Glossary of Psych Chapter 2

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action potential
neural impulse
acetylcholine (ACh)
neurotransmitter that triggers muscle contraction (think Botulin v. black widow venom)
neurotransmitter that controls pain and pleasure
nervous system
speedy, electrochemical communication system
central nervous system
brain and spinal cord
peripheral nervous system
sensory and motor neurons that connect the CNS to the rest of the body (not encased in bone)
sensory neurons
carry info to CNS
communicate within CNS
motor neurons
carry info from CNS
skeletal nervous system
division of the PNS that controls body's skeletal muscles
autonomic nervous system
division of PNS that controls glands, muscles, and organs (contains sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous systems)
sympathetic nervous system
division of the autonomic nervous system that controls arousal
parasympathetic nervous system
division of the autonomic nervous system that calms the body
neural networks
interconnected neural cells that learn with experience
endocrine system
body's slow chemical communication system
adrenal glands
endocrine glands that secrete epinephrine (adrenaline) and norepinephrine (noradrenaline) that help arouse the body
pituitary glands
endocrine gland that controls other endocrine glands; controlled by hypothalamus
electroencephalogram (EEG)
recording of brain waves
computed tomograph (CT) scan
x-ray photographs of the brain
position emission tomograph (PET) scan
visual display of brain activity that detects where glucose goes while the brain performs a certain task
magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan
combines magnetic fields and radio waves to produce images
controls heartbeat and breathing
reticular formation
controls arousal
coordinates voluntary movement and balance
limbic system
system of neural structures associated with emotions and drives
linked to emotion, especially aggression
maintenance activities like eating, drinking, and body temperature; controls pituitary gland
glial cells
cells that take care of neurons
motor cortex
in the frontal lobes
sensory cortex
in the parietal lobes
visual cortex
in the occipital lobes
auditory cortex
in the temporal lobes
association areas
areas not taken up by other cortices of brain, responsible for higher level thinking
impairment of language
Broca's area
in the left frontal lobe, directs muscle movements involved in speech
Weirnicke's area
in the left temporal lobe, involved in language comprehension
corpus callosum
connects the two hemispheres
split brain
the right and left hemispheres are isolated by cutting the corpus callosum
behavior genetcis
study of how much nature and nurture affect behavior
proportion of variation among individuals that we can attribute to genes

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