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Flashcards in Chapter 2 Deck (88):
1

afferent (sensory) neuron

a neuron that carries information from the senses to the central nervous system.

2

All-or-none

referring to the fact that a neuron either fires completely or does not fire at all.

3

Amygdala

brain structure located near the hippocampus, responsible for fear responses and memory of fear.

4

Antagonists

chemical substances that block or reduce a cell’s response to the action of other chemicals or neurotransmitters.

5

association areas

areas within each lobe of the cortex responsible for the coordination and interpretation of information, as well as higher mental processing.

6

autonomic nervous system

- division of the PNS consisting of nerves that control all of the involuntary muscles, organs, and glands.

7

Axon

- tubelike structure that carries the neural message to other cells.

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axon terminals

branches at the end of the axon.

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brainstem

section of the brain that connects directly to the spinal cord and regulates vital functions such as breathing, the heart, reflexes, and level of alertness.

10

Broca’s aphasia

condition resulting from damage to Broca’s area, causing the affected person to be unable to speak fluently, to mispronounce words, and to speak haltingly.

11

central nervous system (CNS)

part of the nervous system consisting of the brain and spinal cord.

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Cerebellum

part of the lower brain located behind the pons that controls and coordinates involuntary, rapid, fine motor movement.

13

cerebral hemispheres

the two sections of the cortex on the left and right sides of the brain.

14

Cerebrum

the upper part of the brain consisting of two hemispheres and the structures that connect them

15

cingulate cortex

primary cortical component of the limbic system, involved in emotional and cognitive processing

16

computed tomography (CT)

brain-imaging method using computer-controlled X-rays of the brain.

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corpus callosum

thick band of neurons that connects the right and left cerebral hemispheres.

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cortex -

outermost covering of the brain consisting of densely packed neurons, responsible for higher thought processes and interpretation of sensory input.

19

deep lesioning

insertion of a thin, insulated wire into the brain through which an electrical current is sent that destroys the brain cells at the tip of the wire.

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Dendrites

branchlike structures that receive messages from other neurons.

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Diffusion

process of molecules moving from areas of high concentration to areas of low concentration.

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Dopamine

neurotransmitter that regulates movement, balance, and walking and is involved in the disorders of schizophrenia and Parkinson’s disease.

23

efferent (motor) neuron

a neuron that carries messages from the central nervous system to the muscles of the body.

24

Electroencephalograph

machine designed to record the electroencephalogram.

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electroencephalogram (EEG)

a recording of the electrical activity of large groups of cortical neurons just below the skull, most often using scalp electrodes.

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endocrine glands

glands that secrete chemicals called hormones directly into the bloodstream.

27

Endorphin

neurotransmitter that is found naturally in the body and works to block pain and elevate mood. It is chemically similar to morphine and its name is short for “endogenous morphine.”

28

enzymatic degradation

process by which structure of neurotransmitters is altered so it can no longer act on a receptor.

29

excitatory synapse

synapse at which a neurotransmitter causes the receiving cell to fire.

30

frontal lobes

areas of the cortex located in the front and top of the brain, responsible for higher mental processes and decision making as well as the production of fluent speech.

31

functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI)

MRI-based brain-imaging method that allows for a functional examination of brain areas through changes in brain oxygenation.

32

GABA

abbreviation for gamma-aminobutyric acid, the major inhibitory neurotransmitter in the brain.

33

glial cells

cells that provide support for the neurons to grow on and around, deliver nutrients to neurons, produce myelin to coat axons, clean up waste products and dead neurons, influence information processing, and during prenatal development, influence the generation of new neurons.

34

Gonads

sex glands; secrete hormones that regulate sexual development and behavior as well as reproduction.

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Hippocampus

curved structure located within each temporal lobe, responsible for the formation of long-term memories and the storage of memory for location of objects.

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Hormones

chemicals released into the bloodstream by endocrine glands

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Hypothalamus

small structure in the brain located below the thalamus and directly above the pituitary gland, responsible for motivational behavior such as sleep, hunger, thirst, and sex.

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inhibitory synapse

synapse at which a neurotransmitter causes the receiving cell to stop firing.

39

Interneuron

a neuron found in the center of the spinal cord that receives information from the afferent neurons and sends commands to the muscles through the efferent neurons. Interneurons also make up the bulk of the neurons in the brain.

40

limbic system

a group of several brain structures located under the cortex and involved in learning, emotion, memory, and motivation

41

magnetic resonance imaging (MRI

brain-imaging method using radio waves and magnetic fields of the body to produce detailed images of the brain.

42

Medulla

the first large swelling at the top of the spinal cord, forming the lowest part of the brain, which is responsible for life-sustaining functions such as breathing, swallowing, and heart rate

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mirror neurons

neurons that fire when an animal or person performs an action and also when an animal or person observes that same action being performed by another.

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motor cortex

section of the frontal lobe located at the back, responsible for sending motor commands to the muscles of the somatic nervous system.

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motor neuron

a neuron that carries messages from the central nervous system to the muscles of the body. Also called efferent neuron.

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motor pathway

nerves coming from the CNS to the voluntary muscles, consisting of efferent neurons.

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Myelin

fatty substances produced by certain glial cells that coat the axons of neurons to insulate, protect, and speed up the neural impulse.

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Nerves

bundles of axons coated in myelin that travel together through the body.

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nervous system

an extensive network of specialized cells that carry information to and from all parts of the body.

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Neuron

the basic cell that makes up the nervous system and which receives and sends messages within that system

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Neuroplasticity

the ability within the brain to constantly change both the structure and function of many cells in response to experience or trauma.

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Neuroscience

a branch of the life sciences that deals with the structure and function of neurons, nerves and nervous tissue.

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Neurotransmitter

chemical found in the synaptic vesicles that, when released, has an effect on the next cell.

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occipital lobes

sections of the brain located at the rear and bottom of each cerebral hemisphere containing the visual centers of the brain.

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olfactory bulbs

two bulb-like projections just under the front of the brain that receives information from the receptors in the nose.

56

Ovaries

the female gonads.

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Pancreas

endocrine gland; controls the levels of sugar in the blood

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parasympathetic division

part of the ANS that restores the body to normal functioning after arousal and is responsible for the day-to-day functioning of the organs and glands.

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parietal lobes

sections of the brain located at the top and back of each cerebral hemisphere containing the centers for touch, taste, and temperature sensations.

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peripheral nervous system (PNS)

all nerves and neurons that are not contained in the brain and spinal cord but that run through the body itself.

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pineal gland

endocrine gland located near the base of the cerebrum; secretes melatonin.

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pituitary gland

gland located in the brain that secretes human growth hormone and influences all other hormone-secreting glands (also known as the master gland).

63

Pons

the larger swelling above the medulla that connects the top of the brain to the bottom and that plays a part in sleep, dreaming, left–right body coordination, and arousal.

64

positron emission tomography (PET)

brain-imaging method in which a radioactive sugar is injected into the subject and a computer compiles a color-coded image of the activity of the brain.

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receptor sites

3-dimensional proteins on the surface of the dendrites or certain cells of the muscles and glands, which are shaped to fit only certain neurotransmitters.

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reflex arc

the connection of the afferent neurons to the interneurons to the efferent neurons, resulting in a reflex action.

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resting potential

the state of the neuron when not firing a neural impulse

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reticular formation (RF)

an area of neurons running through the middle of the medulla and the pons and slightly beyond that is responsible for general attention, alertness, and arousal.

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Reuptake

process by which neurotransmitters are taken back into the synaptic vesicles.

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sensory neuron

a neuron that carries information from the senses to the central nervous system. Also called afferent neuron.

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sensory pathway

nerves coming from the sensory organs to the CNS consisting of afferent neurons.

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Serotonin

neurotransmitter involved in pain disorders and emotional perceptions. Is also known as 5-hydroxytryptamine (5-HT).

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single photon emission tomography (SPECT)

neuroimaging method that is similar to PET but uses a different radioactive tracer and can be used to examine brain blood flow.

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Soma

the cell body of the neuron responsible for maintaining the life of the cell.

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somatic nervous system

division of the PNS consisting of nerves that carry information from the senses to the CNS and from the CNS to the voluntary muscles of the body.

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somatosensory cortex

area of neurons running down the front of the parietal lobes responsible for processing information from the skin and internal body receptors for touch, temperature, body position, and possibly taste.

77

spatial neglect

condition produced by damage to the association areas of the right hemisphere resulting in an inability to recognize objects or body parts in the left visual field.

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spinal cord

a long bundle of neurons that carries messages between the body and the brain and is responsible for very fast, lifesaving reflexes.

79

stem cells

special cells found in all the tissues of the body that are capable of becoming other cell types when those cells need to be replaced due to damage or wear and tear.

80

sympathetic division (fight-or-flight system)

part of the ANS that is responsible for reacting to stressful events and bodily arousal.

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synapse (synaptic gap)

microscopic fluid-filled space between the synaptic knob of one cell and the dendrites or surface of the next cell.

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synaptic knob

rounded areas on the end of the axon terminal.

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synaptic vesicles

saclike structures found inside the synaptic knob containing chemicals.

84

temporal lobes

areas of the cortex located just behind the temples containing the neurons responsible for the sense of hearing and meaningful speech.

85

Testes

the male gonads.

86

Thalamus

part of the limbic system located in the center of the brain, this structure relays sensory information from the lower part of the brain to the proper areas of the cortex and processes some sensory information before sending it to its proper area.

87

thyroid gland

endocrine gland found in the neck; regulates metabolism.

88

Wernicke’s aphasia

condition resulting from damage to Wernicke’s area, causing the affected person to be unable to understand or produce meaningful language.