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14 terms

AP Psych

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biological psychology
a branch of psychology concerned with the links between biology and behavior
neuron
a nerve cell; the basic building block of the nervous system
sensory neurons
neurons that carry incoming information from the sensory receptors to the brain and spinal cord
motor neurons
neurons that carry outgoing information from the brain and spinal cord to the muscles and glands
interneurons
neurons within the brain and spinal cord that communicate internally and intervene between the sensory inputs and motor outputs
dendrite
the busy, branching extensions of a neuron that receive messages and conduct impulses toward the cell body
axon
the extensions of a neuron, ending in branching terminal fibers, through which messages pass to other neurons or to muscles or glands
myelin sheath
a layer of fatty tissue segmentally encasing the fibers of many neurons; enabled vastly greater transmission speed of neural impulses as the impulse hops from one node to the next
action potential
a neural impulse; a brief electrical charge that travels down an axon
threshold
the level of stimulation required to trigger a neural impulse
synapse
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 junction is called the synaptic gap or synaptic cleft.
neurotransmitters
chemical messengers that cross the synaptic gaps between neurons. when released by the sending neuron, neurotransmitters travel across the synapse and bind to receptor sites on the receiving neuron, thereby influencing whether that neuron will generate a neural impulse
reuptake
a neurotransmitter's reabsorption by the sending neuron
endorphins
natural, opiatelike neurotransmitters linked to pain control and to pleasure