46 terms

AP Psychology: Nervous System

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nervous system
an electrochemical communication system that responds and reacts to stimuli
neuron
a nerve cell, the building block of the nervous system
sensory neurons
neurons that CARRY incoming information from the sensory receptors to your brain and spinal cord
interneurons
neurons within the brain and spinal cord that communicate internally and intervene between the sensory inputs
PROCESS
motor neurons
neurons that carry outgoing information from the brain and spinal cord to muscles and glands
SEND
soma
cell body, cell's life-support center
contains nucleus
dendrites
receive messages from other cells
bushy branching extensions, receives impulses and carries to the soma
axon
passes messages away from the cell body to other neurons, muscles, or glands
neural impulse
(action potential) electrochemical signal traveling down the axons
myelin sheath
covers the axon of some neurons and helps speed neural impulses
terminal branches/axon terminal
form junctions with other cells
buddy up with dendrites of another cell and are the last stop for the impulse
action potential
a neural impulse; a brief electrical charge that travels down the axon
threshold
the minimum level of stimulation needed for a neuron to fire
refractory period
period where the neuron is "recharging", cannot fire again until charged
resting potential
period where neuron is fully charged and ready to fire again
all or none principle
the neuron either fires or it doesn't, there is no "weak firing" or "strong firing"
synapse
gap between two neurons
chemicals are released
neurotransmitters
chemical messengers which travel across the synapse
reuptake
process where any leftover neurotransmitters are reabsorbed into the axon terminal
excitatory effect
effect that makes it more likely that the neuron will fire
(green light)
inhibitory effect
effect that makes it less likely that a neuron will fire
(red light)
agonist
drug which binds with the receptor cell and mimics a neurotransmitter's effect
(need more)
antagonist
drug which binds with the receptor cell and blocks a neurotransmitter's effect
(need less)
reflex
simple, autonomic response to a sensory stimulus, bypasses the brain before the brain realizes what is happening
central nervous system (CNS)
brain and spinal cord
peripheral nervous system (PNS)
spaghetti-like nerves which run out from the spine to various parts of your body
take messages from your body to the spinal cord so it can take it to the brain
somatic nervous system
controls the body's skeletal muscles, VOLUNTARY muscle movements
autonomic nervous system
controls the glands and muscles of the internal organs, everything that is INVOLUNTARY
sympathetic
arousing
parasympathetic
calming
endocrine system
body's "slow" chemical communication system; a set of glands that secrete hormones into the bloodstream
hormones
chemical messengers that are manufactured by the endocrine glands, travel through the blood stream, and affect other tissues
hypothalamus
brain region controlling the pituitary gland
pituitary gland
secretes many different hormones, some of which affect other glands, instructs all other glands
thyroid
affects metabolism
parathyroid
helps regulate the level of calcium in the blood
adrenal glands
inner part helps trigger "fight-or-flight" response
pancreas
regulates the level of sugar in the blood
testis
secretes male sex hormones
ovaries
secretes female sex hormones
acetylcholine
enables muscle action, learning, and memory
malfunction- with Alzheimer's disease, ACh-producing neurons deteriorate
dopamine
influences (small) movement, learning, attention, and emotion
malfunctions- excess receptor activity is linked to schizophrenia, lack of causes the tremors and decreased mobility of Parkinson's disease
serotonin
affects mood, hunger, sleep, and arousal
malfunctions- undersupply linked to depression
norepinephrine
helps control alertness and arousal
malfunctions- undersupply can depress mood
GABA
a major inhibitory neurotransmitter, affects neuron firing
malfunctions- undersupply linked to seizures, tremors, and insomnia
glutamate
a major excitatory neurotransmitter, involved in memory
malfunctions- oversupply can overstimulate brain, producing migraines or seizures