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phrenology

bumps on the skull believed to reveal our mental abilities and character traits

biological psychologists

study links between biological activity and psychological events

neurons

interconnected cells that help fathom our thoughts and actions, memories and moods

sensory neurons

carry messages from the body's tissues and sensory organs inward to the brain and spinal cord

motor neurons

carry outoging information from the brain and spinal cord to the muscles and glands

interneurons

within the brain and spinal cord. communicate internally and intervene between the sensory inputs and motor outputs

dendrite

neural fibers that receive information and conduct it toward the cell body

axon

passes messages from cell body to neurons, muscles or glands

myelin sheath

covers the axon of some neurons and helps speed neural impulse

action potential

neural impulse. brief electrical charge that travels down an axon

threshold

the level of stimulation required to trigger a neural response

synapse

meeting point between neurons. causes brief interruption in transmission

neurotransmitters

chemical messengers that cross synaptic gaps between neurons

reuptake

a neurotransmitter's reabsorption by the sending neuron

endorphins

natural, opiate-like neurotransmitters linked to pain control and pleasure

psychoactive drugs

change perceptions and moods thru their actions at the neural synapses

tolerance

the diminishing effect of drugs with regular use, requiring a user to take successively larger doses to feel the same effect

neuroadaption

brain adapts its chemistry to offset the drug's effect

withdrawal

discomfort and distress that follow discontinuing the use of an addictive drug

physical dependence

physiological need for a drug, marked by withdrawal

psychological dependence

mental need to use a drug because of associations made with it

addiction

compulsive drug craving and use despite adverse consequences

depressants

drugs that calm neural activity and slow body functions

expectancy effects

behavioral effects that stem from the user's expectations

stimulants

drugs that excite neural activity and speed up body functions

hallucinogens

drugs that distort perceptions and evoke sensory images in the absence of sensory input

terminal button

located at the end of the neuron and responsible for sending the signal on to other neurons

lesion

tissue destruction

EEG

amplified recording of the waves of electrical acitivty that cross the brain's surface

PET

depictrs brain activies by showing brain consumption of glucose

fMRI

reveals bloodflow in the brain

MRI

brain scans that produce computer-generated images of soft tissue

cerebrum

two large hemispheres of the brain

glial cells

cells in nervous system that support, nourish and protect neurons. Provide nutrients and myelin

plasticity

brain's ability to modify itself after some types of damage

association areas

areas in cerebral cortex not involved in primary motor or sensory functions but higher mental processes

neurogeneses

formation of new neurons

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