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Nervous System

a complex combinatin of cells that receive information, integrate that info with previous info to generate choices and decisions and guide actions and output based on those decisions


nerve cell; consists of axon dendrite, outer membrane, cell body and a nucleus

glial cell

hold neurons in place, direct their growth, and keep their chemical enviroment stable


detect and carry information from other nerve cells to the cell body


carry signals away from the neuron to points where communication occurs with other neurons; create action potentials

myelin sheath

a fatty substance that wraps around some axons; speed's an action potential's travel down the length of the axon

multiple sclerosis

the body attacks its myelin sheath

action potential

an impulse that runs through an axon

refractory period

rest period between action potentials


chemicals that carry the signals across the synapse from one neuron to the next


the very small gap b/t the presynaptic cell sending a message and the postynaptic cell receiving that message


usually located on the dendrites of the postsynaptic cell, are stimulated when neurotransmitters fit into them, like a key

peripheral nervous system

The section of the nervous system lying outside the brain and spinal cord; consisting of nerves spinal and cranial

central nervous system

processes information ; made up of brain and spinal cord

somatic nervous system

voluntary behavior

autonomic behavior

involuntary behavior; beat of the heart

sympathetic nervous system

mobilizes forces you need when you need to deal with fear; fight-or-flight ; heart beat and adrenaline increase

parasympathetic nervous system

works to conserve your resources; slows organ and gland activity to conserve bodys energy


controls coordination; gives our body's postion in space, balance

reticular formation

controls state of arousal as well as waking and sleeping


serves as a routing station; receives sensory info from the rest of the body and decides where in the brain to send it; only the sense of smell skips it and goes straight to the brain.


regulates body temp. and food intake; controls pituitary


affects emotional behavior especially agressive and defensive behavior; pleasure center; restrains sexual urges


memory and learning

limbic system

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

cerebral cortex

makes humans uniquely human

left cerebral hemisphere

controls right side of body;speech; academics- essays, math,science, writing, language, logical thinking

right cerebral hemisphere

controls left side of body, musical and artistic behavior, perception of space, imgaination, body control ans awareness

sensory cortex

the area at the front of the parietal lobes that receives sensory information

motor cortex

an area at the rear of the frontal lobes that controls voluntary movements

Broca's area

front of Frontal lobe; speech articulation

Wernick's area

speech perception (being able to understand spoken word)


one side of the brain is dominate in controlling a function

corpus callosum

a bundle of nerve fibers that helps right and left sides of the brain to communicate

neurotransmitter system

a group of neurons that communicate with the same neurotransmitter


controls the contractions of muscles; cognitive function


arousal, sleep, learning, mood


effects mood, apptite and sleep; carbs effect it

selective seratonin reuptake inhibtors (SRIs)

prozac, Paxic, Zolof


1."reward pathway", pleasure; 2.voluntary movement 3.learning and memory 4. emotion; an increase causes Schizophrenia and a decrease causes Parkinsons


major inhibitory transmitter of the central nervous system; decrease causes Huntington's disease


natural opiate -like compounds, can reduce pain or at least adjust our pain tolerance which is hoe we perceive pain and how we express it; causes sleep

endocrine system

made up of cells that communicate with each other to influence many behaviors and mental processes


chemicals that,when released by the glands of the endocrine system, travel viaa the blood strea and communicate with other cells, thus influencing behavior and mental processes

pituitary gland

master gland b/c it controls tons of behaviors such as it regulates growth, controls thyroid, ovverie/testes, pancreas and adrenal cortex; regulates water and salt metabolism

autoimmune disorders

Group of disease that disrupt the function of the immune system, causing the body to produce antibodies against itself, resulting in tissue damage.

frontal lobe

The lobe at the front of the brain associated with movement, speech, and impulsive behavior.

parietal lobe

portion posterior to the frontal lobe, responsible for sensations such as pain, temperature, and touch

temporal lobe

portion that lies below the frontal lobe, responsible for hearing, taste, and smell

occipital lobe

portion posterior to the parietal and temporal lobes, responsible for vision

fight or flight

a reaction caused by adrenaline that prepares one to either fight the stressor or take flight and escape.

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