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Flashcards in The Biology of Mind Deck (51)
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1
Q

amygdala

A

two lima-bean-sized neural clusters in the limbic system; linked to emotion.

1
Q

sympathetic nervous system

A

the division of the autonomic nervous system that arouses the body, mobilizing its energy in stressful situations.

2
Q

central nervous system (CNS)

A

the brain and spinal cord.

3
Q

PET (positron emission tomography) scan

A

a visual display of brain activity that detects where a radioactive form of glucose goes while the brain performs a given task.

4
Q

split brain

A

a condition resulting from surgery that isolates the brain’s two hemispheres by cutting the fibers (mainly those of the corpus callosum) connecting them.

5
Q

biological perspective

A

concerned with the links between biology and behavior. Includes psychologists working in neuroscience, behavior genetics, and evolutionary psychology. These researchers may call themselves behavioral neuroscientists, neuropsychologists, behavior geneticists, physiological psychologists, or biopsychologists.

5
Q

dendrites

A

a neuron’s bushy, branching extensions that receive messages and conduct impulses toward the cell body.

5
Q

neuron

A

a nerve cell; the basic building block of the nervous system.

6
Q

synapse

A

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 called the synaptic gap or synaptic cleft.

7
Q

reticular formation

A

a nerve network that travels through the brainstem and plays an important role in controlling arousal.

8
Q

neurotransmitters

A

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.

9
Q

limbic system

A

neural system (including the hippocampus, amygdala, and hypothalamus) located below the cerebral hemispheres; associated with emotions and drives.

10
Q

axon

A

the neuron extension that passes messages through its branches to other neurons or to muscles or glands.

10
Q

hormones

A

chemical messengers that are manufactured by the endocrine glands, travel through the bloodstream, and affect other tissues.

11
Q

myelin [MY-uh-lin] sheath

A

a fatty tissue layer segmentally encasing the axons of some neurons; enables vastly greater transmission speed as neural impulses hop from one node to the next.

12
Q

interneurons

A

neurons within the brain and spinal cord that communicate internally and intervene between the sensory inputs and motor outputs.

13
Q

lesion

A

tissue destruction. A brain lesion is a naturally or experimentally caused destruction of brain tissue.

13
Q

reuptake

A

a neurotransmitter’s reabsorption by the sending neuron.

15
Q

fMRI (functional MRI)

A

a technique for revealing bloodflow and, therefore, brain activity by comparing successive MRI scans. fMRI scans show brain function.

16
Q

thalamus

A

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.

17
Q

plasticity

A

the brain’s ability to change, especially during childhood, by reorganizing after damage or by building new pathways based on experience.

18
Q

corpus callosum

A

the large band of neural fibers connecting the two brain hemispheres and carrying messages between them.

19
Q

endocrine system

A

the body’s “slow” chemical communication system; a set of glands that secrete hormones into the bloodstream.

21
Q

action potential

A

a neural impulse; a brief electrical charge that travels down an axon.

22
Q

electroencephalogram (EEG)

A

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.

23
Q

neurogenesis

A

the formation of new neurons.

23
Q

reflex

A

a simple, automatic response to a sensory stimulus, such as the knee-jerk response.

24
Q

nerves

A

bundled axons that form neural “cables” connecting the central nervous system with muscles, glands, and sense organs.

25
Q

occipital lobes

A

portion of the cerebral cortex lying at the back of the head; includes areas that receive information from the visual fields.

26
Q

endorphins

A

“morphine within”-natural, opiatelike neurotransmitters linked to pain control and to pleasure.

26
Q

somatic nervous system

A

the division of the peripheral nervous system that controls the body’s skeletal muscles. Also called the skeletal nervous system.

28
Q

nervous system

A

the body’s speedy, electrochemical communication network, consisting of all the nerve cells of the peripheral and central nervous systems.

30
Q

autonomic nervous system (ANS)

A

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.

31
Q

MRI (magnetic resonance imaging)

A

a technique that uses magnetic fields and radio waves to produce computer-generated images of soft tissue. MRI scans show brain anatomy.

32
Q

parietal lobes

A

portion of the cerebral cortex lying at the top of the head and toward the rear; receives sensory input for touch and body position.

34
Q

motor cortex

A

an area at the rear of the frontal lobes that controls voluntary movements.

37
Q

glial cells (glia)

A

cells in the nervous system that support, nourish, and protect neurons; they may also play a role in learning and thinking.

38
Q

sensory neurons

A

neurons that carry incoming information from the sensory receptors to the brain and spinal cord.

39
Q

parasympathetic nervous system

A

the division of the autonomic nervous system that calms the body, conserving its energy.

40
Q

association areas

A

areas of the cerebral cortex that are not involved in primary motor or sensory functions; rather, they are involved in higher mental functions such as learning, remembering, thinking, and speaking.

41
Q

temporal lobes

A

portion of the cerebral cortex lying roughly above the ears; includes the auditory areas, each receiving information primarily from the opposite ear.

42
Q

pituitary gland

A

the endocrine system’s most influential gland. Under the influence of the hypothalamus, the pituitary regulates growth and controls other endocrine glands.

43
Q

peripheral nervous system (PNS)

A

the sensory and motor neurons that connect the central nervous system (CNS) to the rest of the body.

44
Q

cerebellum

A

the “little brain” at the rear of the brainstem; functions include processing sensory input and coordinating movement output and balance.

45
Q

medulla

A

the base of the brainstem; controls heartbeat and breathing.

46
Q

frontal lobes

A

portion of the cerebral cortex lying just behind the forehead; involved in speaking and muscle movements and in making plans and judgments.

47
Q

adrenal glands

A

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.

48
Q

sensory cortex

A

area at the front of the parietal lobes that registers and processes body touch and movement sensations.

49
Q

motor neurons

A

neurons that carry outgoing information from the brain and spinal cord to the muscles and glands.

50
Q

brainstem

A

the oldest part and central core of the brain, beginning where the spinal cord swells as it enters the skull; the brainstem is responsible for automatic survival functions.

51
Q

cerebral cortex

A

the intricate fabric of interconnected neural cells covering the cerebral hemispheres; the body’s ultimate control and information-processing center.