Chapter 2 Glossary

Chapter 2 Glossary - Chapter 2 Glossary Biological...

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Chapter 2 Neuroscience and Behavior Glossary Biological psychology- a branch of psychology concerned with the links between biology and behavior. (Some biological psychologists call themselves behavioral neuroscientists, neuropsychologists, behavior geneticists, physiological psychologists, or biopsychologists.) Neuron- a nerve cell; the basic building block of the nervous system. Dendrite-the bushy, branching extensions of a neuron that receive messages and conduct impulses toward the cell body. Axon-the extension of a neuron, ending in branching terminal fibers, through which messages pass to other neurons or to muscles or glands. Myelin sheath-a layer of fatty tissue segmentally encasing the fibers of many neurons; enables vastly greater transmission speed of neural impulses as the impulse hops from one node to the next. Action potential-a neural impulse; a brief electrical charge that travels down an axon. The action potential is generated by the movement of positively charged atoms in and out of channels in the axon’s membrane. Threshold-the level of stimulation required to trigger a neural impulse. Synapse-the junction between the axon tip of the sending neuron and the dendrite or cell body of the receiving neuron. The tiny gap at this junction is called the synaptic gap or cleft. Neurotransmitters-chemical messengers that traverse the synaptic gaps between neurons. When released by the sending neuron, neurotransmitters travel across the synapse and bind to receptor sites on the receiving neuron, thereby influencing whether that neuron will generate a neural impulse. Acetylcholine (ACh)- a neurotransmitter that, among its functions, triggers muscle contraction. Endorphins-“morphine within”-natural, opiate-like neurotransmitters linked to pain control and to pleasure. Nervous system-the body’s speedy, electrochemical communication system, consisting of all the nerve cells of the peripheral and central nervous systems. Central nervous system (CNS)-the brain and the spinal cord. Peripheral nervous system (PNS)-the sensory and motor neurons that connect the
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This note was uploaded on 10/05/2010 for the course PSYCH 101 taught by Professor King during the Spring '10 term at UNC.

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Chapter 2 Glossary - Chapter 2 Glossary Biological...

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