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AP Psych Myers-2

AP Psychology Biological Basis of Behavior Part One

QuestionAnswer
action potential a neural impulse - a brief electrical charge that travels down an axon
aphasia impairment of language - usually cause by left hemisphere damage either to Broca's area or to Wernicke's area.
association areas areas of the cerebral cortext that are not involved in primary motor or sensory functions - rather, they are involved in higher mental functions such as learning - remembering - thinking - speaking
axon the extension of a neuron - ending in branching terminal fibers, through which messages pass to other neurons or to muscles or glands.
Biological Psychology branch of psychology concerned with the links between biology and behavior.
brainstem the oldest part and central core of the brain - beginning where the spinal cord swells as it enters the skull; the brainstem is repsonsible for automatic survival functions.
cerebellum the part of the brain at the back of the head that controls the activity of the muscles.
cerebral cortex the intricate fabric of interconnected neural cells that covers the cerebral hemispheres - the body's ultimate control and information processing center.
dendrite the bushy branching extensions of a neuron that receive messages and conduct impulses toward the cell body.
frontal lobes the portion of the cerebral cortex lying just behid the forehead - involved in speaking and muscle movements and in amking plans and judgments.
glial cells glial cells-cells in the nervous system that support nourish and protect neurons.
hormones chemical messengers released mostly by endocrine system - They travel through blood stream and affect other tissues.
Lesion means the tissue destruction - A brain lesion reffers to a naturally or experimentally damaged or removed brain.
nervous system the body's speedy electrochemical communication network consisting of all the nerve cells of the peripheral and central nervous system
neuron a nerve cell - the basic buidling block of the nervous system.
neuroscience the field of study encompassing the various scientific disciplines dealing with the structure development function chemistry pharmacology and pathology of the nervous system.
parietal lobes the portion of the cerebral cortex lying at the top of the head and toward the rear - receives sensory input for touch and body position.
reticular formation a nerve netwrok in the brainstem that plays an important role in controlling arousal.
sensory cortex the area at the front of the parietal lobes that registers and processes body touch and movement sensations.
synapse a region where nerve impulses are transmitted and received - encompassing the axon terminal of a neuron that releases neurotransmitters in response to an impulse - an extremely small gap across which the neurotransmitters travel, and the adjacent membrane
Wernicke's area controls language reception - a brain area invloved in language comprehension and expression - usually in the left temporal lobe.
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.
threshold the level of stimulation required to trigger a neural impulse.
adrenal glands This gland is located on the kidneys, they release hormones that trigger the body to respond to emergencies and high stress
hypothalamus The bridge between endocrine and nervous systems and contains body's thermostat and centers for regulating hunger and thirst
Ovary This is one of usually two organs that produce ova and secrete estrogen and progesterone
Pancreas This produces the hormones insulin and glucagon which control the level of glucose in the blood
Parathyroids Small glands in the neck that regulate calcium and phosphorous balance.
pituitary gland This produces hormones which regulate growth from infancy to adulthood and the amount of water in the blood
Testis This is one of the two male reproductive glands that produce spermatozoa and secrete androgens
Thyroid Gland This produces hormones that regulate metabolism, body heat, and bone growth
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.
threshold the level of stimulation required to trigger a neural impulse.
neurotransmitters 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
acetylcholine (ACh) a neurotransmitter that enables learning and memory and also triggers muscle contraction.
endorphins "morphine within"--natural, opiatelike neurotransmitters linked to pain control and to pleasure.
central nervous system the brain and spinal cord.
peripheral nervous system the sensory and motor neurons that connect the central nervous system (CNS) to the rest of the body.
nerves 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.
motor neurons neurons that carry outgoing information from the central nervous system to the muscles and glands.
interneurons central nervous system neurons that internally communicate and intervene between the sensory inputs and motor outputs.
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.
reflex a simple, automatic, inborn response to a sensory stimulus, such as the knee-jerk response.
neural networks interconnected neural cells. With experience, networks can learn, as feedback strengthens or inhibits connections that produce certain results. Computer simulations of neural networks show analogous learning.
endocrine system the body's "slow" chemical communication system; a set of glands that secrete hormones into the bloodstream.
electroencephalogram an amplified recording of the waves of electrical activity that sweep across the brain's surface. These waves are measured by electrodes placed on the scalp.
PET scan a visual display of brain activity that detects where a radioactive form of glucose goes while the brain performs a given task.
MRI a technique that uses magnetic fields and radio waves to produce computer-generated images that distinguish among different types of soft tissue; allows us to see structures within the brain.
fMRI a technique for revealing blood flow and, therefore, brain activity by comparing successive MRI scans. MRI scans show brain anatomy; fMRI scans show brain function.
medulla the base of the brainstem; controls heartbeat and breathing.
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 hypothalamus.
amygdala two lima bean-sized neural clusters that are components of the limbic system and are linked to emotion.
plasticity 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.
Created by: Doug Yost Doug Yost on 2010-05-06



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