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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.


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.


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.


changes in the charges of the cells membrane potential


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.


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


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


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)


A structure in the forebrain that regulates hunger, thirst and sex drives


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


the extension of a neuron, ending in branching terminal fibers, through which messages pass to other neurons or to muscles or glands


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


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


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


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.


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


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


A structure in the forebrain associated with the formation of new memories


Chemical secreted by a gland into the bloodstream, which carries it throughout the body


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

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