Like this study set? Create a free account to save it.

Sign up for an account

Already have a Quizlet account? .

Create an account


Franz Gall

1758-1828; one of the earliest theories that behavior, intellect, and personality are linked to brain anatomy

developed the doctrine of phrenology; believed that if a particular trait were well developed, the part of the brain responsible for that trait would expand eventually leading the skull to expand in that area (shown false)

Pierre Flourens

used Gall's doctrine of phrenology; first person to study the functions of the major sections of the brain; used extirpation with pigeons; showed the brain had specific parts for specific functions, and the removal of one part weakens the entire brain


aka ablation; used by Flourens; various parts of the brain are removed, and the behavioral consequences are observed

William James

1842-1910; studied how the mind functioned in adapting to the environment; his view among the first that formed functionalism


system of thought concerned with studying how mental processes help individuals adapt to their environments

John Dewey

1859-1952; important in functionalism; criticized the concept of the reflex arc, believing that psych should focus on the study of the organism as a whole as it functioned to adapt to the environment

Paul Broca

examined behavioral deficits of people with brain damage; first to demonstrate that specific functional impairments could be linked with specific brain lesions

Broca's area

specific area on the left side of the brain for most people; speech production; usually found in only one hemisphere, the dominant hemisphere

Phineas Gage

changes in personality after injury to prefrontal cortex

Johannes Muller

identified law of specific nerve energies

law of specific nerve energies

Muller; each sensory nerve is excited by only one kind of energy, and the brain interprets stimulation of that nerve as being that kind of energy

sensation depends more on the part of the brain that the nerves stimulate than on the particular stimulus that activates tehm

Hermann von Helmholtz

first to measure the speed of a nerve impulse; often credited with the transition of psychology into the field of the natural sciences

Sir Charles Sherrington

first inferred the existence of synapses; thought that synaptic transmission was an electrical process (really primarily a chemical process)

sensory neurons

aka afferent neurons; transmit sensory information from receptors to the spinal cord and the brain

motor neurons

aka efferent neurons; transmit motor information from the brain and spinal cord to the muscles


found between other neurons; most numerous type of neuron; located mostly in brain and spinal cord and linked to reflexive behavior; involved in reflexes

reflexive behavior

controlled by neural circuits called reflex arcs

reflex arc

sensory neurons signal information to spinal cord, where sensory neurons connect with interneurons that relay impulses up to the brain

with reflexes, interneurons immediately transfer information received from sensory neurons through impulses when the impulses arrive at the spinal cord; by the time the sensory information reaches the brain, the muscles have already responded to the pain

central nervous system

brain and spinal cord

peripheral nervous system

nerve tissue and fibers outside the brain and spinal cord; connects the CNS to the rest of the body

subdivided into somatic and autonomic nervous systems

somatic nervous system

sensory and motor neurons distributed throughout skin and muscles; sensory neurons transmit info through afferent fibers and motor impulses through efferent fibers

autonomic nervous system

Walter Cannon (developed conceptualization of homeostasis); regulates heartbeat, respiration, digestion, and glandular secretions (i.e., manages involuntary muscles associated with internal organs and glands); regulates body temp; these functions are independent of conscious control

2 subdivisions: sympathetic nervous system and parasympathetic nervous system, which often act in opposition to one another

sympathetic nervous system

subdivision of ANS; accelerates heartbeat and inhibits digestion; activated in stressful situations; "fight or flight" responses; when activated, body mobilizes for fighting or fleeing, with increases in heart rate, blood-sugar, and respiration; causes pupils to dilate; neurotransmitter adrenaline is released into bloodstream; maximize energy for quick responses in threatening situations

parasympathetic nervous system

subdivision of ANS; decelerates heartbeat and increases digestion; main role is to conserve energy, promoting "resting and digesting"


neurotransmitter responsible for parasympathetic responses in body

subdivisions of brain

hindbrain, midbrain, and forebrain


located where the brain meets the spinal cord; primary functions are balance, motor coordination, breathing, digestion, and general arousal processes such as sleeping and waking

contains medulla oblongata, pons, cerebellum


just above hindbrain; manages sensorimotor reflexes that promote survival; receives sensory and motor information; associated with involuntary reflex responses triggered by visual or auditory stimuli


above midbrain; associated with complex perceptual, cognitive, and behavioral processes; emotion and memory; greatest influence on human behavior; intellectual and emotional capacities


hindbrain and midbrain; first to develop

limbic system

brain region that evolved after brainstem; group of neural structures primarily associated with emotion and memory; aggression, fear, pleasure, pain

cerebral cortex

most recent evolutionary development of human brain; outer covering of cerebral hemispheres; associated with language processing, problem solving, impulse control, long-term planning, etc


evolutionary development in humans (know this!)

medulla oblongata

located in hindbrain; lower brain structure responsible for regulating vital functions of breathing, heartbeat, blood pressure


located in hindbrain above medulla oblongata; contains sensory and motor tracts between the cortex and the medulla


top of hindbrain; comes out of pons; structure that helps maintain posture and balance and coordinates body movements; alcohol impairs functioning of cerebellum

responsible for maintaining a limb, or other body parts, in a steady, nonrelaxed position; controls the ballistic movements of speaking, writing, playing an instrument, and performing athletic skills

reticular formation

extends from the hindbrain into the midbrain; composed of an intricate network of nerve fibers; primarily regulates arousal and alertness; associated with Arousal, Alertness, and Attention

reticular activating system is thought to be the central coordinating point for information in the nervous system


prominent nuclei in the midbrain; superior colliculus (receives visual information) and inferior colliculus (receives auditory information)


above midbrain; divided into two cerebral hemispheres


structure within forebrain that serves as a relay station for incoming sensory information (except smell); transmits information to the appropriate areas of the cerebral cortex


serves homeostatic functions; emotional experience during high arousal states, aggressive and sexual behavior; helps control some endocrine functions and the ANS; osmoregulation; important in drive behaviors (drive reduction theory)

subdivided into lateral, ventromedial, and anterior hypothalamus

Feeding, Fighting, Fleeing, sexual Functioning


maintenance of water balance in the body; performed by osmoreceptors in the hypothalamus

lateral hypothalamus

hunger center in hypothalamus; has special receptors thought to detect when body needs more food or fluids; plays a role in rage and fighting behaviors


disorder when lateral hypothalamus is destroyed; Lacking Hunger

ventromedial hypothalamus

"satiety center" in hypothalamus; tells when you've had enough to eat; brain lesions in this area usually lead to obesity; hyperphasia (excessive eating)


excessive eating; ventromedial hypothalamus; Very Hungry

anterior hypothalamus

sexual activity; damage is related to asexual behavior

basal ganglia

coordinates muscle movement; receives info from the cortex and relays it to the brain and spinal cord via the extrapyramidal motor system; involved with postures and movements of the body as a whole

Parkinson's; schizophrenia

extrapyramidal motor system

movement and posture; gets info and relays to brain and spinal cord

Parkinson's disease

jerky movements and uncontrollable tremors; related to basal ganglia


fluid-filled cavities in brain that link with the spinal canal in the spinal cord; in schizophrenia, abnormally large ventricles relate to catatonia, social withdrawal, flat affect

cerebrospinal fluid

fills ventricles and spinal cord

limbic system

group of interconnected structures in central part of brain, including part of hypothalamus and cortex; emotion and memory; second major area of brain to evolve

septum, amygdala, hippocampus


pleasure center; James Olds and Peter Milner showed that stimulation of the septal area results in sexual arousal and pleasure, even preferable to eating; inhibits aggression

septal rage

damage to septal area leads to aggressive behavior


defensive and aggressive behavior; lesions result in docility and hypersexual states; Heinrick Kluver and Paul Bucy: linked amygdala with aggressive and defensive behaviors in monkeys; Kluver-Bucy syndrome


learning and memory; lesions produce anterograde amnesia (loss of memory for anything new); H.M.'s was removed to control for epileptic seizures; Brenda Milner

retrograde amnesia

memory loss of events that transpired before brain lesion

cerebral cortex

or neocortex; most recent part of brain to evolve; convolutions are bumps and folds on cortex; divided into four lobes: occipital, parietal, temporal, frontal

cerebral hemispheres

two halves of surface of cerebral cortex

frontal lobe

formed of prefrontal lobes and motor cortex;

prefrontal cortex

executive function; direct operation of other brain regions; supervises processes associated with perception, memory, emotion, impulse control, long-term planning; association area

association area

area that combines input from diverse brain regions; larger than projection area in humans

projection area

receives incoming sensory information and sends out motor-impulse commands; visual cortex; motor cortex

prefrontal lobotomies

disconnect of frontal lobe with limbic system and hypothalamus; used in 50s to treat schizophrenia

motor cortex

initiates voluntary motor movements by sending neural impulses down spinal cord to muscles; projection area

parietal lobe

somatosensory cortex; projection area; sensory signals for touch, pressure, temperature, pain; closely related to motor cortex (sensorimotor cortex); spatial processing and manipulation

occipital lobe

rear of brain; visual cortex (or striate cortex); David Hubel and Torsten Wiesel; some learning and motor control

temporal lobe

auditory cortex; Wernike's area (language reception and comprehension); memory processing, emotional control, language


one side of brain communicates with opposite side of body


hemisphere of brain communicates with same side of body; smell

dominant hemisphere

opposite to hand used for writing; left for most; primarily analytic in function; language, logic, and math skills; Broca's area (language production) and Wernicke's area (language comprehension) are located in dominant hemisphere

nondominant hemisphere

right for most; interprets emotional tone of incoming language; creativity, musical and spatial processing

corpus callosum

collection of fibers connecting left and right hemispheres; Sperry and Gazzaniga; split brain procedure; hemispheres cannot communicate


cell body of neuron; neural conduction within neuron is an electrical process; transmission between neurons is chemical


branch out from soma to receive information from other neurons via postsynaptic receptors; not myelinated; can change throughout lifetime; receptors of information


chemical substance released from terminal button

glial cell

nonneural cells that insulate axons in myelin sheath

resting potential

slight electrical charge stored inside neuron's cell membrane

cell membrane

thin layer of fatty molecules that separates the inside of the neuron from the outside; membrane potential; semipermeable: barrier that allows some substances (smaller ions) to pass through and blocks others (large charged ions); at resting stage,net negative charge inside neuron and positive outside

firing of neuron

4 stages: resting potential, depolarization, action potential spike, and hyperpolarization


second stage in action potential; stimulus is significant enough to cause membrane's potential to increase to threshold potential; firing of the neuron

action potential spike

rapid electrical pulse that occurs when cell membrane's charge becomes positive in depolarization; cell membrane is repolarized


membrane becomes more polarized; cell membrane is resistant to inflow of positively charged ions; internal voltage gradually returns to original resting potential

refractory period

interval between trigger of action potential and completion of firing cycle; 2 stages: absolute refractory (corresponding to depolarization) and relative refractory (corresponding to repolarization)

all-or-nothing law

governs action potential; when depolarization reaches the critical threshold, the neuron fires every time; once the action potential begins, its voltage peaks at the same intensity regardless of the intensity of the stimulation

axon hillock

elevation on neuron where axon meets soma; action potential originates here; graded potential in cell body is converted into all-or-nothing potential of axon


insulates axon and speeds up conduction; saltatory conduction: efficient conduction along myelinated axon

nodes of Ranvier

gaps along myelin sheath; depolarization occurs at nodes; action potential skips from one node to the next, generating the action potential at each node

terminal buttons

ends of each axon; the action potential triggers the release of neurotransmitters here into the synapse; positioned close to the dendrite of another axon


or synaptic cleft; space between terminal button and dendrite of adjacent neuron

when an action potential release neurotransmitters here, they either 1) attach themselves to the receptor sites on the postsynaptic membrane, 2) remain in the synapse, or 3) are drawn back into the vesicles of the terminal buttons via reuptake

presynaptic membrane

membrane of terminal button that faces the synapse; vesicles in here store neurotransmitters

postsynaptic membrane

membrane of dendrite of adjacent neuron; receptors are here


process of neurotransmitter binding itself to receptor site; need right neurotransmitter key for receptor site

postsynaptic potential

electrical charge generated when neurotransmitter binds to receptor site on dendrite, either making the neuron more likely to fire (excitatory postsynaptic potential; EPSP) or less likely to fire (inhibitory postsynaptic potential; IPSP)

graded potentials

postsynaptic potentials in dendrites; voltage varies in intensity; no all-or-nothing law; voltage depends on how much the receptor sites are stimulated by neurotransmitters; the more transmitters that bind to the receptor sites, the stronger the postsynaptic potential; in contrast to action potentials, their voltage decreases as they spread out from the original site of stimulation

Eric Kandel

studied neural networks in aplysia; showed habituation; changes in synpatic transmission underlie changes in behavior


neurotransmitter found in central and peripheral nervous systems; linked to Alzheimer's in CNS


loss of acetylcholine in neurons that connect with the hippocampus


epinephrine, norepinephrine, and dopamine; these are also classified as monoamines, or biogenic amines; all play important roles in emotion


aka noradrenaline; alertness and wakefulness; implicated in depression (too little) and mania (too much)


movement and posture; high concentrations in basal ganglia

dopamine hypothesis

schizophrenia; imbalances in dopamine; delusions, hallucinations, and agitation arise from too much dopamine or oversensitivity to dopamine

amphetamines produce excessive dopamine activity that can result in amphetamine psychosis

phenothiazines reduce sensitivity of dopamine receptors; effective as antipsychotics

Parkinson's: thought to be loss of dopamine-sensitive neurons in basal ganglia; people with schizophrenia tend to show side effects resembling motor disturbances of Parkinson's disease; tardive dyskinesia


synthetic substance that increases dopamine levels in the brain; motor disturbances in Parkinson's disease can be treated with this; can lead to oversupply of dopamine and produce psychotic symptoms


monoamine, or biogenic amines; helps regulate mood, eating, sleeping, arousal; involved with depression (too little) and mania (too much)

SSRIs, such as prozac, help with depression

monoamine theory of depression

oversupplies of norepinephrine or serotonin lead to mania and undersupplies to depression


gamma-amino butyric acid; neurotransmitter that produces inhibitory postsynaptic potentials; important in stabilizing neural activity in the brain; causes hyperpolarization in postsynaptic membrane

anxiety disorders


two or more amino acids joined together; also involved in neurotransmission; endorphins are peptides


aka neuropeptides; more complicated chain of events in postsynaptic cell than regular neurotransmitters; relatively slow, with longer effects on postsynaptic cell than neurotransmitters


natural painkillers produced in brain; peptides; endorphins and enkephalins are similar in structure to morphine and other opiates


science of how drugs affect behavior; psychoactive drugs produce main effects by modifying neurotransmission

sedative-hypnotic drugs

depressants; act to slow the functioning of the CNS; low doses reduce anxiety, medium doses produce sedation, and high doses induce anesthesia or coma

synergistic: additive in effect; when taken together, combined effect is greater than either alone (alcohol with barbiturates)

benzodiazepines and barbiturates


sedative-hypnotic; facilitate and enhance GABA, which stabilizes brain activity; tranquilizers often used to reduce anxiety; valium


sedative-hypnotic; facilitate and enhance GABA, which stabilizes brain activity; tranquilizers often used as sedatives


sedative-hypnotic; abuse can result in memory disturbances; Korsakoff's syndrome: more serious disturbances in memory, including anterograde amnesia; result of vitamin deficiency of B1 (thiamin), arising from malnutrition that often occurs in chronic alcoholics

behavioral stimulants

class of drugs that increase behavioral activity by increasing motor activity or counteracting fatigue

amphetamines, antidepressants, tricyclic antidepressants, SSRIs, methylphenidate (Ritalin)


speed up CNS to mimic action of sympathetic nervous system; stimulate receptors for dopamine, norepinephrine, and serotonin


clinical depression; elevate mood, increasing overall activity and appetite, and improve sleep patterns; tricyclics and monoamine oxidase (MAO) inhibitors

tricyclic antidepressants

facilitate transmission of norepinephrine or serotonin at the synapse; block reuptake of monoamines

MAO inhibitors

inhibit action of MAO enzyme, which normally breaks down and deactivates norepinephrine and serotonin in the synapse; increase supply of norepinephrine and serotonin


inhibit reuptake of serotonin to increase supply in the synapse; Prozac


Ritalin; amphetamine used to treat ADD; increases alertness and decreases motor activity in hyperactive children

antipsychotic drugs

thorazine, chlorpromazine, phrnothiazine, haloperidol (Haldol); effective in treating delusions, hallucinations, and agitation associated with schizophrenia; most are thought to block receptor sites for dopamine

lithium carbonate

prescribed to treat bipolar disorder; effective mood stabilizer, eliminating 70-90 percent of symptoms associated with bipolar disorder; prevents mood swans and controls acute manic symptoms


opium, heroin, morphine; effective pain-reliving drugs; narcotics tend to bind directly to opiate receptors in the brain, which normally respond to endorphins; these drugs alleviate pain by mimicking effects of endorphins


mixed class of drugs that alter sensory perception and cognitive processes; cannibis, mescaline, psilocybin

endocrine system

internal communication network in the body (besides the nervous system); uses hormones as chemical messages; involved in slow and continuous bodily processes, like body growth; also produces adrenaline to act quickly in life-threatening situations; regulates sexual arousal

pituitary gland

base of brain; divided into anterior and posterior

anterior pituitary

releases hormones that regulate activities of endocrine glands; controlled by hypothalamus; these hormones play a role in initiating, maintaining, and halting development of primary and secondary sex characteristics


hormones needed for male development during critical stages of fetal development; including testosterone

androgen-insensitivity syndrome

female pattern of development as result of failure of Y chromosome in males to produce androgens, including testosterone

gonadoptropic hormones

aka gonadotropins; produced and released by pituitary gland during puberty; activate an increase in production of hormones by testes or ovaries; for males, the hormones stimulate testes to produce sperm and a surge in testosterone levels; for females, they stimulate ovaries to secrete estrogen which accelerates development of female genitalia and has a role in menstrual cycle

female reproductive cycle

pituitary gland secretes follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH), stimulating growth of ovarian follicle; luteinizing hormone (LH) involves release of egg from one of the ovaries; during this, ovaries secrete estrogen and progesterone; if ovum is not fertilized, estrogen and progesterone levels decrease, and menstruation begins


increasing levels during reproductive cycle are associated with maturation and release of the egg or ovum from the ovary


during reproductive cycle, progesterone prepares the uterus for implantation of the fertilized egg


study of functions and behaviors associated with specific regions of the brain; in research settings, researchers attempt to associate specific areas to behavior and in clinical settings, where people are treated for brain lesions


or extirpation; surgically induced brain lesion; lesions can also be produced by inserting electrodes inside the brain and selectively applying heat, cold, or electricity to specific regions

stereotaxic instrument

device used to brain areas when electrodes are implanted to make lesions or stimulate nerve cell activity

Walter Penfield

first to use method involving electrically stimulating and recording brain activity

single-cell recording

studies of individual neurons being recorded; Hubel and Wiesel work on individual brain cells in visual cortex of cats; recording is for monitoring ongoing activity, where stimulation is for new activity


noninvasive; electrodes on surface of head detect patterns of electrical activity and record them to produce an EEG; sleep research relies on this

4 characteristic EEG patterns: beta, alpha, theta, delta waves; REM sleep is when we have most of our dreams; these sleep stages form a complete cycle of 90 minutes

regional cerebral blood flow (rCBP)

noninvasive; detects broad patterns of neural activity based on increased blood flow to different parts of the brain; blood flow to a region increases when the specific area is activated

CAT scan

device used to reveal structures of the brain of a living person

A.R. Luria

Russian neurologist; study of neuropsychological disorders


language disorders; associated with Broca's and Wernicke's areas

Broca's aphasia

lesions to Broca's area; language production

Wernicke's aphasia

damage to Wernicke's area; understanding spoken language

anterograde amnesia

damage to hippocampus; disturbance in memory for events after brain injury; H.M.


"not knowing"; perceptual recognition; in visual agnosia, impairment in visual recognition; a person can see an object and not recognize what it is; visual perception is registered in projection area of visual cortex, and recognition is processed in nearby association areas; so damage to coritcal area results in visual agnosia, impairing ability to recognize visual objects without interfering with ability to see

See more

Please allow access to your computer’s microphone to use Voice Recording.

Having trouble? Click here for help.

We can’t access your microphone!

Click the icon above to update your browser permissions and try again


Reload the page to try again!


Press Cmd-0 to reset your zoom

Press Ctrl-0 to reset your zoom

It looks like your browser might be zoomed in or out. Your browser needs to be zoomed to a normal size to record audio.

Please upgrade Flash or install Chrome
to use Voice Recording.

For more help, see our troubleshooting page.

Your microphone is muted

For help fixing this issue, see this FAQ.

Star this term

You can study starred terms together

Voice Recording