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Gen Psych 2


Neuron A nerve cell, the basic building block of the nervous system.
Dendrite The busy, branching extensions of a neuron that receive messages and conduct impulses towards 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.
Action Potential A neural impulse; a brief electrical charge that travels down an axon.
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.
Synaptic gap The gap between the axon and dendrite.
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 whether that neuron, thereby influencing whether that neuron will impulse.
Endorphins "morphine within" - natural opiatelike neurotransmitters linked to pain control and to pleasure.
Acetylcholine (ACh) Enables muscle action, learning and memory.
As ACh producing neurons deteriorate... ...Alzheimer's disease can develop.
Dopamine Influences movement, learning, attention and emotion.
Excess dopamine is linked to... ...schizophrenia.
Very small amounts of dopamine is linked to... ...Parkinson's disease.
Serotonin Affects mood, hunger, sleep and arousal.
Not enough of serotonin can lead to... ...depression
Norepinephrine Helps control alertness and arousal.
Not enough of norepinephrine can lead to... ...depression.
GABA (gamma aminobutyric acid) A major inhibitory neurotransmitter.
Not enough of GABA can lead to... ...seizures, tremors and insomnia.
Glutamate A major excitatory neurotransmitter, invovlved in memory.
Too much Glutamate can lead to... ...production of migraines or seizures.
Agonists... ...excites.
Antagonists... ...inhibit.
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 The brain and spinal cord.
Peripheral nervous system The sensory and motor neurons that connect the CNS 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.
Motor neurons Neurons that carry outgoing information from the central nervous system to the muscles and glands.
Interneurons Central nervous system neruons 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 the peripheral nervous system that controls the glands and the muscles of the internal organs.
Sympathetic Nervous system The division of the autonomic nervous system that arouses the body, mobilizing its energy in stressful situation.
Paraympathetic Nervous system the division of the autonomic nervous system that calms the body, conserving its energy.
Reflex a simple automatic response to a sensory stimulus, such as the knee jerk response.
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. The adrenals secrete the kidneys. The adrenals secrete the hormones epinephrine (adrenaline) and nonrepinephrine (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 gland regulates growth and controls over endocrine glands.
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.
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 cerebellum and medulla.
Reticular formation A nerve network in the brainstem that plays an important role that controlling arousal.
Cerebellum the "little" brain, attached to the rear of the brainstem, its functions include processing sensory input and coordinating movements output and balance.
Limbic system A doughnut-shaped system of neural structures below the cerebral hemispheres. Associated with emotions such as fear and agression. Includes the hippocampus, amygdala and hypothalamus.
Amygdala two lima bean sized neural clusters that 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 intriciate fabric of interconnected neural cells that covers the cerebral hemispheres, the body's ultimate control and information processing center.
Frontal lobes the portion of the cerebral cortex lying just behind the forehead; involved in speaking and muscle movements and 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 hte head; includes the visual areas, each receiving information from the opposite visual field.
Temporal lobes The portion of the cerebral cortex lying roughly above the ears; includes the auditory areas, each receiving information primarily from the opposite ear.
Motor cortex an area at the rear of the frontal lobes that control voluntary movements.
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.
Sensory cortex The area at the front of the parietal lobes that regesters and processes body touch and movement sensations.
Aphasia impairment of language, usually caused by left hemisphere damage to either Broca's area or 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.
Plasticity the brain's capacity for modification, as evident in brain reorganization following damage (especially in children) and in experiements on the effects of experience on brain development.
Corpus callosum the large band of neural fibers connecting the two brain hemisphere and carrying messages between them.
Split brain a condition in which the brain's two hemispheres are isolated by cutting the fibers that connecting them.
Created by: tasteyourtears34
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