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AP Psych Ch 02


refractory period after firing when a neuron will not fire again no matter how strong the incoming message may be
acetylcholine (ACh) neurotransmitter that causes contraction of skeletal muscles; lack of Ach linked with Alzheimer's disease;
action potential an electrical current sent down the axon of a neuron and is initiated by the rapid reversal of the polarization of the cell membrane
ACTH (arenocorticotropic hormone) released by adrenal glands; triggered by norepinephrine to prolong the response to stress (used in the sympathetic nervous system)
adrenal glands endocrine glands located above the kidney and secretes epinephrine and norepinephrine, which prepare the body for "fight or flight"
afferent neuron nerve cell that sends messages to brain or spinal cord from other parts of the body; also called sensory neurons
all-or-none principle the law that the neuron either fires at 100% or not at all
amygdala part of the limbic system; influences emotions such as aggression, fear, and self-protective behaviors
aphasia inability to understand or use language
association areas areas of the cerebral cortex that are not involved in primary motor or sensory functions, rather, they are involved in higher mental processes such as thinking, planning, and communicating
autonomic nervous system a division of the peripheral nervous system that regulates involuntary functions; made up of sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous systems
axon terminal terminal button, synaptic knob; the structure at the end of an excellent terminal branch; houses the synaptic vesicles and neurotransmitters
axon a single long, fiber that carries outgoing messages to other neurons, muscles, or glands
behavioral genetics study of hereditary influences and how it influences behavior and thinking
brain portion of the CNS above the spinal cord; consists of hindbrain, midbrain, and forebrain
brainstem top of the spinal column
Broca's area located in left frontal lobe; controls production of speech
central nervous system the brain and spinal cord
cerebellum part of the brain that coordinates balance, movement, reflexes
(cerebral) cortex wrinkled outer portion of brain; center for higher order brain functions such as thinking, planning, judgment; processes sensory information and directs movement
chromosome threadlike structure within the nucleus of cells that contain genes
computerized axial tomography (CT scan) creates a computerized image using x-rays passed through the brain
convolutions the folds in the cerebral cortex that increase the surface area of the brain
corpus callosum large band of white neural fibers that connects to to brain hemispheres and carries messages between them; myelinated; involved in intelligence, consciousness, and self-awareness; does it reach full maturity until 20s
dendrites branching extensions of neuron that receives messages from neighboring neurons
DNA deoxyribonucleic acid; genetic formation in a double-helix; can replicate or reproduce itself; made of genes
dominant genes member of a gene terror that controls the appearance of a certain trait
dopamine neurotransmitter that influences voluntary movement, attention, alertness; lack of dopamine linked with Parkinson's disease; too much is linked with schizophrenia
EEG (electroencephalogram) shows brain's electrical activity by positioning electrodes over the scalp
efferent neuron nerve cell that send messages from brain and spinal cord to other parts of body; also called motor neurons
endocrine glands the bodies "slow" chemical communication by secreting hormones directly into the bloodstream
endocrine system glands that secrete hormones into the bloodstream, which regulate body and behavioral processes
endorphins chemical similar to opiates that relieves pain; may induce feelings of pleasure
epinephrine adrenaline; activates a sympathetic nervous system by making the heart beat faster, stopping digestion, enlarging pupils, sending sugar into the bloodstream, preparing a blood clot faster
excitatory neurotransmitter chemical secreted at terminal button that causes the neuron on the other side of the synapse to fire
family studies studies of hereditability on the assumption that if a gene influences a certain trait, close relatives should be more similar on that trait in distant relative
forebrain top of the brain which includes the thalamus, hypothalamus, and cerebral cortex; responsible for emotional regulation, complex thought, memory aspect of personality
fraternal twins twins from two separate fertilized eggs (zygotes); share half of the same genes
frontal lobes control emotional behaviors, make decisions, carry out plans; speech (Broca's area); controls movement of muscles
functional MRI (fMRI) shows brain activity at higher reolution than PET scan when changes in oxygen concentration in neurons alters its magnetic qualities
GABA (gamma-aminobutyric acid) neurotransmitter that inhibits firing of neurons; linked with Huntington's disease
gene a DNA segment on a chromosome that controls transmission of traits
genetics study of how traits are transmitted from one generation to the next
genotype an individual's genetic make-up
glial cells supportive cells of nervous system that guide growth of new neurons; forms myelin sheath; holds neuron in place; provides nourishment and removes waste
gonads reproductive glands-male, testes; female, ovaries
graded potential shift in electrical charge in a tiny area of the neuron (temporary); transmits a long cell membranes leaving neuron and polarized state; needs higher than normal threshold of excitation to fire
heritability the proportion of variation among individuals that is due to genetic causes
hindbrain division which includes the cerebellum, Pons, and medulla; responsible for involuntary processes: blood pressure, body temperature, heart rate, breathing, sleep cycles
hippocampus part of the limbic system and is involved in learning and forming new long-term memories
hormone chemical that carries messages that travel through the bloodstream to help regulate bodily functions
human genomes 30,000 genes needed to build a human
hypothalamus area of the brain that is part of the limbic system and regulates behaviors such as, eating, drinking, sexual behaviors, motivation; also body temperature
identical twins twins from a single fertilized egg (zygote) with the same genetic makeup; also called monozygotic (MZ) twins
inhibitory neurotransmitter chemical secreted at terminal button that prevents (or reduces ability of) the neuron on the other side of the synapse from firing
insulin hormone backpacks in the regulation of blood sugar by acting in the utilization of carbohydrates; released by pancreas; too much-hypoglycemia, too little-diabetes
interneurons nerve cell that transmits messages between sensory and motor neurons
ions electrically charged particles found both inside and outside a neuron; negative ions are found inside the cell membrane in a polarized neuron
limbic system a donut ring-shaped of loosely connected structures located in the forebrain between the central core and cerebral hemispheres; consists of: hippocampus and amygdala; associated with emotions, learning, and memories
magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) creates a computerized image using a magnetic field and pulses of radio waves
medulla (also medulla oblongata) part of the brain which controls living functions such as breathing, heart rate, blood pressure, body temperature
midbrain the middle division of brain responsible for hearing and sight; location where pain is registered; includes temporal lobe, occipital lobe, and most of the parietal lobe
motor neurons efferent neurons; neurons that carry messages from spinal cord/brain to muscles and glands
motor projection areas primary motor cortex; areas of the three boat cortex for response messages from the brain to the muscles and glands
myelin sheath a white, fatty covering of the axon which speeds transmission of message
nature-nurture controversy deals with the extent to which heredity and the environment each influence behavior
nerve bundles of axons
neural impulse action potential; the firing of a nerve cell; the entire process of the electrical charge (message/impulse) traveling through inner on; can be as fast as 400 fps (with myelin) or 3 fps (no myelin)
neural plasticity Ability of the brain to change their experience, both structurally and chemically
neurogenesis production of new brain cells; November 1988: cancer patients proved that new neurons grew until the end of life
neuron individual cells that are the smallest unit of the nervous system; it has three functions: receive information, process it, send to rest of body
neuroscience study of the brain and nervous system; overlaps with psychobiology
neurotransmitters chemical messengers released by terminal buttons into the synapse
norepinephrine noradrenaline; chemical which is excitatory, similar to adrenaline, and affects arousal and memory; raises blood pressure by causing blood vessels to become constricted, but also carried by bloodstream to the anterior pituitary which relaxes ACTH thus pro
occipital lobes primary area for processing visual information
pancreas organ lying between the stomach and small intestine; regulates blood sugar by secreting to regulating hormones insulin and glucagon
parasympathetic nervous system a branch of the autonomic nervous system that maintains normal body functions; it calms the body after sympathetic stimulation
parathormone hormone that controls imbalances levels of calcium and phosphate in the blood and tissue fluid; influences levels of excitability; secreted by parathyroids
parathyroid for glands embedded in the thyroid; secretes parathormone; controls announces level of calcium and phosphate (which influence levels of excitability)
parietal lobes processes sensory information including touch, temperature, and pain from other body parts
peripheral nervous system division that connects the central nervous system to the rest of the body; includes all sensory and motor neurons; divided into somatic nervous system and autonomic nervous system
phenotype the expression of genes
pineal gland endocrine gland that produces melatonin that helps regulate sleep/wake cycle
pituitary gland endocrine gland that produces a large amount of hormones; it regulates growth and helps control other endocrine glands; located on underside of brain; sometimes called the "master gland"
polarization when the neuron is at rest; condition of neuron when the inside of the neuron is negatively charged relative to the outside of Enron; is necessary to generate the neuron signal in release of this polarization
polygenic inheritance process by which several genes interact to produce a certain trait; responsible for most important traits
pons part of the brain involved in sleep/wake cycles; also connects cerebellum and medulla to the cerebral cortex
positron emission tomography (PET scan) shows brain activity when radioactively tagged glucose rushes to active neurons
psychobiology study that focuses on biological foundations of behavior and mental processes; overlaps with neuroscience
receptor site a location on a receptor neurons which is like a key to a lock (with a specific nerve transmitter); allows for orderly pathways
recessive gene member of the gene terror that controls the appearance of a certain trait only if it is paired with the same gene
relative refractory period a period after firing when a neuron is returning to its normal polarize state and will only fire again if the incoming message open parentheses impulse) is stronger than usual; returning to arresting state
resting potential when a neuron is in polarization; more negative ions are inside the neuron cell membrane with a positive ions on the outside, causing a small electrical charge; release of this charge generates a neuron's impulse (signal/message)
reticular formation (RF) (RES) netlike system of neurons that weaves through limbic system and plays an important role in attention, arousal, and alert functions; arouses and alerts higher parts of the brain; anesthetics work by temporary shutting off RF system
selection studies studies that estimate the hereditability of a trait by breeding animals with another animal that has the same trait
sensory neurons afferent neurons; neurons that carry messages from sensory organs to the brain and spinal cords
serotonin neurotransmitter that affects sleep, arousal, mood, appetite; lack of it is linked with depression
somatic nervous system division of peripheral nervous system; controls voluntary actions
spinal cord portion of the CNS that carries messages to the PNS; connects brain to the rest of the body
strain studies studies of hereditability it be a behavioral traits using animals that have been inbred to produce strains that are genetically similar to one another
sympathetic nervous system a branch of the autonomic nervous system and prepares the body for quick action in emergencies; "fight or flight"
synapse the space between two neurons where neurotransmitters are secreted by terminal buttons and received by dendrites
synaptic cleft synaptic gap or synaptic space; tiny gap between the terminal of one neuron and the dendrites of another neuron (almost never touch); location of the transfer of an impulse from one neuron to the next
synaptic vesicles tiny oval-shaped sacs in a terminal of one neuron; assist in transferring mineral impulse from one neuron to another neuron by releasing specific neurotransmitters
temporal lobes main area for hearing, understanding language (Wernicke's area), understanding music; smell
terminal buttons (axon terminals) ends of axons that secrete neurotransmitters
thalamus motor sensory relay center for four of the five senses; and with a brain stem and composed of two egg-shaped structures; integrates in shades incoming sensory signals; Mnemonic-"don't smell the llamas because the llamas smell bad"
thyroid gland located in neck; regulates metabolism by secreting thyroxine
thyroxine released by thyroid; hormone that regulates the body's metabolism; OVERACTIVE-over-excitability, insomnia, reduced attention span, fatigue, snap decisions, reduced concentration (hyperthyroidism); UNDERACTIVE-desire to sleep, constantly tired, weight gain
twin studies studies as identical and rhetorical twins to determine relative influence of heredity and environment on human behavior
Wernicke's area located in left temporal lobe; plays role in understanding language and making meaningful sentences
nature a person's inherited traits, determined by genetics
nurture a person's experiences in the environment
mutation unexpected changes in the gene replication process that are not always evident in phenotype and create unusual and sometimes harmful characteristics of body or behavior
genetic mapping dividing the chromosomes into smaller fragments that can be characterized and ordered so that the fragments reflect their respective locations on specific chromosomes
natural selection the principle that those characteristics and behaviors that help organisms adapt, be fit, and survive will be passed on to successive generations, because flexible, fit individuals have a greater chance of reproduction
adaptation a trait or inherited characteristic that has increased in a population because it solved a problem of survival or reproduction
nervous system the structures and organs that facilitate electrical and chemical communication in the body and allow all behavior and mental processes to take place
agonist chemical that mimics or facilitates the actions of a neurotransmitter
antagonist chemical that opposes the actions of a neurotransmitter
hindbrain the most primitive of the three functional divisions of the brain, consisting of the pons, medulla, reticular formation, and cerebellum
midbrain the second level of the three organizational structures of the brain that receives signals from other parts of the brain or spinal cord and either relays the information to other parts of the brain or causes the body to act immediately; involved in moveme
forebrain largest, most complicated, and most advanced of the three divisions of the brain; comprises the thalamus, hypothalamus, limbic system, basal ganglia, corpus callosum, and cortex
split brain patients people whose corpus callosum has been surgically severed
Phineas Gage railroad worker who survived a severe brain injury that dramatically changed his personality and behavior; case played a role in the development of the understanding of the localization of brain function
Created by: doyleqhs