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Psyc. 2 8-30-08

psyc. vocab


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lateralization of function
the notion that specific psychological or cognitive functions are processed primarily on one side of the brain
positron emission tomography PET
an invasive imaging technique that provides color-coded images of brain activity by tracking the brain's use of a radioactively tagged compound, such as glucose, oxygen, or a drug
the development of new neurons
adrenal medulla
the inner portion of the adrenal glands; secretes epinephrine and norepinephrine
glial cells
support cells that assist neurons by providing structural support, nutrition, and removal of cell wastes; manufacture myelin
reticular formation
a network of nerve fibers located in the center of the medulla that helps regulate attention, arousal, and sleep; also called the reticular activating system
cortical localization
the notion that different functions are located or localized in different ares of the brain; also called localization of function
neurotransmitter involved in sleep and emotions
limbic system
a group of forebrain structures that form a border around the brainstem and are involved in emotion, motivation, learning, and memory
peripheral nervous system
division of the nervous system that includes all the nerves lying outside the central nervous system
synaptic transmission
the process through which neurotransmitters are released by one neuron, cross the synaptic gap, and affect adjoining neurons
pituitary gland
endocrine gland attached to the base of the brain that secretes hormones that affect the function of other glands as well as hormones that act directly on physical processes.
structural plasticity
the brain's ability to change its physical structure in response to learning, active practicve, or environmental influences.
action potential
a brief electrical impulse by which info is transmitted along the axon of a neuron
substantia nigra
an area of the midbrain that is involved in morot control and contains a large concentration of dopamine-producing hormones
split-brain operation
a surgical procedure that invovles cutting the corpus callosum
a forebrain structure that processes sensory info for all sense, except smell, and relays it to the cerebral cortex
associated with parkinson's disease, schizophrenia, and drug addiction
somatic nervous system
subdivision of the peripheral nervous system that communicates sensory info to the cns and carries motor messages from the cns to the muscles.
cerebral cortex
the wrinkled outer portion of the forebrain, which contains the most sophisticated brain centers
a region of the brain made up of the hindbrain and the midbrain
functional magnetic resonance imaging fMRI
a noninvasive imaging tech that uses magnetic fields to map brain activity by measuring changes in the brain's blood flow and oxygen levels
the endocrine glands that secrete hormones that regulate sexual characteristics and reproductive processes; ovaries in females and testes in males.
chemical messengers manufactured by a neuron
synaptic gap
the tiny space between the axon terminal of one neuron and the dendrite of an adjoining neuron
GABA gamma-aminobutyric acid
neurotransmitter that usually communicates an inhibitory message
associated with depression, and stress
highly specialized cell that communicates info in electrical and chemical form; a nerve cell
region at the base of the brain that contains several structures that regulate basic life functions
corpus callosum
a thick band of axons that connects the two cerebral hemispheres and acts as a communication link between them
neurotransmitters that regulate pain perceptions
cell body
processes nutrients and provides energy for the neuron to function; contains the cell's nucleus; also called the soma
an almond-shaped forebrain structure that is part of the limbic system and is involved in emotion and memory
the study of the nervous system, especially the brain.
autonomic nervous system
subdivision of the peripheral nervous system that regulates involuntary functions
the process by which neurotransmitter molecules detach from a postsynaptic neuron and are reabsorbed by a presynapic neuron so they can be recycled and used again.
all-or-none law
the principle that either a neuron is sufficiently stimulated and an action potential occurs or a neuron is not sufficiently stimulated and an action potential does not occur
type of neuron that communicates info from one neuron to the next
chemical messengers secreted into the bloodstream primarily by endocrine glands.
a hindbrain structure that controls vital life functions such as breathing and circculation
biological psychology
specialized branch of psychology that studies the relationship between behavior and bodily processes and systems; also call biopsychology or psychobiology
neurotansmitter that causes muscle contraction and is involved in memory function
associated with alzheimer's disease
frontal lobe
the largest lobe of each cerebral hemisphere; processes voluntary muscle movements and is invovled in thinking, planning, and emotional control
neurotransmitter involved in learning and memory; also a hormone manufactured by adrenal glands.
neurotransmitter involved in the regulation of bodily movement, thought processes, and rewarding sensations.
spinal reflexes
sime, automatic behaviors that are processed in the spinal cord.
magnetic resonance imaging MRI
a noninvasive imaging tech that produces highly detailed images of the brain using electromagnetic signals generated by the brain in response to magnetic fields.
sensory neuron
type of neuron that conveys info to the brain from specialized receptor cells in sense organs and internal organs
associated with depression
an instrument that produces a graphic record of the brain's electrical activity by using electrodes placed on the scalpe
the point of communication between two neurons
a hindbrain structure that conncets the medulla to the two sides of the cerebellum; helps coordinate and integrate movements on each side of the body
a peanut-sixed forebrain structure that is part of the limbic system and regulates behaviors related to survival, such as eating, drinking, and sexual activity
stimulus threshold
the minimum level of stimulation required to activate a particular neuron
the partial or complete inability to articulate ideas or understand spoken or writeen language bc of brain injury or damage.
cognitive neuroscience
the study of the neural basis of cognitive process that integrates contributions from psychology, neuroscience, and computer science.
motor neuron
type of neuron that signals muscles to relax or contract
temporal lobe
an area on each hemisphere of the cerebral cortex near the temples that is the primary receiving area for auditory info.
associated with anxiety disorders
true or false; nerves and neurons are not the same
parasympathetic nervous system
branch of the autonomic nervous system that maintains normal bodily functions and conserves the body's physical resources
a curved forebrain structure that is part of the limbic system and is involved in learning and forming new memories
multiple short fibers that extend from the neuron's cell body and recieve info from other neurons or from sensory receptor cells
sympathetic nervous system
branch of the autonomic nervous system that produces rapid physical arousal in response to perceived emergencies or threats
bundles of neuron axons that carry info in the peripheral nervous system
myelin sheath
a white, faty covering wrapped around the axons of some neurons that increases their communication speed
endocrine system
system of glands located throughout the body that secrete hormones into the bloodstream
axon terminals
branches at the end of the axon that contain tiny pouches, or sacs, called synaptic vesicles
associated with opiate addiction
adrenal glands
pair of endocrine glands that are involved in the human stress response
functional plasticity
the brain's ability to shift functions from damaged to undamaged brain areas
resting potential
state in which a neuron is prepared to activate and communicate its message if it receives sufficient stimulation
central nervous system
division of the nervous system that consists of the brain and spinal cord
parietal lobe
an area on each hemisphere of the cerebral cortex located above the tempral lobe that processes somatic sensations
the long, fluid-filled tube that carries a neuron's messages to other body areas
nervous system
the primary internal communication network of the body; divided into the central and peripheral parts
a large, two sided hindbrain structure at the back of the brain; responsible for muscle cordination and maintaining posture and equilibrium
occipital lobe
an area at the back of each cerebral hemisphere that is the primary receiving are for visual info
a discredited pseudo-scientific theory of the brain that claimed that personality characteristics, moral character, and intelligence could be determined by examining the bumps on a person's skull
adrenal cortex
the outer portion of teh adrenal glands

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