AP Psych- Biology

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Nuerons

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97 Terms

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Nuerons

a nerve cell, the basic building block of the nervous system, generate/conduct electric impulses

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Afferent (Sensory) Neurons

send information from senses to the CNS, A for arriving, ex: touch hot stove; send info to brain

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Efferent (Motor) Neurons

send info from CNS to body, E for exit, ex: moves arm from hot stove

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Interneurons

internal communication within the CNS, intervene between sensory inputs and motor outputs, I for internal

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Cell Body (Soma)

the cell's life support center

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Terminal Branches

form junctions with other cells

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Dendrite

the bushy, branching extensions of a neuron that receive messages and conduct impulses toward the cell body

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Axon

the extension of a neuron, ending in branching terminal fibers, through which messages pass to other neurons or to muscles or glands

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Myelin Sheath

an insulating layer covering an axon that allows for faster neural impulses, if damaged, impulses slow down

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Multiple Sclerosis

results when myelin sheath degenerates, communication to muscle slows, with eventual loss of muscle control

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Action Potential

a neural impulse, a brief electric charge that travels through a neuron allowing a neurotransmitter, or messenger, to exit the neuron an go to another neuron

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Resting Potential

each neuron sits, or rests at a, positive outside/negative inside state

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Depolarization

a message from another neuron causes the inside of the neuron to become positive as sodium starts to enter

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Selective Permeability

the membrane letting in/shutting out certain ions

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Repolarization

occurs right after the action potential as potassium moves out of the inside of the cell restoring the inside back to a negative charge

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Refractory Period

a brief period that the neuron CANNOT fire until

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Excitatory Signal

produce action potentials, like pushing a neuron's accelerator

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Inhibitory Signal

prevent action potentials, like pushing a neuron's brake

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Reuptake

sending neuron reabsorbs remaining, neurotransmitters in synapse, like a vacuum

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Threshold

the amount of neurotransmitters that need to be received to trigger an action potential

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Synapse

the junction between the axon tip of the sending neuron and the dendrite or cell body of the receiving neuron, "meeting point"

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Synaptic Gap

the tiny gap at the synapse, axon terminal of one neuron is seperated from the receiving neuron by this gap

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Glial Cells

"housekeeper" cells of nervous system, hold neurons in place, supply nutrients and oxygen to neurons, insulate neurons from each other, destroy and remove dead neurons

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Neurotransmitters

chemical messengers that cross the synaptic gaps between neurons

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Receptor Sites

a region of specialized membrane on the surface of a neuron that contains receptor molecules that receive and react with neurotransmitters

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Endorphins

blocks pain signals and causes pleasure (addiction), too much pain medication could lead to lack of natural endorphin supply, ex: opiates mimicking endorphins

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Acetylcholine (ACh)

muscle action, learning, memory, messenger at every junction between a motor neuron and skeletal muscle, lack of it can lead to Alzheimer's disease; paralyzed without it

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Dopamine

attention, emotion (pleasure), voluntary motion, ex: eat sugar, causes you to feel good, too much leads to schizophrenia, too little could lead to Parkinson's disease

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Serotonin

mood, hunger, sleep, arousal, lack of is linked to depression and anxiety disorders

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GABA (glutamate)

inhibitory neurotransmitter, slows down brain activity, lack of linked to seizures, tremors, and insomnia

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Agonist

mimic effects of neurotransmitters

ex: morphine mimics endorphins

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Antagonist

block neurotransmitters from receptor sites, ex: curare blocks ACh

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Nervous System

the body's speedy, electrochemical communication network, consisting of all the nerve cells of the peripheral and central nervous systems

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Nerves

bundled axons that form neural "cables" connecting the CNS with muscles, glands, and sense organs

ex: optic nerve bundles 1 million axon fibers into a single cable carrying the messages each eye sends to the brain

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Peripheral Nervous System (PNS)

the sensory and motor neurons that connect the CNS to the rest of the body

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Somatic Nervous System

the division of the PNS that controls the body's skeletal muscles (skeletal nervous system)

ex: as you reach the bottom of a page while reading, your SNS will report to your brain the current state of your skeletal muscles and carry instructions back, triggering your hand to turn the page

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Automatic Nervous System

the part of the PNS that controls the glands and muscles of the internal organs (such as the heart), ex: autopilot (operates on its own)

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Sympathetic Nervous System

the division of the automatic nervous system that arouses the body, mobilizing its energy in stressful situations, ex: if something alarms, enrages, or challenges you, your sympathetic nervous system accelerates heart rate, raises blood pressure, slows digestion, raises blood sugar, and cools you with precipitation, making you alert and ready for action

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Parasympathetic Nervous System

the division of the automatic nervous system that calms the body, conserving its energy, ex: decreases heart rate, lowers blood sugar, and so forth

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Central Nervous System

the brain and spinal cord, communicates with the body's sensory receptors, muscles, and glands via PNS

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Spinal Cord

an info highway connecting the PNS to the brain

ascending neural fibers send up sensory info, and descending fibers send back motor

control info

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Reflexes

a simple, automatic response to a sensory stimulus

ex: knee jerk response

a simple spinal reflex pathway is composed of a single sensory neuron and a single motor neuron; often communicate through an interneuron

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Endocrine System

the body's "slow" chemical communication system; a set of glands that secrete hormones into the bloodstream

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Hormones

chemical messengers that are manufactured by the endocrine glands, travel through the bloodstream, and affect other tissues

ex: when they act on the brain, they influence our interest in sex, food, and aggression

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Adrenal Glands

a pair of endocrine glands that sit just above the kidneys and secrete hormones (epinephrine and norepinephrine) that help arouse the body in times of stress.

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Epinepherine

hormone that increases heart rate, blood pressure, and blood sugar, providing us with a surge of energy

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Pituitary Gland

the endocrine system's most influential gland

ex: under brain's influence, the pituitary triggers your sex glands to release sex hormones; these in turn influence your brain and behavior

under the influence of the hypothalamus, the pituitary regulates growth and controls other endocrine glands, located in core of brain; controlled by hypothalamus

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Lesion

tissue destruction; a brain lesion is a naturally or experimentally caused destruction of brain tissue

ex: scientists can selectively lesion (destroy) tiny clusters of normal or defective brain cells, leaving the surrounding tissue unharmed

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Computerized Axial Tomography (CAT) Scan

creates an image of the brain using x ray

quick and cheap; grainy

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Electroencephalogram (EEG)

detects general electrical brain waves emanating from the brain, ex: like humming of a car (you can tell if it doesn't sound right, but don't get info about individual parts)

used in sleep studies

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Positron Emission Tomography (PET) Scan

shows neurons' consumption of radioactive glucose (contained in blood), areas of high consumption = high activity, shows function, but not structure

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Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI)

uses magnetic field to determine density and location of brain material

structure of brain's soft tissue, not function, costly and timely; more detailed than CAT scan

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Functional MRI (fMRI)

combines blood flow (PET) with structure (MRI)

shows us brain activity (function)

3D model

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Brainstem

the oldest part and central core of the brain, beginning where the spinal cord swells as it enters the skull, responsible for automatic survival functions

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Medulla

the base of the brainstem

controls heartbeat and breathing

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Pons

just above the medulla

helps coordinate movements

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Reticular Formation

a nerve network in the brainstem that plays an important role in controlling arousal

network of neurons that extends from spinal cord to thalamus

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Thalamus

the brain's sensory switchboard, located ontop of brainstem, directs messages to the sensory receiving areas in the cortex and transmits replies to cerebellum and medulla, receives info from all senses except smell

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Cerebellum

the "little brain" at the rear of the brainstem, functions include processing sensory input and coordinating movement output and balance, functions occur without any conscious effort

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Limbic System

neural system, located below the cerebral hemispheres associated with emotions and drives

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Hippocampus

processes memory

if we lose hippocampus, we are unable to process new memories of facts and episodes

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Amygdala

two lima bean

linked to emotion, influence aggression and fear

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Hypothalamus

a neural structure lying below the thalamus, directs several maintenence activities (eating, drinking, body temp), helps govern the endocrine system via the pituitary gland

"reward center" or "pleasure center"

linked to emotion and reward

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Cerebral Cortex

thin gray

carries on thinking and perceiving

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Lobes

each hemisphere is divided into 4 lobes which are geographic subdivision separated by fissures, or folds

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Frontal Lobes

portion of the cerebral cortex lying just behind the forehead, involved in speaking and muscle movements, and in making plans and judgements, prefrontal cortex and motor cortex

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Prefrontal Cortex

the cerebral cortex covering the front part of the frontal lobe, functions: focusing one's attention, predicting consequences of one's actions, impulse control, and planning for the future

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Parietal Lobes

portion of the cerebral cortex lying at the top of the head

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somatosensory cortex

toward the rear; receives sensory input for touch and body position

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Occipital Lobes

portion of the cerebral cortex lying at the back of head, includes areas that receive info from the visual field, visual cortex

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Temporal Lobes

portion of the cerebral cortex lying roughly above the ears, includes the auditory areas, each receiving info primarily from the opposite ear, auditory cortex

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Cortical Areas

motor and sensory cortex

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Motor Cortex

controls body movements, motor cortex in each hemisphere controls opposite side of body, located at rear of frontal lobes

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Sensory Cortex

located at front of parietal lobes, processes body touch and movement sensations, parallel and just behind motor cortex

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Association Areas

areas of the cerebral cortex that aren't involved in primary motor or sensory functions

involved in higher neural functions such as learning, remembering, thinking, and speaking

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found in all 4 lobes

frontal: enable judgement, planning, and processing of new memories

parietal: enable mathematical and spatial reasoning

temporal: enables us to recognize faces

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Neuroplasticity

brain's ability to change and reorganize itself in response to damage, brain "rewiring" itself, brain can't create new cells when damaged, but it can rewire

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Neurogenesis

formation of new neurons

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Hemispheric Specialization (lateralization)

brain's 2 sides serve differing functions

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Corpus Callosum

the large band of neural fibers connecting the 2 brain hemispheres and carrying messages between them

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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

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Right Hemisphere

intuition, "reading" emotions, visual and spatial reasoning, creativity, motor control for left side, processes left side of visual field

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Left Hemisphere

speech and language, logical reasoning, math skills, motor control for right sideprocesses right side of visual field

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Chromosomes

threadlike structures made of DNA molecules that contain the genes, 23 from each parent

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Genes

the biochemical units of heredity that make up the chromosomes, a segment of DNA capable of synthesizing a protein

can be active (expressed) or inactive

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Genome

the complete instructions for making an organism, consisting of all the genetic material in that organism's chromosomes

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Monoxygotic (Identical) Twins

twins who develop from a single fertilized egg that splits in 2, creating genetically identical organism

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Fraternal Twins

twins who develop from separate fertilized eggs

they are genetically no closer than brothers and sisters, but they share a fetal environment

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Temperament

a person's characteristic emotional reactivity and intensity, ex: infant's emotional excitability; whether reactive, intense, and fidgety, or easygoing, quiet, and placid

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Heritability

the proportion of variation among individuals that we can attribute to genes the heritability of a trait may vary, depending of the range of populations and environments studied

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Molecular Genetics

the subfield of biology that studies the molecular structure and function of genes

goal is to find some of the many genes that influence normal human traits, such as body weight, sexual orientation, and extraversion

explores the mechanisms that control gene expression

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Evolutionary Psychology

the study of evolution of behavior and the mind, using principles of natural selection

focus on what makes us so alike as humans

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Natural Selection

the principle that, among the range of inherited trait variations, those that lead to increased reproduction and survival will most likely be passed on to succeeding generations

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Mutations

a random error in gene replication that leads to a change

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X Chromosome

the sex chromosome found in both men and women

females have 2; males have 1

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Y Chromosome

the sex chromosome found in only males

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Testosterone

the most important of the male sex hormones, both males and females have it, but the additional testosterone in males stimulates the growth of the male sex organs in the fetus and the development of the male sex characteristics during puberty

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