Proposed nonmaterial entity responsible for intelligence, attention, awareness, and consciousness.
Idea that selection for improved brain cooling through increased blood circulation in the brains of early hominids enabled the brain to grow larger.
Synonym for mind, an entity once proposed to be the source of human behavior.
Behavior that is characteristic of all members of a species.
Specialized nerve cell engaged in information processing.
Individual characteristics that can be seen or measured.
Learned behaviors that are passed on from one generation to the next through teaching and experience.
Division into a number of parts that are similar; refers to the idea that many animals, including vertebrates, are composed of similarly organized body segments.
central nervous system (CNS)
The brain and spinal cord that together mediate behavior.
Major structure of the brainstem specialized for coordinating and learning skilled movements. In large-brained animals, the cerebellum may also have a role in coordinating other mental processes.
Major structure of the forebrain that consists of two virtually identical hemispheres (left and right) and is responsible for most conscious behavior.
deep brain stimulation (DBS)
Neurosurgery in which electrodes implanted in the brain stimulate a targeted area with a low-voltage electrical current to facilitate behavior.
Group of organisms that can interbreed.
Body plan in which organs or parts present on both sides of the body are mirror images in appearance. For example, the hands are bilaterally symmetrical, whereas the heart is not.
peripheral nervous system (PNS)
All the neurons in the body located outside the brain and spinal cord; provides sensory and motor connections to and from the central nervous system.
Philosophical position that holds that both a nonmaterial mind and a material body contribute to behavior.
Explanation of behavior as a function of the nonmaterial mind.
Philosophical position that holds that behavior can be explained as a function of the brain and the rest of the nervous system without explanatory recourse to the mind.
persistent vegetative state (PVS)
Condition in which a person is alive but unable to communicate or to function independently at even the most basic level.
Differences in gene expression related to environment and experience.
Hypothesis that the movements we make and the movements we perceive in others are central to communication with others.
Consensual experiment directed toward developing a treatment.
encephalization quotient (EQ)
Jerison's quantitative measure of brain size obtained from the ratio of actual brain size to expected brain size, according to the principle of proper mass, for an animal of a particular body size.
minimally conscious state (MCS)
Condition in which a person can display some rudimentary behaviors, such as smiling or uttering a few words, but is otherwise not conscious.
Literally, half a sphere, referring to one side of the cerebrum.
Quandary of explaining how a nonmaterial mind and a material body interact.
traumatic brain injury (TBI)
Wound to the brain that results from a blow to the head.
General term referring to primates that walk upright, including all forms of humans, living and extinct.
Particular genetic makeup of an individual.
Darwin's theory for explaining how new species evolve and how existing species change over time. Differential success in the reproduction of different characteristics (phenotypes) results from the interaction of organisms with their environment.
Process in which maturation is delayed and so an adult retains infant characteristics; idea derived from the observation that newly evolved species resemble the young of their common ancestors.
Animal that has both a brain and a spinal cord.
Phylogenetic tree that branches repeatedly, suggesting a taxonomy of organisms based on the time sequence in which evolutionary branches arise.
Simple nervous system that has no brain or spinal cord but consists of neurons that receive sensory information and connect directly to other neurons that move muscles.
Part of the central nervous system encased within the vertebrae (spinal column) that provides most of the connections between the brain and the rest of the body.
Forebearer from which two or more lineages or family groups arise and so is ancestral to both groups.
Central structure of the brain responsible for most unconscious behavior.
Collection of nerve cells that function somewhat like a brain.