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289 Cards in this Set

  • Front
  • Back

Physiological explanation

Explanation relating a behavior to the activity of the brain and other organs

Ontogenetic explanation

Explanation relating how a structure or behavior develops, including the influences of genes, nutrition, experiences, and their interactions

Evolutionary explanation

Explanation reconstructing the evolutionary history of a structure or behavior

Function explanation

Explanation describing WHY a structure or behavior evolved as it did


Nervous system cells; varies in type and function

Membrane/plasma membrane

surface of a cell; separates the inside of a cell from the outside environment


structure in cell that contains the chromosomes

Mitochondrion (pl. mitochondria)

the structure of a cell that performs metabolic activities; provides energy that the cell uses for all activities; requires fuel and oxygen


sites of a cell that synthesizes new protein molecules

Endoplasmic Reticulum

Network of thin tubes in a cell that transport newly synthesized proteins to other locations

Afferent axon

axon that brings information into a structure; i.e., sensory neuron

Efferent axon

axon that carries information away from a structure; i.e., motor neuron

Interneuron/intrinsic neuron

type of cell where it's dendrites and axon are entirely contained within a single structure


type of glia; star-shaped and wrap around presynaptic terminals of a group of functionally related axons; they surround a synapse between neurons to shield it from chemicals circulating in the surround; and by taking up ions released by axons and then releasing them back it helps synchronize the activity of the axons enabling them to send messages in waves; also guide formation and elmination of synapses; remove waste material created when neurons die; control amount of bloow flow to each brain area; during periods of heightened brain activity they dilate blood vessels to allow more nutrients to flow to the area


type of glia that acts as part of immune system, removing waste material, viruses, fungi, from brain; proliferate after brain damage and in most brain diseases

Radial glia

Type of glia that guide the migration of neurons and their axons and dendrites during embryonic development


type of glia that builds myelin sheath in brain and spinal cord (CNS)

Schwann Cells

type of glia that builds myelin sheath in periphery of body (PNS)

Blood-brain barrier

unbroken wall of cells that surround blood vessels of brain and spinal cord; a few small, uncharged molecules such as water, oxygen, and carbon dioxide cross freely; so do molecules dissolved in fats (ex. Vit A&D / antidepressants..); protects nervous system from viruses and many dangerous chemicals

Active transport

protein-mediated process that expends energy to pump chemicals from blood into brain (i.e., glucose, amino acids, purines, choline, some vitamins, iron, hormones)

Cause of Korsakoff's syndrome

Vitamin B1 deficiency, thiamine deficiency causes this disorder

Santiago Ramon y Cajal's discovery

They used newly discovered staining techniques to establish that the nervous system is composed of separate cells, known as neurons


brain's main source of fuel

Sodium-potassium pump

transports 3 sodium ions out of the cell and 2 potassium ions into the cell

temporal summation

the summation of graded potentials from stimuli at different times

spatial summation

the summation of potentials from different locations


neurotransmitter group with similar structures; epinephrine, norepinephrine, dopamine


chains of amino acids, released in either large quantities or not at all

nitric oxide

neurotransmitter that is a gas, released by many small local neurons; dilates blood vessels, increasing blood flow to brain area

MAO (monoamine oxidase)

breaks down transmitters (serotonin, dopamine, norepinephrine) into inactive chemicals

first discovered antidepressants

MAO inhibitors; work by blocking MAO thereby increasing brain's supply of serotonin, dopamine, and norepinephrine


bursts of release of neurotransmitter from the presynaptic neuron; due to calcium entering terminal

ionotropic effects

brief/fast responses; ex: conveying auditory/visual information

metabotropic effects

slow, longer lasting effects; utilizes G-protein & second messengers; ex: taste, smell, pain, arousal, attention, pleasure, and emotion

transmitter-gated; ligand-gated

channels controlled by neurotransmitters/checmicals

Hallucinogenic Drugs

drugs that distort perception; i.e. LSD (chemically resembles serotonin); attach to serotonin receptors and produce stimulation at inappropriate times or for longer duration


found in tobacco, stimulates a family of acetylcholine receptors, known as nicotinic receptors; nicotinic receptors are abundant on neurons that release dopamine - > REWARD


morphine, heroin, methadone; bind to same receptors as endorphins; relieve pain


when the presynaptic neuron takes up much or most of the released neurotransmitter molecules and reuses them; done through transporters


enzyme that breaks down left over NT that is not taken in reuptake


amphetamine, cocaine, caffeine, meythlphenidate (Ritalin); inhibit transporters for dopamine thus decreasing reuptake and prolonging dopamines effects; block reuptake of dopamine


releases dopamine and serotonin


excites negative-feedback receptors on presynaptic cells; those receptors ordinarly respond to anandamide and 2AG; inhibiting release of neurotransmitters from the presynaptic cell

transporter protein

pumps the used neurotransmitter molecules back into the presynaptic neuron

Anterior pituitary

gland releasing thyroid-stimulating hormone, luteinizing hormone, follicle-stimulating hormone, ACTH, prolactin, growth hormone

Posterior pituitary

gland releasing oxytocin, vasopressin

Pineal gland

gland that releases melatonin

CNS (central nervous system)

brain and spinal cord

PNS (peripheral nervous system

connects CNS to rest of body; includes somatic and autonomic nervous system

Autonomic nervous system

system that includes sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous systems

Sympathetic nervous system

fight-or-flight, arouses body; decreases digestion

Parasympathetic nervous system

decreases body arousal; increases digestion, promotes sexual arousal


towards the back


towards the stomach

coronal plane

a plane that shows the brain structures as seen from the front


a set of axons within the CNS


a protuberance on the surface of the brain


a fold or groove that separates one gyrus from another


a long, deep sulcus

gray matter

H-shaped in center of spinal cord, contains cell bodies and dendrites

white matter

surrounding in spinal cord, contains myelinated axons; men have more of this in comparison to women


medulla, pons, and cerebellum constitute this


above spinal cord and can be seen as enlarged extension of spinal cord into skull; controls vital reflexes like breathing, heart rate, vomiting, salivation, coughing, sneezing through cranial nerves; damage here is often fall and large doses of opiates are life -threatening because they suppress activity here


anterior and ventral to medulla; "bridge" axons from each half of brain cross to opposite side of spinal cord here


movement, balance, coordination, damage here: trouble shifting attention back and forth between auditory and visual stimuli; difficulty with timing


structures here include: tectum, superior & inferior colliculus, tegmentum, and substantia nigra


roof of midbrain; 2 swellings here: superior & inferior colliculus

Superior colliculus

swelling in tectum; important for visual information

Inferior colliculus

swelling in tectum; important for auditory information


under tectum in midbain; covering

Substania nigra

strucutre in midbrain; gives rise to a dopamine-containing pathway that facilitates readiness for movement


consists of: thalamus, hypothalamus, pituitary gland, basal ganglia, basal forebrain, hippocampus

Cerebral cortex

outer portion in forebrain covering 2 hemispheres

Limbic system

system including structures important for motivations and emotions such as eating, drinking, sexual activity, anxiety and aggression; includes olfactory bulb, hypothalamus, hippocampus, amygdala, and cingulate gyrus of cerebral cortex


a pair of structures L&R in center of forebrain; resemble 2 small avocados; important for sensory information that goes here first then gets processed and sent out to cerebral cortex EXCEPT olfactory information; sometimes cerebral cortex sent information back here


small area near based brain just ventral to thalamus; conveys messages to pituitary gland, altering release of hormones; damage here: abnormalities in motivated behavior such as feeding, drinking, temp. regulation, sexual behavior, fighting or activity level

Pituitary Gland

endocrine gland attached to base of hypothalamus; synthesizes hormones that blood carries to organs throughout body

Basal ganglia

group of subcortical structures lateral to thalamus; include caudate nucleus, putamen, and globus pallidus; damage here impairs movement (parkinsons/huntingitons); critical for movement, and learnign/remebering skills & habits as well as other types of learning that develop gradually with extended experience

Nucleus basalis

on ventral surface of forebrain, receives input from hypothalamus and basal ganglia; important fror wakefulness and arousal; patients with parkinson and alzheimers have impairments of attention and intellect because of inactivity or deterioration of this area


4 fluid-filled cavities within brain

Cerebrospinal fluid (CSF)

clear fluid cushions brain against mechanical shock when head moves; also provides buoyancy


membranes that surround brain and spinal cord; inflammation here = painful; swelling of blood vessels here is responsible for pain in migraine headache

DorsaL roots of spinal cord

roots of spinal cord that contain sensory input

Ventral roots of spinal cord

roots of spinal cord that contain motor output


layers of cell bodies parallel to surface of cortex and separated from each other by layers of fibers

Occipital lobe

back of brain; responsible for vision, primary visual cortex, striate cortex

Parietal lobe

part of brain that lies between the occipital lobe and the central sulcus

Central sulcus

a deep groove in surface of cortex; separates parietal lobe from frontal lobe and parietal lobe

postcentral gyrus

area just posterior to central sulcus; known as primary somatosensory cortex

Primary somatosensory cortex

"postcentral gyrus"; receives sensations from touch receptors, muscle-stretch receptors and joint receptors

Temporal lobe

lateral portion of each hemisphere; auditory information; left: understanding spoken language; Movement, recognition of faces

Kluever-Bucy syndrome

disorder due to temporal lobe damage

frontal lobe

lobe containing primary motor cortex and prefrontal cortex; extends from central sulcus to anterior limit of brain

Precentral gyrus

primary motor cortex; specialized for control of fine moments such as moving one finger at a time

Primary motor cortex

precentral gyrus of frontal cortex; just anterior to central sulcus; specialized for control of fine movements, such as moving one finger at a time


removal of a brain area


damage to a brain area

stereotaxic instrument

a device for the precise placement of electrodes in the brain; makes lesions

Transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS)

the application of magnetic stimulation to a portion of the scalp; inactivates neruons in a narrow area below magnet; temporary inactivation of brain area


using light to control a limited population of neurons

Electroencephalograph (EEG)

brain recording of electrical activity through electrodes attached to scalp; measures overall activity of neurons; results = evoked potentials or evoked responses

Magnetoencephalograph (MEG)

measures faint magnetic fields generated by brain activity; waves of brain activity

Positron-emission tomography (PET)

brain imaging method that provides a high-resolution image of activity in a living brain by recording the emission of radioactivity from injected chemicals (glucose).

Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI)

detects amount of hemoglobin with oxygen; detects brain activity due to increase of blood flow to brain area that is active


Franz Gall in 1800s thought this was how brains were mapped; relating skull anatomy to behavior

Computerized axial tomography (CT or CAT scan)

type of brain measuring method in which a dye is injected into blood and person is placed in scanner where x-rays are passed through to to take pictures of brain structure; detects tumors and structural abnormalities

Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI)

brain imaging method using a powerful magnetic field to form a structural image of brain


strands of genes; come in pairs

DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid)

double-stranded molecule that makes up a gene

RNA (ribonucleic acid)

single-strand chemical;


messenger; serves as template for synthesis of protein molecules

DNA bases

adenine, guanine, cytosine, thymine


biological catalysts that regulate chemical reactions in the body


an identical pair of genes on two chromosomes


unmatched pair of genes on two chromosomes; ex one gene for blue eyes & one gene for brown eyes

dominant gene

gene that shows a strong effect in either heterozygous or homozygous condition

recessive gene

gene that shows its effects only in the homozygous condition

sex-linked genes

genes on the sex chromosomes (designated X & Y); ex: red/green color vision deficiency

Autosomal genes

all chromosomes other than sex chromosomes

sex-limited genes

genes present in both sexes but active mainly in one sex; ex: genes that control the amount of chest hair in men, breast size in women, amount of rowing in roosters, and rate of egg production in hens; both sexes have these genes, but sex hormones activate them in one sex or the other; generally show effects in puberty


gene that differs in just 2 bases from chimpanzee version, but this modifed the human brain and vocal apparatus in several ways that facilitate language development


changes in gene expression; due to chemicals, experiences...etc

monozygotic twins

twins from one egg

dizygotic twins

twins from two eggs

Phenylketonuria (PKU)

genetic inability to metabolize the amino acid phenylalanine, if untreated -- accumulates to toxic levels, impairing brain development leaving a child mentally retarded, restless and irritable; if diagnosed early parents put baby on low-phenylalanine diet to protect brain


change over generations in the frequencies of various genes in a population

Lamarckian evolution

use/disuse of some structure/behavior cause an evolutionary increase/decrease in that feature; "if i exercise my arm muscles, my kids will be born with bigger arm muscles" -> WRONG!

fitness (evolution)

the number of copies of one's genes that endure in later generations; all about who reproduces the most

kin selection

selection for a gene that benefits the individual's relatives

reciprocal altruism

individuals help those who will return the favor

Turnes genes off

Adding A methyl group to a histone protein

tightens histone's grip and increases gene activation

Adding an acetyl group to a histone protein


production of new cells

Stem cells

cells that divide and differentiate


primitive neurons move early in development; immunoglobun and chemokine guide this


when neurons form their axons (first) and then their dendrites form (after they have reached their destination)


process by which glia produces the inserting fatty sheaths that accelerate transmission; forms first in spinal cord, then in other structures; continues through adolescence, and early adulthood


final stage, begins before birth' continue throughout life but slowly in older people

neural Darwinism

we start with more neurons and synapses than we can keep; most successful saxons and combinations survive, others fail

nerve growth factor (NGF)

protein delivered when a neuron forms a synapse onto a muscle; promotes survival and growth of axon ; cancels program for apoptosis


programmed mechanism of cell death


a chemical that promotes the survival and activity of neurons; i.e., NGF, or brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF); essential for growth of axons and dendrites, formation of new synapses and learning

stroke; "cerebrovascular accident"

interruption of normal blood flow to a brain area


most common form of stroke; result of blood clot or other obstruction in artery


ruptured artery

tissue plasminogen activator (tPA)

Ischemia stroke treatment; breaks up blood clot (does not work for hemorrhage!); also decreases body temp is a treatment


Impaired performance of neurons because neurons that used to provide them with input have been damaged

route of light to eye

photoreceptors -> bipolar cells -> ganglion cells -> optic nerve -> LGN -> visual cortex

blind spot

part of eye that has no photoreceptors; occupied by exiting axons and blood vessels

Trichromatic theory/Young-Helmholtz theory

Theory that states we perceive color through the relative rates of response y three kinds of cones, each one maximally sensitive to a different set of wavelengths you can match any color by mixing appropriate amounts of just 3 wavelegnths

Opponent-Process theory

we perceive color in terms of opposites (Red/green, yellow/blue, white/black); ex: negative color afterimage; after you stare at one color in one location long enough, you fatigue that response and tend to swing to the opposite

Color constancy

theory stating the ability to recognize colors despite changes in lighting

Retinex theory

theory that accounts/explains for color & brightness constancy

law of specific nerve energies

law that states each sensory neuron conveys a particular type of sensation, such as light or sound

horizontal cells

cells that make inhibitory contact onto bipolar cells, which in turn make synapses onto amacrine and ganglion cells

lateral inhibtion

the reduction of activity in one neuron by activity in neighboring neurons; heightens contrast; ex herman grid

parvocellular neurons

neurons with small cell bodies, small receptive fields, mostly in or near fovea, color sensitive, respond to detailed analysis of stationary objects

magnocellular neurons

neurons with larger cell bodies, larger receptive fields, distributed evenly throughout retina; not for color; more for movement and broad outlines of shapes

koniocellular neurons

neurons with small cell bodies, but occur throughout retinal; some color sensitive; varies in resposne


ability to respond in limited ways to visual information without perceiving it consciously; damage to V1

Primary Visual cortex

area V1/ striate cortex

Ventral visual stream

"what" pathway; identifies and recognized objects

Dorsal visual stream

"where"/"how" pathway; important for visually guided movements (controlling movements/arm leg)

Visual agnosia

inability to recognize objects despite otherwise satisfactory vision; damage in temporal cortex

Damage in temporal cortex

damage here causes visual agnosia

Fusiform gyrus

part of interior temporal cortex that recognizes faces

area V4

area of brain responsible for color perception


areas of brain responsible for motion perception


inability to recognize faces despite nearly normal vision; due to damage of fusiform gyrus/temporal cortex

frequency of a sound

the number of compressions per second (number of waves), measured in hertz

amplitude of a sound

intensity of a sound (height of sound wave)

Higher pitch = ____ frequency

higher frequency = ______ pitch

Lower pitch = ____ frequency

lower frequency = ____ pitch


tone quality/complexity


outer ear; composed of flesh and cartilage to each side of head; helps locate source of sound

tympanic membrane

eardrum/middle ear; vibrates at same frequency as sound waves that strike it; vibrates 3 tiny bones from here

3 tiny bones vibrated by tympanic membrane

hammer, anvil, stirrup

Hammer, anvil, stirrup

3 tiny bones vibrated by tympanic membrane tat send vibrations to oval window


in the inner ear; snail-shaped structures; contains scala vestibuli, scala media, scala tympani; contains fluid that is vibrated by the local windwo

hair cells

auditory receptors in basilar membrane on cochlea and on tectorial membrane

place theory

theory that states the basilar membrane resembles strings of a piano, with each area along the membrane tuned to a specific frequency

frequency theory

theory that states the basilar membrane vibrates in synchrony with a sound, causing auditory nerve axons to produce action potentials at the same frequency; applies to low-frequency sounds, up to 100Hz

Volley principle

Priniciple that the auditory nerve as a whole produces volleys of impulses for sounds up to about 4000 per second


imparied detection of frequency changes; although not entirely tone-deaf

absolute/perfect pitch

the ability to hear a note and identify it


most inner area of cochlea

Lowest frequency

near apex has the ____ frequency

Highest frequency

near base of cochlea (beginning/outer) = ____ frequency

Primary Auditory cortex (area A1)

superior temporal cortex

Tonotopic map of audition

Each location in the auditory cortex responds to a preferred tone, and these areas are arranged in order from low pitches to high pitches

Conductive deafness or middle-ear deafness

temporary deafness due to diseases, infections, tumors bone growth; prevents sound waves from being transmitted to cochlea

Nerve deafness/inner-ear deafness

deafness due to damage to cochlea, hair cell, auditory nerve


frequent or constant ringing in ears; due to nerve deafness

time of arrival

sound localization cue due to a sound coming directly from the side reaches the closer ear about 600 microseconds before the other; locally high frequency sounds due to this

sound shadow

sound localization cue in which difference in intensity between ears; louder sound for closer ear

phase difference

sound localization cue in which sound wave comes in to ear at a different phase than the other ear; localize low-frequency sounds due to this

Auditory detection order

sound waves -> tympanic membrane -> 3 tiny bones (hammer, anvil, stirrup) -> oval window -> fluid inside cochlea -> hair cells -> messages to brain


reduced response to one taste after exposure to another


primary taste cortex; has areas that responds mainly to one type of taste such as sweet, or salty

Nucleus of the tracts solitarius (NTS)

structure in the medulla that taste nerves project on to.

vomeronasal organ (VNO)

respond only to pheromones


chemicals realeased by an animal that affect the behavior of other members of the same speciees


the experience some people have in which stimulation of one sense evokes a perception of that sense and another also


glutamate receptor to taste

smooth muscle

muscle type that controls digestive system and other organs

skeletal or striated muscles

muscle type that controls movement of body in relation to environment

cardiac muscles

muscle type that controls the heart

neuromuscular junction

a synapse between a motor neuron axon and a muscle fiber; aceytlcholine released here for skeletal muscles

relaxation of muscle due to

lack of acetylcholine

antagonistic muscles

opposing sets of muscles

fast-twitch fibers

fibers with fast contractions and rapid fatigue; used in sprinting; anaerobic - builds up an oxygen debt

slow-twitch fibers

fibers with less vigorous contractions and no fatigue; aerobic; walking for a long time


reactions that do not require oxygen at the time but need oxygen for recovery


reactions that do require oxygen at the time of movement


a receptor that detects the position or movement of one part of the body

stretch reflex

a reflexive contraction of a muscle in response to a stretch of that muscle; ex: doctor taps right below the knee cap

muscle spindle

a type of proprioceptor that is parallel to the muscle that responds to a stretch

Golgi tendon organs

a type of proprioceptor that responds to increased in muscle tension; ; located in tendons at opposite ends of a muscle, they act as a brake against an excessively vigorous contraction; excite an interneuron which inhibits the motor neurons - > inhibits further contraction to prevent damage


a consistent automatic response to stimuli; involuntary

ballistic movement

executed as a whole, once initiated cannot be altered; ex: reflex

motor program

a fixed sequence of movements; ex: mouse cleaning itself -> starts and finishes only once sequence is completely done; ex: yawn in humans

Posterior parietal cortex

region on brain that first becomes active in planning a movement; monitors the position of the body to the rest of the world

supplementary motor cortex & prefrontal cortex (in relation to movement)

2 brain areas important for planning and organizing a rapid sequence of movements

premotor cortex

area of brain most active immediately before a movement

prefrontal cortex

area of brain that is also active during a delay before a movement, stores sensory information relative to movement; also considers probable outcomes of possible movements

mirror neurons

neurons that are active both during preparation for a movement and while watching someone else perform the same or similar movement

corticospinal tracts

paths from the cerebral cortex to the spinal cord

lateral corticospinal tract; "pyramidal"

pathway of axons from the primary motor cortex, surrounding areas, and the red uncles, crosses to contralateral side of spinal cord; controls movements in peripheral areas like hands and feet

red nucleus

midbrain area that is primarily responsible for controlling arm muscles

medial corticospinal tract

pathway of axons from many parts of cerebral cortex (midbrain tectum, reticular formation, vestibular nucleus, primary cortex), and goes to both sides of spinal cord; controls mainly muscles of neck, shoulders, trunk, and bilateral movements like walking, turning, bending, standing up, sitting down

vestibular nucleus

a brain area that receives input from the vestibular system

damage to cerebellum

damage here is trouble with rapid movements that require aim, accurate timing, and alterations of movements, such as tapping a rhythm.clapping hands, point to moving object, speaking, writing, playing musical instrument but does NOT impair continuous motor activity like drawing circles

cerebellar cortex

the surface of the cerebellum

Purkinje cells

flat, 2-D cells in sequential planes, parallel to one another

Parallel fibers

axons parallel to one another and perpendicular to the planes of purkinje cells

Basal Ganglia
brain area that includes the caudate nucleus, putamen, and globus pallidus; important for spontaneous, self-initiated behaviors; critical for learning new movements and learning motor habits that are difficult to describe in words

Striatum or dorsal striatum

contains the caudate nucleus and putamen

globus pallidus

structure of basal ganglia that sends output to thalamus

Suprachaismatic Nucleus (SCN)

a part of the hypothalamus; the main driver of rhythms for sleep and body temperature; damage here: body's rhythm becomes erratic; neurons here will continue to produce circadian rhythms even if removed from brain/body; also helps direct the release of melatonin by the pineal gland

retinohypothalamic path

small branch of the optic nerve, that runs from the retina to the SCN -> alters SCN's settings due to ganglion cells in response to light;


released by the pineal gland; secreted mostly at night, making us sleepy; starts to increase 2 to 3 hours before bedtime


proteins that remain low during most of the day and begin to increase in evening; reach high levels at night promoting sleep; also feed back to inhibit the genes that produce them, so that their level delclines toward morning


a machine that records EEG and eye-movemtns to study sleep

alpha waves

waves characterized by relaxation, not of all wakefulness

Stage 2

Stage of sleep most characteristic with sleep spindles & K-complexes

sleep spindle

consists of 12-14 Hz waves during a burst that last at least half a second; result from oscillating interactions between cells in thalamus and cortex; most common in stage 2


a sharp wave associated with temporary inhibition of neuronal firing

Stages 3&4

Stages of sleep characterizied with decrease of heart rate, breathing, and brain acitivity with slow, large-amplitude waves; "slow-wave" sleep

Paradoxical/REM sleep

deep and light sleep; irregular, low-voltage fast waves; facial twitches & eye movements; most common towards morning

Sleep Cycle

1 - 2 - 3 - 4 - 3 -2 - REM (90min)

reticular formation

structure that extends from medulla into forebrain; contributes to cortical arousal


part of reticular formation release acetylcholine and glutamate to exit cells in hypothalamus, thalamus, and basal forebrain; this helps maintain arousal during wakefulness

Locus coeruleus

small structure in the pons, usually inactive esp during sleep, but it emits bursts of impulses in response to meaningful events, especially those that produce emotional arousal; release norepinephrine throughout cortex; enhanced attention to important information and enhanced memory


enhances arousal and alertness, released by hypothalamus

Orexin or hypocretin

a peptide NT released by hypothalamus that helps you stay awake

Basal forebrain

area just anterior and dorsal to hypothalamus that release acetylcholine which is excitatory and tends to increase arousal ; released during REM and wakefulness; sharpens attention

Dorsal raphe and pons

releases serotonin, interrupts REM sleep

Sleep Apnea

impaired ability to breathe while sleeping; mostly obese men; due to genetics, hormones, old-age


condition characterized by frequent periods of sleepiness during the day; 1 in 1000 people; "attacks " of sleepiness; lack orexin

Periodic limb movement disorder

disorder characterized by repeated involuntary movement of legs and sometimes arms during sleep

REM behavioral disoreder

disorder in which people move around vigorously during REM periods, apparently acting out their dreams

Night terrors

experiences of intense anxiety from which a person awakens screaming in terror

PGO Waves

waves that begin in REM sleep; waves of brain activity transmitted from pons to lateral geniculate to the occipital lobe


disorder most common during slow-wave sleep (stages 3 &4); walking around while sleeping

activation-synthesis hypothesis

dream hypothesis that states that a dream represents the brain's effort to make sense of sparse and distorted information; based mostly on haphazard input originating in pons

clinico-anatomical hypothesis

dream hypothesis that states dreams originate mostly from the brain's own motivation, memories and arousal; the stimulation often produces peculiar results because it does not have to compete with normal visual input and does not get organized by prefrontal cortex


animals with this have their body temperature match the temperature of their environment; ex amphibians reptiles, most fish..; lack shivering and sweating so instead a lizard moves to a sunny place


mammals and birds display this quality; use physiological mechanisms to maintain a nearly constant core temperature despite changes in temperature of environment

Preoptic Area/Anterior hypothalamus (POA/AH)

receives sensory information and sends output to raphe nucleus, which controls physiological mechanisms such as shivering, sweating, changes in heart rate/metabolism and changes in blood flow to skin

raphe nucleus

receives information from POA/AH; controls physiological mechanisms such as shivering, sweating, changes in heart rate/metabolism and changes in blood flow to skin

negative feedback

reduces discrepancies from a set point


hormone released by pituitary gland that raises blood pressure by constricting blood vessels; enables kidneys to reabsorb water from urine and therefore make urine more concentrated

Osmotic thirst

thirst from eating salty foods; treatment: drink pure waater

Hypovolemic thirst

thirst due to loss of fluids; treatment: drink salty water

OVLT (organum vasculosum laminae terminalis) & SFO (subfornical organ)

2 types of receptors around third ventricle that detect osmotic pressure and sodium content of blood

supraoptic nucleus & Paraventricular nucleus (PVN)

2 structures control rate at which posterior pituitary releases vasopressin

Lateral preoptic area

area that controls drinking

Angiotensin II

constricts blood vessels, compensating for drop in blood pressure; helps trigger thirst


hormone produced by adrenal glands when the body's sodium reserves are low,; causes kidneys, salivary glands and sweat glands to retain salt

CCK (cholecystokinin)

constricts sphincter muscle between stomach and duodenum; stomach fills more quickly


enables glucose to enter the cells (except brain cells)


stimulates liver to convert some of its stored glycogen back to glucose ; released by pancreas


produced by healthy body's fat cells; signals to your brain about your fat reserves and indicates whether you have been overeating or undereating

arcurate nucleus of hypothalamus

structure that has one set of neurons sensitive to hunger signals and one set sensitive to satiety signals; damage can lead to either starvation or overeating


hormone released during food deprivation, where it triggers stomach contractions

Williams syndrome

disorder marked by poor self-care skills, attention, planning, numbers, visual-motor skills, and spatial perception. Relatively good at language, interpretation of facial expressions, some aspects of music


language impairment

Broca's area

language production area in brain; left hemisphere

Broca's aphasia, nonfluent aphasia

when brain damage impairs language production