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AP Psych Unit 2

Chapter 2: Neuroscience and Behavior

TermDefinition
Biological psychology A branch of psychology concerned with the links between biology and behavior
Neurons A nerve cell: the basic building block of the nervous system that always has 4 parts and might have a 5th part.
Dendrites the bushy, branching extensions of a neuron that receive messages and conduct impulses toward 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 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
Action potential A neural impulse; a brief electrical charge that travels down an axon. The action potential is generated by the movement of positively charged atoms in and out of channels in the axon's membrane.
Resting potential When all of the negative ions are on the inside of the axon membrane and all of the positive ions are on the outside of the axon membrane. In order to receive an action potential the axon must first be in resting potential
Terminal Branches (Terminal Buttons) The branching ends of the axons that contain the vesicles and neurotransmitters that cross and stimulate the dendrites of the next neuron
Selectively permeable The membrane of the axon is selectively permeable and it is selective about what particles it allows in
Refractory Period Is the period where the neuron resets itself by pushing all of the positive ions out so that it can receive the next action potential. Must have this resetting period otherwise the neuron can NOT receive another message.
Threshold The level of stimulation required to trigger an impulse
All-or-none response Neurons either fire or they don't. They fire if they surpass the threshold, if not nothing happens.
Synapse The junction between the axon tip of a sending neuron and the dendrite of the receiving neuron
Neurotransmitters Chemical messengers that traverse the synaptic gaps between neurons. When released by the sending neurons, they travel across the synapse and bind to the receptor sites on the receiving neuron, passing the message then they return to the original neuron
Reuptake Excess neurotransmitters are reabsorbed by the sending neuron after they have communicated with another neuron's dendrites.
Acetylcholine (ACh) Neurotransmitter is a neurotransmitter that enables muscle action, learning and memory, when it malfunctions it has been linked to Alzheimer's disisease
Dopamine Neurotransmitter that influences movement, learning, attention, and emotion. Excess dopamine has been linked to schizophrenia, and too little dopamine seems to be linked to Parkinson's disease
Serotonin Neurotransmitter that influences mood, hunger, sleep, and arousal, has been linked to depression
Norepinephrine Neurotransmitter that helps control alertness and arousal and a lack of this is connected to depressed mood.
GABA (gammaaminobutyric acid) Neurotransmitter that is inhibitory, without this you are at risk for seizures, tremors, and insomnia
Glutamate A major excitatory neurotransmitter; involved in memory, oversupply can overstimulate the brain
Endorphins Natural opiate-like neurotransmitters linked to pain control and to pleasure
Agonists Are excitatory. An agonist molecule MIMICS a neurotransmitters effects or blocks reuptake
Antagonists Are inhibitory. They prevent a neurotransmitter's release or occupy and BLOCK the receptor site not allowing anything to touch
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 (CNS) the brain and spinal cord
Peripheral Nervous System (PNS) 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 a 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.
Autonomic Nervous System the part of peripheral nervous system that controls the glands and the muscles of the internal organs. It has both the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous system
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 energy
Reflex A simple, autonomic, 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.
Endocrine System The body's "slow" chemical communication system; a set of glands that secrete hormones into the bloodstream
Hormones Chemical messengers, mostly those manufactured by the endocrine glands, that are produced in one tissue and affect another
Adrenal Glands Part of the endocrine system that are located just above the kidneys and control the fight or flight response.
Pituitary Gland Part of the endocrine system that regulates growth and is the master gland
Hyptothalamus Brain region that controls the pituitary gland, it is the connection between the central nervous system and the endocrine system
Thyroid Gland Part of the endocrine system that affects the metabolism
Parathyroids Part of the endocrine system that helps regulate the level of calcium in your blood
Pancreas Part of the endocrine system that regulates the level of sugar in the blood
Electroencephalogram (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
Positron Emission Tomography (PET) A visual display of brain activity that detects where a radioactive form of glucose goes while the brain performs a given task
Magnetic Resonance Imaging (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
Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (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
Brainstem The part that fuses the spinal cord to the brain, it is responsible for automatic survival functions. Is composed of the Medulla, Reticular Formation, and the Pons
Medulla the base of the brainstem that controls the heartbeat and breathing
Reticular Formation A nerve network on the inside of the brainstem that plays an important role in controlling arousal (conscious awareness not bow chicka wow, wow :P)
Pons The Pons is an outer coating of the brain stem that sits above the medulla. It links the medulla and the thalamus, it helps control muscle movement, it is important for controlling alertness
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 crebellum and medulla
Cerebellum the "little brain" that is attached to the rear of the brainstem; its functions include processing sensory input and coordinating movement output and balance
Limbic System System in the brain that is associated with strong emotions and drives for things such as food and sex. The parts of the limbic system are the: hippocampus, amygdala, and hypothalamus.
Amygdala Two lima bean shaped clusters that are a part of the limbic system and are associated with strong emotions like fear and anger
Hypothalamus A neural structure lying below the thalamus; it directs several maintenance activities, helps govern the endocrine system via the pituitary gland, and is linked to emotion.
Hippocampus Part of the Limbic system that processes explicit and declarative memory also known as episodic memory that is fact and personal experience based
Cerebral Cortex the intricate fabric of interconnected neural cells that covers the cerebral hemispheres; the body's ultimate control and information processing center
Glial Cells Cells in the nervous system that support, nourish, and protect neurons
Frontal Lobes the portion of the cerebral cortex that is involved in speaking and muscle movements and in making plans and judgements
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
Occipital Lobes the portion of the cerebral cortex lying at the back of the head; includes the visual areas, which receive visual information from the opposite visual field
Temporal Lobes the portion of the cerebral cortex lying roughly above the ears; includes the auditory areas, each of which receives auditory information
Motor Cortex an area at the rear of the frontal lobes tha controls voluntary movements
Sensory Cortex the 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
Aphasia Impairment of language, usually caused by left hemisphere damage either to Broca's area or to Wernicke's area
Broca's Area Controls language expression- an area of the frontal lobe, usually in the left hemisphere, 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
Angular Gyrus Transforms visual representations into an auditory code
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 the corpus callosum) between them.
Cell Body (Soma) The cell body is responsible for passing important messages from the dendrites of the cell down to the axon.
Ions Are chemically charged particles
Depolarize When an action potential (brief electrical charge) hits the axon the membrane gets confused and lets in positively charged ions temporarily depolarizing the axon. The particles rush in quickly and then are quickly pushed back out of the axon.
Excitatory signals Most signals that enter a cell are excitatory they push a neuron to send a message. If an excitatory signal exceeds the neuron's threshold an action potential will fire
Inhibitory signals These signals push a neuron to not send a message. Inhibitory signals prevent a neuron from reaching the threshold and prevent the sending of an action potential.
Synaptic gap (cleft) Is the space between the terminal branches/terminal buttons of one axon and the dendrites of the next neuron. Neurotransmitters leave the branches, cross the synaptic gap, stimulate the next dendrite, then return to the branches.
Epinephrine and norepinephrine Also called adrenaline and noradrenaline. These are hormones secreted by the adrenal glands. Normally the Autonomic Nervous System sends a message for these hormones to be secreted in cases where the Sympathetic Nervous System is engaged.
Lesion To surgically remove brain tissue
Neurogenesis The formation of new neurons
Lateralization The idea that the left hemisphere of the cerebral cortex and the right hemisphere of the cerebral cortex have different functions
Roger Sperry & Michael Gazzaniga The two psychologists who are most famous for performing split brain surgeries in which the corpus callosum is severed.
Polarized In resting potential an axon is polarized meaning all of the positively charged particles are on the outside of the axon and all of the negatively charged particles are on the inside of the axon.
Created by: thompsonce