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81 Cards in this Set

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Central Nervous System
      The brain and the spinal cord.
Spinal Cord
A long, thin collection of nerve cells attached to the base of the brain and running the length of the spinal column.
down the back
Nerve
      A bundle of nerve fibers that transmit information between the central nervous system and the body's sense organs, muscles, and glands.
Peripheral Nervous System
      The cranial and spinal nerves; that part of the nervous system peripheral to the brain and spinal cord.
Brain Stem
      The "stem" of the brain, including the medulla, pons, and midbrain.
Cerebtal Hemisphere
      The largest part of the brain; covered by the cerebral cortex and contains parts of the brain that evolved most recently.
Cerebellum
      A pair of hemispheres resembling the cerebral hemispheres but much smaller and lying beneath and in back of them; controls posture and movements, especially rapid ones.
Vertebra
      One of the bones that encase the spinal cord and constitute the vertebral column.
Meninges
      The three-layered set of membranes that enclose the brain and spinal cord.
Cerebrospinal Fluid (CSF)
      The liquid in which the brain and spinal cord float; provides a shock-absorbing cushion.
Cerebral Cortex
      The outer layer of the cerebral hemispheres of the brain, approximately 3 mm thick.
Gray Matter
      The portions of the central nervous system that are abundant in cell bodies of neurons rather than axons.
White Matter
      The portions of the central nervous system that are abundant in axons rather than cell bodies of neurons. The color derives from the presence of the axons' myelin sheaths.
Spinal Nerve
      A bundle of nerve fibers attached to the spinal cord; conveys sensory information from the body and carries messages to muscles and glands.
Cranial Nerve
      A bundle of nerve fibers attached to the base of the brain, conveying sensory information from the face and head and carrying messages to muscles and glands.
Neuron
      A nerve cell; consists of a cell body with dendrites and an axon whose branches end in terminal buttons that synapse with muscle fibers, gland cells, or other neurons.
Glial Cell
      A cell of the central nervous system that provides support for neurons and supplies them with some essential chemicals.
Soma
      A cell body; the largest part of a neuron.
Dendrite
      A treelike part of a neuron on which the terminal buttons of other neurons form synapses.
Axon
      A long, thin part of a neuron attached to the soma; divides into a few or many branches, ending in terminal buttons.
Terminal Button
      The rounded swelling at the end of the axon of a neuron; releases transmitter substance.
Transmitter Substance
      A chemical released by the terminal buttons that causes the postsynaptic neuron to be excited or inhibited.
Myelin Sheath
      The insulating material that encases most large axons.
Action Potential
      A brief electrochemical event that is carried by an axon from the soma of the neuron to its terminal buttons; causes the release of a transmitter substance.
Ion
      A positively or negatively charged particle; produced when many substances dissolve in water.
Ion Channel
      A special protein molecule located in the membrane of a cell; controls the entry or exit of particular ions.
    Ion Transporter
A special protein molecule located in the membrane of a cell; actively transports ions into or out of the cell.
Synapse
      The junction between the terminal button of one neuron and the membrane of a muscle fiber, a gland, or another neuron.
Presynaptic Neuron
      A neuron whose terminal buttons form synapses with and excite or inhibit another neuron.
Postsynaptic Neuron
      A neuron with which the terminal buttons of another neuron form synapses and that is excited or inhibited by that neuron.
Motor Neuron
      A neuron whose terminal buttons form synapses with muscle fibers. When an action potential travels down its axon, the associated muscle fibers will twitch.
Synaptic Cleft
      A fluid-filled gap between the presynaptic and postsynaptic membranes; the terminal button releases transmitter substance into this space.
Receptor Molecule
      A special protein molecule located in the membrane of the postsynaptic neuron that responds to molecules of the transmitter substance. Receptors such as those that respond to opiates are sometimes found elsewhere on the surface of neurons.
Reuptake
      The process by which a terminal button retrieves the molecules of transmitter substance that it has just released; terminates the effect of the transmitter substance on the receptors of the postsynaptic neuron.
Sensory Neuron
      A neuron that detects changes in the external or internal environment and sends information about these changes to the central nervous system.
Interneuron
      A neuron located entirely within the central nervous system.
Neuromodulator
      A substance secreted in the brain that modulates the activity of neurons that contain the appropriate receptor molecules.
Opioid
      A neuromodulator whose action is mimicked by a natural or synthetic opiate, such as opium, morphine, or heroin.
Brain Lesion
      Damage to a particular region of the brain.
Stereotaxic Apparatus
      A device used to insert an electrode into a particular part of the brain for the purpose of recording electrical activity, stimulating the brain electrically, or producing localized damage.
Stroke
      A cerebrovascular accident; damage to the brain caused by a blood clot in a cerebral artery or rupture of a cerebral blood vessel.
CT scanner
      A device that uses a special X-ray machine and a computer to produce images of the brain that appear as slices taken parallel to the top of the skull.
Primary Visual Cortex
      The region of the cerebral cortex that receives information directly from the visual system; located in the occipital lobes.
Primary Auditory Cortex
      The region of the cerebral cortex that receives information directly from the auditory system; located in the temporal lobes.
Primary Somatosensory Cortex
      The region of the cerebral cortex that receives information directly from the somatosensory system (touch, pressure, vibration, pain, and temperature); located in the front part of the parietal lobes.
Contralateral
      Residing in the side of the body opposite the reference point.
Primary Motor Cortex
      The region of the cerebral cortex that directly controls the movements of the body; located in the back part of the frontal lobes.
Anterior
      Toward the front.
Posterior
      Toward the back.
Frontal Lobe
      The front portion of the cerebral cortex, including Broca's speech area and the motor cortex; damage impairs movement, planning, and flexibility in behavioral strategies.
Parietal Lobe
      The region of the cerebral cortex behind the frontal lobe and above the temporal lobe; contains the somatosensory cortex; is involved in spatial perception and
Temporal Lobe
      The portion of the cerebral cortex below the frontal and parietal lobes and containing the auditory cortex.
Occipital Lobe
      The rearmost portion of the cerebral cortex; contains the primary visual cortex.
Sensory Association Cortex
      Those regions of cerebral cortex that receive information from the primary sensory areas.
Prefrontal Cortex
      The anterior part of the frontal lobe; contains the motor association cortex.
Motor Association Cortex
      Those regions of cerebral cortex that control the primary motor cortex; involved in planning and executing behaviors.
Corpus Callosum
      A large bundle of axons ("white matter") that connects the cortex of the two cerebral hemispheres.
Visual Agnosia
      The inability of a person who is not blind to recognize the identity or use of an object by means of vision; usually caused by damage to the brain.
Homeostasis
      The process by which important physiological characteristics (such as body temperature and blood pressure) are regulated so that they remain at their optimum level.
Species-Typical Behaviour
      A behavior seen in all or most members of a species, such as nest building, special food-getting behaviors, or reproductive behaviors.
Medulla
      The part of the brain stem closest to the spinal cord; controls vital functions such as heart rate and blood pressure.
Pons
      The part of the brain stem just anterior to the medulla; involved in control of sleep.
Midbrain
      The part of the brain stem just anterior to the pons; involved in control of fighting and sexual behavior and in decreased sensitivity to pain during these behaviors.
Thalamus
      A region of the brain near the center of the cerebral hemispheres. All sensory information except smell is sent to the thalamus and then relayed to the cerebral cortex.
Hypothalamus
      A region of the brain located just above the pituitary gland; controls the autonomic nervous system and many behaviors related to regulation and survival, such as eating, drinking, fighting, shivering, and sweating.
Pituitary Gland
      An endocrine gland attached to the hypothalamus at the base of the brain.
Endocrine Gland
      A gland that secretes a hormone.
Hormone
      A chemical substance secreted by an endocrine gland that has physiological effects on target cells in other organs.
Target Cell
      A cell whose physiological processes are affected by a particular hormone; contains special receptor molecules that respond to the presence of the hormone.
Autonomic Nervous System (ANS)
      The portion of the peripheral nervous system that controls the functions of the glands and internal organs.
Sympathetic Branch
      The portion of the autonomic nervous system that activates functions that accompany arousal and expenditure of energy.
Parasympathetic Branch
      The portion of the autonomic nervous system that activates functions that occur during a relaxed state.
Limbic Sytem
      A set of interconnected structures of the brain important in emotional and species-typical behavior; includes the amygdala, hippocampus, and limbic cortex.
Limbic Cortex
      The cerebral cortex located around the edge of the cerebral hemispheres where they join with the brain stem; part of the limbic system.
Amygdala
      A part of the limbic system of the brain located deep in the temporal lobe; damage causes changes in emotional and aggressive behavior.
Hippocampus
      A part of the limbic system of the brain, located in the temporal lobe; plays important roles in learning.
Barbiturate
      A drug that causes sedation; one of several derivatives of barbituric acid.
Antianxiety Drug
      A "tranquilizer," which reduces anxiety. The most common include chlordiazepoxide (Librium) and diazepam (Valium).
Benzodiazepine
      A class of drug having anxiolytic ("tranquilizing") effects; examples are Librium and Valium.
Tolerance
      The decreased sensitivity to a drug resulting from its continued use.
Withdrawal Symptom
      An effect produced by discontinuance of use of a drug after a period of continued use; generally opposite to the drug's primary effects.