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33 Cards in this Set

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tissue destruction; a brain lesion is a naturally or experimentally caused destruction of brain tissue

electroencephalogram (EEG)

An amplified recording of the waves of electrical activity that sweep across the brain's surface. These waves are measured by electrodes places on the scalp.

CT (computer 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 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 images of soft tissue. MRI scans show brain anatomy.

fMRI (functional MRI)

a technique for revealing blood-flow and, therefore, brain activity by comparing successive MRI scans. fMRI scans show brain function


the oldest part and central core of the brain, beginning where the spinal cord swells as it enters the skull; the brain-stem is responsible for automatic survival functions.


the base of the brain-stem; controls heartbeat and breathing

reticular formation

a nerve network in the brain-stem that plays an important role in controlling arousal


the brain's sensory switchboard, located on top of the brain-stem; it directs messages to the sensory receiving areas in the cortex and transmits replies to the cerebellum and medulla.


the "little brain" at the rear of the brain-stem; functions include processing sensory input and coordinating movement output and balance.

limbic system

doughnut-shaped neural system (including the hippocampus, amygdala, and hypothalamus) located below the cerebral hemispheres; associated with emotions and drives.


two Lima bean-sized neural clusters in the limbic system; 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 and reward.

cerebral cortex

the intricate fabric of interconnected neural cells covering the cerebral hemispheres; the body's ultimate control and information center.

glial cells (glia)

cells in the nervous system that support, nourish, and protect neurons.

frontal lobes

portion of the cerebral cortex lying just behind the forehead; involved in speaking and muscle movements and in making plans and judgments.

parietal lobes

portion of the cerebral cortex lying at the top of the head and toward the rear; receives sensory input for touch and body position.

occipital lobes

portion of the cerebral cortex lying at the back of the head; includes areas that receive information from the visual fields.

temporal lobes

portion of the cerebral cortex lying roughly above the ears; includes the auditory areas, each receiving information primarily from the opposite ear.

motor cortex

an area at the rear of the frontal lobes that controls voluntary movements.

sensory cortex

area at the front of the parietal lobes that registers and processes body touch and movement 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, usually in the left frontal lobe, 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 ability to change, especially during childhood, by building new pathways based on experience.


the formation of new neurons.

corpus callosum

the large band of neural fibers connecting the two brain hemispheres and carrying messages between them.

split brain

a condition resulting from surgery that isolates the brain's two hemispheres by cutting the fibers connecting them.


our awareness of our-selves and our environment.

cognitive neuroscience

the interdisciplinary study of the brain activity linked with cognition.

dual processing

the principle that information is often simultaneously processed on separate conscious and unconscious tracks.