Flashcards in Exam 1 (Winter 2014) Deck (57):
studying bumps on the skull, could reveal a person’s mental abilities and character traits.
nerve cells; basic building block of the nervous system
a neuron’s bushy, branching extensions that receive messages and conduct impulses toward the cell body.
the neuron extension that passes messages through its branches to other neurons or to muscles or glands.
a fatty tissue layer segmentally encasing the axons of some neurons; enables vastly greater transmission speed as neural impulses hop form one node to another.
How are messages sent within a neuron?
Neurons transmit messages when stimulated by signals from our senses or when triggered by chemical signals from neighboring neurons.
a neural impulse; a brief electrical charge that travels down an axon.
the junction between the axon tip of the sending neuron and the dendrite or cell body of the receiving neuron. The tiny gap at this junction is the synaptic gap.
chemical messengers that cross the synaptic gaps between neurons. When released by the sending neuron, neurotransmitters travel across the synapse and bind to receptor sites on the receiving neuron, thereby influencing whether that neuron will generate a neural impulse.
In what ways can drugs affect the behavior of neurotransmitters?
Drugs and other chemicals affect brain chemistry at synapses, often by either exciting or inhibiting neurons’ firing.
Central Nervous System (CNS)
the brain and spinal cord
Peripheral Nervous System (PNS)
the sensory and motor neurons that connect the central nervous system (CNS) to the rest of the body.
Somatic nervous system
the division of the peripheral nervous system that controls the body’s skeletal muscles (skeletal nervous system)
Autonomic nervous system
the part of the peripheral nervous system that controls the glands and the muscles of the internal organs (such as the heart). Its sympathetic division arouses; its parasympathetic division calms.
Sympathetic nervous system
the division of the autonomic nervous system that arouses the body, mobilizing its energy in stressful situations.
Parasympathetic nervous system
the division of the autonomic nervous system that calms the body, conserving its energy.
a pair of endocrine glands that sit just above the kidneys and secrete hormones (epinephrine and norepinephrine) that help arouse the body in times of stress.
the endocrine system’s most influential gland. Under the influence of the hypothalamus, the pituitary regulates growth and controls other endocrine glands.
what part of the brain controls the master gland?
MRI (magnetic resonance imaging)
a technique that uses magnetic fields and radio waves to produce computer generated images of soft tissue. MRI scans show brain anatomy.
fMRI (functional MRI)
a technique for revealing blood flow and brain activity by comparing successive MRI scans. fMRI scans show brain functions.
cells in the nervous system that support, nourish, and protect neurons; they may also play a role in learning and thinking.
involved in speaking and muscle movements and in making plans and judgments
receives the sensory input for touch and body position.
includes areas that receive information from the visual fields.
includes the auditory areas, each receiving information primarily from the opposite ear.
an area at the rear of the frontal lobes that controls voluntary movements
area at the front of the parietal lobes that registers and processes body touch and movement sensations.
What is “neural prosthetics”?
When a person can think something and make some sort of robot machinery carry out the action they’re thinking of.
areas of the cerebral cortex that are not involve in primary motor or sensory functions; rather, they are involved in higher mental functions such as learning, remembering, thinking, and speaking.
the brain’s ability to change, especially during childhood, by reorganizing after damage or by building new pathways based on experience.
a condition resulting from surgery that isolates the brain’s two hemispheres by cutting the fibers (mainly those of the corpus callosum) connecting them
What are some implications of being left handed?
Reading disabilities, allergies, and migraine headaches.
the interdisciplinary study of the brain activity linked with cognition (including perception, thinking, and memory, and language).
he principle that information is often simultaneously processed on separate conscious and unconscious tracks.
the focusing of conscious awareness on a particular stimulus.
Cocktail party effect
the ability to attend to only one voice among many.
failing to notice changes in the environment
Pop out effect
stimulus is so powerful/distinct that they demand attention. We don’t choose to attend to them.
the biological clock; regular bodily rhythms that occur on a 24-hour cycle.
the relatively slow brain waves of a relaxed, awake state.
rapid eye movement sleep; a recurring sleep stage during which vivid dreams commonly occur. Paradoxical sleep- muscles are relaxed but other body systems are active.
What do researchers believe about the purpose or function of sleep in our lives?
Sleep helps us recuperate
Sleep helps restore and rebuild our fading memories of the day’s experiences
Sleep feeds creative thinking
Sleep supports growth
recurring problems in falling or staying asleep
a sleep disorder characterized by uncontrollable sleep attacks. The sufferer may lapse directly into REM sleep, often at inopportune times.
a sleep disorder characterized by temporary cessations of breathing during sleep and repeated momentary awakenings.
a sleep disorder characterized by high arousal and an appearance of being terrified; unlike nightmares, night terrors occur within 2-3 hours of falling asleep, and are seldom remembered.
What are some theories about why we dream?
To satisfy our own wishes
To file away memories
To develop and preserve neural pathways
To make sense of neural static
To reflect cognitive development
a visual display of brain activity that detects where a radioactive form of glucose goes while the brain performs a given task.
an amplified recording of the waves of electrical activity that sweep across the brain's surface. These waves are measured by electrodes placed on the scalp.
two lima-bean-sized neural clusters in the limbic system; linked to emotion.
a neural structure lying below (hypo) the thalamus; it directs several maintenance activities (eating, drinking, body temperature), helps govern the endocrine system via the pituitary gland, and is linked to emotion and reward.
the base of the brainstem; controls heartbeat and breathing.
a nerve network that travels through the brainstem and plays an important role in controlling arousal.
the brain's sensory switchboard, located on top of the brainstem; it directs messages to the sensory receiving areas in the cortex and transmits replies to the cerebellum and medulla.
the "little brain" at the rear of the brainstem; functions include processing sensory input and coordinating movement output and balance.