AP Psych unit 3 modules 12 - 15

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Cerebral cortex


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AP Psychology


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26 Terms

Cerebral cortex

the intricate fabric of interconnected neural cells covering the cerebral hemispheres; body’s ultimate control and information-processing center

Glial cells (“glue cells”)

cells in the nervous system that support, nourish, and protect neurons; plays a role in learning and thinking

Frontal lobe

behind the forehead; involved in speaking and muscle movements and making plans and judgments

Parietal lobe

top of the head, toward the rear; receives sensory input for touch and body position

Occipital Lobe

back of the head; receive information from the visual fields

Temporal Lobe

above the ears; auditory areas, receiving information from the opposite ear

Motor Cortex

an area at the rear of the frontal lobes that controls voluntary movement

Sensory cortex

area at the front of parietal lobes that registers and processes body touch and movement sensations

Association areas

areas of the cerebral cortex involved in higher mental functions such as learning, remembering, thinking, and speaking (not primary motor or sensory functions)


the brain’s ability to change or modify itself; reorganizing after damage; building new pathways


the formation of new neurons


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

Split brain

a condition resulting from surgery that isolates the brain’s 2 hemispheres by cutting the fibers connecting them

Cognitive neuroscience

the interdisciplinary study of the brain activity linked with cognition (including perception, thinking, memory and language)

Dual Processing

processing the principle that information is often simultaneously processed on separate conscious and unconscious tracks

Two-Track Mind

Visual perception and action track

Behavior geneticist

the study of the relative power and limits of genetic and environmental influences on behavior


threadlike structures made of DNA molecules that contain the genes

DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid)

a complex molecule containing the genetic information that makes up the chromosomes


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


the biochemical units of heredity that make up the chromosomes (segments of DNA capable of synthesizing proteins); Active (expressed) vs. inactive

Identical twins (monozygotic)

twins who develop from a single fertilized egg that splits in two (genetically identical)

Fraternal twins (dizygotic)

twins who develop from separate fertilized eggs

Molecular genetics

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


the proportion of variation among individuals that we can attribute to genes; difference among people

Genes and experience interact

the interplay that occurs when the effect of one factor (ex. environment) depends on another factor (ex. heredity)