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49 Cards in this Set

  • Front
  • Back
Central Nervous System
The portion of the nervous system consisting of the brain and the spinal cord.
Spinal Cord
A collection of neurons and supportive tissue running for the base of the brain down the center of the back, protected by a column of bones (the spinal column).
Spinal reflexes
Automatic behaviors produced by the spinal cord without brain involvement.
Peripheral Nervous System
All portions of the nervous system outside the brain and spinal cord; it includes sensory and motor nerves.
Somatic Nervous System
The subdivision of the peripheral nervous system that connects to sensory receptors and to skeletal muscles; sometimes called the skeletal nervous system.
Autonomic Nervous system
The subdivision of the peripheral nervous system that regulates the internal organs and glands.
Sympathetic nervous system
The subdivision of the autonomic nervous system that mobilizes bodily resources and increases the output of energy during emotion and stress.
Parasympathetic Nervous System
The subdivision of the autonomic nervous system that operates during relaxed states and that conserves energy.
A cell that conducts electrochemical signals; the basic unit of the nervous system; also called a nerve cell.
Cells that support, nurture, and insulate neurons, remove debris when neurons die, and modify neuronal functioning.
A neuron's branches that receive information from other neurons and transmit it toward the cell body.
Cell Body
The part of the neuron that keeps it alive and determines whether it will fire.
A neuron's extending fiber that conducts impulses away from the cell body and transmits them to other neurons or to muscle glands.
Myelin sheath
A fatty insulation that may surround the axon of a neuron.
A bundle of nerve fibers (axons and sometimes dendrites) in the peripheral nervous system.
Stem Cells
Immature cells that renew themselves and have the potential to develop into mature cells; given encouraging environments, stem cells from early embryos can develop into any cell type.
The site where transmission of a nerve impulse from one nerve to another occurs; it includes the axon terminal, the synaptic cleft, and receptor sites in the membrane of the receiving cell.
Action potential
A brief change in electrical voltage that occurs when a neuron is stimulated; it serves to produce an electrical impulse.
A chemical substance that is released by a transmitting neuron at the synapse and that alters the activity of the receiving neuron.
Chemical substances in the nervous system that are similar in structure and action to opiates; they are involved in pain reduction, pleasure, and memory, and are known technically as endogenous opioid peptides.
Chemical substances, secreted by organs called glands, that affect the functioning of other organs.
Endocrine glands
Internal organs that produce hormones and release them into the bloodstream.
A hormone, secreted by the pineal gland. that is involved in the regulation of daily biological rhythms.
Adrenal hormones
Hormones that are produced by the adrenal glands and that are involved in emotion and stress.
Sex hormones
Hormones that regulate the development and functioning of reproductive organs and that stimulate the development of male and female sexual characteristics; they include androgens, estrogens and progesterone.
Electroencephalogram (EEG)
A recording of the neural activity detected by electrodes.
PET Scan (positron-emission tomography)
A method for analyzing biochemical activity in the brain, using injections of a glucoselike substance containing a radioactive element.
MRI (magnetic resonance imaging)
A method for studying body and brain tissue, using magnetic fields and special radio receivers.
Localization of function
Specialization of particular brain areas for particular functions.
Brain stem
The part of the brain at the top of the spinal cord, consisting of the medulla ad the pons.
A structure in the brain stem involved in, among other things, sleeping, waking and dreaming.
A structure in the brain stem responsible for certain automatic functions, such as breathing and heart rate.
Reticular Activating system (RAS)
A dense network of neurons found in the core of the brain stem; it arouses the cortex and screens incoming information.
A brain structure that regulates movement and balance, and that is involved in some kinds of higher cognitive tasks.
A brain structure that relays sensory messages to the cerebral cortex.
A brain structure involved in emotions and drives vital to survival, such as fear, hunger, thirst, and reproduction; it regulates the automatic nervous system
Pituitary gland
A small endocrine gland at the base of the brain that releases many hormones and regulates other endocrine glands.
Limbic system
A group of brain areas involved in emotional reactions and motivated behavior.
A brain structure involved in the arousal and regulation of emotion and the initial emotional response to sensory information.
A brain structure involved in the storage of new information in memory.
The largest brain structure, consisting of the upper part of the brain, it is in charge of most sensory, motor, and cognitive processes.
Cerebral hemispheres
The two halves of the cerebrum.
Corpus callosum
The bundle of nerve fibers connecting the two cerebral hemispheres.
Specialization of the two cerebral hemispheres for particular operations.
Cerebral Cortex
A collection of several thin layers of cells covering the cerebrum; it is largely responsible for higher mental functions.
Occipital lobes
Lobes at the lower back part of the brain's cerebral cortex; they contain areas that receive visual information.
Parietal lobes
Lobes at the top of the brain's cerebral cortex; they contain areas the receive information on pressure, pain, touch, and temperature.
Temporal lobes
Lobes at the sides of the brain's cerebral cortex; they contain areas involved in hearing, memory, perception, emotion, and (in the left lobe typically) language comprehension.
Frontal lobes
Lobes at the front of the brain's cerebral cortex; the contain areas involved in short term memory, higher-thinking, initiative, social judgment and (in the left lobe, typically) speech reproduction.