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Psych Ch.2

Neuroscience and Behavior

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 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
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, they travel across the synapse and bind to receptor sites on the receiving neuron, influencing whether that neuron will generate a neural impulse
acetylcholine a neurotransmitter that, among its funtions, triggers muscles contraction
endorphines "morphine within" - natural, opiatelike neurotransmitters linked to pain control and to pleasure
nervous system the bosy's speedy, electrochemical communication system, consisting of all 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
Created by: Ascuba