Glossary of AP Psych terms P2 Neuro and Behavior

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Biological psychology
a branch of psychology concerned with the links between biology and behavior... (behavioral neuroscientists, neurophyschologists, behavior geneticists, physiological psychologists, or biopsychologists) (54)
a nerve cell; the basic building block of the nervous system. (54)
the bushy, branching extensions of a neuron that recieve messages and conduct impulses toward the cell body. (54)
the extension of a neuron, ending in branching terminal fibers, through which messages pass to other neurons or to muscles or glands. (54)
myelin sheath
layer of fatty tissue segmentally encasing the fibers of many neurons; enables castly greater transmission speed of neural impulses as the impulse hops from one node to the next. (54)
action potential
a neural impulse; a brief electrical charge that travels down an axon. It is generated by the movement of positively charged atoms in and out of channels in the axon's membrane. (55)
level of stimulation required to trigger a neural impulse. (56)
junction between axon tip of the sending neuron and the dendrite or cell body of the recieving neuron. The tiny gap at this junction is called a cleft or synaptic gap. (56)
chemical messengers that traverse the synaptic gap between neurons. When released by the sending neuron, they travel across the synapse and bind to receptor sites on the receiving neuron, thereby influencing whether that neuron will generate a neural impulse. (56)
acetycholine (Ach)
a neurotransmitter that, among its functions, triggers muscle contraction. (58)
"morphine within"- natural, opiate-like neurotransmitters linked to pain control and to pleasure. (59)
nervous system
the body's speedy, electrochemical communication system, consisting of all the nerve cells of the peripheral and central nervous systems. (60)
central nervous system (CNS)
the brain and spinal chord. (60)
peripheral nervous system (PNS)
the sensory and motor neurons that connect the central nervous system (CNS) to the rest of the body. (60)
neural "cables" containing many axons. These bundled axons, which are part of the peripheral nervous system, connect the central nervous system with muscles, glands, and sense organs. (60)
sensory neurons
neurons that carry incoming info from the sense receptors to the central nervous system. (60)
central nervous system neurons that internally communicate and intervene between the sensory inputs and motor outputs. (60)
motor neurons
neurons that carry outgoing info from the central nervous system to the muscles and glands. (61)
somatic nervous system
the division fo the peripheral nervous system that controls the body's skeletal muscles. Also called the skeletal nervous system. (61)
autonomic nervous system
part of peripheral nervous system that controls the glands and muscles of the internal organs (such as the heart). (61)
sympathetic nervous system
the division of the autonomic nervous system that arouses the body, mobilizing its energy in stressful situations. (61)
parasympathetic nervous system
the division of the autonomic nervous system that calms the body, conserving its energy. (61)
a simple, automatic, inborn response to a sensory stimulus, such as the knee-jerk response. (62)
neural networks
interconnected neural cells. With experience, networks can learn, as feedback strengthens or inhibits connections that produce certain results. Computer simulations of these show analogous learning. (64)
endocrine system
the body's "slow" chemical communication system; a set of glands that secrete hormones into the bloodstream. (64)

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