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part of neuron; recieve messages from ther cells


part of neuron; passes messages away from the cell body to other neurons

terminal branches of axon

part of neuron; form junctions with other cells

myeling sheath

part of neuron; covers the axon of some neurons (like rubber on electric chords) and speeds up neural impulse fat

nodes of ranvier

part of neuron; part of the axon not protected by myeling

neural impulse

part of neuron; electrical signal traveling down the axon

cell body (SOMA)

part of the neuron; the cell's life support center

resting potential

polarized; positives outside, negatives inside (Na+ trying to get in)

action potential

depolarized; positive inside (doors open and let Na+ in)

recovery period

no matter how strong the signal is, nothing will happen (Na+ goes out again)

all-or nothing principle

neurons only fire if the incoming messages are in adecuate threshold (if they are strong enough)


chemical substances involved in the transmition of neural impulses from one neuron to another


neurotransmitter; controls muscle contractions. Also helps with memory formation. Lack of it = botulism (muscles stop moving)


neurotransmitter; voluntary movements, learning and memory, emotional arousal. lack of it = parkinson (never stop moving) or schizophrenia (weird emotions)


neurotransmitter; arousal, learning and memory, decrease hunger. lack of it = cocaine and amphetamine


neurotransmitter; emotional arousal and sleep. lack of it = anxiety, insomnia, mood disorders


neurotransmitter; "endogenous morphine" inhibits pain

The Central Nervous System

_____ is made up of the brain and spinal cord


what makes decisions. Composed of neurons, and life sustaining functions of the body

spinal cord

long bundle of nerves

outer section

____ of the spinal cord with white matter, composed of myelinard axons. Transmits messages from body to brain and viceversa

inner section

_____ of the spinal cord with gray matter, composed of SOMAs neurons. Controls certain reflexes

sensory neurons

carry messages from the sense (from spine to the brain). (one of the 3 characteristics of inner section)

motor neurons

carry messages from brain to the periphery of the body (makes de muscle move). (one of the 3 characteristics of inner section)


receive sensory messages. Sends messages to the motor neurons with directions about what to do
(one of the 3 characteristics of inner section)

The Peripheral Nervous System

Allows brain and spinal cord to communicate with sensory systems. Permits to control muscles and glands

autonomic nervous system

involuntary muscles and movements. (breathing, digesting, heart beat, etc). <Peripheral Nervous System>

somatic nervous system

controls senses and skeletal muscles. Voluntary actions (walking, dancing, etc) <Peripheral Nervous System>

Sympathetic division

fight-flight. heart pumps faster for dealing with stress <autonomic nervous system>

parasympathetic division

restores energy lost after stressful event <autonomic nervous system>


where nerves cross from one side to another part of the brain. Left works for right side and viceversa. (part of the brain)


relays messages between the cerebellum to cortex (part of the brain)

reticular formation

a system of nerves between hind and mid-brain. Controls arousal and attention (part of the brain)


controls balance and maintains muscle coordination (part of the brain). little brain, most affected by alcohol.

limbic system

includes the thalamus, hypothalamus, hippocampus and amygdala. Involved in emotions, motivations and learning. (part of the brain)


relays information from sensory organs ro the cortex (part of the brain and limbic system)


regulates body temperature, thirst, sex, hunger, sleep, walk and emotions. incharge of "biological stuff" (part of the brain and limbic system)


long-term memories. location of objects, sends the for "storage" around the cortex. (part of the brain and limbic system)


responsible for fear and memory of fear. If damaged, fears will decrease. (part of the brain and limbic system)

cerebral cortex

outermost part of the brain. Grayish pink, because of color of neurons (gray) and small blood vessels (pink)


cortex is divided into 2 ______

carpus callosum

thick band of neurons that connects the right and left cerebral hemispheres.

frontal lobe

higher mental processes, such as speech, planning, decision making, personality, memory. Helps emotions. (part of cortex)

temporal lobe

Auditory cortex and auditory cortex association area. Oddly sense of taste also processed here. (part of cortex)

parietal lobe

recognition, orientation, movement. Touch, temperature, body position. Somatosensory cortex. (part of cortex)

occipital lobe

visual info, in the primary visual cortex. helps identify and make sense of visuals. (part of cortex)

motor cortex

in the frontal lobe of cortex. Response for voluntary movements. Commands to the muscle of the somatic nervous system or peripheral

Somatosensory cortex

in the parietal lobe of cortex. Receive info from the body like taste, pain, heat, skin.

Association Areas

responsible for coordination and interpretation and higher mental processing.

left frontal lobe (association area)

Broca's area. devoted to production of speech

left temporal lobe

Wernicke's area. Help us understand the meaning of words. (association area)


organs that secrete chemicals to the body. (ex. salivary and sweat)

endocrine glands

glands that secrete hormones directly into the bloodstream.

pituitary gland

controls all endocrine glands. "master gland". located in brain. growth hormone. in charge of function of other glands.

pineal gland

secretes melatonin. primarily at night. influences sleep-wake cycle. located in brain.

thyroid gland

secretes thyroxin. regulates metabolism. located in the neck


controls levels of sugar in food. secretes insulin.

adrenal gland

everyone had 2 on top of each kidney. stimulates the sympathetic system. produces hormones: corticoides and cortisol

immune system

system of organs and chemicals in the body that helps it battle diseases and injuries.

thymus gland

helps body combat diseases and infections

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