Unit 3: Biological Bases Of Behavior Flashcards Preview

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Flashcards in Unit 3: Biological Bases Of Behavior Deck (75):
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Neuron

A nerve cell; the basic building block of the nervous system

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Dendrite

A neuron's bushy, branching extensions that receive messages and conduct impulses toward the cell body

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Axon

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

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Myelin sheath

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.

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Action potential

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

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Refractory period

A period of inactivity after a neuron has fired

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All-or-none response

A neuron's reaction of either firing (with a full-strength response) or not firing

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Synapse

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

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Neurotransmitters

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

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Reuptake

A neurotransmitter's reabsorption by the sending neuron

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Endorphins

"morphine within"- natural, opiate-like neurotransmitters linked to pain control and to pleasure

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Dopamine

Neurotransmitter/hormone that indicates pleasure

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Agonist

A molecule that, by binding to a receptor site, stimulates a response

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Antagonist

A molecule that, by binding to a receptor site, inhibits or blocks a response

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Peripheral nervous system

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

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Central nervous system

the brain and spinal cord

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Sensory neurons

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

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Motor neurons

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

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Endocrine system

The body's "slow" chemical communication system; a set of glands that secrete hormones into the bloodstream

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Hormones

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

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Adrenal gland

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

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Pituitary gland

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

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Lesion

Tissue destruction; a brain lesion is a naturally or experimentally caused destruction of brain tissue

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Brainstem

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

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Medulla

The base of the brainstem; controls heartbeat and breathing

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Reticular formation

A nerve network that travels through the brainstem and thalamus and plays an important role in controlling arousal

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Thalamus

The brain's sensory control center, 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

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Cerebellum

The "little brain" at the rear of the brainstem; functions include processing sensory input, coordinating movement output and balance, and enabling nonverbal learning and memory

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Limbic system

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

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Amygdala

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

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Hypothalamus

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

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Cerebral cortex

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

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Frontal lobes

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

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Parietal lobes

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

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Occipital lobes

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

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Temporal lobes

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

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Motor cortex

An area at the rear of the frontal lobes that controls voluntary movements

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Somatosensory cortex

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

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Association areas

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

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Broca's area

Speaking

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Wernicke's area

Understanding

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Plasticity

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

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Neurogenesis

The formation of new neurons

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Corpus-callosum

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

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Split brain

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

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Left-brain specialization

Verbal, logical (makes sense of something)

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Right-brain specialization

Face recognition, movement, making inferences, modulating speech, sense of self

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Dual processing

The principle that information is often simultaneously processed on separate conscious and unconscious tracks

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Genes

The biochemical units of heredity that make up the chromosomes; segments of DBA capable of synthesizing proteins.

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Heritability

The proportion of variation among individuals that we can attribute to genes. The heritability of a trait may vary, depending on the range of populations and environments studied.

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Epigenetics

The study of environmental influences on gene expression that occur without a DNA change

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Identical Twins

monozygotic; twins who develop from a single fertilized egg that splits in two, creating two genetically identical organisms

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Fraternal Twins

dizygotic; twins who develop form separate fertilized eggs. They are genetically no closer than brothers and sisters, but they share a fetal environment

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Bouchard's Twin Studies

Separated twins share similarities

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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). It's sympathetic division arouses; it's parasympathetic division calms

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Genes

The biochemical units of heredity that make up the chromosomes; segments of DNA capable of synthesizing proteins

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Glial cells

Cells in the nervous system that support, nourish, and protects neurons; they may also play a role in learning and thinking

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Behavior genetics

The study of the relative power and limits of genetic and environmental influences in behavior

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Chromosomes

Threadlike structures made of DNA molecules that contain the genes

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CT (computed tomography) scan

A series of X-Ray photographs taken from different angles and combined by computer into a composite representation of a slice of the brain's structure

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Electroencephalogram (EEG)

An amplified recording of the waves of electrical activity sweeping across the brain's surface. These waves are measured by electrodes placed on the scalp

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Endorphins

"Morphine within" - natural, opiate-like neurotransmitters linked to pain control and to pleasure

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fMRI (functional MRI)

A technique doe revealing blood flow and, therefore, brain activity by comparing successive MRI scans. fMRI scans show brain function as well as it's structure

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Sympathetic nervous system

The division do the autonomic nervous system that arouses the body, mobilizing its energy in stressful situations

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Parasympathetic nervous system

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

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Homeostasis

A tendency to maintain a balanced or constant internal state; the regulation of any aspect of body chemistry, such as blood glucose, around a particular level

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Somatic nervous system

The division of the peripheral nervous system that controls the body's skeletal muscles

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Medulla

The base of the brainstorm; controls heartbeat and breathing

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PET (position emission tomography) scan

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

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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

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Parietal lobes

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

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Hippocampus

A neural center located in the limbic system; helps process explicit memories for stories

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Interneurons

Neurons within the brain and spin cord that communicate internally and intervene between the sensory inputs and motor outputs

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Natural selection

The principle that, among the rand of inherited trait variations, those contributing to reproduction and survival will most likely be passed on to succeeding generations

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Identical twins (monozygotic twins)

Twins who develop from a single fertilized egg that splits in two, creating two genetically identical organisms