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80 Cards in this Set

  • Front
  • Back
biological psychology
a branch of psychology concerned with the links between biology and behavior (also called behavioral psy)
a nerve cell; the basic building block of the nervous system
the bushy, branching extensions of a neuron that receive messages and conduct impulses toward the cell body
the extension of a neuron, ending in branching terminal fibers, through which messages pass to other neurons or to muscles or glands
action potential
a neural impulse; a brief electrical charge that travels down an axon. The action potential is generated by the movement of positively charged atoms in and out of channels in the axon's membrane.
a layer of fatty tissue segmentally encasing the fibers of many neurons; enables vastly greater transmission speed of neural impulses as the impulse hops from one to the next.
the level of stimulation required to trigger a neural impulse
the junction between the axon tip of the sending neuron and the dendrite or cell body of the recieving neuron. The tiny gap at this junction is called the synaptic gap
chemical messengers that traverse the synaptic gaps between neurons. When released by the sending neuron, neurotransmitters travel across the synapse and bind to receptor sites on the recieving neuron, thereby influencing whether that neuron will generate a neural impulse
Acetylcholine (ACh) neurotransmitter
enables muscle action, learning, and memory
dopamine neurotransmitter
influences movement, learning, attention, and emotion
serotonin neurotransmitter
affects mood, hunger, sleep, and arousal
norepinephrine neurotransmitter
helps control alertness and arousal
GABA neurotransmitter
a major excititory neurotransmitter, involved in memory
"morphine within"; natural, opiate-like neurotransmitters linked to pain control and pleasure
cerebral cortex
thin outer layer of brain, 1/8" thick, 3/4 nerve cells, performs higher mental functions
nervous system
the body's speedy, electrochemical communication system, consisting of all the nerve cells of the peripheral and central nervous system
central nervous system (CNS)
the brain and spinal chord
Peripheral Nervous System (PNS)
the sensory and motor neurons that connect the CNS to the rest of the body
neural "cables" containing many axons. These bundled axons, which are part of the PNS, connect to the CNS with muscles, glands, and sense organs
sensory neurons
neurons that carry incoming info from the sense receptors to the CNS
CNS neurons that internally communicate and intervene between the sensory inputs and motor outputs
motor neurons
neurons that carry outgoing info from the CNS to the muscles and glands
autonomic nervous system
the part of the PNS that controls the glands and muscles of internal organs (heart). Its sympathetic division arouses; its parasympathetic division calms
a simple, automatic inborn response to a sensory stimulus, such as the knee-jerk response
the oldest part and central core of the brain, beginning where the spinal chord swells as it enters the skull; the brainstem is responsible for automatic survival functions
the base of the brainstem; controls heartbeat and breathing
reticular formation
a nerve network in the brainstem that plays an important role in controlling arousal
the brain's sensory switchboard, located on top of the brainstem; it directs messages to the sensory receiving areas in the cortex and transmits replies to the cerebellum and medulla
the "little brain" attached to the rear of the brainstem; it helps coordinate voluntary movement and balance
two almond-shaped neural clusters that are components of the limbic system and are linked to emotion
a nueral structure lying below (hypo) the thalamus; it directs several maintenence activities (eating, drinking, body temp), helps govern the endocrine system via the pituitary gland, and is linked to emotion
cerebral cortex
the intricate fabric of interconnected neural cells that covers the cerebral hemispheres; the body's ultimate control and information-processing center
frontal lobes
the portion of the cerebral cortex lying just behind the forehead; involved in speaking and muscle movements and in making plans and judgements
parietal lobes
the portion of the cerebral cortex lying at the top of the head and toward the rear; includes sensory cortex
occipital lobes
the portion of the cerebral cortex lying at the back of the head; includes the visual areas, which recieve visual info from the opposite visual field (right eye goes to left side)
temporal lobes
the portion of the cerebral cortex lying roughly sbove the ears; includes auditory info
motor cortex
an area at the rear of the frontal lobes that controls voluntary movements
sensory cortex
the area at the front of the parietal lobes that registers and processes body sensations
association areas
the area of the cerebral cortex that are not involved in primary motor or sensory functions; rather, they are involved in higher metal functions such as learning, remembering, thinking, and speaking
impairment if language, usually caused by left hemisphere damage either to Broca's area (speaking) or to Wernicke's area (understanding)
the brain's capacity for modification, is evidant in brain reorganization following damage (especially in children) and in experiments on the effects of experience on brain development
corpus callosum
the large band of neural fibers connecting the two brain hemispheres and carrying messages between them
endocrine system
the body's "slow" chemical communication system; a set of glands that secrete hormones into the blood stream
chemical messengers, mostly those manufactered by the endocrine glands, that are produced in one tissue and affect another
adrenal glands
a pair of endocrine glands just above the kidneys. The adrenals secrete the hormones epinephrine (adrenaline) and norepinephrine (noradrenaline), which help to arouse the body in times of stress
pituitary glands
the endocrine system's most influential gland. Under the influence of the hypothalamus, the pituitary glands regulate growth and controls other endocrine glands
our awareness of ourselves and our environment
selective attention
the focusing of conscious awareness on a particular stimulus; as in the cocktail party affect
circadian rhythm
the biological clock; regular bodily rhythms that occur on a 24 hour cycle
REM sleep
rapid eye movement sleep, a recurring sleep stage during which vivid dreams commonly occur. Also known as paradoxical sleep because the muscles are relaxed but other body systems are active
alpha waves
the relatively slow brain waves of a relaxed, awake state
periodic, natural, reversible loss of consciousness

as distinct from unconsciousness, resulting from a coma, general anesthesia, or hibernation
false sensory experiences, such as seeing something in the absense of an external visual stimulus
delta waves
the large, slow brain waves associated with deep sleep
recurring problems in falling or staying asleep
a sleep disorder characterized by uncontrollable sleep attacks, the sufferer may lapse directly into REM sleep, often at inoppurtune times
night terrors
a sleep disorder characterized by high arousal and appearance of being terrified; unlike nightmares, night terrors occur during stage 4 of sleep and are seldom remembered
sleep apnea
a sleep disorder characterized by temporary cessations of breathing during sleep and consequent momentary reawakenings
a sequence of images, emotions, and thoughts passing through a sleeping person's mind.
manifest content
according to Freud, the remembered storyline of a dream (as distinct from its latent content)
latent content
according to Freud, the underlying meaning of a dream. Freud believed that a dream's latent content functions as a safety valve
REM rebound
the tendency for REM sleep to increase following REM sleep deprivation
a social interaction which one person (the hypnotist) suggests to another (the subject) that certain perceptions, feelings, thoughts, or behaviors will spontaneously occur
posthypnotic suggestion
a suggestion made during a hypnosis session to be carried out after the subject is no longer hypnotized; used by some clinicans to help control undesired symptoms and behaviors
a split in consciousness which allows some thoughts and behaviors to occur simultaneously with others
hidden observer
Hilgard's term describing a hypnotized subject's awareness of experiences, such as pain, that go unreported during hypnosis
psychoactive drug
a chemical substance that alters perceptions and mood
the diminishing effect with regular use of the same dose of a drug, requiring the user to take larger and larger doses
the discomfort and distress that follow discontinuing the use of an addictive drug
physical dependance
a physiological need for a drug, marked by unpleasant withdrawal symptoms when the drug is discontinued
psychological dependance
a psychological need to use a drug, such as to relieve negative emotions
drugs that reduce neural activity (alcohol)
drugs that depress the activity of the central nervous system, reducing anxiety but impairing memory and judgement
opium and its derivatives, such as morphine and heroin; they depress neural activity, temporarily lessening pain and anxiety
drugs (caffiene, nicotine) that excite neural activity, causing speeded up bodily functions and associated with energy and mood changes
Ectasy (MDMA)
a synthetic stimulant and mild hallucinogen. produces euphoria and social intimacy but with short term health risks and longer term harm to neurons and mood
psychedelic (mind manifesting) drugs such as LCD, that distort perceptions and evoke sensory images in the absense of sensory input
a powerful hallucinogenic drug; also known as acid
near-death experience
an altered state of consciousness reported after a close brush with death; often simular to drug-induced hallucinations