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biological structures of the brain

action potential electrical signal that moves down the neuron’s axon
adrenal gland sits atop our kidneys and secretes hormones involved in the stress response
agonist drug that mimics or strengthens the effects of a neurotransmitter
all-or-none phenomenon that incoming signal from another neuron is either sufficient or insufficient to reach the threshold of excitation
allele specific version of a gene
amygdala structure in the limbic system involved in our experience of emotion and tying emotional meaning to our memories
antagonist drug that blocks or impedes the normal activity of a given neurotransmitter
auditory cortex strip of cortex in the temporal lobe that is responsible for processing auditory information
autonomic nervous system controls our internal organs and glands
axon major extension of soma
biological perspective view that psychological disorders like depression and schizophrenia are associated with imbalances in one or more neurotransmitter systems
Broca’s area region in the left hemisphere that is essential for language production
CNS brain and spinal cord
cerebellum hindbrain structure that controls our balance, coordination, movement, and motor skills, and it is thought to be important in processing some types of memory
cerebral cortex surface of the brain that is associated with our highest mental capabilities
chromosome long strand of genetic information
computerized tomography (CT) scan imaging technique in which a computer coordinates and integrates multiple x-rays of a given area
corpus callosum thick band of neural fibers connecting the brain’s two hemispheres
dendrite branch-like extension of the soma that receives incoming signals from other neurons
deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) helix-shaped molecule made of nucleotide base pairs
diabetes disease related to insufficient insulin production
dominant allele allele whose phenotype will be expressed in an individual that possesses that allele
electroencephalography (EEG) recording the electrical activity of the brain via electrodes on the scalp
endocrine system series of glands that produce chemical substances known as hormones
epigenetics study of gene-environment interactions, such as how the same genotype leads to different phenotypes
fight or flight response activation of the sympathetic division of the autonomic nervous system, allowing access to energy reserves and heightened sensory capacity so that we might fight off a given threat or run away to safety
forebrain largest part of the brain, containing the cerebral cortex, the thalamus, and the limbic system, among other structures
fraternal twins twins who develop from two different eggs fertilized by different sperm, so their genetic material varies the same as in non-twin siblings
frontal lobe part of the cerebral cortex involved in reasoning, motor control, emotion, and language; contains motor cortex
functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) MRI that shows changes in metabolic activity over time
gene sequence of DNA
genetic environmental correlation view of gene-environment interaction that asserts our genes affect our environment, and our environment influences the expression of our genes
genotype genetic makeup of an individual
glial cell nervous system cell that provides physical and metabolic support to neurons, including neuronal insulation and communication, and nutrient and waste transport
gonad secretes sexual hormones, which are important for successful reproduction, and mediate both sexual motivation and behavior
gyrus bump or ridge in cerebral cortex
hemisphere left or right side of brain
heterozygous consisting of two different alleles
hindbrain division of the brain containing medulla, pons, and cerebellum
hippocampus structure in the temporal lobe associated with learning and memory
homeostasis state of equilibrium
homozygous consisting of two identical alleles
hormone chemical messenger released by endocrine glands
hypothalamus forebrain structure that regulates sexual motivation and behavior and a number of homeostatic processes; serves as an interface between the nervous system and the endocrine system
identical twins twins that develop from the same sperm and egg
lateralization concept that each hemisphere of the brain is associated with specialized functions
limbic system collection of structures involved in processing emotion and memory
longitudinal fissure deep groove in the brain’s cortex
MRI magnetic fields used to produce a picture of the tissue being imaged
medulla hindbrain structure that controls automated processes like breathing, blood pressure, and heart rate
membrane potential difference in charge across the neuronal membrane
midbrain division of the brain located between the forebrain and the hindbrain; contains the reticular formation
motor cortex strip of cortex involved in planning and coordinating movement
mutation sudden, permanent change in a gene
myelin sheath fatty substance that insulates axons
neuron cells in the nervous system that act as interconnected information processors, which are essential for all of the tasks of the nervous system
neuroplasticity nervous system's ability to change
neurotransmitter chemical messenger of the nervous system
Nodes of Ranvier open spaces that are found in the myelin sheath that encases the axon
occipital lobe part of the cerebral cortex associated with visual processing; contains the primary visual cortex
pancreas secretes hormones that regulate blood sugar
parasympathetic nervous system associated with routine, day-to-day operations of the body
parietal lobe part of the cerebral cortex involved in processing various sensory and perceptual information; contains the primary somatosensory cortex
PNS connects the brain and spinal cord to the muscles, organs and senses in the periphery of the body
phenotype individual’s inheritable physical characteristics
pituitary gland secretes a number of key hormones, which regulate fluid levels in the body, and a number of messenger hormones, which direct the activity of other glands in the endocrine system
polygenic multiple genes affecting a given trait
pons hindbrain structure that connects the brain and spinal cord; involved in regulating brain activity during sleep
positron emission tomography (PET) scan involves injecting individuals with a mildly radioactive substance and monitoring changes in blood flow to different regions of the brain
prefrontal cortex area in the frontal lobe responsible for higher-level cognitive functioning
psychotropic medication drugs that treat psychiatric symptoms by restoring neurotransmitter balance
range of reaction asserts our genes set the boundaries within which we can operate, and our environment interacts with the genes to determine where in that range we will fall
receptor protein on the cell surface where neurotransmitters attach
recessive allele allele whose phenotype will be expressed only if an individual is homozygous for that allele
resting potential the state of readiness of a neuron membrane’s potential between signals
reticular formation midbrain structure important in regulating the sleep/wake cycle, arousal, alertness, and motor activity
reuptake neurotransmitter is pumped back into the neuron that released it
semipermeable membrane cell membrane that allows smaller molecules or molecules without an electrical charge to pass through it, while stopping larger or highly charged molecules
soma cell body
somatic nervous system relays sensory and motor information to and from the CNS
somatosensory cortex essential for processing sensory information from across the body, such as touch, temperature, and pain
substantia nigra midbrain structure where dopamine is produced; involved in control of movement
sulcus depressions or grooves in the cerebral cortex
sympathetic nervous system involved in stress-related activities and functions
synaptic cleft small gap between two neurons where communication occurs
synaptic vesicle storage site for neurotransmitters
temporal lobe part of cerebral cortex associated with hearing, memory, emotion, and some aspects of language; contains primary auditory cortex
terminal button axon terminal containing synaptic vesicles
thalamus sensory relay for the brain
threshold of excitation level of charge in the membrane that causes the neuron to become active
ventral tegmental area (VTA) midbrain structure where dopamine is produced: associated with mood, reward, and addiction
Wernicke’s area important for speech comprehension
Created by: kayty
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