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Hockens and Hockents fifth edition text book

sensory neurons

convey information about the environment, such as light or sound, from specialized receptor cells in the sense organs to the brain

motor neurons

communicate information to the muscles and glands of the body.


communicate information between neurons.

glial cells

glia provide stuctural support for neurons throughout the nervous system. Also provide nutrition for neurons and remove waste products.


short branching fibers. greek work 'tree'. recieve messages from other neurons. like a tree of a branch. span as far as dendrite reaches.


single clongated tube that extends from the cell body in most though not all neurons. Axons carry information from the neuron to other cells in the body including other neurons glands and muscles.

myelin sheath

all neurons are surrounded by the myelin sheath., White, fatty covering formed by special glial cells. In much the same way that you can bundle together electrical wires if they are insulated with plastic, myelin helps insulate one axon from the axons of other neurons.

action potential

messages are gathered by the dendrites and cell body and then transmitted along the axon in the form of this brief electrical impulse.

stimulus threshold

Each neuron requires a minimum level of stimulation from other neurons or sensory receptors to activate it. This minimum level is the stimulus threshold.

resting potential

concentration of negative proteins inside the neuron is -70. This -70 is the resting potential.


the point of communication between two neurons

synaptic gap

The presynaptic and postsynaptic neurons are separated by a tiny, fluid-filled space called the synaptic gap

axon terminal

at the end of an axon are several small branches called axon terminals.

synaptic vesicles

floating in the interior fluid of the axon terminals are tiny sacs called synaptic vesicles

synaptic transmission

the entire process of transmitting information at the synapse is called synaptic transmission


neurotransmitter molecules detach from the receptor and are reabsorbed by the presynaptic neuron so they can be recycled and used again.


gamma aminobutyric acid neurotransmitter found primarily in the brain


number of chemicals manufactured by the brain

spinal reflexes

simple, automatic behaviors that occur without any brain involvement.


made up of large bundles of neuron axons

peripheral nervous system

comprises all the nerves outside the central nervous system that extend to the outer most layers of your body including the skin.

central nervous system

includes the brain and spinal cord.

sympathetic nervous system

body's emergency system, rapidly activating bodily systems to meet threats or emergencies.

parasympathetic nervous system

conserves and maintains physical resoures. calms you down after an emergency

endocrine system

made up of glands that are located throughout the body. Involves the use of chemical messengers to transmit information from one part of the body to the other.


messanger chemicals

pituitary gland

pea sized gland just under thebrain that regulates the release of hormones

adrenal medulla

produce hormones that are involved in the human stress response. Fight or flight response

adrenal glands

consist of adrenal medulla and adrenal cortex

adrenal cortex

outer gland. hormones secreted by the adrenal cortex also interact with the immune system. the bodys defense against invading viruses and bacteria


sex organs

functional plasticity

refers to the brains ability to shift functions from damaged to undamaged brain areas. Depending on location and degree of damage


the development of new neurons


made up of the structures of the hindbrain and midbrain make up the brain region that is also called the brainstem


situated at the base of the brain directly abve the spinal cord.


swelling of tissue represents the uppermost level of the hindbrain. pons means bridge and sorts infro from various other brain regions located higher up in the brain is relayed to the cerebellum via the pons. regular breathing


control of balance, muscle tone, and coordinated muscle movements. learning of habitual or automatic movements and motor skills.

reticular formation

composed of many groups of specialized neurons that project up to higher brain regions and down to the spinal cord. regulating attention and sleep

substantia nigra

involved in motor control and contains a large concentration of dopamine-producing neurons. means dark substance and this area is darly pigmentedhelps prepare other brain regions to initiate organized movements or actions.


90% of brain.

cerebral cortex

devided into two cerebral hemispheres. cortex means bark and the cerebral cortex is the outer covering of the forebrain.

corpus callosum

bundle of axons connects the two cerebral hemispheres. serves as the primary communication link between the left and right cerebral hemispheres.

temporal lobe

contains the primary auditory cortex which recieves auditory information.

occipital lobe

includes the primary visual cortex where visual information is recieved

parietal lobe

involved in processing bodily or somatosensory information including touch temperature pressure and information from receptors in the mucles and joints.

frontal lobe

involved in planning initiating and executing voluntary movements.

limbic system

limbic means border and structures that mke up the limbic system form a border of sorts around the brainstem


embedded in temporal lobe in each hemisphere. involved in forming new memories


procvesses and integrates sensory information: relay's sensory information to cerebral cortex


links brain and endocrine system regulates hunger thirst sleep and sexual behavior


involved in memory and emotion, especially fear and anger

Karl Wernicke

discovered another area in the left hemisphere that when damaged produced a different type of language distubance. "nonsense"

cortical localization

the idea that particular brain areas are associated with specific function

Pierre Paul Broca

treated patients who had great difficulty speaking but could comprehend written or spoken language

split brain operation

used to reduce recurring seizures in sever cases of epilepsy

Roger Sperry

studied differences between left and right hemispheres of the brain

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