Chapter 2 - Neuroscience and Behavior

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Hockenbury&Hockenbury- Discovering Psychology 4th Edition

Biological Psychology

Specialized branch of psychology that studies the relationship between behavior and bodily processes and systems; also called biopsychology or psychobiology.

Neuroscience

The study of nervous system, especially the brain.

Neuron

Highly specialized cell that communicates information in electrical and chemical form; a nerve cell.

Glial Cells

Support cells taht assist neurons by providing structural support, nutrition, and removal of cell wastes; manufacture myelin.

Sensory Neuron

Type of neuron that conveys information to the brain from specialized receptor cells in sense organs and internal organs.

Interneuron

Type of neuron that communicates information fro one neuron to the next.

Cell Body

Processes nutrients and provides energy for the neuron to function; contains the cell's nucleus; also called the soma.

Dendrites

Muliple short fibers that extend from the neuron's cell body and recieve information from other neurons or from sensory receptor cells.

Axon

The long, fluid-filled tube taht carries a neuron's messages to other body areas.

Myelin Sheath

A white, fatty covering wrapped around the axons of some neurons that increases their commmunication speed.

Action Potential

A brief electrical impulse by which information is transmitted along the axon of a neuron.

Stimulus Threshold

The minimum level of stimulation required to activate a particular neuron.

Resting potential

State in which a neuron is prepared to activate the communicate its message if it recieves sufficient stimulation.

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.

Synapse

The point of communication between two neurons.

Synaptic gap

The tiny space between the axon terminal of one neuron and teh dendrite of an adjoining neuron.

Axon Terminals

Branches at the end of the axon that contain tiny pouches, or sacs, called synaptic vesicles.

Synaptic Vesicles

Tiny pouches or sacs in the axon terminals that contain chemicals called neurotransmitters.

Neurotransmitters

Chemical messengers manufactured by a neuron.

Synaptic Transmission

The process through which neurotransmitters are released by one neuron, cross the synaptic gap, and affect the adjoining neurons.

Reuptake

The process by which neurotransmitter molecules detach from a postsynaptic neuron and are reabsorded by a pre-synaptic neuron so that they can be recycled and used again.

Acetylcholine

Neurotransmitter that causes muscle contraction and is involved in memory function.

Dopamine

Neurotransmitter involved in the regulation of bodily movement, thought processes, and rewarding sensations.

Serotonin

Neurotransmitter involved in sleep and emotions.

Norepinephrine

Neurotransmitter involved in learning and memory; also a hormone manufactured by adrenal glands.

GABA

Neurotransmitter that usually communicated an inhibitory message.

Endorphins

Neurotransmitters that regulate pain perceptions.

Nervous System

The primary internal communication netwoek of the body; divided into the central nervous system and the peripheral nervous system.

Nerves

Bundles of neurons axons that carry information in the peripheral nervous system.

Central Nervous System

Division of nervous system that consist of the brain and spinal cord.

Spinal Reflexes

Simple, automatic behaviors taht are processed in the spinal cord.

Peripheral nervous system

Division of the nervous system that includes all the nerves lying outside the central nervous system.

Somatic Nervous System

Subdivision of the peripheral nervous system that communicates sensory information to the central nervous system and carries motor messages from the central nervous system to the muscles.

Autonomic Nervous System

Subdivision of the peripheral nervous system that regulates involuntary functions.

Sympathetic Nervous System

Branch of the autonomic nervous system that produces rapid physical arousal in response to perceived emergencies or threats.

Parasympathetic Nervous System

Branch ot eh autonomic nervous system that maintains normal bodily functions and conserves the body's physical resources.

Endocrine System

System of glands located throughtout the body that secrete hormones into the bloodstream.

Hormones

Chemical messagers secreted into the bloodstream primarily by endocrine glands.

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.

Adrenal Glands

Pair of endocrine glands that are involved in the human stress response.

Adrenal Cortex

The outer portion of the adrenal glands.

Adrenal Medulla

The inner portion of the adrenal glands; secretes epinephrine and norepinephrine.

Gonads

The endocrine glands that secrete hormones that regulate sexual characteristics and reproductive processes; ovaries in females and testes in males.

Phrenology

A discredited pseudoscientific theory of the brain that claimed that personality characteristics, moral character, and eintelligence could be determined by examining the bumps on a person's skull.

Cortical Localization

The notion that different functions are located or localized in differeent areas of the brain: also called localization of function.

Electroencephalograph

An instrument that produces a graphic record of the brain's electrical activity by using electrodes placed on the scalp.

Positron Emission Tomography (PET scan)

An invasive imaging technique that provides color-coded images of brain activity by tracking the brain's use of radioactively tagged compound, such as glucose, oxygen, or a drug.

Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI)

A noninvasive imaging technique that produces highly detailed images of the brain using electromagnetic signals generated by the brain in response to magnetic fields.

Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI)

A noninvasive imaging technique that uses magnetic fields to map brain activity by measuring changes in the brain's blood flow and oxygen levels.

Cognitive Neuroscience

The study of the neural basis of cogitive process that integrates contributions from psychology, neuroscience, and computer science.

Neurogensis

The development of new neurons.

Brainstem

A region of the brain made up of the hindbrain and the midbrain.

Hindbrain

A region at the base of the brain that contains several structures that regulate basic life functions.

Medulla

A hindbrain structure that controls vital life functions such as breathing and circulation.

Pons

A hindbrain structure that connects the medulla to the two sides of the cerebellum; helps corrdinate and integrate movements on each side of the body.

Cerebellum

A large, two-sided hindbrain structure at the back of the brain; responsible for muscle coordination and maintaining posture and equilibrium.

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.

Midbrain

The middle and smallest brain region, involved in processing auditory and visual sensory information.

Sustantia nigra

An area of the midbrain that is involed in motor control and contains a large concentration of dopamine-producing neurons.

Forebrain

The largest and most complex brain region, which contains centers for complex behaviors and mental processes; also called cerebrum.

Cerebral Cortex

The wrinkled outer portion of the forebrain, which contains the most sophisticated brain centers.

Cerebral hemispheres

The nearly symmetrical left and right halves of the cerebral cortex.

Corpus Callosum

A thick band of axons that connects the two cerebral hemispheres and acts as a communications link between them.

Temporal Lobe

An area on each hemisphere of the cerebral cortex near the temples that is the primary receiving area for auditory information.

Occipital Lobe

An area at the back of each cerebral hemisphere that is the primary receiving area for visual information.

Parietal Lobe

An area on each hemisphere of the cerebral cortex located above the tempral lobe that processes somatic sensations.

Frontal Lobe

Thelargest lobe of each cerebral hemisphere; processes voluntary muscle movements and is involved in thinking, planning and emotional control.

Hippocampus

A curved forebrain structure that is part of the limbic system and is involved in learning and forming new memories.

Thalamus

A forebrain structure that processes sensory information for all senses, except smell, and relays it to the cerebral cortex

Hypothalamus

A peanut-sized forebrain structure that is part of the limbic system and regulates behaviors related to survival, such as eating, drinking, and sexual activity.

Amygdala

An almond-shaped forebrain structure that is part of the limbic system and is involved in emotion and memory.

Cortical Localization

The notion that different functions are located or localized in different areas of the brain; also called localization of function.

Lateralization of function

The notion that specific psychological or cognitive functions are processed primarily on one side of the brain.

Aphasia

The partial or complete inability to articulate ideas or understand spoken or written language because of brain injury or damage.

Split-brain

A surgical procedure that involves cutting the corpus callosum.

Functional Plasticity

The brain's ability to shift function from damaged to undamaged brain areas.

Structural Plasticity

The brain's ability to change its physical structure in response to learning, active practice, or environmental influences.

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