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Biological Bases of Behavior
Terms in this set (74)
A branch of psychology concerned with the links between biology and behavior.
A nerve cell; the basic building block of the nervous system.
Neurons that carry incoming information from the sensory receptors to the brain and spinal cord.
Neurons that carry outgoing information from the brain and spinal cord to the muscles and glands.
Central nervous system neurons that internally communicate and intervene between the sensory inputs and motor outputs.
A neuron's bushy, branching extensions that receive messages and conduct impulses toward the cell body.
A long, thin fiber that transmits signals away from the neuron cell body to other neurons, or to muscles or glands.
A white, fatty covering wrapped around the axons of some neurons that increases their communication speed.
A brief electrical impulse by which information is transmitted along the axon of a neuron.
The level of stimulation required to trigger a neural impulse.
A junction where information is transmitted from one neuron to the next.
Chemical messengers that relay neural messages across the synapse.
Action by which a neurotransmitter is quickly drawn back into the discharging neuron after being released into a synaptic cleft.
"Morphine within" - natural, opiate-like neurotransmitters linked to pain control and to pleasure.
An interacting network of neurons that conveys electrochemical information throughout the body.
central nervous system
A subdivision of the human nervous system comprising the brain and spinal cord.
peripheral nervous system
A division of the nervous system consisting of all nerves that are not part of the brain or spinal cord.
Bundles of neuron fibers (axons) that are routed together in the peripheral nervous system.
somatic nervous system
A subdivision of the peripheral nervous system. Enables voluntary actions to be undertaken due to its control of skeletal muscles.
autonomic nervous system
A subdivision of the peripheral nervous system. Controls involuntary activity of visceral muscles and internal organs and glands.
sympathetic nervous system
Branch of the autonomic nervous system that produces rapid physical arousal in response to perceived emergencies or threats.
parasympathetic nervous system
Branch of the autonomic nervous system that maintains normal bodily functions and conserves the body's physical resources.
A simple, automatic, inborn response to a sensory stimulus.
A group of glands that secrete chemicals into the bloodstream that help control bodily functioning.
Chemical messengers that are manufactured by the endocrine glands, travel through the bloodstream, and affect other tissues.
A pair of endocrine glands that sit just above the kidneys and secrete hormones that help arouse the body in times of stress.
The most influential endocrine gland, it is located in the core of the brain and releases hormones that influence growth and release of hormones by other endocrine glands.
A specific area of tissue damage.
A recording of the electrical activity of large groups of cortical neurons just below the skull, most often obtained by using scalp electrodes.
computed tomography (CT)
An x-ray technique that produces a 3-D image and detects lesions, abrasions, infarct, and aneurysms.
positron emission tomography (PET)
A brain imaging technology that generates a computerized image of the brain's structure and of the activity levels in various parts of the brain.
magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)
A technique used to produce computer images of the interior of the body with the use of a powerful magnetic field and radio-frequency waves.
A brain imaging technique that combines benefits of both MRI and PET scans by detecting magnetic changes in the flow of blood to cells in the brain.
Lower portion of the brain that connects the cerebrum with the spinal cord.
An extension of the spinal cord at the base of the brainstem that extends into the skull that coordinates heart rate, circulation, and respiration.
A nerve network that travels through the brainstem and plays an important role in controlling arousal.
A sub-cortical structure that relays and filters information from the senses and transmits the information to the cerebral cortex.
A large structure of the hind-brain that controls fine motor skills.
A group of fore-brain structures that form a border around the brainstem and are involved in emotion, motivation, learning, and memory.
A part of the brain's limbic system that attaches emotional significance to information and mediates both defensive and aggressive behavior.
A neural structure lying below the thalamus; it directs several maintenance activities (eating, drinking, body temperature), helps govern the endocrine system via the pituitary gland, and is linked to emotion and reward.
The intricate fabric of interconnected neural cells covering the cerebral hemispheres; the body's ultimate control and information-processing center.
Cells in the nervous system that support, nourish, and protect neurons.
A region of the cerebral cortex that has specialized areas for movement, abstract thinking, planning, memory, and judgement.
Portion of the cerebral cortex lying at the top of the head and toward the rear; receives sensory input for touch and body position.
Portion of the cerebral cortex lying at the back of the head; includes areas that receive information from the visual fields.
Portion of the cerebral cortex lying roughly above the ears; includes the auditory areas, each receiving information primarily from the opposite ear.
An area at the rear of the frontal lobes that controls voluntary movements.
Area at the front of the parietal lobes that registers and processes body touch and movement sensations.
Areas of the cerebral cortex that are not involved in primary motor or sensory functions; rather, they are involved in higher mental functions such as learning, remembering, thinking, and speaking.
Disturbance or loss of the ability to use words or to understand them, usually due to damage to cerebral association areas.
A specialized area of the left frontal lobe that controls muscles involved in the production of speech and supplies this information to appropriate motor cortex areas.
A brain area in the left temporal lobe that is involved in language comprehension and expression.
Ability of brain tissue to modify itself and take on new functions.
Creation of new neurons in the adult brain.
Band of neural tissue that allows the left and right hemispheres of the cerebral cortex to communicate with each other.
A condition resulting from surgery that isolates the brain's two hemispheres by cutting the fibers connecting them.
Our awareness of ourselves and our environment.
A field that attempts to understand the links between cognitive processes and brain activity.
The principle that information is often simultaneously processed on separate conscious and unconscious tracks.
The study of the relative power and limits of genetic and environmental influences on behavior.
All external conditions and factors, living and nonliving (chemicals and energy), that affect an organism or other specified system during its lifetime.
Cell structures that carry the genetic material that is copied and passed from generation to generation of cells.
deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA)
A nucleic acid found in all living cells which carries the organism's hereditary information.
DNA segments that serve as the key functional units in hereditary transmission.
All the genetic information in an organism; all of an organism's chromosomes.
Twins who develop from a single fertilized egg that splits in two, creating two genetically identical organisms.
Twins who develop from separate eggs and are genetically no closer than brothers and sisters, but share a fetal environment.
A statistical estimate of the proportion of the total variance in some trait that is attributable to genetic differences among individuals within a group.
Action in which people take each other into account in their own behavior.
Sub-field of biology that studies the molecular structure and function of genes.
Examines behavioral processes in terms of their adaptive value for members of a species over the course of many generations.
A process in which individuals that have certain inherited traits tend to survive and reproduce at higher rates than other individuals because of those traits.
A rare change in the DNA of a gene, ultimately creating genetic diversity.
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