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71 terms

AP Psychology Ch. 2

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Adaptation
inherited characteristic that improves an organism's ability to survive and reproduce in a particular environment
Critical Period
a specific time in development when certain skills or abilities are most easily learned
Fitness
ability of an organism to survive and reproduce in its environment.
Neurons
Individual cells in the nervous system that receive, integrate, and transmit information
Soma
The cell body of a neuron.
Dendrites
Branchlike parts of a neuron that are specialized to receive information.
Axon
long fiber that carries impulses away from the cell body of a neuron
Mylein Sheath
a layer of fatty tissue segmentally encasing the fibers of many neurons enables vastly greater transmission speed of neural impulses
Terminal Buttons
Small knobs at the end of axons that secrete chemicals called neurotransmitters
Synapse
The junction between the axon tip of the sending neuron and the dendrite or cell body of the receiving neuron.
Resting Potential
the stable, negative electrical charge across the cell membrane of a resting neuron
Action Potential
A neural impulse; a brief electrical charge that travels down an axon.
Absolute Refractory Period
minimum length of time after an action potential during which another action potential cannot begin
Synaptic Cleft
space between two connecting neurons where neurotransmitters are released
Neurotransmitters
chemical messengers that traverse the synaptic gaps between neurons
Post-synaptic Potential (PSP)
a voltage change in a receptor cite of a neuron
Excitatory PSP
An electric potential that increases the likelihood that a postsynaptic neuron will fire action potentials.
Inhibitory PSP
An electric potential that decreases the likelihood that a postsynaptic neuron will fire action potentials.
Family Studies
researchers assess hereditary influence by examining blood relatives to see how much they resemble one another on a specific trait
Agonist
A chemical that mimics the action of a neurotransmitter
Antagonist
A chemical that opposes the action of a neurotransmitter
Endorphins
An entire family of internally produced chemicals that resemble opiates in structure and effects
Peripheral Nervous System
System that includes all those nerves that lie outside the brain and spinal chord
Nerves
Bundles of neuron fibers (axons) that travel together in the peripheral nervous system
Somatic Nervous System
The part of the peripheral nervous system that controls voluntary movement of skeletal muscles
Afferent Nerve Fibers
Axons that carry information inward to the central nervous system from the periphery of the body
Efferent Nerve Fibers
Axons that carry information outward from the central nervous system to the periphery of the body.
Autonomic Nervous System
The part of the peripheral nervous system that controls the glands and the muscles of the internal organs (such as the heart). Its sympathetic division arouses; its parasympathetic division calms.
Sympathetic Division
The branch of the autonomic nervous system that mobilizes the body's resources for emergencies.
Parasympathetic
the branch of the nervous system that automatically calms us down when the reason for arousal has passed
Central Nervous System (CNS)
System that consists of the brain and spinal cord
Cerebral Fluid (CSF)
A solution that fills the hollow cavities of the brain and circulates around the brain and spinal cord. Provides nourishment, cushions, and removes wastes.
Electroencephalograph
device used to record the electrical activity of the brain
Twin Studies
studies of identical and fraternal twins to determine the relative influence of heredity and environment on human behavior
Lesioning
Procedure involves inserting an electrode into a brain structure and passing a high-frequency current through it to burn the tissue and disable the structure
Electric Stimulation of the Brain
Method that involves sending a weak electric current into a brain structure to stimulate (activate) it.
Hind brain
part of the brain between the spinal cord and the midbrain, consisting of the pons, medulla, and cerebellum
Mid brain
between the hind and forebrain it deals with vision, hearing and other senses
Forebrain
top of the brain which includes the thalamus, hypothalamus, and cerebral cortex; responsible for emotional regulation, complex thought, memory aspect of personality; largest and most complex region
Thalamus
the structure of the brain that relays messages from the sense organs to the cerebral cortex (except smell)
Hypothalamus
a neural structure lying below the thalamus; directs eating, drinking, body temperature; helps govern the endocrine system via the pituitary gland, and is linked to emotion
Limbic System
A group of neural structures at the base of the cerebral hemispheres that is associated with emotion and motivation
Cerebral Cortex
the intricate fabric of interconnected neural cells that covers the cerebellum; the body's ultimate control and information-processing center
Cerebral Hemispheres
the right and left halves of the cerebellum
Corpus Callosum
the large band of neural fibers connecting the two brain hemispheres and carrying messages between them
Adoption Studies
research carried out on children, adopted at birth by parents not related to them, to determine the relative influence of heredity and environment on human behavior
Split-brain
a condition in which the two hemispheres of the brain are isolated by cutting the connecting fibers (mainly those of the corpus callosum) between them
Endocrine System
System of glands that secrete chemicals into the bloodstream that help control bodily functioning
Hormones
The chemical substances released by the endocrine system
Pituitary Gland
The "master gland" of the endocrine system
Chromosomes
Threadlike strands of DNA molecules that carry genetic information
Zygote
A one-celled organism formed by the union of a sperm and an egg
Genes
DNA segments that serve as the key functional units in hereditary transmission
Dominant Gene
A gene that is expressed when the paired genes are different
Recessive Gene
A gene that is masked when paired genes are different
Genotype
A person's genetic make-up
Phenotype
the way in which a persons genotype is manifested in observable characteristics
Polygenic Traits
Characteristics that are influences by more than one pair of genes
Inclusive Traits
The sum of an individuals own reproductive success, plus the effects the organism has on the reproductive success of related others
Monogymy
A mating system in which one male and one female mate exclusively, or almost exclusively, with one another
Perceptual Asymetrics
An inter disciplinary field that studies the influence of genetic factors on behavioral traits
Homozygus
The two genes in a specific pair are the same
heterozygus
the two genes in a specific pair are different
Identical Twins
twins who develop from a single fertilized egg that splits in two, creating two genetically identical organisms
Fraternal Twins
twins who develop from separate fertilized eggs. They are genetically no closer than brothers and sisters, but they share a fetal environment.
Genetic Mapping
The process of determining the location and chemical sequence of specific genes on specific chromosomes
Natural Selection
process by which individuals that are better suited to their environment survive and reproduce most successfully; also called survival of the fittest
Parental Investment
What each sex invests-in terms of time, energy, survival risks, and forgone opportunities-to produce and nurture offspring.
Polyandry
mating system in which females have more than one male
Polygamy
mating system in which males have more than one female
Reuptake
A process in which neurotransmitters are sponged up from the synaptic cleft by the presynaptic membrane