Chapter 2 - General Psychology Chapter 2 PROLOGUE: Asha's...

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General Psychology Chapter 2 PROLOGUE: Asha’s Story Introduction: Neuroscience and Behavior VOCAB: Biological Psychology Specialized branch of psychology that studies the relationship between behavior and bodily processes and systems; also called biopsychology. VOCAB: Neuroscience The study of the nervous system, especially the brain. The Neuron Key Theme Information in the nervous system is transmitted by specialized cells, called neurons. Key Questions What are the basic components of the neuron, and what are their functions? What are glial cells, and what is their role in the nervous system? What is an action potential, and how is it produced? Communication throughout the nervous system takes place via neurons. VOCAB: Neuron Highly specialized cell that communicates information in electrical and chemical form; a nerve cell. The human brain is estimated to have 100 billion neurons. These neurons are extremely small (a bit of brain tissue no larger than a grain of rice has about 10,000 neurons). Very simple creatures, such as sea snails and squid tend to have larger neurons and simpler nervous systems than do humans. VOCAB: Glial Cells (GLEE-ull) Support cells that assist neurons by providing structural support, nutrition, and removal of cell wastes; manufacture myelin. Glial cells outnumber neurons by about 10 to 1, but are much smaller. Glial cells do not send and receive information, rather they provide structural support for neurons, provide nutrition, enhance the speed of communication between neurons and remove waste products including dead or damaged neurons. Neurons vary greatly in size and shape, reflecting their specialized functions. There are three basic types of neurons: VOCAB: Sensory Neuron Type of neuron that conveys information to the brain from specialized receptor cells in sense organs and internal organs. VOCAB: Motor Neuron Type of neuron that signals muscles to relax and contract. VOCAB: Interneuron Type of neuron that communicates information from one neuron to the next. By far, most of the neurons in the human nervous system are interneurons Characteristics of the Neuron Most neurons have three basic components: VOCAB: Cell Body The part of a neuron that contains the nucleus. VOCAB: Dendrites Multiple short fibers that extend from the neuron’s cell body and receive information from other neurons or from sensory receptor cells. VOCAB: Axon The long, fluid-filled tube that carries a neuron’s messages to other body areas. Some neurons do not have axons. VOCAB: Myelin Sheath (MY-eh-lin) A white, fatty, covering wrapped around the axons of some neurons that increases their communication speed. The small gaps in between the myelin sheath segments are referred to as the nodes of Ranvier, or simply nodes.
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This note was uploaded on 03/30/2008 for the course PSYC 100 taught by Professor Budd during the Spring '08 term at Wisc Stout.

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Chapter 2 - General Psychology Chapter 2 PROLOGUE: Asha's...

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