Barron's: Chapter 3 - Biological Bases of Behavior Flashcards Preview

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Flashcards in Barron's: Chapter 3 - Biological Bases of Behavior Deck (81):
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Neuroanatomy

- the study of the parts and function of neurons

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Neuron

- individual nerve cells

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Dendrites

- rootlike parts of the cell that stretch out from the cell body. dendrites grow to make synaptic connections with other neurons (see Synapse, below)

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Cell body (also called the soma)

- contains the nucleus and other parts of the cell needed to sustain its life

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Axon

- wirelike structure ending in the terminal buttons that extends from the cell body

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Myelin sheath

- a fatty covering around the axon of some neurons that speeds neural impulses

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Terminal buttons (also called end buttons, axon terminal, terminal branches of axon, and synaptic knobs)

- the branched end of the axon that contains neurotransmitters

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Neurotransmitters

- chemicals contained in terminal buttons that enable neurons to communicate. neurotransmitters fit into receptor sites on the dendrites of neurons like a key fits into a lock

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Synapse

- the space between the terminal buttons of one neuron and the dendrites of the next neuron

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Receptor sites

- proteins that are on the surface of each cell and act as little receivers

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Threshold

- the level of strength a stimulus must reach to be detected

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Action potential

- the change in electrical potential associated with the passage of an impulse along the membrane of a muscle cell or nerve cell.

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All-or-none principle

- when a neuron either fires completely or its does not fire

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Neural firing

- an electrochemical process. electricity travels within the cell (from the dendrites to the terminal buttons), and chemicals (neurotransmitters) travel between cells in the synapse. Electricity does not jump between the neurons

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Excitatory neurotransmitters

- they excite the next cell into firing

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Inhibitory neurotransmitters

- they inhibit the next cell from firing

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Acetylcholine

- Function: Motor movement
- Problems Associated with an Excess of Deficit: lack of acetylcholine is associated with Alzheimer's disease

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Dopamine

- Function: Motor movement and alertness
- Problems Associated with an Excess of Deficit: Lack of dopamine is associated with Parkinson's disease, an overabundance is associated with schizophrenia

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Endorphins

- Function: Pain control
- Problems Associated with an Excess of Deficit: involved in addictions

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Serotonin

- Function: mood control
- Problems Associated with an Excess of Deficit: lack of serotonin is associated with clinical depression

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GABA

- Function: Important inhibitory neurotransmitter
- Problems Associated with an Excess of Deficit: seizures, sleep problems

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Glutamate

- Function: excitatory neurotransmitter, involved in memory
- Problems Associated with an Excess of Deficit: migraines, seizures

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Norepinephrine

- Function: alertness, arousal
- Problems Associated with an Excess of Deficit: depression

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Afferent neurons (or sensory neurons)

- take information from the senses to the brain (you can think of afferent nerves as taking information in at the brain)

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Efferent neurons (or motor neurons)

- take information from the brain to the rest of the body (you can think of efferent nerves as carrying information that exits the brain)

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Central nervous system (CNS)

- consists of our brain and spinal cord - all the nerves housed within bone (the skull and vertebrae)

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Spinal cord

- a bundle of nerves that run through the center of the spine, it transmits information from the rest of the body to the brain

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Peripheral nervous system (PNS)

- consists of all the other nerves in your body - all the nerves not encased in bone

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Somatic nervous system

- controls our voluntary muscle movement

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Accidents

- Phineas Gage was in an accident that damaged the front part of his brain
- his behavior changed and he became highly emotional and impulsive

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Lesions

- the removal or destruction of part of the brain

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Electroencephalogram (EEG)

- detects brain waves
- widely used in sleep research to identify the different stages of sleep and dreaming

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Computerized axial tomography (CAT or CT scan)

- uses several X-ray cameras that rotate around the brain and combine all the pictures into a detailed three-dimensional picture of the brain's structure
- can only show structure of the brain

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Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI scan)

- uses magnetic fields to measure the density and location of brain material

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Positron emission tomography (PET scan)

- measures how much of a certain chemical (glucose, for example) parts of the brain are using

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Functional MRI (fMRI)

- shows details of brain structure with information about blood flow in the brain, tying brain structure to brain activity during cognitive tasks

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Hindbrain (old brain)

- consists of structures in the top part of the spinal cord
- our life support system; it controls the basic biological functions that keep us alive

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Medulla (medulla oblongata)

- controls our blood pressure, heart rate, and breathing

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Pons

- connects the hindbrain with the midbrain and forebrain
- involved in the control of facial expressions

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Cerebellum

- located on the bottom rear of the brain
- means little brain
- coordinates some habitual muscle movements

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Midbrain (old brain)

- located just above the spinal cord but still below areas categorized as the forebrain
- coordinates simple movement with sensory information

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Reticular formation

- netlike collection of cells throughout the midbrain that controls general body arousal and the ability to focus our attention

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Forebrain (new brain)

- control what we think of as thought and reason

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Thalamas

- located on top of the brain stem
- responsible for receiving the sensory signals coming up the spinal cord and sending them to the appropriate areas in the rest of the forebrain

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Hypothalamus

- small structure right next to the thalamus
- controls several metabolic functions, incluidng body temperature, sexual arousal (libido), hunger, thirst, and the endocrine system

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Amygdala

- vital to our experiences of emotion

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Hippocampus

- vital to our memory system

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Limbic system

- consists of the thalamus, hypothalamus, amygdala, and hippocampus
- they all deal with aspects of emotion and memory

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Cerebral cortex

- a thin layer of densely packed neurons

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Hemispheres

- cerebral cortex divided in half: left and right

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Left hemisphere

- gets sensory messages and controls the motor function of the right half of the body

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Right hemisphere

- gets sensory messages and controls the motor function of the left half of the body

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Brain lateralization (or hemispheric specialization)

- the specialization of function in each hemisphere

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Corpus callosum

- the nerve bundle that connects the two hemispheres

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Lobes

- each of the parts of the cerebrum of the brain

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Association area

- thought to be responsible for complex, sophisticated thoughts like judgment and humor

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Frontal lobes

- located at the front part of the brain behind the eyes

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Broca's area

- in the frontal lobe and is responsible for controlling the muscles involved in producing speech

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Wernicke's area

- interprets both written and spoken speech

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Motor cortex

- sends impulses to the somatic nervous system, which controls the muscles that allow us to move

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Parietal lobes

- behind the frontal lobe but still on top of the brain

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Sensory cortex (somato-sensory cortex)

- thin vertical strip that receives incoming touch sensations form the rest of our body

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Occipital lobes

- the very back of our brain
- impulses from retinas in our eyes are sent to visual cortex then to occipital lobes

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Temporal lobes

- processes sound sensed by our ears

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Brain plasticity

- other parts of the brain can adapt themselves to perform other functions if needed

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Endocrine system

- a system of glands that secrete hormones that affect many biological processes in our bodies
- controlled by the hypothalamus

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Adrenal glands

- produce adrenaline
- signals the rest of body to prepare for fight or flight

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Monozygotic twins

- twins that develop from one zygote, which splits and forms two embryos

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Roger Sperry

- he and Michael Gazzaniga created the operation that cuts the corpus callosum to treat severe epilepsy

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Michael Gazzaniga

- he and Roger Sperry created the operation that cuts the corpus callosum to treat severe epilepsy

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Paul Broca

- he was a French physician, anatomist and anthropologist.

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Carl Wernicke

- he was a German physician, anatomist, psychiatrist and neuropathologist.

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Thomas Bouchard

- he did research on twins that were given up for adoption and raised in different families

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Autonomic nervous system

- controls the automatic functions of our body - our hearts, lungs, internal organs, glands, and so on

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Sympathetic nervous system

- mobilizes our body to respond to stress
- carries messages to the control systems of the organs, glands, and muscles that direct our body's respond to strees

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Parasympathetic nervous system

- responsible for slowing down our body after a stress response
- carries messages to the stress response system that causes our body to slow down

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fissures

- wrinkles on the surface of the cerebral cortex

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contralateral control

- the motor cortex of both cerebral hemispheres are primarily accountable for handling of motions of the opposite side of one's body

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prefrontal cortex

- the anterior or front of the frontal lobe
- acts as the brain's central executive and is believed to be important in foreseeing consequences, pursuing goals, and maintaining emotional control

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nature and nurture

- nature: our genetic code
- nurture: the environment where we grow up and live

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DNA

- deoxyribonucleic acid
- certain parts control the production of specific proteins that control some human traits

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