Glossary of boulton

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absolute treshold
lowest intensity of some stimulus that produces a response
action potential
brief change in the electrical potential of an axon. which is the physical basis of the nervous impulse
adrenal medulla
inner core of the adrenal gland, which regulates the release of epinephrine and norepinephrine into the bloodstream
afferent nerves
sensory nerves that carry messages to the brain
a serious disturbance in the organization of sensory info produced by lesions in certain cortical association areas
drugs that enhance the activity of a neurotransmitter, often by increasing the amount of transmitter substance available
all or none law
describes the fact that once a stimulus exceeds threshold, further increases do not increase the amplitude of the action potential
drugs that increase the availability of norepinephrine, causing increased arousal and excitement
a difficulty in finding words that is often experienced by people with brain injuries
anterograde amnesia
inability to learn and remember any information imparted after the injury with little effect on memory for information acquired previously
autonomic nervous system
part of the nervous system that controls the internal organs, usually not under voluntary control
part of a neuron that transmits impulses to other neurons or effectors
basal ganglia
in the extrapyramidal motor system, a set of subcortical structures in the cerebrum that send messeges to the spinal cord through the midbrain to modulate various motor functions
central nervous system
the brain the spinal cord
two small hemispheres that form part of the hindbrain and control muscular coordination and equillibrium
cerebral cortex
outermost layer of the gray matter of the cerebral hemispheres
cerebral hemispheres
2 hemispherical structures that comprise the major part of the forebrain in mammals and serve as the main coordination center of the nervous system
childhood amnesia
failure to remember the events of our very early childhood
motor neurons
neurons whose cell bodies are in the spinal cord or brain and whose axons terminate in individual muscle cells
a nerve cell
chemicals liberated at the terminal end of an axon which travel across the synapse and have an excitatory or inhhibitory effect on an adjacent neuron
point in a network on which a number of connections converge
nodes of ranvier
gaps in the myelin sheath surrounding an axon that allow for a considerable increase in the transmission speed of neural impulses
occipital lobe
a lobe in each cerebral hemisphere which includes the visual projection area
optic nerve
bundle of fibers, made up of axons of ganglion cells, that leave the eyeball
pituitary gland
endocrine gland heavily influenced by the hypothalamus; a master gland because many of its secretions trigger hormone secretions in other glands
postsynaptic membrane
membrane of the receiving cell across the synaptic gap that contains specialized receptor molecules
postsynaptic neuron
cell receiving a neural message
presynaptic neuron
the cell that sends a neural message across the synaptic gap
projection areas
regions of the cortex that serve as receiving stations for sensory information or as dispatching stations for motor commands
inability to recognize faces produced by a brain lesion
receptor cells
special type of neuron that can respond to various external energies and translate physical stimuli into electrical changes to which other neurons can respond
simple, stereotyped reaction in response to some stimulus
retrogade amnesia
memory deficit suffered after head injury or concussion in which the patient loses memory of some period prior to the injury
a neurotransmitter involved in many of the mechanisms of sleep and emotional arousal
smooth muscles
muscles of the internal organs that are controlled by the autonomic nervous system
somatic nervous system
division of the peripheral nervous system primarily concerned with the control of the skeletal musculature and the transmission of information from the sense organs
anything in the environment that the organism can detect and respond to
juncture between the axon of one neuron and the dendrite or cell body of another
temporal lobe
lobe in each cerebral hemisphere which includes the auditory projection area
temporal summation
process whereby two or more stimuli that are individually below threshold will eleicit a reflex if the stimulus occurs repeatedly
principal male sex hormone in mammals
part of the lower portion of the forebrain which serves as a major relay and integration center for sensory information
value a stimulus must reach to produce a response
the tiny sacs in the presynaptic neuron that contain neurotransmitters
corpus callosum
bundle of fibers that connects the two cerebral hemispheres
typically highly branched part of a neuron that receives impulses from receptors or other neurons and conducts them toward the cell body and axon
an increase of sonic reaction tendency by the removal of some inhibiting influence upon it
a neurotransmitter involved in various brain structures, including those that control motor action
organs of action; in humans, muscles and glands
efferent nerves
nerves that carry messages to the effectors
in mammals, the bulk of the brain, its foremost region includes the cerebral hemispheres; its rear includes the thalamus and hypothalamus
frontal lobe
lobe in each cerebral hemisphere which includes the motor project area
neural control centers that integrate messages from different receptor cells and coordinate the activity of different muscle fibers
a neurotransmitter involved in various brain structures, including those that control motor action
the most primitive portion of the brain, which includes the medulla and the cerebellum
structure in the temporal lobe that constitutes an important part of the limbic system; one of its functions seems to involve memory
small structure at the base of the brain which plays a vital role in the control of the autonomic nervous system, of the endocrine system, and of the major biological drives
neurons that receive impulses and transmit them to other neurons
lateral hypothalamus
region of the hypothalamus which is said to be a hunger center and to be in an antagonistic relation to a supposed satiety center, the ventromedial region of the hypothalamus
asymmetry function of the two cerebral hemispheres
limbic system
set of brain structures including a relatively primitive portion of the cerebral cortex and parts of the thalamus and hypothalamus
rearmost portion of the brain, just adjacent to the spinal cord; it includes centers that help to control respiration and muscle tone
part of the brain that includes some lower centers for sensory motor integration

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