neurotransmitter that enables learning and memory and also triggers muscle contraction. WIth Alzheimer's disease, Ach-producing neurons deteriorate.
a neural impulse generated by the movement of positively charged atoms in and out of channels in the axon's membrane.
part of the limbic system and influences the emotions of fear and aggression
an impairment of language as a result of damage to any of several cortical areas, including Broca's area and Wernicke's area
located throughout the cortex, involved in higher mental functions, such as learning, remembering, and abstract thinking. Any area of the cortex that is not associated with receiving sensory information or controlling muscle movements.
of a neuron is the extension that sends impulses to other nerve cells or to muscles or glands
the oldest and innermost region of the brain, is an extension of the spinal cord and is the central core of the brain; its structures direct automatic survival functions
located in the left frontal lobe, is involved in controlling the motor ability to produce speech
central nervous system (CNS)
consists of the brain and spinal cord; it is located at the center, or internal core, of the body
processes sensory input and coordinates movement output and balance. Coordinates some habitual muscle movements, such as tracking a target with our eyes or playing a musical instrument.
a thin intricate covering of interconnected neural cells atop the cerebral hemispheres.
the large band of neural fibers that links the right and left cerebral hemispheres. Without this band of nerve fibers, the two hemispheres could not interact.
of a neuron are the bushy, branching extensions that receive messages from other nerve cells and conduct impulses toward the cell body
the body's "slower" chemical communication system, consists of glands that secrete hormones into the bloodstream
natural, opiate like neurotransmitters linked to pain control and to pleasure
located at the front of the brain, just behind the forehead, involved in speaking and muscle movements and in making plans and judgments
of the brain guide neural connections, provide nutrients and insulating myelin, and help remove excess ions and neurotransmitters
part of the limbic system, regulates hunger, thirst, body temperature, and sex
the neurons of the central nervous system that link the sensory and motor neurons in the transmission of sensory inputs and motor outputs
destruction of tissue
once used to control violent patients, a form of psychosurgery in which the nerves linking the emotion centers of the brain to the frontal lobes are severed
doughnut-shaped neural system, is associated with emotions such as fear and aggression and basic physiological drives. Structures include the amygdala, hypothalamus and hippocampus.
located in the brainstem, controls breathing and heartbeat
found in the brain's frontal lobe, may be the neural basis for observational learning
located at the back of the frontal lobe, controls voluntary movement
carry information and instructions for action from the central nervous system to muscles and glands
a layer of fatty tissue that segmentally covers many axons and helps speed neural impulses
bundles of neural axons, which are part of the PNS, that connect the central nervous system with muscles, glands, and sense organs
the speedy, electrochemical communication system, consisting of all the nerve cells in the peripheral and central nervous systems
interconnected neural cells, the specific connections of which are strengthened as learning occurs
or nerve cell, the basic building block of the nervous system
the level of stimulation that must be exceeded in order for the neuron to fire, or generate an electrical impulse
chemicals that are released into synaptic gaps and so transmit neural messages from neuron to neuron
located at the back and base of the brain, contain the visual cortex, which receives information from the eyes
parasympathetic nervous system
the division of the autonomic nervous system that calms the body, conserving its energy
situated between the frontal and occipital lobes, contain sensory cortex
peripheral nervous system (PNS)
includes the sensory and motor neurons that connect the central nervous system to the body's sense receptors, muscles, and glands; it is at the periphery of the body relative to the brain and spinal cord
PET (positron emission tomography) scan
measures the levels of activity of different areas of the brain by tracing their consumption of a radioactive form of glucose, the brain's fuel
under the influence of the hypothalamus, regulates growth and controls other endocrine glands; sometimes called the "master gland"
the brain's capacity for modification, as evidenced by brain reorganization following damage (especially in children)
a process where the sending neuron reabsorbs any excess neurotransmitters from the synapse
part of the brainstem, a nerve network that plays an important role in controlling arousal. If this system is not working we would fall into a coma.
located at the front of the parietal lobes, just behind the motor cortex. It registers and processes body touch and movement sensations.
carry information from the sense receptors to the central nervous system for processing
somatic nervous system
the division of the peripheral nervous system that enables voluntary control of the skeletal muscles; also called the skeletal nervous system
a condition in which the major connections between the two cerebral hemispheres (the corpus callosum) are severed, literally resulting in a split brain
sympathetic nervous system
the division of the autonomic nervous system that arouses the body, mobilizing its energy in stressful situations
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 injunction is called the synaptic gap or cleft.
located on the sides of the brain, contain the auditory areas, which receive information from the ears
located atop the brainstem, routes incoming messages to the appropriate cortical centers and transmits replies to the medulla and cerebellum
Influences movement, learning, attention and emotion. Excess dopamine receptors is linked to schizophrenia; starved dopamine produces symptoms of Parkinsons's disease.
Neurotrasmitter that affects mood, hunger, sleep and arousal. Too little serotonin is linked to depression.
Family of anti-depressant drugs that block the reuptake of serotonin in the brain. Examples: Prozac
A major inhibitory neurotransmitter.
may be similar enough to a neurotransmitter to mimic its effects or it may block the neurotrasmitters reuptake. Examples: some opiate drugs block the reuptake producing a temporary high. Black Widow spider bites blocks the reuptake of Ach.
block a neurotransmitter's functioning. It has a structure similar enough to the neurotransmitter to occupy its receptor site and block its action. Example: Botulin poisoning blocks Ach release. Curare occupies and blocks Ach receptor sites.
Chemicals released from the terminal buttons of a neuron that excite the next neuron into firing.
Chemicals relased from the terminal buttons of a neuron that inhibit the next neuron from firing.
Neurons that take information from the senses to the brain. These neurons are responsible for transmitting neural impulses from the rest of the body to the brain.
Neurons that take information the brain to the rest of the body. These neurons carry information that exits the brain.
Structures in the top part of the spinal cord. The life support system; controls the basic biological functions that keep us alive. Specific structures include the medulla, pons, reticular formation and the cerebellum.
Located just above the medulla and toward the front. Connects the hindbrain with the midbrain and forebrain. Involved inthe control of facial expressions.
Located just above the spinal cord. Coordinates simple movements with sensory information.
Controls what we think of as thought and reason. Specifica areas of the forebrain are the thalamus, hypothalamus, amygdala, and hippocampus.
The cortex is divided into two of these; mirror images of the other, but they exert some differences in function.
Gets sensory messages and controls the motor function of the left half of the body. More active during spatial and creative tasks.
Gets sensory messages and controls the motor function of the right half of the body. More active during spoken language, logic and sequential tasks.
autonomic nervous system
controls the automatic functions of the human body - heart, lungs, internal organs, glands . . .
Controls responses to stress (fight or flight) that prepares the body to respond to a perceived threat. Divided into two categories (sympathetic and parasympathetic).
Level of a neurotransmitter required to "fire" a neuron.
All or None Principle
Neuron either fires completely or it does not fire at all. If the dendrite of an neuron recieve enough neurotransmitters to push the neuron past its threshold, the neuron will fire completely every time.
Helps control alertness and arousal. Undersupply can depress mood and cause ADHD-like attention problems
A major excitatory neurotransmitter; involved in memory. Oversupply can overstimulate the brain, producing migraines or seizures; this is why some people avoid MSG (monosodium glutamate) in food.
This drug blocks the reuptake of dopamine in the reward pathway system in the brain.
This neuro toxin blocks the receptor sites that is specific for Ach, resulting in paralysis.
Structure in the brain most closely tied to declarative memory. It is an important early storage place for our implicit memories. It is the part of the brain that was destroyed in Clive Wearing; giving him anterograde amnesia.
Region in the brainstem that is associated with breathing and with circuits that generate respiratory rhythms. Is forms a bridge between the cerebral cortex and the cerebellum and is involved in motor control, posture and balance.
Primary Motor Cortex
Is critical to initiating motor movements. Areas of this structure correspond precisely to specific body parts.