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Myers 9 Chapter 2

Bell West / The Biology of Mind

QuestionAnswer
Biological psychology a branch of psychology concerned with links between biology and behavior.
Neuron a nerve cell; the basic building block of the nervous system.
Sensory neurons neurons that carry incoming information from the sensory receptors to the brain and spinal cord.
Motor neurons neurons that carry outgoing information from the brain and spinal cord to the muscles and glands.
interneurons neurons within the brain and spinal cord that communicate internally and intervene between the sensory inputs and motor outputs.
dendrite the bushy, branching extensions of a neuron that receive messages and conduct impluses towrd the cell body.
axon the extension of a neuron, ending in branching terminal fibers, through which messages pass to other neurons or to muscles or glands.
myelin a layer of fatty tissue segmentally encasing the fibers of many neurons; enables vastly greater trnsmission speed of neural impluses as the impluse hops from one node to the next.
action potenial a neural impluse; a brief electrical charge that travels down an axon.
threshold the level of stimulation required to trigger a neural impluse.
synapse the junction between the axon tip of the sending neuron and the dendrite or cell body of the receiving neuron. the tiny gap at this junction is called the synaptic gap or synaptic cleft.
neutransmitters Chemical messengers that cross 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 a
reuptake a neurotransmitter's reabsorption by the sending neuron.
endorphins "morphine within"-natural, opirtelike neurotransmitter linked to pain control and to pleasure.
nervous system the body's speedy electrochemical communication network, consisting of all the nerve cells of the peripheral and central nervous systems.
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 bundled axons that form neural "cables" connecting the central nervous system with muscles, glands, and sense organs.
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 sytem 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 response to a sensory stimulus, such as the knee-jerk response.
endocrine system the body's "slow" chemical communication system; a set of glands that secrete hormones into the bloodstream.
hormones chemical messengers that are manufactured by the endocrine glands, travel through the bloodstream, and affect other tissues.
adrenal glands a pair of endocrine glands that sit just above the kidneys and secrete hormones (epinephrine and norepinephrine) that help arouse the body in times of stress.
pituitary gland the endocrine system's most influential gland. Under the influence of the hypothalamus, the pituitary regulates growth and controls other endocrine glands.
lesion tissue destruction. A brain lesion is a naturally or experimentally caused destructuion of brain tissue.
electrocephalogram (EEG) 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 (positron emission tomography)scan a visual display that detects where a radioactive form of glucose while the brain performs a given task.
MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) a technique that uses magnetic fields and radio waves to produce computergenerated images of soft tissue. MRI scans show brain anatomy.
fMRI (functional magnetic resonance imaging) a technique for revealing bloodflow and, therefore, brain activity by comparing sucessive MRI scans. fMRI scans show brain function.
brainstem the oldest part and central core of the brain, beginning where the spinal cord swells as it enters the skull; the brainstem is responsible for automatic survival functions.
medulla base of the brainstem;controls heartbeat and breathing
reticular formation A nerve network in the brainstem that plays an important role in controlling
thalamus the brain's sensory switchboard,located on top of the brainstem; it directs messages to the sensory receiving areas in the cortex and transmits replies to the cerebellum and medulla.
cerebellum The "little brain" at the rear of the brainstem; functions include processing sensory input and coordinating movement output and balance.
limbic system neural system (including the hippocampus, amygdala, and hypothalamus) located below the cerebral hemispheres; associated with emotions and drives
amygdala two lima bean-sized neural clusters in the limbic system; linked to emotion
hypothalamus A neural structure lying below (hypo) the thalamus; it directs several maintance activities( eating, drinking, body temp) helps govern the endocrine system via the pituitary gland, and is linked to emotion and reward.
cerebal cortex The intricate fabric of interconnected neural cells covering the cerebral hemispheres the bodys ultimate control and information-processing center
glial cells cells in the nervous system that suport, nourish, and protect neurons.
frontal lobes Portion of the cerebral cortex lying just behind the forehead; involved in speaking and muscle mivements and in making plans and judgements
parietal lobes Portion of the cerebral cortex lying at the top of the head and towrd 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 receieve 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 senssations.
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.
plasticity the brain's ability to change, especially during childhood, by reorganizing after damage or by building new pathways based on experience.
neurogenesis 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 (mainly those of the corpus callosum) connecting them.
Created by: rkratina on 2011-10-03



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