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neurotransmitter that enables learning and memory and also triggers muscle contraction

action potential

a neural impulse, a brief electrical charge that travels down an axon

adrenal glands

a pair of endocrine glands above the kidneys that secretes hormones to help arouse the body in times of stress


neural clusters that are components of the limbic system and are linked to emotion


impairment of language, usually caused by left hemisphere damage

autonomic nervous system

the part of the peripheral nervous system that controls the glands and the muscles of the internal organs


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


central core of the brain responsible for automatic survival functions

broca's area

an area of the frontal lobe that controls language expression

central nervous system

the brain and spinal cord


processes sensory input and coordinates movement output and balance

central cortex

the intricate fabric of interconnected neural cells that covers the cerebral hemisphere; the body's ultimate control and information processing center


the bushy, branching extensions of a neuron that receive messages and conduct impulses toward the cell body

corpus callosum

the large band of neural fibers connecting the two brain hemispheres and carrying messages between them

endocrine system

the body's "slow" chemical communication system; a set of glands that secrete hormones into the bloodstream


natural, opiate-like neurotransmitters linked to pain control and to pleasure

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