54 terms

Psych - Ch. 3 - Biology & Behavior

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amygdala
part of the limbic system; involved in emotion and learning
cortex
wrinkled outer portion of brain; center for higher order brain functions such as thinking
association areas
areas of the cortex that are not involved in primary motor or sensory functions
axon terminal
structure at the end of an axon that releases neurotransmitters into the synapse
axon
a single long, fiber that carries outgoing messages to other neurons, muscles, or glands
brain
portion of the central nervous system above the spinal cord; consists of hindbrain, midbrain, and forebrain
central nervous system
the brain and spinal cord
cerebellum
part of the hindbrain involved in coordination and balance
chromosome
threadlike structure within the nucleus of cells that contain genes
corpus callosum
large band of white neural fibers that connects to to brain hemispheres and carries messages between them
dendrites
branching extensions of neuron that receives messages from neighboring neurons
DNA
can replicate or reproduce itself; made of genes
dopamine
neurotransmitter involved in movement, reward system
endocrine system
glands that secrete hormones into the bloodstream, which regulate body and behavioral processes
forebrain
largest, most complicated, and most advanced of the three divisions of the brain; includes the thalamus, hypothalamus, limbic system, cortex, etc.
fraternal twins
twins from two separate fertilized eggs (zygotes); share half of the same genes
frontal lobes
control emotional behaviors, make decisions, carry out plans; speech; movement
gene
a DNA segment on a chromosome that controls transmission of traits
genotype
an individual's genetic make-up
hindbrain
the most primitive of the three divisions of the brain, made up of the pons, medulla, reticular formation, and cerebellum
hippocampus
part of the limbic system and is involved in learning and forming new long-term memories
hormone
chemical that carries messages that travel through the bloodstream to help regulate bodily functions
hypothalamus
part of the forebrain involved in behaviors such as, eating, drinking, and sex drive
identical twins
twins from a single fertilized egg (zygote) with the same genetic makeup
limbic system
structures located in the forebrain; include the hippocampus and amygdala; associated with emotions and memories
medulla
part of the brain which controls survival functions such as breathing and heart rate
midbrain
middle level of the three organizational structures of the brain that receives signals from other parts of the brain or spinal cord
myelin
a white, fatty covering of the axon which speeds transmission of message
nature vs nurture
deals with the extent to which genetics and the environment each influence behavior
nerve
bundles of axons
neuron
nerve cell that are building block of the nervous system
neurotransmitter
chemical messenger released by axon terminals into the synapse
occipital lobes
primary area for processing visual information
parasympathetic nervous system
a branch of the autonomic nervous system that maintains normal body functions; it calms the body after sympathetic stimulation
parietal lobes
processes sensory information including touch, temperature, and pain from other body parts
peripheral nervous system
division that connects the central nervous system to the rest of the body; divided into somatic nervous system and autonomic nervous system
phenotype
the outward expression of genes
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
pons
part of the hindbrain that links lower brain structures to higher ones
receptor
location on neuron which receives specific neurotransmitters
reticular formation (reticular activiating system)
plays an important role in attention and arousal
serotonin
neurotransmitter that affects sleep, mood, aggression, and appetite; lack of it is linked with depression
somatic nervous system
division of peripheral nervous system; controls voluntary actions
spinal cord
portion of the central nervous system that carries messages to the peripheral nervous system; connects brain to the rest of the body
split-brain patients
people whose corpus callosum has been surgically severed (to treat epilepsy)
sympathetic nervous system
a branch of the autonomic nervous system and prepares the body for quick action in emergencies ("fight or flight")
synapse
the gap between two neurons where neurotransmitters are released by axon terminals and received by dendrites
temporal lobes
main area for hearing
thalamus
acts as a "relay station" in the forebrain
twin studies
studies of identical and fraternal twins to determine relative influence of heredity and environment on human behavior
kinship studies
studies comparing the characteristics of family members to determine the importance of heredity in complex human characteristics
cerebrum
largest structure in the brain; made up of two hemispheres connected by the corpus callosum; covered by the cortex
Broca's area
area in the left frontal lobe that is involved in speaking
Wernicke's Area
area in the left temporal lobe that is involved in understanding language
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