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a chemical molecule that carries the nerve impulse across a synapse from one neuron to another


a neurotransmitter that controls happiness and mood. low levels can cause depression.


a neurotransmitter that controls ability to experience pleasure. associated with drug addiction.


left and right hemispheres that control voluntary activities


controls motion and coordination, higher level thinking, complex social issues

medula oblongata

first part of brain stem that controls visceral actions


relays info to parts of brain


regulates hunger, thirst, fatigue, anger, body temp

corpus callosum

connects left and right hemispheres, allows communication between them


the point of communication between two neurons

visual cortex

area at back of brain that processes visual info, puts together the picture that we see

cerebral cortex

outer 2-4 mm, complex brain functions, memory, attention, awareness, thinking, language, conciousness

frontal cortex

decision making, reasoning, impulse control


processes fear, agression, emotional gut reactions, judgement, decision making


learning, memory, storing info

neural pathway

the transmission route a certain impulse takes


substance that coats axons along commonly used neural pathways, helping to speed transmission


the process of coating the axon with myelin

pituitary gland

controls hormones (endocrine system)

olfactory bulb

located below frontal lobes, processes smell info

gray matter

cell body and processing centers

white matter

axon and synapse

occipital lobe

controls vision, color recognition


back of eyeball


rods and cones


sees black and white, acuity of image


sees color

optic nerve

blind spot created by...

octopi and squid

eyes with no blind spots


interpret shape of molecule

11G, 12B

period of overproduction of gray matter in frontal cortex and cerebrum


period of pruning and mylenization, use it or lose it

adolescent brain

vulnerable to addiction, poor decision making, impulsive, alcohol has greater impact on learning and memory and possible impact on brain development into adulthood


nerve cell

healthy brain

exercise brain with diverse activities, avoid alcohol tobacco drugs, avoid concussions, 8-9.5 hours of sleep, nutrition (omega 3 fatty acids in seafood)

aspartic acid

peanuts, potatoes, eggs, grains


eggs, liver, soybeans

glutamic acid

flour, potatoes


beats, soybeans, almonds, eggs, meat, grains


eggs, meat, bananas, yogurt, cheese


milk, meat, fish, legumes

nervous system

collect info from internal and external environments, process info, respond

peripheral nervous system

nerves and sensory cells, collect info

central nervous system

spinal cord and brain, process info, respond

create charges

move ions

sodium and potassium

electrolytes critical for functioning

limbic system

amygdala, hippocampus, emotions, behavior, memory, pleasure

sensory receptors

chemo (taste and smell), photo (eyes), mechano, thermo, pain

somatic nervous system

under voluntary control, reflex arc processing can happen in spinal cord

autonomic nervous system

involuntary, sympathetic and parasympathetic

sympathetic nervous system

stress response, preps body for intense activities, blood pressure and sugar up, shuts down unneccesary processes

parasympathetic nervous system

opposite of sympathetic, blood pressure and sugar down, reactivate processes, rest response

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