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AP Psych Ch 2 Vocab

Psychology Eighth Edition by David G. Myers

Biological Psychology A Branch of psychology concerned with the links between biology and behavior (Some biological psychologists call themselves behavioral neuroscientists, neurophysiologists, behavior geneticists, psychological psychologists, or biopsychologists)
Franz Gall German physician who invented phrenology, the popular but ill-fated theory that claimed bumps on the skull could reveal our mental abilities and our character traits
Neurotransmission Dendrites to cell body to axon
Neuron A nerve cell; basic building block of the nervous system
Soma Cell Body
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 muscle or glands
Terminal Branches Extend off of the axon to receiving dendrites
Mylin 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
Firing Period The period in which a neuron has met a threshold and is in action
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
Resting Potential The time when a neuron is not in use and has a threshold of -.7
Refractory Period .2 m/s resting between each firing period
Depolarization Met threshold for action potential to occur
Hyperpolarization Farther away from threshold - less likely to fire
All-Or-None Response the strength of an action potential doesn't matter, either the neuron fires or it doesn't
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 syncaptic gap or cleft
Neurotransmitters Chemical messengers that go across 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
Acetycholine A neurotransmitter that enables learning and memory and also triggers muscle contraction. With Alzheimer's disease, Ach-producing neurons deteriorate
Dopamine Influences movement, learning, attention, and emotion. Excess dopamine receptor activity linked to schizophrenia. Starved of dopamine, the brain produces the tremors and decreased mobility of Parkinson's disease
Serotonin Affects mood, hunger, sleep, and arousal. Under supply linked with depression; Prozac and some other antidepressant drugs raise serotonin levels
Norepinephrine Helps control alertness and arousal. Under supply can depress mood.
GABA (gamma-aminobutyric acid) A major inhibitory neurotransmitter. Under supply linked with seizures, tremors, and insomnia
Glutamate A major excitatory neurotransmitter, involved in memory. Over supply can overstimulate brain, producing migraines or seizures (which is why some people avoid MSG, monosodium glutamate, in food)
Receptor Site The location of the dendrites that receive the neurotransmitters from an axon
Endorphins "morphine within" - natural, opiate-like neurotransmitters linked to pain control and to pleasure
Vesicles Contain neurotransmitters until time of release
Agonist Mimics neurotransmitter - excites molecule
Antagonist Blocks neurotransmitter - inhibits molecule
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 (CNS) The brain and spinal cord
Brain The part of the central nervous system enclosed in the cranium of humans and other vertebrates, consisting of a soft, convoluted mass of gray and white matter and serving to control and coordinate the mental and physical actions
Spinal Cord The cord of nerve tissue extending through the spinal canal of the spinal column
Peripheral Nervous System The sensory and motor neurons that connect the central nervous system to the rest of the body
Automatic Nervous System The part of the peripheral nervous system that controls the glands and the muscles of the internal organs (such as the heart). Its sympathetic division arouses, its parasympathetic division calms
Somatic Nervous System The division of the peripheral nervous system that controls the body's skeletal muscles. Also called the skeletal nervous system
Sympathetic Nervous System The division of the automatic 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
Nerves Neural "cables" containing many axons. These bundled axons which are a part of the peripheral nervous system, connect the central nervous system with muscles, glands, and sense organs.
Sensory Neurons Any neuron having its cell body, axon, and dendrites entire within the central nervous system, especially one that conveys impulses between a motor neuron and a sensory neuron
Motor Neurons Neurons that carry outgoing information from the central nervous system to the muscles and glands
Interneurons Central nervous system neurons that internally communicate and intervene between the sensory inputs and motor outputs
Neural Networks Interconnected neural cells. With experience, networks can learn as feedback strengthens or inhibits connections that produce certain results. Computer stimulation of neural networks show analogous learning
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 Adrenal glands secrete the hormones epinephrine (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 control other endocrine glands.
Discovery Tools Tools used to discover processes/ parts of the brain
Lesion Tissue destruction. A brain lesion is a naturally or experimentally cased destruction of brain tissue
Electroencephalogram (EEG) 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.
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
fMRI (Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging A technique for revealing blood flow, and therefore, brain activity by comparing successive MRI scans. MRI scans show brain anatomy; MRI scans show brain anatomy fMRI scans show brain function
Brain stem The oldest part and central core of the brain, beginning where the spinal cord swells as it enters the skull; the brain stem is responsible for automatic survival functions
Medulla The base of the brain stem; controls heartbeat and breathing
Reticular Formation A nerve network in the brain stem that plays an important role in controlling arousal
Pons A brand of nerve fibers in the brain connecting the lobes of the midbrain, medulla, and the cerebrum
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
Cerebellum The "little brain" attached to the rear of the brainstem; it functions include processing sensory input and coordinating movement output 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 for food and sex. Includes 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
Hippocampus An enfolding of cerebral cortex into the lateral fissure of a cerebral hemisphere, having the shape in cross section of a sea horse
Cerebral Cortex The intricate fabric of interconnected neural cells that covers the cerebral hemispheres; the body's ultimate control and 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 judgement.
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 the head; includes the visual areas, which receive visual information from the opposite visual field.
Temporal Lobe 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 the body touch and movement sensations.
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.
Aphasia Impairment of language, usually caused by left hemisphere damage either to Broca’s area (impairing speaking) or to 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 Area Controls language reception, a brain area involved in language comprehension and expression; usually in the left temporal lobe.
Visual Cortex portion of the cerebral cortex that receives and processes impulses from the optic nerves.
Angular Gyrus The cerebral gyrus of the posterior part of the external surface of the parietal lobe that arches over the posterior end of the sulcus between the superior and middle gyri of the temporal lobe called also angular convolution.
Plasticity The brain’s capacity for modification, as evident in brain reorganization following damage (especially in children) and in experiments on the effects of experience on brain development.
Corpus Callosum The large band of neural fibers connecting the two brain hemispheres and carrying messages between them.
Left Hemisphere Controls right side, logic, language, analytical.
Right Hemisphere Controls left side, art, creativeness, music, intuitive.
Split Brain A condition in which the two hemispheres of the brain are isolated by cutting the connecting fibers (mainly those of the corpus callosum) between them.
Created by: BrandonMush
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