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16 terms

Vocabulary Chp. 2 A

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acetycholine
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
amygdala
neural clusters that are components of the limbic system and are linked to emotion
aphasia
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
axon
the extension of a neuron, ending in branching terminal fibers, through which messages pass to other neurons or to muscles or glands
brainstem
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
cerebellum
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
dendrite
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
endorphins
natural, opiate-like neurotransmitters linked to pain control and to pleasure