AP Psychology

toilet flushing activity
action potential
a neural impulse; a brief electrical charge that travels down an axon. the action potential is generated by the movement of positively charged atoms in and out of channels in the axon's membrane
resting potential
when a neuron is in polarization; more negative ions are inside the neuron cell membrane with a positive ions on the outside, causing a small electrical charge; release of this charge generates a neuron's impulse (signal/message)
receptor cells
Specialized cells in every sensory system of the body that can turn other kinds of energy into action potentials (neural impulses) that the brain can process.
A process in which neurotransmitters are sponged up from the synaptic cleft by the presynaptic membrane.
refractory period
(neurology) the time after a neuron fires or a muscle fiber contracts during which a stimulus will not evoke a response
individual cells that are the smallest units of the nervous system
branching extensions of neuron that receives messages from neighboring neurons
the extension of a neuron, ending in branching terminal fibers, through which messages pass to other neurons or to muscles or glands
terminal buttons
Small knobs at the end of axons that secrete chemicals called neurotransmitters
the junction between the axon tip of the sending neuron and the dendrite or cell body of the receiving neuron
the use of nuclear magnetic resonance of protons to produce proton density images
a method of examining body organs by scanning them with X rays and using a computer to construct a series of cross-sectional scans along a single axis
eletroencephalogram; an amplified recording of the waves of electrical activity that sweep across the brain's surface. These waves are measured by electrodes placed on the scalp
using a computerized radiographic technique to examine the metabolic activity in various tissues (especially in the brain)
Neural Chain Activity
sensory neurons
neurons that carry incoming information from the sense receptors to the central nervous system
Central nervous system neurons that internally communicate and intervene between the sensory inputs and motor outputs
motor neurons
neurons that carry outgoing information from the central nervous system to the muscles and glands
peripheral nervous system
the section of the nervous system lying outside the brain and spinal cord
This nervous system provides involuntary control over smooth muscle, cardiac muscle, and glands.
part of the nervous system that prepares the body for fight or flight
the branch of the nervous system that automatically calms us down when the reason for arousal has passed
"stress response"
The response to a demand or stressor. Has three phases: alarm, resistance, and recovery.
phineas gage
railroad worker who survived a severe brain injury that dramatically changed his personality and behavior; case played a role in the development of the understanding of the localization of brain function
two almond-shaped neural clusters that are components of the limbic system and are linked to emotion
frontal lobe
that part of the cerebral cortex in either hemisphere of the brain lying directly behind the forehead
parietal lobe
that part of the cerebral cortex in either hemisphere of the brain lying below the crown of the head
occipital lobe
that part of the cerebral cortex in either hemisphere of the brain lying in the back of the head
temporal lobe
that part of the cerebral cortex in either hemisphere of the brain lying inside the temples of the head
brain structure that acts as a control center for recognition and analysis of hunger, thirst, fatigue, anger and body temperature:::: fight, flight, feed, fornacate
a neural center located in the limbic system that helps process explicit memories for storage
the "little brain" attached to the rear of the brainstem; it helps coordinate voluntary movement and balance
the brain's sensory switchboard, located on top of the brainstem; it directs messages to the sensory receiving areas in the cortex and transmits replies to the cerebellum and medulla
motor cortex
An area at the rear of the frontal lobes that controls voluntary movements.
somatosensory cortex
Area of the parietal lobe, which receives sensory infromation about touch, pressure, pain, temperature, and body position
brocas area
controls language expression-an aread of the frontal, usually in the left hemisphere, that directs the muscle movements involved in speech
wernickes area
controls language reception-a brain area involved in language comprehension and expression;usually in the left temporal lobe
the brain's capacity for modification, as evident in brain reorganization following damage (especially in children) and in experiments on the effects of experience on brain development
corpus callosum
the large band of neural fibers connecting the two brain hemispheres and carrying messages between them
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
myelin sheath
a layer of fatty tissue segmentally encasing the fibers of many neurons; enables vastly greater transmission speed of neural impulses as the impulse hops from one node to the next
fraternal twins
twins who develop from separate eggs. They are genetically no closer than brothers and sisters, but they share a fetal environment
identical twins
twins who develop from a single fertilized egg that splits in two, creating two genetically identical organisms
nature vs. nuture
the difference between learned and known actions. Develop over time or start from birth.
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
the proportion of variation among individuals that we can attribute to genes
absolute threshold
the minimum stimulation needed to detect a particular stimulus 50 percent of the time
difference threshold
Just noticable difference, the minimum difference between two stimuli required for detection 50 percent of the time. We experience the difference threshold as a just noticeable difference. (Also called just noticeable difference or jnd.)
top- down processing
information processing guided by higher-level mental processes, as when we construct perceptions drawing on our experience and expectations
bottom- up processing
analysis that begins with the sensory receptors and works up to the brain's integration of sensory information
signal detection theory
A theory predicting how and when we detect the presence of a faint stimulus amid background noise
selective attention
the focusing of conscious awareness on a particular stimulus, as in the cocktail party effect
change blindness
the tendency to fail to detect changes in any part of a scene to which we are not focusing our attention
cocktail party effect
the ability to focus one's listening attention on a single talker among a mixture of conversations and background noises
sensory adaption
diminished sensitivity as a consequence of constant stimulation
the formation of a mental image of something that is not perceived as real and is not present to the senses
opponent processing theory
Herings theory that color perception is based on three systems of color opposites blue-yellow, red-green, and black-white
trichromatic theory
Visual theory, stated by Young and Helmholtz that all colors can be made by mixing the three basic colors: red, green, and blue; a.k.a the Young-Helmholtz theory.
color blind
genetic disorder in which people are blind to green or red
hearing process
bones in middle ear trasmit vibrations to cochlea=>pressure waves in the cochlea=>cause another membrane to vibrate binding its hair cells=>bending depolarizes the membranes of special receptors and sends action-potentials to the brain via the auditory nerve
gate control theory
theory that spinal cord contains neurological gate that blocks pains signals or allows them to pass. gate is opened by activity of pain going up small nerve fibers & gate is closed by act of large fibers or by info coming from brain
or taste, provides information about the food and liquids that we consume.
people who have the highest sentsitivity to all tastes, as well as mouth sensations in general
subliminal messages
Brief auditory or visual messages that are presented below the absolute threshold
music backwards
when music is played backwards and sounds make noises to sound like other words, this is an example of subliminal messages.
binocular cues
depth cues, such as retinal disparity and convergence, that depend on the use of two eyes
monocular cues
depth cues, such as interposition and linear perspective, available to either eye alone
muller- lyer illusion
an illusion in which the perceived length of a line is altered by the position of other lines that enclose it
the controversial claim that perception can occur apart from sensory input
smallest units of sound in the human language, like consonants or vowels
smallest meaningful units of speech; simple words, suffixes, prefixes; examples: red, hot, calm, -ed, pre-
a precise rule (or set of rules) specifying how to solve some problem
mental shortcuts that help us to streamline our thinking and make sense of our world