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Psych Vocab Ch. Two

Vocabulary for AP Psychology Chapter Two

QuestionAnswer
biological psychology a branch of psychology concerned with the links between biology and behavior
neuron a nerve cell; the basic building block of the nervous system
dendrite 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 vastyl 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 charge atoms in and out of channels in the axon's membrane
threshold the level of stimulation required to trigger a neural impulse
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 cleft
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
acetylcholine a neurotransmitter that, among its functions, triggers muscle contraction
endorphins "morphine within" -- natural, opiatelike neurotransmitters linked to pain control and to pleasure
nervous system the body's speedy, electrochemical communication system, 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 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
interneurons central nervous system neurons that internally communicate and intervene between the sensory inputs and motor outputs
motor neurons neurons that carry outgoing information from the central nervous system to the muscles and glands
somatic nervous system the division of the peripheral nervous system that controls the body's skeletal muscles
autonomic nervous system the part of the peripheral nervous system that controls that 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.
lesion tissue destruction. A brain lesion is a naturally or experimentally caused destruction of brain tissue.
electroencephalogram (EEG)scan 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.
CT (computed tomography)scan a series of x-ray photographs taken from different angles and combined by computer into a composite representation of a slice through the body
PET (positron emission tomography)scan a visual display of brain activity that detects where a radioactive form of glucose goes while the brain performs a given task
MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) 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
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 the base of the brainstem; controls heartbeat and breathing
reticular formation a nerve network in the brainstem that plays an important role in controlling arousal
cerebellum the "little brain" attached to the rear of the brainstem; it helps coordinate voluntary movement and balance
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 or food and sex. Includes the hippocampus, amygdala, and hypothalamus.
amygdala two almond-shaped neural clusters tat are components of the limbic system and are linked to emotion
hypothalamus a neural structure lying below the thalamus; it directs several maintenance activities (eating, drinking, body temperature), helps govern the endocrine system via the pituitary gland, and is linked to emotion
cerebral cortex the intricate fabric of interconnected neural cells that covers the cerebral hemispheres; the body's ultimate control an information-processing center
glial cells cells in the nervous system that support, nourish, and protect neurons
frontal lobes the portion of the cerebral cortex lying just behind the forehead; involved in speaking and muscle movements and in making plans and judgments
parietal lobes the portion of the cerebral cortex lying at the top of the head and toward the rear; includes the sensory cortex
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 primarily from the opposite ear
motor cortex an area at the rear of the frontal lobes that controls voluntary movements
sensory cortex the area at the front of the parietal lobes that registers and processes body sensations
association areas areas of the cerebral cortex that are not involved in the 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 (imparing speaking) or the Wernicke's area (impairing understanding)
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 are controls language reception -- a rain area involved in language comprehension and expression; usually in the left temporal lobe
plasticity the brain's capacity for modification, as evident in brain reorganization following damage (especially in children) and in experiments on the effects of 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 between them
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 a pair of endocrine glands just above the kidneys. they adrenals secrete the hormones epinephrin (adrenaline) and norepinephrine (noradrenaline), which help to 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
Created by: bailee1435