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1

Neurons

The basic unit of the nervous system, each composed of receptive extensions called dendrites, and integrating cell body, a conducting axon, and a transmitting axon terminal

Also called nerve cells

2

Glial cells

Nonneuronal brain cells that provide structural, nutritional, and other types of support to the brain

Also called glia

3

Synapse

The cellular location at which the information is transmitted from a neuron to another cell

4

Input zone

The part of a neuron that receives information, from other neurons or from specialized sensory structures

5

Dendrite

An extension of the cell body that receives information from other neurons

6

Integration zone

The part of a neuron that initiates nerve electrical activity

7

Cell body or soma

The region of a neuron that is defined by the presence of the cell nucleus

8

Conduction zone

The part of a neuron over which the nerve's electrical signal may be actively propagated

9

Axon

A single extension from the nerve cell that carries action potentials from the cell body toward the axon terminals

Also called nerve fiber

10

Output zone

The part of a neuron at which the cell sends information to another cell

11

Axon terminal

The end of an axon or axon collateral, which forms a synapse on a neuron or other target cell

Also called synaptic bouton

12

Motoneuron

A neuron that transmits neural messages to muscles or glands

Also called motor neuron

13

Sensory neuron

A nerve cell that is directly affected by changes in the environment, such as light, odor, or touch

14

Interneuron

A nerve cell that is neither a sensory neuron nor a motoneuron; interneurons receive input from and send output to other neurons

15

Multipolar neuron

A nerve cell that has many dendrites and a single axon

16

Bipolar neuron

A nerve cell that has a single dendrite at one end and a single axon at the other end

17

Unipolar neuron

A nerve cell with a single branch that leaves the cell body and then extends in two directions; one end is the input zone, and the other end is the output zone

Also called monopolar neuron

18

Presynaptic

Referring to the region of a synapse that releases neurotransmitter

19

Postsynaptic

Referring to the region of a synapse that receives and responds to neurotransmitter

20

Presynaptic membrane

The specialized membrane on the axon terminal of a nerve cell that transmits information by releasing neurotransmitter

21

Postsynaptic membrane

The specialized membrane on the surface of a nerve cell that receives information by responding to neurotransmitter from a presynaptic membrane

22

Synaptic cleft

The space between the presynaptic and postsynaptic neurons at a synapse

23

Synaptic vesicle

A small, spherical structure that contains molecules of neurotransmitter

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Neurotransmitter

The chemical released from the presynaptic axon terminal that serves as the basis of communication between neurons

25

Golgi stains

Cell stain that fills the whole cell, useful for identifying type and shape of cells in a region

26

Nissl stains

Outline all cell bodies, useful for measuring cell body size and density of cells in particular regions

27

Autoradiography

Cells are manipulated into taking photographs of themselves by staining them with radioactive drugs and placing the brain section on a slide

28

Immunocytochemistry (ICC)

Brain sections exposed to antibodies that are selective for a protein of interest, then chemicals make the antibodies visible (reveals only the cells that make that protein visible)

29

In situ hybridization

Uses radioactively labeled lengths of nucleic acid to identify neurons in which a gene of interest has been turned on

30

Immediate early genes (IEGs)

Expressed when neurons become more active

Researchers use ICC to label the IEG product to identify brain regions that are active during particular behaviors being performed by the animal before death