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46 terms

Chapter 3 Vocab - The Brain

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Cerebellum
Part of hindbrain whose main functions include controlling finely coordinated movements and storing memories about movement, but may also be involved in impulse control, emotion, and language
Corpus callosum
Bundle of nerve fibers that connect the left and right hemispheres of the brain
association cortex
Parts of the cerebral cortex not directly involved with either receiving specific sensory information or creating movement
autonomic nervous system
Carries messages back and forth between the CNS and the heart, lungs, and other organs and glands.
neurotransmitters
the chemicals which allow the transmission of signals from one neuron to the next across synapse
occipital lobes
one of the four main regions/lobes in the brain
controlling visual perception and color recognition
Parasympathetic nervous system
part of nervous system that serves to slow the heart rate, increase the intestinal and gland activity, and relax the sphincter muscles.
Dendrites
A neuron fiber that receives signals from the axons of other neurons and carries those signals to the cell body
reticular system
A network of cells and fibers threaded throughout the hindbrain and midbrain that alters the activity of the rest of the brain.
sensory cortex
The parts of the cerebral cortex that recieves stimulus information from the senses.
depolarize
changes in the charges of the cells membrane potential
Serotonin
A neurotransmitter that regulates sleep, moods, and appetite.
Somatic Nervous System
Part of the peripheral nervous system, transmits info from the senses to the CNS and carries signals from the CNS to the muscles that move the skeleton.
Spinal Cord
Receives signals from the somatic system in the periphery and relays them to the brain via fiber tracts within the spinal cord. The brain then relays signals to the muscles in your hands and arms.
Cerebrum
largest, most highly developed part of the brain, composed of 2 hemispheres and 4 lobes, responsible for functions such as Thinking, Perceiving, Motor Function, Planning and Organization, Touch Sensation
Synapse
The tiny gap between neurons across which they communicate
Temporal Lobes
the portion of the cerebral cortex roughly above the ears; includes the auditory areas, each of which receives auditory information primarily from the opposite ear
Thalamus
A fore-brain structure that relays signals from most sense organs to higher levels in the brain and plays an important role in processing and making sense out of this information
Pituitary Glande
regulates growth; controls the thyroid, ovaries or testes, pancreas, and adrenal cortex; regulates water and salt metablolism
Refractory Period
a short rest period between action potentials
resting potential
when a neuron is in polarization; more negative ions are inside the neuron cell membrane with a positive ions on the outside, causing a small electrical charge; release of this charge generates a neuron's impulse (signal/message)
Hypothalamus
A structure in the forebrain that regulates hunger, thirst and sex drives
Inhibition/Excitation
Postsynaptic potential that either hyperpolarizes the neuron and makes it less likely that action potential will occur, or that hypopolarizes the neuron, making it more likely that action potential will occur
Axon
the extension of a neuron, ending in branching terminal fibers, through which messages pass to other neurons or to muscles or glands
Brain
that part of the central nervous system that includes all the higher nervous centers
Brain Stem
the part of the brain that lies between the cerebellum and spinal cord that controls the body's involuntary actions
Interneurons
Central nervous system neurons that internally communicate and intervene between the sensory inputs and motor outputs
Motor cortex
Part of cerebral cortex whose neurons controle voluntary movement
Limbic system
a system of functionally related neural structures in the brain that are involved in emotional behavior
myelin sheath
a layer of fatty tissue encasing a neuron's axon that speeds transmission
neuron
fundamental unit of the nervous system; nerve cell
Action Potential
An abrupt wave of electrochemical changes traveling down an axon when when a neuron becomes depolarized
Acetylcholine
A neurotransmitter used by neurons in the peripheral and central nervous systems in the control of functions ranging from muscle contraction and heart rate to digestion and memory
split brain
The brain's hemispheres are responsible for their own unique functions
sympathetic nervous system
Mobilizes the body to action in the face of distress.
dopamine
neurotransmitter used by cells in parts of brain involved in regulation of eating, sleeping, and mood
Efferent sensory neurons
carry nerve impulses away from the central nervous system to effectors such as muscles or glands
endocrine system
cells that form organs called glands and that communicate w/ one another by secreting chemicals called hormones
threshold
the level of stimulation required to trigger a neural impulse
Wernicke's area
Controls language reception- a brain area involved in language comprehension and expression; usually in the left temporal lobe.
Glial Cells
Cells in the nervous system that holds neurons together and helps them communicate with one another
Hippocampus
A structure in the forebrain associated with the formation of new memories
Hormones
Chemical secreted by a gland into the bloodstream, which carries it throughout the body
Neurotransmitters
chemical messengers that traverse the synaptic gaps between neurons
Occipital lobe
portion posterior to the parietal and temporal lobes, responsible for vision
Parasympathetic nervous system
originates in the brain stem and lower part of the spinal cord