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Chapter Three Psych
Biological Foundations of Behavior
66
Psychology
Undergraduate 1
12/11/2011

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Term
Nervous System
Definition
The body's electrochemical communication circuitry
Term
Plasticity
Definition
The brain's special capacity for change
Term
Afferent Nerves
Definition
Sensory nerves. Nerves that carry information about the external environment to the brain and spinal cord via sensory receptors
Term
Efferent Nerves
Definition
Motor nerves. Nerves that carry information out of the brain and spinal chord to other areas of the body.
Term
Central Nervous System
Definition
Brain and Spinal Chord
Term
Peripheral Nervous System
Definition
Network of nerves that connects the brain and spinal chord to other parts of the body
Term
Somatic Nervous System
Definition
Body system consisting of the sensory nerves whose function is to convey info from the skin and muscles to the CNS about conditions such as pain and temperature.
Term
Autonomic Nervous System
Definition
The body system that takes messages to and from the body's internal organs. It monitors such processes as breathing, heart and digestion.
Term
Sympathetic Nervous System
Definition
Part of the autonomic nervous system that arouses the body
Term
Parasympathetic Nervous System
Definition
The part of the autonomic nervous system that calms the body.
Term
neurons
Definition
One of two types of nervous system cells. Neurons handle the information processing function.
Term
glial cells
Definition
provide support for neurons, nutritional benefits and other functions and keep neurons running smoothly
Term
Resting Potential
Definition
An inactive neuron, the voltage between the inside and outside of the axon wall
Term
Action Potential
Definition
The brief wave of positive electrical charge that sweeps down the axon.
Term
All-or-Nothing Principle
Definition
Once the electrical impulse reaches a certain level of intensity it fires and moves all the way down the axon without losing any intensity
Term
Synapses
Definition
Tiny spaces between between neurons. the gaps between neurons are referred to as synaptic gaps.
Term
Neurotransmitters
Definition
Chemical substances that are stored in very tiny sacs within the terminal buttons and involved in transmitting information across a synaptic gap
Term
Acetylcholine
Definition
It stimulates the firing of neurons and is involved in muscle action, learning and memory
Term
GABA
Definition
It inhibits many neurons from firing
Term
Glutamate
Definition
Excites neurons involved in learning and memory. Too much overstimulates the brain
Term
Norepinephrine
Definition
inhibits the firing of neurons in the CNS but excites the heart muscle. Too little is associated with depression, too much triggers agitated states.
Term
Dopamine
Definition
Helps control voluntary movement and affects sleep, mood, and learning. Stimulant drugs increase motor activity by activating dopamine.
Term
Serotonin
Definition
Regulation of sleep, mood and attention. Prozac works by slowing down the reuptake of serotonin into terminal buttons.
Term
Endorphins
Definition
Natural opiates. They depress the body from pain and elevate feelings of pleasure.
Term
Oxytocin
Definition
Neurotransmitter that plays an important role in love and social bonding. Released during orgasm.
Term
Hindbrain
Definition
Located at the skull's rear the lowest portion of the brain. It consists of the medulla, cerebellum, and pons.
Term
Brain Stem
Definition
Stemlike brain area that includes much of the hindbrain and the midbrain. It connects the spinal cord at its lower end and then extends upward to encas the reticular formation in the midbrain
Term
Midbrain
Definition
located between hindbrain and forebrain. Many nerve fiber systems ascend and descend to connect to the higher and lower portions of the brain. The midbrain relays info between brain and eyes and ears
Term
Reticular Formation
Definition
A system in the midbrain compromising a diffuse collection of neurons involved in stereotyped patterns of behavior such as walking sleeping and turning to attend to a sudden noise.
Term
Forebrain
Definition
Brain's largest division and its most forward part.
Term
Limbic system
Definition
Loosely connected network of structures under the cerebral cortex, important in both emory and emotion . The two principle structures are the amygdala and hippocampus
Term
Amygdala
Definition
Almond shaped structure within the base of the temporal lobe that is involved in the discrimination of objects that are necessary for the organism's survival.
Term
GABA
Definition
It inhibits many neurons from firing
Term
Glutamate
Definition
Excites neurons involved in learning and memory. Too much overstimulates the brain
Term
Norepinephrine
Definition
inhibits the firing of neurons in the CNS but excites the heart muscle. Too little is associated with depression, too much triggers agitated states.
Term
Dopamine
Definition
Helps control voluntary movement and affects sleep, mood, and learning. Stimulant drugs increase motor activity by activating dopamine.
Term
Serotonin
Definition
Regulation of sleep, mood and attention. Prozac works by slowing down the reuptake of serotonin into terminal buttons.
Term
Endorphins
Definition
Natural opiates. They depress the body from pain and elevate feelings of pleasure.
Term
Oxytocin
Definition
Neurotransmitter that plays an important role in love and social bonding. Released during orgasm.
Term
Hindbrain
Definition
Located at the skull's rear the lowest portion of the brain. It consists of the medulla, cerebellum, and pons.
Term
Brain Stem
Definition
Stemlike brain area that includes much of the hindbrain and the midbrain. It connects the spinal cord at its lower end and then extends upward to encas the reticular formation in the midbrain
Term
Midbrain
Definition
located between hindbrain and forebrain. Many nerve fiber systems ascend and descend to connect to the higher and lower portions of the brain. The midbrain relays info between brain and eyes and ears
Term
Reticular Formation
Definition
A system in the midbrain compromising a diffuse collection of neurons involved in stereotyped patterns of behavior such as walking sleeping and turning to attend to a sudden noise.
Term
Forebrain
Definition
Brain's largest division and its most forward part.
Term
Limbic system
Definition
Loosely connected network of structures under the cerebral cortex, important in both emory and emotion . The two principle structures are the amygdala and hippocampus
Term
Amygdala
Definition
Almond shaped structure within the base of the temporal lobe that is involved in the discrimination of objects that are necessary for the organism's survival.
Term
Hippocampus
Definition
The structure in the limbic system that has a special role in the storage of memories.
Term
Thalamus
Definition
Forebrain structure that sits at the top of the brain stem in the brain's central core and serves as an important relay station
Term
Basal Ganglia
Definition
Large neuron clusters located above the thalamus and under the cerebral cortex that work with the cerebellum and the cerebral cortex to control and coordinate voluntary movements
Term
Hypothalamus
Definition
A small forebrain structure, located just below the thalamus that monitors three pleasurable activities-eating, drinking, and sex. as well as emotion
Term
Cerebral Cortex
Definition
Part of the Forebrain. Outer layer of the brain. Responsible for most complex mental functions such as thinking and plannings
Term
Neocortex
Definition
outermost part of the cerebral cortex making up 80 percent of the human brain.
Term
Occipital lobes
Definition
Structures located at the back of the head that respond to visual stimuli
Term
Temporal lobes
Definition
Structures in the cerebral cortex that are located just above the ears and are involved in hearing, language processing and memory
Term
Frontal lobes
Definition
The portion of the cerebral cortex behind the forehead, involved in personality, intelligence and control of voluntary muscles.
Term
Parietal lobes
Definition
Structures at the top and toward the rear of the head that are involved in registering spatial location, attention, and motor control.
Term
Somatorsensory cortex
Definition
A region in the cerebral cortex that processes information about body sensations, located at the front of the parietal lobes
Term
Motor cortex
Definition
A region in the cerebral cortex that processes information about voluntary movement, located just behind the frontal lobes.
Term
Association Cortex
Definition
Sometimes called association areas, the region of the cerebral cortex that is the site of the highest intellectual functions such as thinking and problem solving.
Term
Corpus Callosum
Definition
The large bundle of axons that connects the brains 2 hemispheres. It relays info between the two sides.
Term
Hormones
Definition
Chemical messengers that are produced by the endocrine glands and carried by the bloodstream to all parts of the body
Term
Pituitary glands
Definition
A pea sized gland just beneath the hypothalamus that controls growth and regulates other glands
Term
Adrenal glands
Definition
Glands at the top of each kidney that are responsible for regulating moods and help deal with stress.
Term
Pancreas
Definition
A dual purpose gland under the stomach that performs both digestive and endocrine functions
Term
Stress
Definition
The responses of individuals to environmental stressors
Term
Stressors
Definition
Circumstances and events that threaten individuals and tax their coping abilities and that cause physiological changes to ready the body to handle the assault of stress.
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