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43 Cards in this Set

  • Front
  • Back
an interdisciplinary field studying how biological processes relate to behavioral and mental processes
Central nervous system
systems located centrally in teh body that includes the brain and spinal cord
Peripheral nervous system
all nerves and neurons outside the brain and spinal cord. its major function is to connect the cns to the rest of the body
Somatic nervous system
a subdivision of the peripheral nervous system that connects to sensory receptors and controls skeletal muscles
Autonomic nervous system
subdivision of the peripheral nervous system that controls involuntary functions, such as heart rate and digestion. it is further subdivided intot he sympathetic nervous system, which arouses, and the parasymthetic nervous system, which calms
Sympathetic nervous system
subdivision of the autonomic nervous system responsible for arousing the body and mobilizing its energy during times of stress; also called the "fight or flight" system
Parasympathetic nervous system
subdivision of the autonomic nervous system responsible for calming the body and conserving energy
individual nerve cell responsible for processing, storing, and transmitting information throughout the body
Glial cells
cells that provide structural, nutritional, and other support for the neuron, as well as communication within the nervous system; also called glia or neuroglia
branching neuron structures that receive neural impulses from other neurons and convey impulses toward the cell body
Cell body
the part of the neuron that contains the cell nucleus, as well as other structures that help the neuron carry out its functions
a long, tubelike structure that conveys impulses away form the neuron's cell body toward other neurons or to muscles or glands
Myelin sheath
a layer of fatty insulation wrapped around the axon of some neurons, which increases the rate at which nerve impulses travel along the axon
Action potential
neural impulse that carries information along the axon of a neuron. the action potential in generated when positively charged ions move in and out through channels in the axon's membrane
function between the axon tip of the sending neuron and the dendrite or cell body of the receiving neuron; during an action potential, chemicals called neurotransmitters are released and flow across the synaptic gap
chemicals manufactured and released by neurons that alter activity in other neurons
chemical substances in the nervous system that are similar in structure and action to opiates and are involved in pain control, pleasure, and memory
chemicals manufactured by endocrine glands and circulated in the bloodstream to produce bodily changes or maintain normal bodily functions
Endocrine system
a collection of glands located throughout the body that manufacture and secrete hormones into the bloodstream
Localization of function
specialization of various parts of the brain for particular functions
area at the base of the brain in front of the cerebellum responsible for automatic, survival functions
neural centers located near the top of the brainstem involved in coordinatin movement patterns, sleep and arousal
structure at the top of the brianstem involved in respiration, movement, waking, sleep and dreaming
structure at the base of the brainstem responsible for automatic body functions such as breathing and heart rate
Reticular formation
diffuse set of neurons in the core of the brainstem that screens incoming information and arouses the cortex
a small brain structure beneath the thalamus that maintains the body's internal environment and regulates emotions and drives, such as hunger, thirst, sex and aggression
Limbic system
an interconnected group of lower-level brain structures involved with the arousal and regulation of emotion, motivation, memory, and many other aspects of behavior and mental processes
an almond-shaped lower-level brain structure that is part of the limbic system and is involved in emotion
Cerebral cortex
the bumpy, convoluted area on the outside surface of the two cerebral hemispheres that regulates most complex behavior, including receiving sensations, motor control, and higher mental processes
Frontal lobes
cortical lobes at the front of the brain, which govern motor control, speech production, and higher functions, such as thinking, personality, emotion, and memory
Parietal lobes
cortical lobes at the top of teh brain where bodily sensations are interpreted
Temporal lobes
cortical lobes above the ears involved in audition (hearing), language comprehension, memory, and some emotional control
Occipital lobes
cortical lobes at the back of the brain responsible for vision and visual perception
Association areas
so-called quiet areas in teh cerebral cortex involved in interpreting, integrating, and acting on informaion processed by other parts of the brain
specialization of the left and right hemispheres of the brain for particular operations
a surgical separaton of the brain's two hemispheres used medically to treat severe epilepsy; split-brain patients provide data on the functions of the two hemispheres
Corpus callosum
bundle of nerve fibers connecting the brain's left and right hemispheres
Behavioral genetics
the study of the effects of heredity on biological, behavioral, and mental processes
threadlike strands of DNA molecules that carry genetic information
a segment of DNA that occupies a specific place on a particular chromosome and carries the code for hereditary transmission
a measure of the degree to which a characteristic is related to genetic, inherited factors
Evolutionary psychology
a branch of psychology that studies evolutionary principles, like natural seleciton and genetic mutation, which affect adaptation to the environment and help explain commonalities in behavior
Natural selection
the driving mechanism behind evolution that allows individuals with genetically influenced traits that are adaptive in a particular environment to stay alive and produce offspring