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Chapter 2: Neuroscience and Behavior

Terms

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dopamine
influences movement, learning, attention, and emotion. Excess activity has been linked with schizophrenia
aphasia
impairment of language, usually caused by left hemisphere damage either to Broca's area(impairing speaking) or to Wernicke's area(impairing understanding)
sensory cortex
the area at the front of the parietal lobes that registers and processes body sensations
interneurons
central nervous system neurons that internally communicate and intervene between the sensory inputs and motor outputs
hormones
chemical messengers, mostly those manufactured by the endocrine glands, that are produced in one tissue and affect another
Antagonists
inhibit by blocking neurotransmitters or by diminishing their release.
plasticity
the brain's capacity for modification, as evident in brain reorganization following damage(especially in children) and in experiments on the effects of experience on brain development
reflexes
our automatic responses to stimuli
amygdala
two almond-shaped neural clusters that are components of the limbic system and are linked to emotion
electroencephalogram(EEG)
an amplified recording of the waves of electrical activity that sweep across the brain's surface. These waves are measured by electrodes placed on the scalp
neuron
a nerve cell; the basic building block of the nervous system
temporal lobes
the portion of the cerebral cortex lying roughly above the ears; includes the auditory areas, each of which receives auditory information primarily from the opposite ear.
CT(computed tomography) scan
a series of X-ray photographs taken from different angles and combined by computer into a composite representation of a slice through the body. Also called CAT scan
parietal lobes
the portion of the cerebral cortex lying at the top of the head and toward the rear; includes the sensory cortex.
neural networks
interconnected neural cells. With experience, networks can learn, as feedbacks strengthens or inhibits connections that produce certain results.
lesion
tissue destruction. A brain lesion is a naturally or experimentally caused destruction of brain tissue
occipital lobes
the portion of the cerebral cortex lying at the back of the head; include the visual areas, which receive visual information from the opposite visual field
Norepinephrine
helps control alertness and arousal
cerebellum
the "little brain" attached to the rear of the brainstem; it helps coordinate voluntary movement and balance
motor cortex
an area at the rear of the frontal lobes that controls voluntary movements
nerves
neural "cables" containing many axons. These bundles axons, which are part of the peripheral nervous system, connect the central nervous system with muscles, glands and sense organs.
split brain
a condition in which the two hemispheres of the brain are isolated by cutting the connecting fibers(mainly those of corpus callosum) between them
hypothalamus
a neural structure lying below(hypo) the thalamus; it directs several maintenance activities(eating, drinking, body temperature), helps govern the endocrine system via the pituitary gland, and is linked to emotion.
association areas
areas of the cerebral cortex that are not involved in primary motor or sensory functions; rather, they are involved in higher mental functions such as learning, remembering, thinking, and speaking
sensory neurons
neurons that carry incoming information from the sense receptors to the central nervous system
sympathetic nervous system
the division of the autonomic nervous system that arouses the body, mobilizing its energy in stressful situations
reticular formation
a nerve network in the brainstem that plays an important role in controlling arousal
Serotonin
affects mood, hunger, sleep, and arousal. Prozac and similar antidepressant drugs raise serotonin levels
parasympathetic nervous system
the division of the autonomic nervous system that calms the body, conserving its energy
biological psychology
a branch of psychology concerned with the links between biology and behavior
adrenal glands
a pair of endocrine glands just above the kidneys. The adrenals secrete the hormones epinephrine(adrenaline) and norepinephrine(noradranaline), which help to arouse the body in times of stress
Gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA)
serves inhibitory functions and sis sometimes implicated in eating and sleep disorders
autonomic nervous system
the part of the peripheral nervous system that controls the glands and the muscles of the internal organs (such as the heart). Its sympathetic system arouses; its parasympathetic division calms.
dendrite
a bushy, branching extensions of a neuron that receive messages and conduct impulses toward the cell body.
neurotransmitters
chemical messengers that alters the moods.
somatic nervous system
the division of the peripheral nervous system that controls the body's skeletal muscles. Also called the skeletal nervous system
Agonists
excite by mimicking a particular neurotransmitter or blocking its reuptake.
peripheral nervous system
the sensory and motor neurons that connect the central nervous system(CNS) to the rest of the body
axon
the extension of a neuron, ending in branching terminal fibers, through which messages are sent to other neurons or to muscles or glands
Broca's area
an area of the frontal lobes, usually in the left hemisphere, that directs the muscle's movements involved in speech
glial cells
cells in the nervous sytem that are not neurons but that support, nourish, and protect neurons.
endorphins
"morphine within"-- natural, opiatelike neurotransmitters linked to pain control and to pleasure
synapse
the junction between the axon tip of the sending neuron and the dendrite or cell body of the receiving neuron. The tiny gap at this junction is called the synaptic gap or cleft.
brainstem
the oldest part and central core of the brain, beginning where the spinal cord swells as it enters the skull; the brainstem is responsible for automatic survival functions
thalamus
the brain's sensory switchboard, located on top of the brainstem; it directs messages to the sensory receiving areas in the cortex and transmits replies to the cerebellum and medulla
PET(positron emission tomography) scan
a visual display of brain activity that detects where a radioactive form of glucose goes while the brain performs a given task
myelin sheath
a layer of fatty tissue segmentally encasing the fibers of many neurons; enables vastly greater transmission speed of neural impulses as the impulse hops from one node to the next
pituitary gland
the endocrine system's most influence of the hypothalamus, the pituitary regulates growth and controls other endocrine glands
acetylcholine
a neurotransmitter that, among its functions, triggers muscle contraction. The neurons that produce this vital chemical messenger deteriorate when a person has Alzheimer's disease
nervous system
the body's speedy, electrochemical communication system, consisting of all the nerve cells of the peripheral and central nervous system
cerebral cortex
the intricate fabric of interconnnected neural cells that covers the cerebral hemispheres; the body's ultimate control and information-processing center
wernicke's area
a brain area involved in language comprehension and expression; usually in the left temporal lobe.
corpus callosum
the large band of neural fibers connecting the two brain hemispheres and carrying messages between them
medulla
the base of the brainstem; controls heartbeat and breathing
endocrine system
the body's "slow" chemical communication system; a set of glands that secrete hormones n to the bloodstream
central nervous system
the brain and spinal cord
action potential
a neural impulse; a brief electrical charge that travels down an axon.
phrenology
an ill-fated theory that claimed bumps on the skull could reveal our mental abilities and our character traits
MRI(magnetic resonance imaging)
a technique that uses magnetic fields and radio waves to produce computer-generated images that distinguish among different types of soft tissue; allows us to see structures within the brain
threshold
a level of stimulation required to trigger a neural impulse.
motor neurons
the neurons that carry outgoing information from the central nervous system the the muscles and glands
frontal lobes
the portion of the the cerebral cortex lying just behind the forehead; involved in speaking and muscle movements and in making plans and judgements
limbic system
a doughnut-shaped system of neural structures at the border of the brainstem and cerebral hemispheres; associated with emotions such as fear and aggression and drives such as those for food and sex. Includes hippocampus, amygdala, and hypothalamus

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