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Biological Basis of Behavior

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Biopsychology
Specialty in psychology that studies the interaction of biology, behavior and mental process
Neuroscience
a relatively new interdisciplinary field that focuses on the brain and its role in psychological processes
Evolution
the gradual process of biological change that occurs in a species as it adapts to its environment
Natural Selection
driving force behind evolution by which the environment selects the fittest organism
Genotype
an organisms genetic makeup
Phenotype
an organisms observable, physical characteristics
DNA
a long complex molecule that encodes genetic characteristics.
Gene
segment of a chromosome that encodes the directions for the inherited physical and mental characteristics of an organism, these are the funtional units of a chromosome
Chromosome
tightly coiled, threadlike structure along with the genes are organized like beads on a necklace
Neuron
cells specialized to recieve and transmit information to other cells in the body. Also called a nerve cell
Sensory Neuron
nerve cell that carries messages from sense receptors toward the central nervous system. Also called an afferemt neuron
Motor Neuron
nerve cell that carries messages away from the central nervous system towards the muscles and glands; efferent neuron
Interneuron
a nerve cell that relays messages between nerve cells especially in the brain and spinal cord