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Biological psychology

Scientific study of biological aspects of animal behavior

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Physiological Explanations

Relate behavior to activity of brain and organs

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Ontogenetic Explanations

Relate behavior to development of animal

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Evolutionary Explanations

Relate behavior to evolutionary history

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Functional Explanations

Describes WHY behavior or structure evolved as it did

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Neurons

Main signaling units that receive information and transmit it to other cells. Approx. 85 billion

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Cell membrane

Lipid bilayer sandwich of phospholipids with protein molecules that controls flow of elements in and out of cell

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Nucleus

Contains chromosomes; site for hereditary control

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Mitochondria

Performs aerobic metabolic activities, providing energy that cell requires for other activities

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Ribosomes

Site of protein synthesis, made from command of genes

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Endoplasmic Reticulum

Network of thin tubes that sends newly synthesized proteins to other parts of the cell

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Motor neuron

Soma is located in spinal chord; receives excitation and transmits impulses along axon to muscle

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Sensory neuron

SpecialiZed at one end to be highly sensitive to particular type of stimulation

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Dendrites

Branching fibers that get narrower near the ends; surface lined with synaptic receptors

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Dendritic spines

Short outgrowths that increase the surface area available for synapses

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Soma

Cell body; contains nucleus, ribosomes and mitochondria; most metabolic work occurs here; integrates electrical signals generated by neurotransmitters; responsible for protein synthesis

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Axon

Thin fiber of constant diameter, information sender, transmits info away from neuron to another neuron or muscle; only one axon emanating from soma

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Axon Hillock

Swelling point on soma, starting point of axon

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Myelin Sheath

Insulating material around axon that increases speed of impulses, found in vertebrae axons

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Nodes of Ranvier

Breaks in insulation on axon

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Presynaptic terminal

End bulb, point from which axon releases chemicals that cross the synapse to other neuron; neurotransmitters are stores, released, and some reabsorbed here

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Afferent axon

Brings signals INTO structure (admit)

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Efferent axon

carries signals AWAY from structure (exit)

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Intrinsic neuron

Cell's dendrites and axon entirely contained within single structure

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Glia

Do NOT transmit info over long distances; provide structural and function support for neurons

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Astrocytes

CNS; star shaped cells have end feet that come in contact with soma, dendrites, and capillaries; takes up some chemical transmitters at synapse, regulates extra cellular ion concentrations; control blood flow to brain areas; provide glucose to neurons

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Oligodedrocytes

CNS; produces myelin that insulates small sections of axon (combo of nodes and myelin to increase conduction

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Schwann cells

PNS; provides myelin and insulates certain vertebrae axon, wraps myelin around 1 segment of single axon

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Radial Glia Cells

CNS; provide guidance for neurons and their axons and dendrites; occur during BRAIN DEVELOPMENT, precursors to some neurons and glia

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Microglia

Very small cells generated in response to injury infection or disease; removed waste material as well as viruses; contain digestive enzymes; MAY divide and invade area of impact

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Blood-brain barrier

Endothelial cells that form the walls of the capillaries, have small gaps; gaps are tight enough to not let anything pass through; Oxygen and carbon dioxide cross freely; fat-soluble molecules cross freely; glucose actively transported into brain; ATP necessary to transport some molecules across; adjacent to ventricles

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Circumventricular organs

Affected areas with weak or absent blood-brain barrier, monitor chemical substances in circulation