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103 Cards in this Set

  • Front
  • Back
-100 billion in brain
-cells in the nervous system that communicate with one another to perform information processing tasks
-information reception and transmission
Cell Body
- coordinates the information processing task adn keeps the cell alive
-protein synthesis, energy production, metabolism
- houses chromosomes
-contains DNA
What are the special extensions on a nueron and what are their functions?
-Dendrites and Axons
-Reception and transmission of information in and out of the cell
-Receive information from other neurons and relay it to the cell body
-transmits information to to other nuerons, muscles, or glands
Neuron left to right
Cell Body
Axon Hillcock
Myelin Sheath
Nodes of Raniver
Terminal Branches
Axon Terminals
Axon Hillock
- Located: the end of the soma
- Function: controls the firing of the neuron
(If the total strength of the signal exceeds the threshold limit of the axon hillock, the structure will fire a signal down the axon)
Myelin Sheath
-Location: nsulating envelope surrounding the core of a nerve fiber or axon
- Function: facilitates the transmission of nerve impulses
-made of glial cells
Glial Cells
- support cells found in the nervous system
-Digest parts of dead neurons
-physical/ nutritional support/ aids in transmission of info
Demyelinating Diseases
-slows down transmisson
-Jucntion or region btw the axon of one neuron and teh dendrites or cell body of another
-100-500 trillion synapses
Where do neurons transmit information?
- Neurons do not touch eachother
-An electrochemical wave called an action potential travels along the axon of a neuron. When the wave reaches a synapse, it provokes release of a puff of neurotransmitter molecules, which bind to chemical receptor molecules located in the membrane of another neuron, on the opposite side of the synapse.
Parts Working in the Synapse
-Sending Neuron (vesicles)
-Synaptic Gap (neurotransmitters)
-Recieving Neuron (receptor site)
Three Major Types of Neurons
1. Sensory Neurons
2. Motor Neurons
3. Interneurons
Sensory Neurons
Function- receive information from external world and convery this information to the brain via spinal chrord
-Secialized endings for sense perception
- External world => sensory neuron => spinal chrord => brain
Motor Neurons
-carry signals from the spinal cord to the muscles to produce movement
-connect sensory neurons, motor neurons, and other interneurons
-most of the nervous system is composed of this type of cell
-work in small circuts to perform simple task such as locating the location of a signal
Two ways in which neurons are specialized
-Function (motor, sensory, inter)
Purkinje Cells
-interneurons that carry mostly motor information from the cerebellum to the rest of the brain and spinal cord
-dense dendrites
Pyramidal Cells
-found in cerebral cortex
-carry all kinds of information from the cortex
Bipolar Cells
-Single axon and dendrite
-sensory neuron in retina
Mirror Neurons
- frontal and temporal cortex
-particularly active when observing other people in action
2 Stages of Communication btw Neurons
conduction and transmission
Conduction and Transmission aslo referred to as...
Electrochemical Action
what occurs in the 1st stage of Electrochemical Action?
1. First the a signal is received and may initiate electrical conduction down the axon
what occurs in the 2nd stage of Electrochemical Action?
2. Second, the signal travels chemically across the synapse to the next neuron
Resting Potential
– the difference in electrical charge between the inside and outside of a neuron’s cell membrane
-difference in concentrations of ions in/out the neurons cell body
-small electrically charged molecules
Describe ions influencing resting potential...
-At rest there is a higher concentration of potassium (K+) on the inside of the cell and sodium (Na+) outside of the cell
-The flow of ions across the cell membrane is controlled by opening and closing channels that are specific to each ion
The resting potential of a neuron is approximately....
-70 millivolts
Action Potential
– an electrical signal that is conducted along the length of a neuron’s axon to the synapse
-all or none
-does not change despite intensity above threshold
When does action potential occur?
- electric shock reaches threshold
-change in axons membranes channels
-K+ channels shut down
- other channels open (Na+)
-pushes the action potential to its maximum value of +40 millivolts
Refractory Peridod
-the time following an action potential during which a new action potential cannot be initiated
-chemical pump in cell membrance moves Na+ outside the axon and moves K+ inside the axon
Nodes of Ranvier
which causes action potential to “jump” (Saltatory Conduction) and speeds conduction
-gaps/ between the myelin sheaths/ the axonal membrane is uninsulated/ capable of generating electrical activity
Inside the Synapse
-Presynaptic Neuron
-AP stimulated release of nuerotrnsmitters from vesicles into the synaspe
-Bind to receptor sites on postsynaptic nueron
Synaptic Transmission
electrochemical action that underlies every process of our mind and body
– parts of the cell membrane that receive neurotransmitters and initiate a new electrical signal
-lock and key
Enzymatic degradation
– enzymes can destroy the neurotransmitter while still in the synapse
– neurotransmitters are taken back into the presynaptic neuron through transporters
detect if there is too much neurotransmitter being released and signal the presynaptic neuron to stop the release
-a neurotransmitter involved in a number of functions, including motor control
-ex of deficiency is Alzheimer's
– a neurotransmitter that regulates motor behavior, motivation, pleasure, and emotional arousal
- high levels linked to schizo low levels parkinsons
- a major excitatory neurotransmitter involved in information transmission throughout the brain
-oversupply can overstimulate teh brain migranes
– the primary inhibitory neurotransmitter in the brain
E. Norepinephrine – a neurotransmitter that influences mood and arousal, particularly states of vigilance or danger awareness
-undersupply seizures
– a neurotransmitter involved in the regulation of sleep and wakefulness, eating, and aggressive behavior
-undersupply depression
chemicals that act within the pain pathways and emotion centers of the brain
-lack can lower pain threshold
-helps control moods
-undersupply can cause depression
-drugs that increase the action of a neurotransmitter
-LSD is an agonist for serotonin
-drugs that block the function of a neurotransmitter
-Propanolol blocks the beta receptors for norepinephrine in the heart, which helps with stage fright
Two Major Divisions of th Nervous System
1. Central Nervous System
2. Preipheral Nervous System
Nervous System
An interacting network of nuerons that conveys electrochemical information throughout the body
Central Nervous System
-brain and spinal cord
-recieves info/ sends commands/ process and coordinates info
Peripheral Nervous System
-connects the central nervous system to the body’s organs and muscles
-divides into Autonomic and Somatic
Somatic Nervous System
-a set of nerves that conveys information into and out of the central nervous system
-control voluntary movements
Autonomic Nervous System
– a set of nerves that carries involuntary and automatic commands that control blood vessels, body organs, and glands
Sympathetic Nervous System
– a set of nerves that prepares the body for action in a threatening situation
Parasympathetic Nervous System
– helps the body return to a normal resting state
Spinal Reflexes
– simple pathways in the nervous system that rapidly generate muscle contractions
-ex removing hand from hot stove
Spinal Chord
-takes care of simple tasks
-allows the brain to handle more complex tasks
-4 sections Cervical, Thoracic, Lumbar, Sacral
The Nervous System Flow
Peripheral (Autonomic/Somatic)
Autonomic (Sympathetic/Parasympathetic)
3 regions of the Brain
Hindbrin, Midbrain, Forebrain
– lower area of the brain that coordinates information coming into and out of the spinal cord
-Basic Functions (eg,..breathing,alertness)
-Pons/ Medulla/ Reicular Formation/ Cerebellum
Location: connects to sinal chord, left of cerebellum, touches
Function: coordinates heart rate, respiration and circulation
Reticular Formation
– a cluster of neurons in the medulla that regulates sleep, wakefulness, and levels of arousal
-cut off = coma
– a large structure of the hindbrain that controls fine motor skills, coordination, and balance
-Little Brain
– a structure that relays information from the cerebellum to the rest of the brain
- relay station for cerebellum
The Midbrain
Location: Above hind brain, below forebrain
Function: coordinates orientation and movement in the environment, and contributes to arousal
orients orgaism in enviroment
Involved in movement and arousal
The Forebrain
– highest level of the brain, controlling complex cognitive, emotional, sensory, and motor functions
Cerebral Cortex
-the outermost layer of the brain, visible to the naked eye, and divided into two hemispheres
Subcortical Structures
– areas of the forebrain housed under the cerebral cortex near the very center of the brain
Description: appears rounded egg shaped/ lined by hippocampus/ touching hypothalumus
Function: relays and filters information from the senses and transmits the information to the cerebral cortex
-actively filter sensory information
-connets to optical and auditory nerve
-closes pathways during sleep
the "bumps" on the brain's surface.
Description: below thalamus (hypo = below)
Function: regulates body temperature, hunger, thrist and sexual behavior
-blood sugar levels. body temp, metabolism
-releases hormones for sex
- four F's fighting, fleeing, feeding, f.. .. .. mating
Pituitary Gland
Location: Below hypothalamus, rounded oval like
Function: the “master gland” of the body’s hormone-producing system, which releases hormones that direct the functions of many other glands in the body
-recieves sig from hypo and send out to other glands
Limbic System

.... which are involved in motivation, emotion, learning, and memory.
structure critical for creating new memories and integrating them into a network of knowledge so that they can be stored indefinitely in other parts of the brain.
Location: at the tip of each horn of the hippocampus,
Function:plays a central role in many emotional processes, particularly the formation of emotional memories
-encoding events as fearful
-activates hippocampus to remeber details of significant emotional events
Basal Ganglia
Located: near Thalamus and Hippocampus
Function: a set of subcortical structures {including the striatum ..(posture)} that directs intentional movements
The Cerebral Cortex
-Divided into two hemispheres housing 4 lobes each with each lobe having specific association areas
Hemisphere function for opposite side of body
– bundles of axons that make possible communication between parallel areas of the cortex in each half, the largest being the corpus callosum
Occipital Lobe
– a region in the back of the brain that processes visual information
Parietal Lobe
– located in front of the occipital lobe and carries out functions such as touch
Temporal Lobe
– located laterally and below parietal cortex, is responsible for hearing and language
Frontal Lobe
– behind the forehead, has specialized areas for movement, abstract thinking, planning, memory, and judgment
-Complex thinking
Motor Cortex
-frontal lobe parallels somatoensory cortex
-each part maps for a particular contrallateral movement of the body
Somatosensory Cortex
-on parietal lobe
-represents skin areas on contralteral parts of the body
-Homounculus man
Association Areas
– areas of cortex that are composed of neurons that help provide sense and meaning to information registered in parts of the primary cortex
-"Associated areas, then, help stitch together the threads of informatin in various parts in a meaningful understanding of whats being registered in the brain
-nuerons here can be shaped by learning and experience
-more flexible; less specialized
How can the brain adapt to changes in the enviroment and individual?
Functions that were assigned to certain areas of the brain may be capable of being reassigned to other areas
Nervous System Timeline
1. Nervous system is the first major bodily system to take form in an embryo
a. After the third week of fertilization the nervous system goes from a sphere with a ridge, to a groove, to a neural tube
b. Fifth week the forebrain and hindbrain differentiate
c. Seventh week and later, forebrain expands into cerebral hemispheres
– how the brain develops within an individual
– how the brain developed within a particular species
How did the nervous system become so complex?
Primates’ brains, particularly humans, have evolved more rapidly than other mammals, partially because of gene mutations (changes in a gene’s DNA) that resulted in adaptation
Nature or Nurture?
The interaction between nature and nurture determines what humans do
unit of hereditary transmission, built from DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid)
– strands of DNA wound around each other in a double-helix configuration
Degree of Relatedness
– the probability of sharing genes
Monozygotic Twins vs Dizygotic Twins
share 100% of genes because they came from one fertilized egg vs share 50% of genes because they came from 2 fertilized eggs, just like other siblings
– a measure of the variability of behavioral traits among individuals that can be accounted for by genetic factors
-Heritability is not fate; circumstances can change the likelihood of behaviors or pathologies