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Exam 1


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a drug of abuse, derived from the coca plant, that acts by potentiating catecholamine stimulation
"before the ganglion"; referring to neurons in the autonomic nervous system that run from the central nervous system to the autonomic ganglia
postsynaptic potential
also called graded potential or local potential; an electrical potential that is initiated at a postsynaptic site that can vary in amplitude and spreads passively across the cell membrane, decreasing in strength with time and distance
endogenous ligand
any substance, produced within the body, that selectively binds to the type of receptor that is under study
a brain disorder marked by major sudden changes in the electrophysiological state of the brain that are referred to as seizures
dendritic spine
an outgrowth along the dendrite of a neuron
Sylvian fissure
a deep fissure that demarcates the temporal lobe
central sulcus
a fissure that divides the frontal lobe from the parietal lobe
collective name for all the factors that affect the movement of a drug into, through, and out of the body
a class of drugs that alleviate schizophrenia
transiently inactivated or exhausted
coronal plane
the plane that divides the body into a front (anterior) and a back (posterio); also know as frontal plane or transverse plane
electroencephalogram (EEG)
a recording of gross electrical activity of the brain recorded from large electrodes places on the scalp
mesolimbocortical pathway
a set of dopaminergic axons arising in the midbrain and innervating the limbic system and cortex
amine neurotransmitter
a neurotransmitter based on modifications of a single amino acid nucleus, such as acetylcholine, serotonin, or dopamine
globus pallidus
one of the basal ganglia
competitive ligand
a substance that directly competes with the endogenous ligand for binding to a receptor molecule
tricyclic antidepressents
a class of drugs that act by increasing the synaptic accumulation of serotonin and norepinephrine
endogenous opioids
a family of peptide transmitters that have been called the body's own narcotics; the three kinds are enkephalins, endorphins, dynorphins
mesostriatal pathway
a set of dopaminergic axons arising from the midbrain and innervating the basal ganglia, including those from the substantia nigra to the striatum
voltage-gated Na channel
an Na-selective channel that open or closes in response to changes in the voltage of the local membrane potential; mediates the action potential
referring to cholinergic receptors that respond to nicotine as well as acetylcholine
referring to cells that use acetylcholine as their synaptic transmitter
a class of substances that are used to combat anxiety
postcentral gyrus
the strip of parietal cortex, just behind the central sulcus, that receives somatosensory information from the entire body
all-or-none property
the face that the amplitude of the action potential is independent of the magnitude of the stimulus
serotonin (5-HT)
a synaptic transmitter that is produced in the raphe nuclei and is active in structures throughout the cerebral hemispheres
a class of drugs that act to reduce neural activity
referring to cells that use acetylcholine as their synaptic transmitter
glial cells
also called glia or neuroglia; nonneural brain cells that provide structural, nutritional, and other types of support to the brain
also called rhombencephalon; the rear division of the brain, which, in the mature vertebrate, contains the cerebellum, pons, and medulla
referring to a synapse in which a presynaptic axon terminal synapses onto a dendrite of the postsynaptic neuron, either via a dendritic spine or directly onto the dendrite itself
an epileptic episode
opioid receptor
a receptor that responds to endogenous and/or exogenous opiates
event-related potential
a large change in electrical potential in the brain that is elicited by a discrete sensory or motor event
nitric oxide (NO)
a soluble gas that serves as a retrograde gas neurotransmitter in the nervous system
brain tissue with three layers or unlayered organization
partial agonist/partial antagonist
a drug that, when bound to a receptor, has less effect than the endogenous ligand would
a group of nuclei in the medial anterior part of the temporal lobe
an amino acid transmitter, the most common excitatory transmitter
synaptic vesicle
a small, spherical structure that contains molecules of synaptic transmitter
lipid bilayer
the structure of the neuronal cell membrane, which consists of two layers of lipid molecules, within which float various specialized proteins, such as receptors
ventral tegmental area (VTA)
a portion of the midbrain that projects dopaminergic fibers to the nucleus accumbens
the caudal part of the hindbrain
a class of antipsychotic drugs, traditionally dopamine receptor blockers
temporal summation
the summation of postsynaptic potentials that reach the axon hillock at different times; the closer in time that the potentials occur, the more complete the summation
receptor subtype
any type of receptor having functional characteristics that distinguish it from other types of receptors for the same neurotransmitters
optical imaging
a method for visualizing brain activity in which near-infrared light is passed through the scalp and skull
an alkaloid neurotoxin that causes paralysis by blocking acetylcholine receptors in muscle
substantia nigra
a midbrain structure that provides dopaminergic projections to areas of the forebrain, especially the basal ganglia
cocaine- and amphetamine-regulated transcript (CART)
a peptide produced in the brain when an animal is injected either cocaine or amphetamine; associated with the appetite control circuitry of the hypothalamus
a receptor for a synaptic transmitter that is located in the presynaptic membrane and tells the axon terminal how much transmitter has been released
referring to a type of synapse in which a synaptic conncetion forms between the dendrites of two neurons
axon hillock
a cone-shaped area from which the axon originates out of the cell body
pyramidal cell
a type of large nerve cell that has a roughly pyramid-shaped cell body; found in the cerebral cortex
a genetic abnormality of ion channels, causing a variety of symptoms
sodium-potassium pump
the energetically expensive mechanism that pushes sodium ions out of a cell, and potassium ions in
intracellular fluid
also called cytoplasm; the watery solution found within cells
gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA)
a widely distributed amino-acid transmitter, and the main inhibitory transmitter in the mammalian nervous system
a portion of the metencephalon
complex partial seizure
in epilepsy, a type of seizure that doesn't involve the entire brain, and therefore can cause a wide variety of symptoms
a histological technique that shows the distribution of radioactive chemicals in tissues
a condition in which, with repeated exposure to a drug, an individual becomes less responsive to a constant dose
referring to the lowest spinal vetebra (also known as the tailbone)
metabolic tolerance
the form of drug tolerance that arises when the metabolic machinery of the body becomes more efficient at clearing the drug, as a consequence of repeated exposure
tetrahydrocannabinol (THC)
the major active ingredient in marijuana
the process by which released synaptic transmitter molecules are taken up and reused by the presynaptic neuron, thus stopping synaptic activity
knee jerk reflex
a variant of the stretch reflex in which stretching of the tendon beneath the knee leads to an upward kick of the leg
neural chain
a simple kind of neural circuit in which neurons are attached linearly, end to end
lateral ventricle
a complexly shaped lateral portion of the ventricular system within each hemisphere of the brain
the process of myelin formation
vertebral arteries
arteries that ascend the vertebrae, enter the base of the skull, and join together to form the basilar artery
occiptal lobes
large regions of cortex covering much of the posterior part of each cerebral hemisphere
parallel fiber
one of the axons of the granule cells that form the outermost layer of the cerebellar cortex
dual dependence
dependence for emergent drug effects that occur only when two drugs are taken simultaneously
a medial temporal lobe structure that is thought to be important for learning and memory
raphe nuclei
a string of nuclei in the midline of the midbrain and brainstem that contain most of the serotonergic neurons of the brain
Nernst equation
an equation used to calculate the equilibrium potential at a membrane
ion channel
a pore in the cell membrane that permits the passage of certain ions through the membrane when the channels are open
diacetylmorphine; an articially modified, very potent form of morphine
output zone
the part of the neuron, usually corresponding to the axon terminals, at which the cell's electrical activity is conveyed to another cell
cerebrospinal fluid (CSF)
the fluid that fills the cerebral ventricles
conduction zone
the part of the neuron over which the nerve's electrical signal may be actively propagated; usually corresponds to the cell's axon
to carry information away from a region of interest
negative polarity
a negative electrical-potential difference relative to a reference electrode
referring to systems using norepinephrine (noradrenaline) as a transmitter
cortical column
one of the vertical columns that constitute that basic organization of the isocortex
cingulate gyrus
a cortical portion of the limbic system, found in the frontal and parietal midline
ligand-gated ion channel
an ion channel that opens or closes in response to the presnce of a particular chemical
cerebral hemispheres
the right and left halves of the brain
temporal lobes
large lateral cortical regions of each cerebral hemisphere, continuous with the parietal lobes posteriorly, and separated from the frontal lobe by the Sylvian fissure
axonal transport
the transportation of materials from the neuron cell body to distant regions in the dendrites and axons, and from the axon terminals back to the cell body
an endogenous substance that binds the cannabinoid receptor molecule
a class of drugs that alter sensory perception and produce peculiar experiences
neuron or nerve cell
the basic unit of the nervous system, each composed of a cell body, receptive extension(s) (dendrites), and a transmitting extension (axon)
substance abuse
a maladaptive pattern of substance use that has lasted more than a month but does not fully meet the criteria for dependence
magnetoencephalohgraphy (MEG)
a passive and noninvasive functional brain-imaging technique that measures the tiny magnetic fields produced by active neurons, in order to identify regions of the brain that are particularly active during a given task
a cellular location at which information is transmitted from one neuron to another
neuron doctrine
the hypothesis that the brain is composed of separate cells that are distinct structurally, metabolically, and functionally
neural plasticity
all called neuroplasticity; the ability of the nervous system to change in response to experience or the environment
central nervous system (CNS)
the portion of the nervous system that includes the brain and spinal cord
calcium ion (Ca)
a calcium atom that carries a double positive charge because it has lost two electrons
the posterior part of the forebrain, including the thalamus and hypothalamus
an especially small electrode used to record electrical potentials from living cells
the region of the brain that consists of the midbrain, the pons, and the medulla
the process in which enzymes convert into a metabolite that is itself active, possibly in ways that are substantially different from the actions of the original substance
Schwann cell
the accessory cell that forms myelin in the peripheral nervous system
also called ecstasy; a drug of abuse, 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine
a cellular organelle that provides metabolic energy for the cell's processes
a heterogenous extract of the seedpod juice of the opium poppy
a negatively charged ion, such as a protein or chloride ion
nissl stain
a histological stain that outlines all cell bodies because the dyes are attracted to RNA, which encircles the nucleus
anterior cerebral arteries
two large arteries, arising from the internal carotids, that provide blood to the anterior poles and medial surfaces of the cerebral hemispheres
a bundle of axons found within the central nervous system
electrostatic pressure
the propensity of charges molecules or ions to move, via diffusion, toward areas with the opposite charge
petit mal seizure
also called an absence attack; a seizure that is characterized by a spike-and-wave EEG and often involves a loss of awareness and inability to recall events surrounding the seizure
sensory neuron
a neuron that is directly affected by changes in the environment, such as light, odor, or touch
toward the middle
node of Ranvier
a gap between successive segments of the myelin sheath where the axon membrane is exposed
a specialized x-ray image of the head, taken shortly after the cerebral blood vessels have been filled with a radiopaque dye by means of a catheter
computerized axial tomography (CAT/CT)
a noninvasive technique for examining brain structure in humans through computer analysis of x-ray absorption at several positions around the head
axon collateral
a branch of an axon from a single neuron
also called co-release; here, the appearance of more than one neurotransmitter in a given presynaptic terminal
electrical synapse
also called gap junction; the region between neurons where the presynaptic and postsynaptic membranes are so close that the nerve impulse can jump to the postsynaptic membrane without first being translated into a chemical message
also called motor neuron; a nerve cell in the spinal cord that transmits motor messages from the spinal cord to the muscles
excitatory postsynaptic potential (EPSP)
a depolarizing potential in the postsynaptic neuron that is caused by excitatory presynaptic impulses; increase the probability that the postsynaptic neuron will fire an action potential
the positive or negative change in membrane potential that may follow an action potential
a fiber tract that extends from the hippocampus to the mammillary body
the provide neural input
referring to the region of the synapse that receives and responds to neurotransmitter
positron emission tomography (PET)
a technique for examining brain function by combining tomography with injection of radioactive substances used by the brain
"after the ganglion"; referring to neurons in the autonomic nervous system that run from the autonomic ganglia to various targets in the body
grand mal seizure
a type of generalized epileptic seizure in which nerve cells fire in high-frequency bursts
an immediate early gene commonly used to identify activated neurons
the swelling of tissue, especially in the brain, in response to injury
ventral root
the branch of a spinal nerve, arising from the ventral horn of the spinal cord, that carries motor messages from the spinal cord to the peripheral nervous system
a molecule, usually a drug, that binds a receptor molecule and initiates a response like that of another molecule, usually a neurotransmitter
the three protective sheets of tissue--dura mater, pia mater, and arachnoid--that surround the brain and spinal cord
postsynaptic membrane
the specialized membrane on the surface of the cell that receives information from a presynaptic neuron
one of the extensions of the cell body that are the receptive surfaces of the neuron
a class of monoamines that serve as neurotransmitters, including dopamine and norepinephrine
referring to a substance, usually a drug, that is present in the body in a form that is able to interact with physiological mechanisms
an acute inflammation of the meninges, usually caused by a viral or bacterial infection
chloride ion (Cl)
a chlorine atom that carries a negative charge because is has gained one electron
action potential
the propagated electrical message of a neuron that travels along the axon to the presynaptic axon terminals
conduction velocity
the speed at which an action potential is propagated along the length of an axon (or section of a peripheral nerve)
acetylcholine (ACh)
an amine transmitter that stimulates muscle contraction, but is also found throughout the brain
immunocytochemistry (ICC)
a method for detecting a particular protein in tissues in which (1) an antibody recognizes and binds to the protein and (2) chemical methods are then used to leave a visible reaction product around each antibody
cue-induced drug use
an increased likelihood to use a drug (especially an addictive drug) because of the presence of environmental stimuli that were present during previous use of the same drug
opioid peptide
a type of endogenous peptide that mimics the effects of morphine in binding to opioid receptors and producing marked analgesia and reward
the brain regions that surround the third ventricle
microglial cells
also called microglia; extremely small glial cells that remove cellular debris from injured or dead cells
granule cell
a type of small nerve cell
modulatory site
a portion of a receptor that, when bound by a compound, alters the receptor's response to its transmitter
the spontaneous spread of molecules of one substance among molecules of another substance until a uniform concentration is achieved
toward or at the back
multiple sclerosis
literally "many scars"; a disorder characterized by widespread degeneration of myelin
referring to the 5 spinal segments that make up the lower part of the lower back
potassium ion (K)
a potassium atom that carries a positive charge because it has lost one electron
horseradish peroxidase (HRP)
an enzyme found in horseradish and other plants that is used to determine the cells of origin of a particular set of axons
mammillary body
one of a pair of nuclei at the base of the brain
a class of mono amines that serve as neurotransmitters, including serotonin and melatonin
magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)
a noninvasive technique that uses magnetic energy to generate images that reveal some structural details in the living brain
sagittal plane
the plane that bisects the body into right and left halves
blood-brain barrier
the mechanisms that make the movement of substances from capillaries into brain cells more difficult than affording the brain greater protection from exposure to some substances found in the blood
sympathetic chain
a chain of ganglia that runs along each side of the spinal column; part of the sympathetic nervous system
the dorsal portion of the midbrain, including the inferior and superior colliculi
enteric nervous system
an extensive meshlike system of neurons that governs the functioning of the gut
the caudate nucleus and putamen together
gas neurotransmitter
a soluble gas, such as nitric oxide or carbon monoxide, that is produced and released by a neuron to alter the funtioning of another neuron
damage to a region of brain tissue that results from blockage or rupture of vessels that supply blood to that region
basal ganglia
a group of forebrain nuclei found deep within the cerebral hemispheres
parietal lobes
large regions of cortex lying between the frontal and occipital lobes of each cerebral hemisphere
a method of experimentally inducing and epiletic seizure by repeatedly stimulating a brain region
peptide neurotransmitter
a neurotransmitter consisting of a short chain of amino acids
an amino acid transmitter that is excitatory at many synapses
autonomic ganglia
collections of nerve cell bodies, belonging to the autonomic division of the peripheral nervous system, that are found in various locations and innervate the major organs
reticular formation
an extensive region of the brainstem (extending from the medulla through the thalamus) that is involved in arousal
here, an anatomical collection of neurons within the central nervous system
a process in which the body shows an enhanced response to a given drug after repeated doses
sodium ion (Na)
a sodium atom that carries a positive charge because it has lost one electron
blood-brain barrier
the mechanisms that make the movement of substances from capillaires into brain cells more difficult than exchanges in other body organs
chemical neuroanatomy
the distribution of key chemicals, such as transmitters and enzymes, within the structure of the nervous system
a collection of axons bundled together outside the central nervous system
steroids produced in the brain
monopolar neuron
a nerve cell with a single branch that leaves the cell body and then extends in two directions: one end is the receptive pole, the other end the output zone
referring to painkilling properties
exogenous ligand
any substance, originating from outside the body, that selectively binds to the type of receptor that is under study
maximal response
the strongest effect that a drug can have on a particular measured response, no matter how much of the drug is given
dose-response curve (DRC)
a formal plot of a drug's effects versus the dose given
lateral interaction
especially in sensory systems, the phenomenon by which reciprocal connections among neurons at the same level in the hierarchy more sharply tune the responses of the system
atypical neuroleptics
a class of antischizophremic drugs that have actions other than the dopamine D2 receptor antagonism that characterizes typical neuroleptics
the study of the life processes of neurons
gross neuroanatomy
anatomical features of the nervous system that are apparent to the naked eye
a dissociative anesthetic drug that acts as an NMDA receptor antagonist
a dried preparation of the Cannabis sativa plant, usually smoked to obtain THC
saltatory conduction
the form of conduction that is characteristic of myelinated axons, in which the nerve impulse jumps from one node of Ranvier to the next
sympathetic nervous system
one of two systems that compose the autonomic nervous system; arises from the thoracic and lumbar spinal cord
in situ hybridization
a method for detecting particular RNA transcripts in tissue sections by providing a nucleotide probe that is complementary to, and will therefore hybridize with, the transcript of interest
noncompetitive ligand
a drug that affects a transmitter receptor while binding at a site other than that bound by the endogenous ligand
corpus callosum
the main band of axons that connect the two cerebral hemispheres
inferior colliculi
paired structures on the dorsal surface of the midbrain, caudal to the superior colliculi, that receive auditory information
spinal nerve
also called somatic nerve; a nerve that emerges from the spinal cord
a subdivision of the hindbrain that includes the cerebellum and pons
a type of glial cell that is commonly associated with nerve cell bodies
referring to a synapse in which a presynaptic axon terminal synapses onto another axon's terminal
superior colliculi
paired structures on the dorsal surface of the midbrain, rostral to the inferior colliculi, that receive visual information
selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI)
a drug that blocks the reuptake of transmitter at serotonergic synapses
collective name for the factors that affect the realtionship between a drug and its target receptors, such as affinity and efficacy
olfactory bulb
an anterior basal structure that receives olfactory (smell) inputs from nasal cavaties
binding affinity
the propensity of molecules of a drug (or other ligand) to bind to their corresponding receptors; drugs with high affinity for their receptors are effective even at low doses
parasympathetic nervous system
one of two systems that compose the autonomic nervous system; arises from both the cranial nerves and the sacral spinal cord
a molecule, usually a drug, that interferes with or prevents the action of a transmitter
also simply called transmitter; the chemical, released from the presynaptic axon terminal, that serves as the basis of communication between neurons
the process by which neurotransmitter molecules are broken down into inactive metabolites
saxitoxin (STX)
an animal toxin that blocks sodium channels when applied to the outer surface of the cell membrane
limbic system
a loosely defined, widespread group of brain nuclei that innervate each other to form a network
the study of tissue structure
the tail end of the body
multipolar neuron
a nerve cell that has many dendrites and a single axon
benzodiazepine agonists
a class of antianxiety drugs that bind to sites on GABAA receptors
lethal dose 50%; the dose of a drug at which half the treated animals will die
also called addiction; the strong desire to self-administer a drug of abuse
a naturally occurring steroid that modulates GABA receptor activity in much the same way that benzodiazepine anxiolytics do
typical neuroleptics
a major class of antischizophrenic drugs that share an antagonist activity at dopamine D2 receptors
nondirected synapse
a type of synapse in which the presynaptic and postsynaptic cells are not in close apposition; instead, neurotransmitter is released by axonal varicosities and diffuses away to affect wide regions of tissue
norepinephrine (NE)
also called noradrenaline; a synaptic transmitter that is produced mainly in the brainstem nuclei
circle of Willis
a structure at the base of the brain that is formed by joining of the carotid and basilar arteries
referring to the topmost 8 segments of the spinal cord, in the neck region
an opiate compound derived from the poppy flower
fetal alcohol syndrome (FAS)
a disorder, including mental retardation and characteristic facial anomalies, that affects children exposed to too much alcohol (through materal ingestion) during fetal development
relative refractory phase
a period of reduced sensitivity during which only strong stimulation produces an action potential
a neurotoxin, isolated from the venom of the banded krait, that selective blocks acetylcholine receptors
toward the side
synaptic delay
the brief delay between the arrival of an action potential at the axon terminal and the creation of a postsynaptic potential
in the context of neural transmission, a neuromodulator that alters synaptic activity
ionotropic receptor
a receptor protein that includes an ion channel that is opened when the receptor is bound by an appropriate ligand
the head end of the body
extracellular fluid
the fluid in the spaces between cells and in the vascular system
a stimulant compound found in coffee, cacao, and other plants
a toxin, produced by poison arrow frogs, that selectively interferes with Na channels
also call prosencephalon; the frontal division of the neural tube, containing the cerebral hemispheres, the thalamus, and the hypothalamus
amino acid neurotransmitter
a neurotransmitter that is itself an amino acid, such as GABA, glycine, or glutamate
concentration gradient
variation of the concentration of a substance within a region
basal dendrite
one of several dendrites on a pyramidal cell that extend horizontally from the cell body
the phenomenon of neural connections in which one cell sends signals to many other cells
bipolar neuron
a nerve cell that has a single dendrite at one end and a single axon at the other end
functional tolerance
decreased responding to a drug after repeated exposures, generally as a consequence of up- or down-regulation of receptors
local potential
an electrical potential that is initiated by stimulation at a specific site and spreads passively across the cell membrane, decreasing in strength with time and distance
a compensatory reduction in receptor availability at the synapses of a neuron
a substance that binds to receptor molecules, such as those at the surface of the cell
axon terminal
the end of an axon or axon collateral, which forms a synapse on a neuron or other target
near the trunk or center
neural tube
an embryonic structure with subdivisions that correspond to the future forebrain, midbrain, and hindbrain
red nucleus
a brainstem structure related to motor control
synaptic cleft
the space between the presynaptic and postsynaptic elements
a compensatory increase in receptor availability at the synapses of a neuron
part of the diencephalon, lying ventral to the thalamus
frontal lobe
the most anterior portion of the cerebral cortex
a structure located at the back of the brain, dorsal to the pons, that is involved in the central regulation of movement
nucleus accumbens
a region of the forebrain that receives dopaminergic innervation from the ventral tegmental area
G proteins
a class of proteins that reside next to the intracellular portion of a receptor and that are activated when the receptor binds an appropriate ligand on the extracellular surface
a compound found in plants, including tobacco, that acts as an agonist on a large class of cholinergic receptors
an increase in membrane potential (the interior of the neuron becomes even more negative)
also called receptor molecule; a protein that captures and reacts to molecules of a transmitter or hormone
an endogenous ligand of cannabinoid receptors; thus, an analog of marijuana that is produced by the brain
relative to one location, a second location is on the opposite side of the body
cerebral cortex that is made up of six distinct layers
extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK)
an important intracellular signal transduction system that can be activated by many different events that affect the cell surface
a class of drugs that relieve the symptoms of depression
referring to the 12 spinal segments below the cervical (neck) portion of the spinal cord, corresponding to the chest
effective dose 50%; the dose of a drug that is required to produce half of its maximal effect
the branch of neuroscience concerned with the fundamental chemical composition and processes of the nervous system
integration zone
the part of the neuron that initiates nerve activity if the sum of all inhibitory and excitatory postsynaptic potentials exceeds a threshold value; usually corresponds to the neuron's axon hillock
fourth ventricle
the passageway within the pons that receives cerebrospinal fluid from the third ventricle and release it to surround the brain and spinal cord
caudate nucleus
one of the basal ganglia; it has a long extension or tail
pia mater
the innermost of the three meninges that surround the brain and spinal cord
referring to neurons that use serotonin as their synaptic transmitter
a reduction in membrane potential (the interior of the neuron becomes less negative)
a neuron that is neither a sensory neuron nor a motoneuron; it receives input from and sends output to other neurons
node of Ranvier
a gap between successive segments of the myelin sheath where the axon membrane is exposed
Purkinje cell
a type of large nerve cell in the cerebellar cortex
periaqueductal gray
the neuronal body-rich region of the midbrain surrounding the cerebral aqueduct that connects the third and fourth ventricles
metabotropic receptor
a trype of transmitter receptor that does not contain an ion channel but may, when activated, use a G protein system to alter the functioning of the postsynaptic cell
a ridged or raised portion of a convoluted brain surface
inhibitory postsynaptic potential (IPSP)
a hyperpolarizing potential in the postsynpatic neuron that is caused by inhibitory connections; decrease the probabilty that the postsynaptic neuron will fire an action potential
immediate early genes (IEGs)
a class of genes that show rapid but transient increases in expression in cells that have become activated
specialized receptors in the presynaptic membrane that recognize transmitter molecules and return them to the presynaptic neuron for reuse
referring to cholinergic receptors that respond to the chemical muscarine as well as acetylcholine
axon hillock
a cone-shaped area from which the axon originates out of the cell body; functionally, the integration zone of the neuron
dura mater
the outermost of the three meninges that surround the brain and spinal cord
third ventricle
the midline ventricle that conducts cerebrospinal fluid from the lateral ventricles to the fourth ventricle
the axonal swelling from which neurotransmitter diffuses in a nondirected synapse
ventricular system
a system of fluid-filled cavaties inside the brain
also called psychopharmacology; the study of the effects of drugs on the nervous system and behavior
apical dendrite
the dendrite that extends from a pyramidal cell to the outermost surface of the cortex
an atom or molecule that has acquired an electrical charge by gaining or losing one or more electrons
a condition in which the development of tolerance for an administered drug causes an individual to develop tolerance for another drug
a substance that influences the activity of synaptic transmitters
input zone
the part of a neuron that receives information, from other neurons or from specialized sensory structures; usually corresponds to the cell's dendrites
tetrodotoxin (TTX)
a toxin from puffer fish ovaries that blacks the voltage-gated sodium channel, preventing action potential conduction
graded response
a membrane electrical potential that spreads passively across the cell membrane, decreasing in strength with time and distance
orphan receptor
any receptor for which no endogenous ligand has yet been discovered
second messenger
a slow-acting substance in the postsynaptic cell that amplifies the effects of synaptic activity and signals synaptic activity within the post-synaptic cell
substantia nigra
a brainstem structure in humans that is related to the basal ganglia and named for its dark pigmentation
the property by which neurons die when overstimulated, as with large amounts of glutamate
a group of proteins expressed in the lateral hypothalamus that trigger feeding and have been implicated in narcolepsy
dorsal root
the branch of a spinal nerve, entering the dorsal horn of the spinal cord, that carries sensory information from the peripheral nervous system to the spinal cord
a positively charged ion, such as a potassium or sodium ion
toward the end of a limb
one of the basal ganglia
middle cerebral arteries
two large arteries, arising from the internal carotids, that provide blood to most of the lateral surfaces of the cerebral hemispheres
gray matter
areas of the brain that are dominated by cell bodies and are devoid of myelin
carotid arteries
the major arteries that ascend the left and right sides of the neck to the brain
locus coeruleus
a small nucleus in the brainstem whose neurons produce norepinephrine and modulate large areas of the forebrain
the process by which synaptic neurotransmitter is repackaged into synaptic vesicles
the elaborate branching of the dendrites of some neurons
to carry information into a region of interest
the stimulus intensity that is just adequate to trigger a nerve impulse at the axon hillock
a molecule that resembles the structure of the catecholamine transmitters and enhances their activity
cell nucleus
the spherical central structure of a cell that contains the chromosomes
spatial summation
the summation at the axon hillock of postsynaptic potentials from across the cell body; if this summation reaches threshold, an action potential is triggered
referring to cells that use glutamate as their synaptic transmitter
retrograde transmitter
a neurotransmitter that diffuses from the postsynaptic neuron back to the presynaptic neuron
also call mesencephalon; the middle division of the brain
selective permeability
the property of a membrane that allows some substances to pass through, but not others
posterior cerebral arteries
two large arteries, arising from the basilar artery, that provide blood to posterior aspects of the cerebral hemispheres, cerebellum, and brainstem
toward or at the belly or front
cell membrane
the lipid bilayer that ensheathes a cell
resting membrane potential
a difference in electrical potential across the membrane of a nerve cell during an inactive period
choroid plexus
a highly vascular portion of the lining of the ventricles that secretes cerebrospinal fluid
a star-shaped glial cell with numerous processes (extensions) that run in all directions
in epilepsy, the unusual sensations or premonition that may precede the beginning of a seizure
the frontal subdivision of the forebrain that includes the cerebral hemispheres when fully developed
dorsal raphe
one of the midbrain nuclei that give rise to most of the serotonergic projections of the brain
peripheral nervous system
the portion of the nervous system that includes all the nerves and neurons outside the brain and spinal cord
an amino acid transmitter, often inhibitory
cell body or soma
the region of a neuron that is defined by the presence of the cell nucleus
dopamine (DA)
a monoamine transmitter found in the midbrain--especially the substantia nigra--and basal forebrain
also called synaptic transmitter, chemical transmitter, or simply transmitter; the chemical released from the presynaptic axon terminal, that serves as the basis of communication between neurons
inverse agonist
a substance that binds to a receptor and causes it to do the opposite of what the naturally occurring transmitter does
receptor molecule
also called receptor; a protein that captures and reacts to molecules of the transmitter or hormone
cerebral cortex
the outer covering of the cerebral hemispheres
phencyclidine (PCP)
also called angel dust; an anesthetic agent that is also a psychedelic drug
relative to one location, a second location is on the same side of the body
referring to the condition in which a maximal number of receptors of one type have been bound by molecules of a drug; additional doses of drug cannot produce additional binding
the fatty insulation around an axon, formed by accessory cells, that improves the speed of conduction of nerve impulses
absolute refractory phase
a brief period of complete insensitivity to stimuli
the phenomenon of neural connections in which many cells send signals to a single cell
transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS)
localized, noninvasive stimulation of cortical neurons through the application of strong magnetic fields
monoamine oxidase inhibitor (MAOI)
an antidepressent drug that blocks the breakdown of monoamine neurotransmitters by the enzyme monoamine oxidase, resulting in an accumulation of monamine transmitters in synapses
referring to the region of a synapse that receives and responds to neurotransmitter
golgi stain
a histological stain that fills a small proportion of neurons with a dark, silver-based precipitate
in chemistry, the point at which all ongoing reactions are canceled or balanced by others, resulting in a stable, balanced, or unchanging system
basilar artery
an artery, formed by the fusion of the vertebral arteries, that supplies blood to the brainstem and to posterior portions of the cerebral hemispheres
referring to the property by which an ion channel may be opened or closed by factors such as chemicals, voltage changes, or mechanical actions
white matter
a shiny layer underneath the cortex that consists largely of axons with white myelin sheaths
a single extension from the nerve cell that carries nerve impulses from the cell body to other neurons
millivolt (mV)
one thousandth of a volt
referring to the 5 spinal segments that make up the upper part of the lower back
cranial nerve
a nerve that is connected directly to the brain
a compensatory reduction in receptor availability at the synapses of a neuron
a compensatory increase in receptor availability at the synapses of a neuron
retrograde synapse
a synapse in which a signal (usually a gas neurotransmitter) flows from the postsynaptic neuron to the presynaptic neuron, thus counter to the usual direction of synaptic connection
horizontal plane
the plane that divides the brain into upper and lower parts
autonomic nervous system
the part of the peripheral nervous system that supplies neural connections to glands and to smooth muscles of internal organs
presynaptic membrane
the specialized membrane of the axon terminal of the neuron that transmits information by releasing neurotransmitter
dissociative drug
a type of drug that produces a dreamlike state in which consciousness is partly separated from sensory inputs
the thin covering (one of the three meninges) of the brain that lies between the dura mater and pia mater
structures in the cell body where genetic information is translated (proteins are produced)
functional MRI (fMRI)
magnetic resonance imaging that detects changes in blood flow and therefore identifies regions of the brain that are particularly active during a given task
withdrawal symptom
an uncomfortable symptom that arises when a person stops taking a drug that her or she has used frequently, especially at high doses
also called acid; lysergic acid diethylamide, a hallucinogenic drug
a furrow of a convoluted brain surface
efficacy/intrinsic activity
the extent to which a drug activates a response when it binds to a receptor
ectopic transmission
cell-cell communication based on release of neurotransmitter in regions outside traditional synapses

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