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48 Cards in this Set

  • Front
  • Back
biological psychology
a branch of psychology concerned with the links between biology and behavior. (Some biological psychologists call themselves behavioral neuroscientists, neuropsychologists, behavior geneticists, physiological psychologists, or biopsychologists.)
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. Generated by the movement of positively charged atoms in and out of channels in the axon's membrane.
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
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. The tiny gap at this junction is called the synaptic gap or cleft.
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.
"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
the brain and spinal cord
peripheral nervous system
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, connect 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 the glands and the muscles of the internal organs (such as the heart). Its sympathetic division arouses; its parasympathetic division 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, automatic, inborn response to a sensory stimulus, such as the knee-jerk response
oldest part and central core of the brain, beginning where the spinal cord 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" attatched 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 aggression and drives such as those for food and sex. Includes the hippocampus, amygdala, and hypothalaums.
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 maintenance 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
frontal lobes
the portion of the cerebral cortex lying just behind the forehead; involved in speaking and muscle movements and in making plans and judgments
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 ffrom 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 lobes 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 communication 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 epinephrine (adrenaline) and norepinephrine (noradrenaline), which help to arouse the body in times of stress.
pituitary gland
the endocrine system's most influential gland. Under the influence of the hypothalamus, the pituitary regulates growth and controls other endocrine glands