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Understanding Psychology 9E Ch.2
Mesa Community College PSY 101 with Dr. Wayne General
Terms in this set (85)
the area of psychology that focuses on the biological foundations of behavior and mental processes
the study of the brain and the nervous system
Individual cells that are the smallest unit of the nervous system.
Short fibers that branch out from the cell body and pick up incoming messages
Neurons that carry messages from one neuron to another
Nerve (or tract)
group of axons bundled together
White fatty covering found on some axons
Sensory (or afferent) neurons
Neurons that carry messages from sense organs to the spinal cord or brain.
Motor (or efferent) neurons
Neurons that carry messages from the spinal cord or brain to the muscles and glands.
Interneurons (or association neurons)
Neurons that carry messages from one neuron to another.
Specialized neurons that respond when we observe others perform a behavior or express an emotion.
Glial cells (or glia)
cells that insulate and support neurons by holding them together, provide nourishment and remove waste products, prevent harmful substances from passing into the brain, and form the myelin sheath
Electrically charged particles found both inside and outside the neuron
Electrical charge across a neuron membrane resulting from more positive ions concentrated on the outside and more negative ions on the inside.
Neural impulse (or action potential)
The firing of a nerve cell.
A shift in the lectrical charge in a tiny area of a neuron
Threshold of excitation
The level an impulse must exceed to cause a neuron to fire
Principle that the action potential in a neuron does not vary in strength; either the neuron fires at full strength, or it does not fire at all.
Synaptic space (or synaptic cleft)
Tiny gap between the axon terminal of one neuron and the dendrites or cell body of the next neuron.
Area composed of the axon terminal of one neuron, the synaptic space, and the dendrite or cell body of the next neuron.
Terminal button (or synaptic knob)
Structure at the end of an exon terminal branch
Tiny sacs in a terminal button that release chemicals into the synapse.
Chemicals released by the synaptic vesicles that travel across the synaptic space and affect adjacent neurons
Locations on a receptor neuron into which a specific neurotransmitter fits like a lock and key
The ability of the brain to change in response to experience.
The growth of new neurons
Central nervous system (CNS)
Division of the nervous system that consists of the brain and spinal cord.
Peripheral nervous system (PNS)
Division of the nervous system that connects the central nervous system to the rest of the body.
Area containing the medulla, pons, and cerebellum.
Structure in the hindbrain that controls essential life support functions including breathing, heart rate and blood pressure.
Structure in the midbrain that regulates sleep and wake cycles.
Structure in the hindbrain that controls certain reflexes and coordinates the body's movements.
Region between the hindbrain and the forebrain; it is important for hearing and sight, and it is one of several places in the brain where pain is registered.
Forebrain region that replays and translates incoming messages from the sense receptors, except those for smell.
Forebrain region that governs motivation and emotional responses
Reticular formation (RF)
Network of neurons in the hindbrain, the midbrain, and part of the forebrain, whose primary function is to alert and arouse the higher parts of the brain
The outer surface of the two cerebral hemispheres that regulates most complex behavior.
Areas of the cerebral cortex where incoming messages from the separate senses are combined into meaningful impressions and outgoing messages from the motor areas are integrated.
Part of the cerebral cortex that is responsible for voluntary movement; it is also important for attention, goal-directed behavior, and appropriate emotional experiences.
Primary motor cortex
The section of the frontal lobe responsible for voluntary movement
The forward most region of the frontal cortex involved in impulse control, judgement, and conscious awareness
Part of the cerebral hemisphere that receives and interprets visual information
Part of the cerebral cortex that receives sensory information from throughout the body.
Primary somatosensory cortex
Area of the parietal lobe where messages from the sense receptors are registered
Part of the cerebral hemisphere that helps regulate hearing, balance and equilibrium, and certain emotions and motivations
Ring of structures that plays a role in learning and emotional behavior
A thick band of nerve fibers connecting the left and right cerebral hemispheres
Impairments of the ablility to use (expressive aphasia) or understand (receptive aphasia) language that usually results from brain damage.
Complex cable of neurons that runs down the spine, connecting the brain to most of the rest of the body.
Neurons that carry messages from sense organs to the spinal cord or brain.
Neurons that carry messages from the spinal cord or brain to the muscles and glands
Somatic nervous system
The part of the peripheral nervous system that carries messages from the senses to the central nervous system and between the central nervous system and the skeletal muscles
`Autonomic nervous system
The part of the peripheral nervous system that carries message between the central nervous system and the internal organs.
Branch of the autonomic nervous system; it prepares the body for quick action in an emergency
Branch of the autonomic nervous system; it calms and relaxes the body
Glands of the endocrine system that release hormones into the bloodstream
Chemical substances released by the endrocrine glands; they help regulate bodily activities
Gland located on the underside of the brain; it produces the largest number of the body's hormones.
A gland located roughly in the center of the brain that appears to regulate activity levels over the course of the day.
Endrocrine gland located below the voice box; it produces the hormone thyroxin
Four tiny glands embedded in the thyroid
Organ lying between the stomach and small intestine; it secretes insulin and glucagon to regulate blood-sugar levels
Two endocrine glands located just above the kidneys
The reproductive glands - testes in males and ovaries in females.
Study of the relationahip between heredity and behavior
An approach to, and subfield of, psychology that is concerned with the evolutionary origins of behaviors and mental processes, their adaptive value, and the purposes they continue to serve.
Study of how traits are transmitted from one generation to the next.
Elements that control the transmission of traits; they are found on the chromosomes
Pairs of threadlike bodies within the cell nucleus that contain the genes
Deoxyribosnucleic acid (DNA)
Complex molecule in a double-helix configuration that is the main ingredient of chromosomes and genes and that forms the code for all genetic information
Member of a gene pair that controls the appearance of a certain trait
Member of a gene pair that can control the appearance of a certain trait only if it is paired with another recessive gene.
Process by which several genes interact to produce a certain trait; responsible for our most important traits.
An organism's entire unique genetic makeup
The characteristics of an organism; dertermined by both genetics and experience.
The full complement of genes within a human cell
Studies of the heritability of behavioral trains using animals that have been inbred to produce strains that are genetically similar to one another
Studies that estimate the heritability of a trait by breeding animals with other animals that have the same trait.
Studies of heritability in humans based on the assumption that if genes influence a certain trait, close relatives should be more similar on that trait than distant relatives
Studies of identical and fraternal twins to determine the relative influence of heredity and environment on human behavior
Twins developed from a single fertilized ovum and therefore identical in genetic makeup at the time of conception
Twins developed from two separate fertilized ova and therefore different in genetic makeup
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 dehavior
The mechanism proposed by Darwin in his theory of evolution, which states that organisms best adapted to their environment tend to survive, transmitting their genetic characteristics to succeeding generations, whereas organisms with less adaptive characteristics tend to vanish from the earth.
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