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Module 7

Bellevue West Psychology Mod 7

neuron A nerve cell; the basic building block of the nervous system.
dendrite The bushy, branching extension of a neuron that receive messages and conduct impulses toward the cell body (soma).
soma The cell body of a neuron, which contains the nucleus and other parts that keep the cell healthy.
axon The extension of a neuron through which neural impulses are sent.
axon terminal The endpoint of a neuron, where neurotransmitters are stored.
action potential a neural impulse; a brief electrical charge that travels down the axon of a neuron.
refactory period The "recharging phase" when a neuron, after firing, cannot generate another action potential.
resting potential The state of a neuron when it is at rest and capable of generating an action potential.
synapse The tiny, fluid-filled gap between the axon terminal of one neuron and the dendrite of another.
neurotransmitter a chemical messenger that travels across the synaspe from one neuron to the next and influences whether a neuron will generate an action potential (impulse).
excitatory effect A neurotansmitter effect that makes it more likely that the receiving neuron will generate an action potential (impulse).
inhibitory effect A neurotransmitter effect that makes it less likely that a receiving neuron will generate an action potential (impulse).
receptor cells Specialized cells in the sensory systems of the body that can turn other kinds of energy into action potentials (impulses) that the nervous system can process.
sensory nerves Nerves that carry information from the sense receptors to the central nervous system.
interneurons Nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord responsible for processing information related to sensory input and motor output.
motor nerves Nerves that carry information to the muscles and glands from the central nervous system.
acetylcholine A neurotransmitter that triggers muscle contraction and affects learning and memory.
antagonist A drug that blocks the effect of a neurotranmitter.
agonist A drug that boost the effects of a neurotransmitter.
dopamine A neurotransmitter that affects learning, attention, and emotion; excess dopamine activity is associated with schizophrenia.
serotonin A neurotransmitter that affects hunger, sleep, arousal, and mood; serotonin appears in lower than normal levels in depressed persons.
central nervous system The brain and spinal cord.
peripheral nervous system The sensory and motor nerves that connect the central nervous system to the rest of the body.
somatic nervous system The division of the peripheral nervous system that controls the body's skeletal muscles.
autonomic nervous system The division of the peripheral nervous system that controls the glands and muscles of the internal organs. Its subdivisions are the sympathetic (arousing) division and the parasympathetic (calming) division.
sympathetic division The part of the autonomic nervous system that arouses the body to deal with perceived threats.
endocrine system One of the body's two communication systems; a set of glands that produce hormones, chemical messengers that circulate in the blood.
hormone chemical messengeras produced by the endocrine glands and circulated in the blood.
pituitary gland The endocrine system's highly influential "master gland" that, in conjunction with the brain, controls the other endocrine glands.
thyroid gland Endocrine gland that helps regulate energy level in the body
adrenal gland Endocrine gland that help to arouse the body in times of stress.
all-or-none principle The principle stating that if a neuron fires, it always fires at the same intensity; all action potentials are the same strength.
Parasympathetic division the part of the autonomic nervous system that calms the body.
Created by: kmcvey