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a group of severe disorders characterized by disorganized and delusional thinking, disturbed perceptions, and inappropriate emotions and actions


false sensory experiences, such as seeing something in the absence of an external visual stimulus


false beliefs, often of persecution or grandeur, that may accompany psychotic disorders

Parkinson's disease

a progressive disease that destroys brain cells and is identified by muscular tremors, slowing of movement, and partial facial paralysis


natural, opiatelike neurotransmitters linked to pain control and to pleasure


drugs that combat depression by affecting the levels or activity of neurotransmitters in the brain

Nervous System

the sensory and control apparatus consisting of a network of nerve cells

Central nervous system

the portion of the vertebrate nervous system consisting of the brain and spinal cord

Spinal Cord

cord of nerve tissue that conducts messages between the brain and the peripheral nerves


the series of vertebrae forming the axis of the skeleton and protecting the spinal cord


an automatic instinctive unlearned reaction to a stimulus

Spinal reflex

A simple, unlearned response to a stimulus that may involve only two neurons.

Peripheral nervous system

The section of the nervous system except the brain and spinal cord

Somatic Nervous System

the division of the peripheral nervous system that controls the body's skeletal muscles

Autonomic nervous system

the part of the nervous system of vertebrates that controls involuntary actions of the smooth muscles and heart and glands

Sympathetic Nervous System

the division of the autonomic nervous system that arouses the body, mobilizing its energy in stressful situations

Parasympathetic nervous system

the division of the autonomic nervous system that calms the body, conserving its energy


the posterior portion of the brain including cerebellum and brainstem


the base of the brainstem; controls heartbeat and breathing


a band of nerve fibers linking the medulla oblongata and the cerebellum with the midbrain


The oldest part and central core of the brain, beginning where the spinal cord swells as it enters the skull; the brainstem is responsible for automatic survival functions


the "little brain" attached to the rear of the brainstem; it helps coordinate voluntary movement and balance


the middle division of brain responsible for hearing and sight; location where pain is registered; includes temporal lobe, occipital lobe, and most of the parietal lobe

Reticular Formation

a nerve network in the brainstem that plays an important role in controlling arousal


top of the brain which includes the thalamus, hypothalamus, and cerebral cortex; responsible for emotional regulation, complex thought, memory aspect of personality


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

Basal Ganglia

structures in the forebrain that help to control movement


a neural structure lying below the thalamus; directs eating, drinking, body temperature; helps govern the endocrine system via the pituitary gland, and is linked to emotion

Limbic System

a system of functionally related neural structures in the brain that are involved in emotional behavior


limbic system component associated with emotion, particularly fear and anger


a neural center located in the limbic system that helps process explicit memories for storage

Cerebral cortex

the intricate fabric of interconnected neural cells that covers the cerebral hemispheres; the body's ultimate control and information-processing center


area of the brain responsible for all voluntary activities of the body

Cerebral Hemispheres

divided into right and left by the cerebrum.

Corpus Callosum

the large band of neural fibers connecting the two brain hemispheres and carrying messages between them.

Occipital Lobes

the portion of the cerebral cortex lying at the back of the head; includes the visual areas, which receive visual information from the opposite visual field

Parietal Lobes

the portion of the cerebral cortex lying at the top of the head and toward the rear; receives sensory input for touch and body position

Somatosensory cortex

a brain area at the front of the parietal lobes that registers and processes body sensations

Frontal Lobes

the portion of the cerebral cortex lying just behind the forehead; involved in speaking and muscle movements and in making plans and judgments

Motor Cortex

an area of the brain, near the rear of the frontal lobes, that controls voluntary movement

Temporal Lobes

the portion of the cerebral cortex lying roughly above the ears; includes the auditory areas, each of which receives auditory information primarily from the opposite ear


a graphical record of electrical activity of the brain


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


using a computerized radiographic technique to examine the metabolic activity in various tissues (especially in the brain)


a technique that uses magnetic fields and radio waves to produce computer-generated images that distinguish among different types of soft tissue; allows us to see structures within the brain


Destroying a piece of the brain.

Electrical Recording

study of the brain w/ EEG, single-unit recording, brain damage, sleep, epilepsy, happiness

Electrical Stimulation

A technique for exploring the cerebral cortex with weak electric current to observe motor responses.


specialization of the two cerebral hemispheres for particular operations

Broca's Area

controls language expression-an aread of the frontal, usually in the left hemisphere, that directs the muscle movements involved in speech


nerve cells


that part of the central nervous system that includes all the higher nervous centers


cell body of a neuron


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


chemical messengers that traverse the synaptic gaps between neurons


the junction between the axon tip of the sending neuron and the dendrite or cell body of the receiving neuron


the bushy, branching extensions of a neuron that receive messages and conduct impulses toward the cell body

sensory neurons

neurons that carry incoming information from the sense receptors to the central nervous system

motor neurons

neurons that carry outgoing information from the central nervous system to the muscles and glands


A cell, a group of cells, or an organ that produces a secretion for use elsewhere in the body or in a body cavity or for elimination from the body.


Chemical messengers, mostly those manufactured by the endocrine glands, that are produced in one tissue and affect another.


Central nervous system neurons that internally communicate and intervene between the sensory inputs and motor outputs


any bundle of nerve fibers running to various organs and tissues of the body

glial cells

cells in the nervous system that support, nourish, and protect neurons

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

nodes of ranvier

small gaps in the myelin sheath of medullated axons

multiple sclerosis

a chronic progressive nervous disorder involving loss of myelin sheath around certain nerve fibers


electrically charged atoms that have gained or lost electrons.

resting potential

the potential difference between the two sides of the membrane of a nerve cell when the cell is not conducting an impulse


a loss of polarity or polarization

action potential

the local voltage change across the cell wall as a nerve impulse is transmitted

all-or-none principle

refers to the fact that the action potential in the axon occurs either full blown or not at all

refractory period

(neurology) the time after a neuron fires or a muscle fiber contracts during which a stimulus will not evoke a response


a neurotransmitter's reabsorption by the sending neuron

receptor site

A site on the receiving neuron in which neurotransmitters dock.


proteins that act as biological catalysts


Chemical messengers that do not act directly on synapses but modify neuron sensitivity to synpatic stimulation or inhibition.


drugs that block the function of a neurotransmitter

wernicke's area

controls language reception-a brain area involved in language comprehension and expression;usually in the left temporal lobe


inability to use or understand language (spoken or written) because of a brain lesion


the ability of the brain to adapt to damage by reorganizing functions


a sudden loss of consciousness resulting when the rupture or occlusion of a blood vessel leads to oxygen lack in the brain

prefrontal cortex

part of frontal lobe responsible for thinking, planning, and language


cut or wound


injury to the brain caused by a blow


chronic brain disorder characterized by recurrent seizure activity

split-brain patients

people whose corpus callosum has been surgically severed

endocrine system

the system of glands that produce endocrine secretions that help to control bodily metabolic activity


gland that produces hormones that regulate blood sugar; produces enzymes that break down carbohydrates, proteins, lipids, and nucleic acids; and produces sodium bicarbonate, a base that neutralizes stomach acid


A condition of abnormal use of glucose, usually caused by too little insulin or lack of response to insulin.


process by which organisms maintain a relatively stable internal environment

pituitary gland

the master gland of the endocrine system

pineal gland

located in the center of the brain, functioning to secrete melatonin and serotonin

adrenal gland

source of the hormone norepinephrine which affects arousal

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