior.
Blood-brain barrier
The tight capillary walls and the surround glial cells that prevent many chemical substances from entering the brain from the blood.
The philosophical theory that two distinct systems—the material body and the immaterial soul—are involved in the control of behavior.
Hobbes' theory that nothing exists but matter and energy.
The idea that all human knowledge and though ultimately come from sensory experience; the philosophical approach to understanding the mind that is based on that idea.
The idea that certain elementary ideas are innate to the human mind and do not need to be gained through experience; the philosophical approach to understanding the mind that is based on that idea.
Level of analysis
The type ("level") of casual process that is referred to in explaining some phenomenon. In psychology, a given type of behavior might be explained at the neural, genetic, evolutionary, learning, cognitive, social, cultural, or developmental level of analysis.
Independent variable
In an experiment, the condition that the researcher varies in order to assess its effect upon some other variable (the dependent variable). In psychology, it is usually some condition of the environment or of the organism's physiology that is hypothesized to affect the individual's behavior.
Dependent variable
In an experiment, that variable that is believed to be dependent upon (affected by) another variable (the independent variable). In psychological experiments, it's usually some measure of behavior.
Correlational study
Any scientific study in which the researcher observes or measures (without directly manipulating) two or more variables to find relationships between them. Such studies can identify lawful relationships but cannot determine whether change in one variable is the cause of change in another.
Descriptive study
Any study in which the researcher describes the behavior of an individual or sets of individuals without systematically investigating relationships between specific variables.
Laboratory study
Any research study in which the subjects are brought to a specially designated area that has been set up to facilitate the researcher's ability to control the environment or collect data.
Field study
Any scientific research study in which data are collected in a setting other than the lab.
Self-report methods
A data-collection method in which the people being studied are asked to rate or describe their own behavior or mental states.
Observational methods
Any data-collection procedure in which the researcher directly observes the behavior of interest rather than relying on subjects' self descriptions.
Naturalistic observation
Any data-collection procedure in which the researcher records subjects' ongoing behavior in a natural setting, without interfering with that behavior.
The degree to which the individual numbers in a set of numbers differ from one another or from their mean.
Standard deviation
A measure of the variability in a set of scores, determined by taking the square root of the variance.
Correlation coeffecient
A numerical measure of the strength and direction of the relationship between two variables.
Statistically significant
A statistical statement of how small the likelihood is that an obtained result occurred by chance. By convention, research findings are said to be statistically significant if the probability is less than 5% that the data could have come out as they did if the research hypothesis were wrong.
Observer-expectancy effects
Any bias in research results that derives from the researcher's desire or expectation that a subject or set of subjects will behave in a certain way.
A congenital (present-at-birth) disorder, typically marked by severe deficits in social interactions, severe defecits in language acquisiton, a tendency to perform repetitive actions, and a restricted focus of attention and interest.
Subject-expectancy effects
Any bias in research results that derives from subjects' expectations or beliefs about how they should feel or behave in response to the variables imposed in the study.
Double-blind experiment
An experiment in which both the observer and the subjects are blind with respects to the subject's treatment conditions.
All is one, that there are no fundamental divisions and a unified set of laws underlie nature.