84 terms

AP Psychology: Unit 3

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absolute refractory period
The minimum length of time after an action potential during which another action potential cannot begin.
action potential
A brief change in a neuron's electrical charge.
agonist
A chemical that mimics the action of a neurotransmitter.
antagonist
A chemical that opposes the action of a neurotransmitter.
autonomic nervous system (ANS)
The system of nerves that connect to the heart, blood vessels, smooth muscles, and glands.
axon
A long, thin fiber that transmits signals away from the neuron cell body to other neurons, or to muscles or glands.
central nervous system (CNS)
The brain and the spinal cord.
biological psychology
Branch of psychology concerned with the links between biology and behavior
dendrites
Branchlike parts of a neuron that are specialized to receive information.
efferent nerve fibers
Axons that carry information outward from the central nervous system to the periphery of the body.
endocrine system
A group of glands that secrete chemicals into the bloodstream that help control bodily functioning.
hormones
The chemical substances released by the endocrine glands.
nerves
Bundles of neuron fibers (axons) that are routed together in the peripheral nervous system.
neurons
Individual cells in the nervous system that receive, integrate, and transmit information.
neurotransmitters
Chemicals that transmit information from one neuron to another.
parasympathetic division
The branch of the autonomic nervous system that generally conserves bodily resources.
peripheral nervous system
All those nerves that lie outside the brain and spinal cord.
pituitary gland
The "master gland" of the endocrine system; it releases a great variety of hormones that fan out through the body, stimulating actions in the other endocrine glands.
resting potential
The stable, negative charge of a neuron when it is inactive.
reuptake
A process in which neurotransmitters are sponged up from the synaptic cleft by the presynaptic membrane.
somatic nervous system
The system of nerves that connect to voluntary skeletal muscles and to sensory receptors.
sympathetic division
The branch of the autonomic nervous system that mobilizes the body's resources for emergencies.
synapse
A junction where information is transmitted from one neuron to the next.
sensory neurons
Carry incoming information from the sensory receptors to the brain and spinal cord
motor neurons
Carry outgoing information from the brain and spinal cord to the muscles and glands
interneurons
Neurons within the brain and spinal cord that communicate internally and intervene between the sensory inputs and motor outputs
myelin sheath
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
adrenal glands
Pair of endocrine glands that sit just above the kidneys and secrete hormones (epinephrine and norepinephrine) that help arouse the body in times of stress.
lesion
tissue destruction. It can occur naturally or experimentally by the caused distruction/remove of brain tissues
electroencephalogram (EEG)
An amplified recording of the waves of electrical activity that sweep across the brain's surface. These waves are measured by electrodes placed on the scalp.
CT (computed tomography) scan
a series of x-ray photographs taken from different angles and combined by computer into a composite representaion of a slice through the body. Aslo called a CAT scan
(PET) Positron emission tomography scan
A visual display of brain activity that detects where a radioactive form of glucose goes while the brain performs a given task.
MRI (magnetic resonance imaging)
a technique that uses magnetic fields and radio waves to produce computer generated images that distinguish among different types of soft tissues; allows us to see structures within the brain.
brainstem
the oldest part and central core of brain. AKA reticular formation, or reticular activating system. In charge of automatic survival functions
medualla
The base of the brainstem. responsible for breathing and circulation. (heart beat)
reticular formation
Responisble for arousal, filters sensory information
pons
sleep and arousal
thalamus
the brains 'sensory switch board' located at top of brainstem; directs messages to the sensory receiving areas in the cortex
cerebellum
"little brain" In charge of muscle movement, balance, and coordination.
limbic system
A system of neural structures at the border of brainstem. Associated with emotions like fear, agression, and drives such as those for food and sex. Includes the Hippocampus, Amygdala and hypothalamus.
amygdala
neural clusters that are components of the limbic system and are linked to emotion. (fear & aggression)
hypothalamous
a neural structure lying below the thalamus. directs (eating, drinking, body temperature), governs the endocrine system via pituitary, linked to emotion and "reward center"
hippocampus
Limbic system (emotion), processes memory
cerebral cortex
Fabric of interconnected neuron cells. Higher order thinking. Takes meaning and puts it to focus.
glial cells
Cells in the nervous system that support, nourish, and protect neurons.
frontal lobes
the portion of the cerebral cortex lying just behind the forehead; involved in speaking and muscle movements (motor cortex) and in making plans and judgements.
parietal lobes
The portion of the cerebral cortex lying at the top of the head and toward the rear; includes the sensory cortex (touch / feeling).
occipital lobes
the portion of the cerebral cortex lying at the back of the head; includes the visual areas, which receive visual info from the opposite visual feild.
temporal lobes
The portion of the cerebral cortex lying roughyl above the ears; includes the auditory areas, each of which revieves aditory info primarily from the opposite end.
motor cortex
an area at the rear of the frontal lobes that controls voluntary movements.
association areas
Areas of the cerebral cortex that are not invoved in primary motor or sensory funtions; they are involved in higher mental funtions such as learning, remebering, thinking and speaking.
sesory cortex
the area at the front of the parietal lobes that registers and processes body sensations.
aphasia
impairment of language, usually caused by Left Hemisphere damage to Brocas area or Wernickes.
Broca's area
controls language expression (speech). Damage creates inability to speak; usually in the right frontal lobe
Wernicke's area
Contorls language reception. Damage creates inability to comprehend language; usually in the left temporal lobe
plasticity
the brain's capacity for modification, especially during childhood, by reorganizing after damage or by building new pathways based on experience
neurogenesis
formation of new neurons
corpus callosum
Shares info back and forth; Connects the two hemispheres of the brain and carries messages between them.
split brain
A condition in which the two hemispheres of the brain are isolated by cutting the connecting fibers (corpus callosum) between them.
consciousness
our awareness of ourselves and our environment.
cognitive neuroscience
the study of how people perceive, remember, think, speak, and solve problems
dual processing
Simultaneously processing on separate conscious and unconscious tracks
Paul Broca
discovered area in the brain (named for him) in the left frontal lobe responsible for language production
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
Michael Gazzaniga
1939-present; Field: cognition (neuroscience); Studied of the neural basis of mind with primary responsibility for initiating human split-brain research. In his subsequent work he has made important advances in our understanding of functional lateralization in the brain and how the cerebral hemispheres communicate with one another.
Roger Sperry
scientist who won a Nobel Prize for work with split brain patients
Karl Wernicke
"Wernicke's area"; discovered area of left temporal lobe that involved language understanding: person damaged in this area uses correct words but they do not make sense
fMRI (functional MRI)
Technique for revealing bloodflow and, therefore, brain activity by comparing successive MRI scans, fMRI scans show brain function
chromosomes
threadlike structures made of DNA molecules that contain the genes.
DNA
): a complex molecule containing genetic information that makes up the chromosomes.
genes
: the biochemical units of heredity that make up chromosomes, a segment of DNA capable of synthesizing a protein
behavior genetics
: the study of the relative power and limits of genetic and environmental influences on behavior.
enviroment
every no genetic influence, from prenatal nutrition to the people and things around us.
Identical twins
: twins who developed from single zygote that splits into two.
fraternal twins
: twins who develop from separate eggs. Genetically no closer than brothers and sisters but share a fetal environment
Interaction
the effect of one factor (such as environment) depends on another factor (such as heredity)
molecular genetics
the subfield of biology that studies the molecular structure and function of genes.
genome
the complete instructions for making an organism, consisting of all the genetic material in its chromosomes. (blue print)
phenotype
An organism's physical appearance, or visible traits
genotype
The combination of genes for one or more specific traits
heritability
the proportion of phenotypic variation (difference) in a population attributable to genetic factors
evolutionary psychology
a discussion of how genes and the environment interact and how genes change to fit the environment; how traits that have led to survival are more likely to be passed down
natural selection
the process by which individuals that are better adapted to their environment survive and reproduce more successfully than less well adapted individuals do
mutation
Certain biological and behavioral variations increase organisms' reproductive and survival chances in their particular environment