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70 Cards in this Set

  • Front
  • Back
biological psychology
a branch of psychology concerned with the links between biology and behavior
a nerve cell; the basic building block of the nervous system
the bushy, branching extensions of a neruon that receive mesages 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.
myelin sheath
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 node to the next
action potential
a neural impulse; a brief electrical charge that travels down an axon. The action potenial is generated by the movement of positively charged atoms in and out of channels in the axon's membrane.
cell body
the cell's life, support center
neural impulse
electrical signal traveling down the axon
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 receiving neuron.
synaptic gap/cleft
gap at the synapse
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 receiving neuron, thereby influencing whether that neuron will generate a neural impulse
Acetylcholine, ACh
triggers muscle contraction (black widow), learning, and memory/ undersupply marks Alzheimer's disease
influences movement, leaning, attention, and emotion/ excess receptor activity is linked with schizophrenia; low amounts causes tremors and Parkinson's disease
affects mood, hunger, sleep, and arousal/ undersupply linked to depression; Prozac and other antid. drugs raise serotonin levels
helps control alertness and arousal/ undersupply can supress mood
GABA (gamma-aminobutyric acid)
a major inhibitory neurotransmitter/ undersupply linked to seizures, tremors, and insomnia (anxiety)
a major excitatory neurotransmitter; involved in memory/ oversupply overstimulates brain, producing migranes or seizers, which is why some people avoid MSG
"morphine within"- natural, opiatelike neurotransmitters linked to pain control and to pleasure
nervous system
the body's speedy electrochemical communication system, consisting of all the nerve cells of the peripheral and central nervous systems.
central nervous system (CNS)
the brain and spinal cord
peripheral nervus system (PNS)
the sensory and motor neurons that connect the central nervous system to the rest of the body
neural "cables" containing many axons. These bundled axons, which are part of the peripheral nervous system, conect the central nervous system with muscles, glands, and sense organs.
sensory neurons
neurons that carry incoming information from the sense receptors to the central nervous system.
central nervous system neurons that internally communicate and intervene between the sensory inputs and motor outputs.
motor neurons
neurons that carry outgoing information from the central nervous system to the muscles and glands
somatic nervous system
the division of the peripheral nervous system that controls the body's skeletal muscles. Also called the skeletal nervous system.
autonomic nervous system
the part of the peripheral nervous system that controls teh glands and the muscles of the interal organs such as the heart. Its sympathetic system aroundes, its parasympathetic system calms.
sympathetic nervous system
the division of the autonomic nervous system that arouses the body, mobilizing its energy in stressful situations.
parasympathetic nervous system
the division of the autonomic nervous system that calms the body, conserving its energy
a simple, autmatic, inborn response to a sensory stimulus, such as the knee-jerk response
neural networks
interconnected neural cells. With experience, networks can learn, as feedback strengthens or inhibits connections that produce certain results. Computer simulations of this show analogous learning.
tissue destruction. A brain ____ is a naturally or experimentally caused destruction of brain tissue.
electroencephalogram (EEG)
an amplified recording of te waves of electrical activity that sweep across the brain's surface. These waves are measured by electrodes placed on the scalp.
CT (computed tomography) scan
a series of x-ray photographs taken from different angles and combined by computer into a composite representation of a slice through the body. Also called a CAT scan.
PET (positron emission tomography) scan
a visual display of brain activity that detects where a radioactive form of glucose goes while the brain performs a given task.
MRI (magnetic resonance imaging)
a technique that uses magnetic fields and radio waves to produce computer-generated imagesthat distinguish among different tpes of soft tissue; allows us to see structures within the brain.
the oldest part and central core of the brain, beginning where the spinal cord swells as it enters the skull; the brainstem is responsible for autonomic 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.
limbic system
a doughnut-shaped system of neural structures at the border of the brainstem and cerebral hemispheres; associated with emotions such as fear and agression and drives such as those for food and sex. Includes the hippocampus, amygdala, and hypothalamus.
two almond-shaped neural clusters that are components of the limbic system and are linked to emotion.
a neural structure lying below the thalamus; it directs several maintenence activities (eating, drinking, body temperature), 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.
glial cells
cells in the nervous system that support, nourish, and protect neurons.
frontal lobes
the portion of the cerebal 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 the sensory cortex.
occipital lobes
the portion of the cerebral cortex lying at the back of the head; includes the visual areas, which receive visual information from the opposite visual field.
temporal lobes
the portion of the cerebral cortex lying roughly above the ears; includes the auditory areas, each of which receives auditory information primarily from the opposite ear.
motor cortex
an area at the rear of the frontal loves that controls voluntary movements
sensory cortex
the area at the front of the parietal lobes that registers and processes body sensations.
association areas
areas of the cerebral cortex that are not involved in primary motor or sensory functions; rather, they are involved in higher mental functions such as learning, remembering, thinking, and speaking.
impairment of language, usually caused by left hemisphere damage either to Broca's area (impairing speaking) or to Wernicke's area (impairing understanding).
Broca's area
controls language expression, an area of the frontal lobe, usually in the left hemisphere, that directs the muscle movements involved in speech.
Wernicke's area
controls language reception- a brain area involved in language comprehension and expression; usually in the left temporal lobe.
the brain's capacity for modification, as evident 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.
split brain
a condition in which the two hemispheres of the brain are isolated by cutting the connecting fibers (mainly those of the corpus callosum) between them.
endocrine system
the body's "slow" chemical comunication system; a set of glands that secrete hormones into the bloodstream.
chemical messengers, mostly those manufactured 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 epinephrene (adrenaline) and norepinephrine (noradrenaline), which help to arouse the body in times of stress.
pituitary gland
the endocrine system's most infuential gland. Under the influence of the hypothalamus, the pituitary regulates growth and controls other endocrine glands.
hypothalamus- hormonal
brain region controlling the pituitary gland
thyroid gland
affects metabolism, among other things
help regulate the level of calcium in the blood
reguates the level of sugar in the blood
secretes male sex hormones
secretes female sex hormones