AP Psychology - Brain/Biology Flashcards

Terms Definitions
DNA
deoxyribonucleic acid; genetic formation in a double-helix; can replicate or reproduce itself; made of genes
acetycholine
neurotransmitter associated with voluntary movement, sleep and wakefulness. Too little is associated with Alzheimer's
endorphins
chemical inhibiting the transmission of pain, often experienced during exercise, i.e. "runner's high"; discovered in 1970s when trying to find out how opiates were (morphine, heroin); "endorphins" is a pharmacological (drug/med) term
brainstem
top of the spinal column
ions
electrically charged particles found both inside and outside a neuron; negative ions are found inside the cell membrane in a polarized neuron
parathormone
hormone that controls imbalances levels of calcium and phosphate in the blood and tissue fluid; influences levels of excitability; secreted by parathyroids
hindbrain
division which includes the cerebellum, Pons, and medulla; responsible for involuntary processes: blood pressure, body temperature, heart rate, breathing, sleep cycles
lesions
precise destruction of brain tissue
PET
using a computerized radiographic technique to examine the metabolic activity in various tissues (especially in the brain)
Pons
monitors and regulates brain activity during sleep
midbrain
the middle division of brain responsible for hearing and sight; location where pain is registered; includes temporal lobe, occipital lobe, and most of the parietal lobe
hormones
serves a function similar to neurotransmitters in that they carry messages; chemical messengers that travel through the bloodstream; manufactured by glands (mostly); help regulate bodily functions
Amygdala
Governs initial emotional reactions to events, particularly fear and aggression
Parietal Lobe
Responsible for processing body sensations and all skin senses
Hypothalamus
Controls bodily activity (heart rate, temp) Motivated behaviors and arousal (sleep, sexual behaviors) through its effects on the endocrine system. Also houses reward circuits that, when activated, produce feelings of pleasure and euphoria
neurogenesis
production of new brain cells; November 1988: cancer patients proved that new neurons grew until the end of life
Brain Stem
responsible for basic bodily processes, attention and arousal levels (structures within include: medulla, pons, reticular activating system, and thalamus.
Hippocampus
involved in processing new information and storing new memories; plays integral role in learning
nervous system
the body's speedy, electrochemical communication system, consisting of all the nerve cells of the peripheral and central nervous systems
endocrine system
the body's "slow" chemical communication system; a set of glands that secrete hormones into the bloodstream
neurotransmitters
chemical messengers that traverse the synaptic gaps between neurons
pituitary gland
the endocrine system's most influential gland. Under the influence of the hypothalamus, the pituitary regulates growth and controls other endocrine glands
motor neurons
neurons that carry outgoing information from the central nervous system to the muscles and glands
neural networks
interconnected neural cells. With experience, networks can learn, as feedback strengthens or inhibits connections that produce certain results. Computer simulations of neural networks show analogous learning.
interneurons
Central nervous system neurons that internally communicate and intervene between the sensory inputs and motor outputs
aphasia
impairment of language, usually caused by left hemisphere damage either to Broca's area (impairing speaking) or to wernicke's area (impairing understanding)
family studies
studies of hereditability on the assumption that if a gene influences a certain trait, close relatives should be more similar on that trait in distant relative
twin studies
studies as identical and rhetorical twins to determine relative influence of heredity and environment on human behavior
Limbic System
responsible for memory and emotional responses
Corpus Callosum
Connects two brain hemispheres; allows two hemispheres to communicate what each one is doing and the information that is being processed by each hemisphere.
Reticular Activating System
Regulates arousal, alertness, and consciousness
Synapses
tiny gaps between dentrites and axons of different neurons
Sympathetic Division
Part of autonomic division; mobilizes the body in times of stress, danger or intense emotional arousal; "fight-or-flight" response
PET scan
involves the injection of radioactive dye into the blood stream that can be traced and detected to monitor blood flow to various regions of the brain.
neuron
100 billion in brain; individual cells that are the smallest unit of the nervous system; it has three classes: efferent, afferent, and interneurons; made of Colin dendrites, axons, synaptic gap, terminal buttons, synaptic vesicles, and sometimes myelin
medulla
part of the brain which controls living functions such as breathing, heart rate, blood pressure, body temperature
polygenic inheritance
process by which several genes interact to produce a certain trait; responsible for most important traits
chromosomes
pair of threadlike bodies within the cell ridiculous; contains genes
myelin
a fatty substance that helps insulate neurons and speeds the transmission of nerve impulses
threshold
the level of stimulation required to trigger a neural impulse
MRI
a technique that uses magnetic fields and radio waves to produce computer-generated images that distinguish among different types of soft tissue; allows us to see structures within the brain
forebrain
top of the brain which includes the thalamus, hypothalamus, and cerebral cortex; responsible for emotional regulation, complex thought, memory aspect of personality
thalamus
motor sensory relay center for four of the five senses; and with a brain stem and composed of two egg-shaped structures; integrates in shades incoming sensory signals; Mnemonic-"don't smell the llamas because the llamas smell bad"
temporal lobe
involved in complex visual tasks and processing; balance; emotional regulation and maturity; Strong oral and language comprehension; smell; hearing; still developing after age 16
Prefrontal Cortex
most frontal region of the frontal lobe; involved in higher-order cognitive processes (planning, decision making, emotional control)
efferent nerves
carry messages away from brain and spinal cord; motor nerves.
Afferent nerves
"sensory nerves"- run from the sensory systems to the spinal chord and the brain and carry info to the brain from sensory systems
cerebellum
"little brain"; part of the brain that coordinates balance, movement, reflexes
strain studies
studies of hereditability it be a behavioral traits using animals that have been inbred to produce strains that are genetically similar to one another
identical twins
twins from a single fertilized oval with the same genetic makeup
Somatic Division
Connects the brain to the sensory systems and to every muscle in the body through afferent and efferent nerves
fraternal twins
two children developed on two separate eggs that share a room; no more genetically similar than other brother and sisters (i.e. different genetic makeup)
thyroid gland
located in the net; it regulates metabolism by secreting two hormones: thyroxine and parathormone
synaptic cleft
synaptic gap or synaptic space; tiny gap between the terminal of one neuron and the dendrites of another neuron (almost never touch); location of the transfer of an impulse from one neuron to the next
axon
the extension of a neuron, ending in branching terminal fibers, through which messages pass to other neurons or to muscles or glands
refractory period
(neurology) the time after a neuron fires or a muscle fiber contracts during which a stimulus will not evoke a response
CT scan
a series of x-ray photographs taken from different angles and combined by computer into a composite representation of a slice through the body.
biological psychology
a branch of psychology concerned with the links between biology and behavior
split brain
a condition in which the two hemispheres of the brain are isolated by cutting the connecting fibers (mainly those of the corpus callosum) between them
cerebrum
area of the brain responsible for all voluntary activities of the body
parietal lobes
the portion of the cerebral cortex lying at the top of the head and toward the rear; receives sensory input for touch and body position
glial cells
cells in the nervous system that support, nourish, and protect neurons
synaptic vesicles
tiny oval-shaped sacs in a terminal of one neuron; assist in transferring mineral impulse from one neuron to another neuron by releasing specific neurotransmitters
Peripheral nervous system (PNS)
division that connects the central nervous system to the rest of the body; divided into somatic nervous system and autonomic nervous system
receptor site
a location on a receptor neurons which is like a key to a lock (with a specific nerve transmitter); allows for orderly pathways
adrenal glands
a pair of endocrine glands just above the kidneys. the adrenals secrete the hormones epinephrine (adrenaline) and norepinephrine (noradrenaline), which help to arouse the body in times of stress.
reticular formation
a nerve network in the brainstem that plays an important role in controlling arousal
somatic nervous system
the division of the peripheral nervous system that controls the body's skeletal muscles
cerebral cortex
80% of weight of human brain; 70% of CNS's neurons; wrinkled outer portion of un-myelin aided cells (cerebrum) covering both hemispheres; processes thought, vision, language, memory, and emotions; most recently of all part of nervous system
motor cortex
an area at the rear of the frontal lobes that controls voluntary movements
relative refractory period
a period after firing when a neuron is returning to its normal polarize state and will only fire again if the incoming message open parentheses impulse) is stronger than usual; returning to arresting state
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