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Ch 2 Psychology

Ch 2 Psychology Terms and Definitions

Nervous System An extensive network of specialized cells that carry information to and from all parts of the body
Neuron The basic cell that makes up the nervous system, which receives and sends messages within that system
Dendrites Branch-like structures that receive messages from other neurons
Soma The cell body of the neuron, responsible for maintaining the life of the cell
Axon Long tube-like structure that carries the neural message to other cells
Glial Cells Grey fatty cells that provide support for the neurons to grow on and around, deliver nutrients to neurons, produce myelin to coat axons, and clean up waste products and dead neurons
Myelin Fatty substances produced by certain glial cells that coat the axons of neurons to insulate, protect, and speed up the neural impulse.
Action Potential The release of the neural impulse consisting of a reversal of the electrical charge within the axon
Resting Potential The state of the neuron when not firing a neural impulse
All-Or-None Referring to the fact that a neuron either fires completely or does not fire at all
Axon Terminals Branches at the end of the axon
Neurotransmitter Chemical found in the synaptic vesicles which, when released, has an effect on the cell
Synaptic Vesicles Sack-like structures found inside the synaptic knob containing chemicals
Synaptic Gap Microscopic fluid-filled space between the rounded areas on the end of the axon terminals of one cell and the dendrites or surface of the next cell
Reuptake Process by which neurotransmitters are taken back into the synaptic vesicles
Excitatory Neurotransmitter Neurotransmitter that causes the receiving cell to fire
Inhibitory Neurotransmitter Neurotransmitter that causes the receiving cell to stop firing
Agonists Chemical substances that mimic or enhance the effects of a neurotransmitter on the receptor sites of the next cell, increasing or decreasing the activity of that cell
Antagonists Chemical substances that block or reduce a cell's response to the action of other chemicals or neurotransmitters
Acetylcholine The first transmitter to be discovered. Found to regulate memories in the CNS and the action of skeletal and smooth muscles in the PNS
GABA Abbreviation for gamma-aminobutyric acid, the major inhibitory neurotransmitter in the brain
Serotonin Neurotransmitter involved in pain disorders and emotional perceptions, is also known as 5-hydroxytryptamine (5-HT)
Dopamine Neurotransmitter that regulates movement, balance and walking and is involved in the disorders schizophrenia and Parkinson's disease
Endorphin Neurotransmitter that is found naturally in the body and works to block pain and elevate mood. It is chemically similar to morphine and its name is sort for "endogenous morphine"
Central Nervous System (CNS) Part of the nervous system consisting of the brain and spinal cord
Spinal Cord A long bundle of neurons that carries messages to and from the body to the brain and that is responsible for very fast, life-saving reflexes
Sensory Neuron A neuron that carries information from the senses to the central nervous system. Also called afferent neuron
Motor Neuron A neuron that carries messages from the central nervous system to the muscles of the body. Also call efferent neuron
Interneuron A neuron found in the center of the spinal cord that receives information from the sensory neurons and sends commands to the muscles through motor neurons. Interneurons also make up the bulk of the neurons in the brain
Peripheral Nervous System (PNS) All nerves and neurons that are not contained in the brain and spinal cord but run through the body itself
Somatic Nervous System Division of the PNS consisting of nerves that carry information from the senses to the CNS and from the CNS to the voluntary muscles of the body
Autonomic Nervous System Division of the PNS consisting of nerves that control all of the involuntary muscles, organs, and glands
Sympathetic Division Part of the autonomic nervous system that is responsible for reacting to stressful events and bodily arousal. Also known as the fight-or-flight system
Parasympathetic Division Part of the autonomic system that restores the body to normal functioning after arousal and is responsible for the day-to-day functioning of the organs and glands. Sometimes referred to as the rest-and-digest system
Brainstem Section of the brain that connects directly to the spinal cord and regulates vital functions such as breathing, the heart, reflexes and level of alertness
Cortex Outermost covering of the brain consisting of densely packed neurons, responsible for higher thought processes and interpretation of sensory input
Medulla The first large swelling at the top of the spinal cord, forming the lowest part of the brain, which is responsible for life-sustaining functions such as breathing, swallowing, and heart rate
Pons The larger swelling above the medulla, which connects the top of the brain to the bottom, and plays a part in sleep, dreaming, left-right body coordination, and arousal
Reticular Formation An area of neurons running through the middle of the medulla and the pons and slightly beyond, responsible for selective attention
Cerebellum Part of the lower brain located behind the pons that controls and coordinates involuntary, rapid, fine motor movement
Limbic System A group of several brain structures located under the cortex and involved in learning, emotion, memory, and motivation
Thalamus Part of the limbic system located in the center of the brain, this structure relays sensory information from the lower part of the brain to the proper areas of the cortex, and processes some sensory information before sending it to its proper area
Hypothalamus Small structure in the brain located below the thalamus and directly above the pituitary gland, responsible for motivational behavior such as sleep, hunger, thirst, and sex
Hippocampus Curved structure located within each temporal lobe, responsible for the formation of long term memories and the storage of memory for location of objects
Amygdala Brain structure located near the hippocampus, responsible for fear responses and memory of fear
Cerebral Hemispheres The two sections of the cortex on the left and right sides of the brain
Corpus Callosum Thick band of neurons that connects the right and left cerebral hemispheres
Occipital Lobes Sections of the brain located at the rear and bottom of each cerebral hemisphere, containing the visual centers of the brain
Parietal Lobes Sections of the brain located at the top and back of each cerebral hemisphere, containing the centers for touch, taste, and temperature sensations
Temporal Lobes Areas of the corex located just behind the temples, containing the neurons responsible for the sense of hearing and meaningful speech
Frontal Lobes Areas of the cortex located in the front and top of the brain, responsible for higher mental processes and decision making, as well as the production of fluent speech
Association Areas Areas within each lobe of the cortex responsible for the coordination and interpretation of information, as well as higher mental processing
Broca's Area Association area of the brain located in the frontal lobe that is responsible for language production and language processing
Wernicke's Area Association area of the brain in the temporal lobe that has been found to be involved in the comprehension of spoken language
Endocrine Glands Glands that secrete chemicals called hormones directly into the bloodstream
Hormones Chemicals released into the bloodstream by endocrine glands
Pituitary Gland Gland located in the brain that secretes human growth hormone and influences all other hormone-secreting glands (also known as the master gland)
Pineal Gland Endocrine gland located near the base of the cerebrum that secretes melatonin
Thyroid Gland Endocrine gland found in the neck that regulates metabolism
Pancreas Endocrine gland that controls the levels of sugar in the blood
Adrenal Glands Endocrine glands located on the top of each kidney that secrete over thirty different hormones to deal with stress, regulate salt intake, and provide a secondary source of sex hormones affecting the sexual changes that occur during adolescence
Created by: ANursingStudent
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