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Prefrontal cortex

area of cortex at the front of the brain that specializes in the executive functions of anticipation, planning, and impulse control

Auditory cortex

an area in the temporal lobe of the brain that is reponsible for hearing.


two neural centers in the limbic system; linked to emotion. (fear and anxiety)


limbic system component associated with memory

Corpus callosum

Axon fibers connecting two cerebral hemispheres, left and right hemispheres


Relays messages between lower brain centers and cerebral cortex


Controls maintenance functions such as eating; helps govern endocrine system; linked to emotion and reward


Master endocrine gland

Visual cortex

Conscious processing of sights

Spinal Cord

Pathway for neural fibers traveling to and from brain; controls simple reflexes


Coordinates voluntary movement and balance


the process by which axons become coated with myelin, a fatty substance that speeds the transmission of nerve impulses from neuron to neuron


Literally, sidedness. The specialization in certain functions by each side of the brain, with one side dominant for each activity. The left side of the brain controls the right side of the body, and vice versa


The tendency to persevere in, or stick to, one thought or action for a long time.

Injury control/harm reduction

Practices that are aimed at anticipating, controlling, and preventing dangerous activities; these practices reflect the beliefs that accidents are not random and that injuries can be made less harmful if proper controls are in place.

primary prevention

Actions that change overall background conditions to prevent some unwanted event or circumstance, such as injury, disease, or abuse

Secondary prevention

actions that avert harm in a high-risk situation, such as stopping a car before it hits a pedestrian.

Tertiary prevention

actions, such as immediate and effective medical treatment, that are taken after an adverse event such as illness or injury occurs, and are aimed at reducing the harm or preventing disability.

Child maltreatment

intentional harm to or avoidable endangerment of anyone under 18 years of age

Child abuse

Deliberate action that is harmful to a child's physical, emotional, or sexual well-being

Child neglect

failure to meet a child's basic physical, educational, or emotional needs

reported maltreatment

harm or endangerment about which someone has notified the authorities

substantiated maltreatment

harm or endangerment that has been reported, investigated, and verified

Post traumatic stress disorder

an anxiety disorder associated with serious traumatic events and characterized by such symptoms as survivor guilt, reliving the trauma in dreams, numbness and lack of involvement with reality, or recurrent thoughts and images

permanency planning

an effort by child-welfare authorities to find a long-term living situation that will provide stability and support for a maltreated child; a goal is to avoid repeated changes of caregiver or school, which can be particularly harmful to the child

foster care

a legal, publicly supported plan in which a maltreated child is removed from the parents' custody and entrusted to another adult, who is paid to be the child's caregiver.

kinship care

A form of foster care in which a relative of a maltreated child, usually a grandparent, becomes the approved caregiver


A legal proceeding in which an adult or couple unrelated to a child is granted the joys and obligations of being that child's parents

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