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120 Cards in this Set

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  • Back
The middle portion of the brian, containing such structuresw as the tectum, superior colliculus, and inferior colliculus; midbrain structures serve as the neural relay stations and may help coordinate reactions to sensory events. Also contains Substantia Nigra
The Midbrain
Releases neurotransmitter dopamine, in the midbrain
Substantia Nigra
The outer layer of the brain, considered to be the seat of higher mental processes.
Cerebral Cortext
A relay station in the forebrain thought to be an important gathering point for input from the senses
The outer portion of the brain, including the cerebral cortex and the structure of the limbic system. Divided into four sections, the limbic system, cerebral cortext, thalamus and hypothalamus.
The Forebrain
A system of structures thought to be involved in motivational and emotional behaviors and memory. Composed of the Amygdala and the hippocampus.
The limbic system
In the limbic system, involved in emotional behaviors
The amygdala
In the limbic system, involved in memory
Located on the top front of the brain, it contains the motor cortex and may be involved in high level thought processes.
Frontal Lobes
Located roughly on the top middle portion of the brain, it contains the somatosensory cortex, which controls the sense of touch.
Parietal Lobe
Located roughly on the sides of the brain (temples); it’s involved in certain aspects of speech and language perception
Temporal lobe
Located at the back of the brain, visual processing is controlled here
Occipital Lobe
The collection of nerve fibers that connects the two cerebral hemispheres and allows information to pass from one side to the other
Corpus Callosum
Network of glands that uses the bloodstream, rather than neurons, to send chemical messages that regulate growth and other internal functions
Endocrine System
Chemicals released into the blood by the various endocrine glands to help control a variety of internal regulatory functions
A kind of master gland in the body that controls the release of hormones in response to signals from the hypothalamus
Pituitary Gland
A trait that has been selected for by nature because it increases the odds of survival and/or reproduction
Segments of chromosomes that contain instructions for influencing and creating particular hereditary characteristics
The actual genetic information inherited from one’s parent
A person’s observable characteristics, such as red hair. The ____ is controlled mainly by the genotype, but it can also be influenced by the environment.
A spontaneous change in the genetic material that occurs during the gene replication process.
The similarities and differences among biological (blood) relatives are studied to help discover the role heredity plays in physical or psychological traits.
Family Studies
Identical twins, who share genetic material, are compared to fraternal twins in an effort to determine the roles heredity and environment play in psychological traits.
Twin Studies
The elementary components or building blocks of an experience – such as a pattern of light and dark, a bitter taste, or a change in temperature
The collection of processes used to arrive at a meaningful interpretation of sensations
The small part of the electromagnetic spectrum that is processed by the visual spectrum
The dimension of light that produces color; hue is typically determined by the wavelength of light reflecting from an object
The aspect of the visual experience that changes with light intensity; in general, as the intensity of light increases, so does its perceived brightness.
The transparent and protective outer covering of the eye
The flexible piece of tissue that helps focus light towards the back of the eye
The hole in the center of the eye that allows light to enter
The ring of colored tissue surrounding the pupil
In vision, the process through which the lens changes its shape temporarily in order to help focus light on the retina
The thin layer of tissue that covers the back of the eye and contains the light sensitive receptor cells for vision
Receptor cells in the retina, located mainly around the sides, that transduce light energy into neural messages; these visual receptors are highly sensitive and are active in dim light.
Receptor cells in the central portion of the retina that transduce light energy into neural messages; they operate best when light levels are high, and they are primarily responsible for the ability to sense color.
The “central pit” area in the retina where the cone receptors are located
The ability to process the fine detail in vision
Visual Acuity
In vision, the portion of the retina that when stimulated, causes the activity of higher-order neurons to change
Receptive Field
The point where the optic nerve leaves the back of the eye
Blind Spot
The process through which the eyes adjust to dim light
Dark adaptation
Cells in the visual cortex that respond to very specific visual events, such as bars of light at particular orientations.
Feature Detectors
Colors that produce short wavelengths
Medium wavelengths produce these colors
Long wavelengths produce these colors
A theory of color vision proposing that color information is extracted by comparing the relative activation of three different types of cone receptors
Trichromatic theory
A theory of color vision proposing that cells in the visual pathway increase their activation levels to one color and decrease their activation slevels to another color, for example - increasing to red and decreasing to green.
Opponent-process theory
processing that is controlled by one’s beliefs and expectations about how the world is organized
Top-down processing
Processing that is controlled by the physical message delivered to the senses
Bottom-up processing
The organizing principles of perception proposed by the Gestalt psychologists. These principles include the laws of proximity, similarity, closure, continuation and common fate.
Gestalt principles of organization
The idea proposed by Biederman that people recognize objects perceptually via smaller components called geons.
Recognition by components
Cues for depth that require input from only one eye
Monocular depth cues
Cues for depth that depend on comparisons between the two eyes
Binocular depth cues
A binocular cue for depth that is based on location different between the images in each eye
Retinal disparity
A binocular cue for depth that is based on the extent to which the two eyes move inward, or converge, when looking at an object.
An illusion of movement that occurs when stationary lights are flashed in succession.
Phi phenomenom
Perceiving the properties of an object to remain the same even though the physical properties of the sensory messages are changing
Perceptual consistency
Inappropriate interpretations of physical reality. Perceptual illusions often occur as a result of the brain’s using otherwise adaptive organizing principles
Perceptual illusions
The physical message delivered to the auditory system, a mechanical energy that requires a medium such as air or water in order to move
The psychological experience that results from the auditory processing of a particular frequency of sound
The external flap of tissue normally referred to as the “ear” it helps capture sound
The eardrum, which responds to incoming sound waves by vibrating
Tympanic Membrane
The portion between the eardrum and the cochlea containing three small bones (The malleus, incus and stapes) that help to intensify and prepare the sound vibrations for passage into the inner ear
The Middle Ear
The bony, snail-shaped sound processor tin the inner ear, where sound gets translated into nerve impulses
A flexible membrane running through the cochlea that, through its movement, displaces the auditory receptor cells, or hair cells.
Basilar membrane
The idea that the isolation of auditory receptor cells activated by environment of the basilar membrane underlies the perception of pitch
Place theory
The idea that pitch perception is determined partly by the frequency of neural impulses traveling up the auditory pathway
Frequency theory
Neurons that respond to a cooling of the skin by increasing the production of neural impulses
Cold fibers
Neurons that respond vigorously when the temperature of the skin increases
Warm fibers
An adaptive response by the body to any stimulus that is intense enough to cause tissue damage
The idea that neural impulses generated by pain receptors can be blocked, or gated, in the spinal cord by signals produced in the brain
Gate-control theory
In perception, the ability to sense the position and movement of one’s body parts
A receptor system attached to the inner ear that responds to movement and acceleration sand to changes in upright posture
Semicircular canals
Organs of the inner ear that contain receptors thought to be primarily responsible for balance
Vestibular sacs
Receptor cells that react to invisible molecules scattered about in the air or dissolved in liquids, leading to the senses of smell and taste
The Sense of Smell
The sense of taste
A psychological term used to describe the gustatory experience. Flavor is influenced by taste, smell, the visual appearance of food, as well as by expectations about the food’s quality
The receptor cells on the tongue
Taste buds
A field of psychology in which researchers search for ways to describe the transition from the physical stimulus to the psychological experience of that stimulus
The level of intensity that lifts a stimulus over the threshold of conscious awareness; it’s usually defined as the intensity level at which people can detect the presence of the stimulus 50% of the time
Absolute threshold
A technique that can be used to determine the ability of someone to detect the presence of a stimulus
Signal detection
The smallest detectable difference in the magnitude of two stimuli
Difference threshold
The principle stating that the ability to notice a difference in the magnitude of two stimuli is a constant proportion of the size of the standard stimulus. Psychologically, the more intense a stimulus is to begin with, the more intense it will need to become for one to notice a change.
Weber's Law
The tendency of sensory systems to reduce sensitivity to a stimulus source that remains constant
Sensory Adaptation
Interdisciplinary field of study directed at understanding the brain and its relation to behavior
The brain and spinal cord compose this
Cental Nervous System
The network of nerves that links the central nervous system with the body
Perephial nervous system
The cells in the nervous system that receive and transmit information
Cells that carry environmental messages toward the spinal cord and brain
Sensory Neurons
Cells that transfer information from one neuron to another; they make no direct contact to the outside world
Cells that carry info away from central nervous system to the muscles and glands that produce behavior
Motor Neurons
Cells that fill space between neurons, remove waste, or help the communicate efficiently.
Glial cells
Insulating material that protects the axon and helps speed up neural transmission
Myelin sheath
Automatic body reactions, example: Knee Jerk
Fibers that receive information from other neurons
The cell body of a neuron
Long, tail-like part of a neuron that serves as the cells transmitter
Tiny swellings at the end of the axon that contain chemicals important to neural transmission
Terminal Buttons
The small gap between the terminal buttons of a neuron and the dendrite or cell body of another neuron
The tiny electrical charge in place between the inside and outside of the resting neuron
Resting Potential
Action Potential
The all-or-none electrical signal that travels down a neuron’s axon
Chemical messengers that relay information from one neuron to the next
Neurotransmitter that plays multiple roles in the central and perephial systems, including exciting of muscle contractions
NT that has inhibitory effects, linked to Parkinson’s and Schizophrenia
NT, inhibitory, dreaming, arousal, linked to depression
Gamma-amino-Butyric Acid – NT that plays a role in anxiety, is inhibitory
Brain’s natural painkillers
Period of time following an action potential when more action potentials cannot be generated
Refractory Period
Bundles of axons that make up neural “transmission cables”
Collection of nerves that transmits information toward the brain and connects to the skeletal muscles in order to initiate movement; part of the perephial nervous system
Somatic System
Collection of nerves that controls the automatic needs of the body, part of the perephial nervous system
Autonomic System
Fight or flight part
Digestion, non-emergency stuff
Device used to monitor gross electrical activity of the brain
Electroencephologram (EEG)
The use of highly focused beams of X-Rays to construct detailed anatomical maps of the living brain
Computerized Tomography Scan (CAT)
Measured radioactive activity in the brain, used to tell which parts react to what external stimuluses
Positron Emission Tomography (PET)
Device that uses magnetic fields and radio wave pulses to construct detailed, 3D images, which map out the blood oxygen use in the brain
Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI)
Basic Life support – sits at juncture where brain and spinal cord meet. Parts include Medulla, Pons and Reticular Formation – and act as the basic life support system for the body. Also includes the cerebellum.
“Little Brain” involved in the preparation, selection and coordination of complex motor movements.