Neuroscience and the Brain - Chapter 2

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Essentials of Understanding Psychology, 9th edition

What are neurons?

Nerve cells, the basic elements of the nervous system.

What are dendrites?

A cluster of fibers at one end of a neuron that receives messages from other neurons.

What is the axon?

The part of the neuron that carries messages destined for other neurons.

What are terminal buttons?

Small buldges at the end of axons that send messages to other neurons.

What is a myelin sheath?

A protective coat of fat and protein that wraps around the axon.

What does a myelin sheath prevent?

messages from short-circuiting on another.

What is the all-or-none law?

The rule that neurons are either on or off.

What is the resting state?

The state in which there is a neg electrical charge of about -70
millivolts w/i a nueron.

What is an action potential?

An electron nerve that travels through a neuron's axon when it is set off by a trigger, changing the neuron's charge from negative to positive.

How long after a neuron fires, can it fire again?

A few milliseconds.

What are mirror neurons?

Specialized neurons that fire not only when a person enacts a particular behavior, but also when a person simply observes another individual carrying out the same behavior.

What is the synapse?

The space between two neurons where the axon of a sending neuron communicates w/ the dendrites of a receiving neuron by using chemical messages.

What are neurotransmitters?

Chemicals that carry messages across the synapse to the dendrite (and sometimes the cell body) of a receiver neuron.

What is an excitatory message?

A chemical message that makes it more likely that a receiving neuron will fire and an action potential will travel down its axon.

What is an inhibitory message?

A chemical message that prevents or decreases the liklihood that a receving neuron will fire.

What is reuptake?

The reabsorption of nuerotransmitters by a terminal button.

What is the function of the Acetylcholine (ACh)?

Muscle movement and cognitive functioning.

What is the function of the Glutamate?

Memory

What is the function of the Gamma-amino butyric acid (GABA)?

Eating, aggression, and sleeping?

What is the function of the Dopamine (DA)?

Movement control, pleasure and reward, and attention.

What is the function of the Serotonin?

Sleeping, eating, mood, pain, and depression.

What is the funciton of the Endorphins?

Pain suppression, pleasurable feelings, appetites, and placebos.

Where is the ACh located?

Brain, spinal cord, peripheral nervous system, especially some organs of the parasympathetic nervous system.

Where is the Glutamate located?

Brain, spinal cord

Where is the GABA located?

Brain, spinal cord.

Where is the DA located?

Brain.

Where is the Serotonin located?

Brain, spinal cord.

Where are Endorphins located?

Brain, spinal cord.

What is the central nervous system?

the part of the nervous system that includes the brain and spinal cord.

What is spinal cord?

A bundle of neuros that leaves the brain and runs down the length of the back and is the main means for transmitting messages between the brain and the body.

What is a reflex?

An automatic, involuntary response to an incoming stimulus.

How many kinds of neurons are involved in reflexes?

Three.

What are sensory neurons?

Neurons that transmit informaton from the perimeter of the body to the central nervous system.

What are the motor neurons?

Nuerons that communicate information from the nervous system to muscles and glands.

What are interneurons?

Neurons that connect sensory and motor neurons, carrying messages between the two.

What is the peripheral nervous system?

The part of the nervous system that includes the autonomic and somatic subdivsions; made up neurons with axons and dendrites, it branches out from the spinal cord and brain reaches the extrmeities of the body.

What is the somatic division?

The part of the peripheral nervous system that specializes in the control of voluntary movements and the communication of information to and from the sense organs.

What is the autonomic division?

The part of the peripheral nervous system that controls involuntary movement if the heart, glands, lungs, and other organs.

What is sympathetic division?

The part of the autonomic division of the nervous system that acts to prepare the body for action in stressful situations, engageing all the orgasnism's resources to respond to a threat.

What is parasympathetic division?

The part of the autonomic division of the nervous system that acts to calm the body after an emergency has ended.

What is evolutionary psychology?

The branch of psychology that seeks to identify behavior patterns that are a result of our genetic inheritance from our ancestors.

What is behavioral genetics?

The study of the effects of heredity on behavior.

What is the endocrine system?

A chemical communication network that sends messages throughout the body via bloodstream.

What are hormones?

Chemicals that circulate through the blood and regulate the functioning or growth of the body.

What is the function of the heart?

Makes artrial natriuretic peptide, which lowers blood sodium.

What is the fuction of the Medulla adrenal glands?

Makes epinephrine and norepinephrine which mediate the fight or flight response.

What is the fuction of the cortex adrenal glands?

regulates sodium and potassium in the blood, regulates growth, metabolism, development, immune function. and the body's response to stress.

What is the function on the pancreas?

Makes insulin.

What are the functions of the liver and kidneys?

Regulates the production of red blood cells.

What is the function on the anterior pituitary gland?

Produces 6 hormones with diverse actions.

What is the function of the hypothalamus?

secretes neurohormones that stimulate or inhibit anterior pituitary function.

What is the function of the posterior pituitary gland?

Secretes oxytocin, which stimulates uterine contractions during birth; also secretes antidiuretic hormones, which increases water retention in the kidney.

What is the function on the Pineal?

regulates daily rhythems.

What is the functions of the Parathyroids?

Increases blood calcium.

What is the function of the thyroid?

Regulates metabolic rate and growth.

What is the function of the stomach and small intestine?

Secretes hormones that facilitate digestion and regulate pancreatic activity.

What is the function of the ovaries?

Produce estrogens such as progesterone, which control reproduction in females.

What is the function of testes?

Produce androgens, such as testosterone, which control reproduction in males.

What does the electroencephalogram (EEG) do?

Records electrical activity in the brain through electrodes placed on the outside of the skull and transforms the brain's electrical activity into a pictorial representation of the brain.

What does a functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) do?

Provides a detail, 3D computer-generated image of brain structures and activity by aiming a powerful magnetic field at the body.

What does the positron emission tomography show?

Biochemical activity w/i in the brain at a given moment. It begins w/ the injection of a radioactive (but safe) liquid into the blood stream, which makes its way to the brain. It provides a striking picture of the brain at work.

What does the transcraniel magnetic stimulation (TMS) do?

By exposing a tiny region of the brain to a strong magnetic field, TMS causes a momentary interruption of electrical activity. Shows what would happen if the brain would temporarily not work.

What is the central core AKA the old brain do?

Controls basic functions such as eating and sleeping and is common to all vertebrates.

What is the cerebellum?

The part of the brain that controls bodily balance.

What is the reticular formation?

The part of the brain extending from the medulla through the pons and made up of groups of nerve cells that can immediately activate other parts of the brain to produce general bodily arousal.

What is the thalamus?

The part of the brain located in the middle of the central core that acts primarily to relay info about the senses.

What is the hypothalamus?

A tiny part of the brain, located below the thalamus, that maintains homeostasis and produces and regulates vital behavior, such as eating, drinking, and sexual behavior.

What is the limbic system?

The part of the brain that controls eating, aggression, and reproduction.

What is the cerebral cortex AKA the new brain?

Responsible for the most sophisticated information processing in the brain; contains 4 lobes.

What are the 4 lobes of the cerebral cortex?

-Frontal lobe
-Parietal lobe
-Temporal lobe
-Occipital lobe

What are lobes?

The 4 major sections of the cerebral cortex.

What is the motor area?

The part ofthe cortex that is largely responsible for the body's voluntary movement.

What is the sensory area?

The site in the brain of the tissue that corresponds to each of the senses, with the degree of sensitivity related to the amount of tissue.

What is the association area?

One of the major regions of the cerebral cortex; the site of the higher mental processes, such as thought, language, memory, and speech.

What is neuroplasticity?

Changes in the brain that occur throughout the life span relating to the new addition of new neurons, new interconnections between neurons, and the reorganization of information-processing areas.

What is neurogenesis?

The creation of new neurons.

What are hemispheres (in ref to the brain)?

Symmetrical left and right halves of the brain that control the side of the body opposite to their location.

What is lateralization?

The dominance of one hemisphere of the brain in specific function, such as language.

What are the strengths of the right side of the brain?

-understanding spatial relationships
-recognition of patterns and drawings
-music
-emotional expression

What are the strengths of the left side of the brain?

-verbal competence
-speaking
-thinking
-writing
-reasoning

What is biofeedback?

A procedure in which a person learns to control through concious thought internal physiological processes such as blood pressure, heart and respiration rate, skin temp., sweating, and the constriction of particular muscles.

What is the definition of sensation?

The stimulation of the sense organs.

What is perception?

The sorting out, interpretation, analysis, and integration of stimuli by the sense organs and the brain.

The term "absolute threshold" refers to what?

The smallest intensity of a stimulus that must be present for the stimulus to be detected.

What is the difference threshold aka just noticeable difference?

the smallest change in the level of stimulation required to sense that a change has occurred.

When does sensory adaptation occur?

When we become accustomed to a constant stimulus and change our evaluation of it.

What does Weber's law state?

a just noticeable difference is a constant proportion of the intensity of an initial stimulus.

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