Glossary of EPPP - Neuropsychology

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The loss of ability to recognize or comprehend various types of stimulation, usually nonlanguage. If the inability to comprehend is in the verbal area, the agnosia is typically called aphasia.
Medications used to elevate mood; includes tricyclics, SSRI's, and MAO inhibitors. Antidepressants, which increase brain levels of norepinephrine and/or serotonin, are also used to treat panic disorders and agoraphobia.
Deficit in or inability to use or understand spoken, symbolic, or written language.
An inability to execute purposeful movements usually due to damage to the frontal or parietal lobes.
Autonomic Nervous System
Division of the peripheral nervous system involved in the control of visceral functions (e.g., heart rate, blood pressure, respiration, digestion, and sweating).
Broca's Area
Region of the frontal part of the left hemisphere responsible for speech production. Damage to this area leads to slow, laborious, and nonfluent speech, known as expressive aphasia or Broca's aphasia.
The neurotransmitters norepinephrine, epinephrine, and dopamine. The catecholamine hypothesis holds that depression is due to deficient brain levels of norepinephrine.
Central Nervous System (CNS)
Consists of the spinal cord and the brain.
Cerebral Cortex
Covers the entire brain, divided into two hemispheres that are bilaterally symmetrical. Plays a critical role in mediating most higher cognitive processes. Each hemisphere is divided into four lobes: frontal, parietal, occipital, and temporal.
Conduction Aphasia
Due to damage to the nerve fibers (arcuate fasciculus) which connect Broca's area to Wernicke's area. The most typical result of conduction aphasia is difficulty repeating what one has heard.
A neurotransmitter found in the brain. Insufficient brain dopamine in the basal ganglia is believed to underlie Parkinson's disease, whereas excessive levels are associated with Schizophrenia.
General Adaptation Syndrome (GAS)
According to Selye, human psychophysiological response to stress involving three stages: Alarm reaction, resistance, and exhaustion.
A brain center playing an important role in transferring information from short-term memory to long-term memory.
Involved in regulating the organism's homeostasis. Plays a role in many motivated behaviors such as drinking, feeding, sex, aggression, and maternal behavior.
James-Lange Theory
Theory that emotions reflect observations and experiences of visceral and muscular reactions to certain stimuli; i.e., "we are sad because we're crying."
Kluver-Bucy Syndrome
Caused by damage to or removal of portions of the temporal lobes and subcortical areas resulting in symptoms of loss of recognition of people, loss of fear and rage reactions, increased sexual activity, and memory deficits.
Left Hemisphere
Controls motor and sensory functions on the right side of the body. Specialized for verbal activities.
Minor Tranquilizers (also Called Anxiolytics)
Anti-anxiety medications which depress cellular activity by inhibiting synaptic transmissions, particularly in the arousal centers in the ascending reticular activating system and the thalamic projections to the cerebral cortex. Include the benzodiazepine
Chemicals which are used by neurons to communicate with other neurons; either cause excitation or inhibition of a neuron's activity. The different neurotransmitters include norepinephrine, dopamine, serotonin, and acetylcholine.
Neurotransmitter believed to be involved in depression and mania. Along with epinephrine and dopamine, one of the catecholamines.
Parasympathetic Nervous System
Division of the autonomic nervous system involved in the conservation of energy and relaxation. Activation is associated with slowing of heart rate, low blood pressure, etc.
Antipsychotic drugs associated with relief of "positive" psychotic symptoms, such as delusions and hallucinations. Also referred to as neuroleptics.
An inability to recognize familiar faces.
REM Rebound
Refers to increase in REM sleep that occurs upon cessation of use of certain drugs, such as barbiturates.
Reticular Activating System (RAS)
A system of undifferentiated neurons extending throughout the brain responsible for functions related to brain arousal, sleep, and filtering of stimuli.
Right Hemisphere
Controls motor and sensory functions on the left side of the body. Specialized for spatial activities.
Neurotransmitter that has been implicated in certain mental disorders including the Mood Disorders and Schizophrenia.
Sympathetic Nervous System
Division of the autonomic nervous system involved in emergency (flight or fight) reactions. Activation produces increased heart rate, pupil dilation, etc.
Tardive Dyskinesia
Involuntary rhythmic movements that occur as a side effect of the use of phenothiazines.
Serves as a central switching station for sensory information going to the cortex, and for communication between different cortical regions as well as between the cortex and the subcortical regions of the brain.
Antidepressants that increase brain levels of norepinephrine and serotonin.
Wernicke's Area
A region in the left temporal lobe involved in understanding speech. Damage leads to receptive speech aphasias.

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