AP Psych Unit 2 Vocabulary

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Corpus Callosum

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Corpus Callosum

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

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Dual Processing

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

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Nature vs. Nurture

Nature: DNA, Genes, Chromosomes Nurture: Morals, family, friends, affiliations, politics, religion

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Hereditary

the genetic transfer of characteristics from parents to offspring

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Chromosomes

threadlike structures made of DNA molecules that contain the genes.

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Genes

the biochemical units of heredity that make up the chromosomes; segments of DNA capable of synthesizing proteins.

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DNA stands for

deoxyribonucleic acid

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DNA

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

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Brainstem

central core of the brain, beginning where the spinal cord swells as it enters the skull; the brainstem is responsible for automatic survival functions

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Medulla

base of the brainstem, controls heartbeat and breathing

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Thalamus

the brain’s sensory control center, located on top of the brainstem; it directs messages to the sensory receiving areas in the cortex and transmits replies to the cerebellum and medulla

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Reticular Formation

a nerve network that travel through the brainstem into the thalamus and plays an important role in controlling arousal; think multitasking

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Cerebellum

the “little brain” at the rear of the brainstem; functions include processing sensory input, coordinating movement output and balance, and enabling nonverbal learning and memory.

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Hypothalamus

a neural structure lying below (hypo) the thalamus; it directs several maintenance activities (eating, drinking, body temperature), helps govern the endocrine system via the pituitary gland, and is linked to emotion and reward.

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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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Central Nervous System (CNS)

the brain and the spinal cord

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Charles Darwin

Known for his principle of natural selection and his other contributions to evolution. He established the idea that all species of life come from the same ancestor.

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Nerves

bundles of fibers that convey impulses of sensation, motion, etc. between the brain or spinal cord and other parts of the body

  • the super highways of the nervous system

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Interneurons

nerve cells in the CNS that connect neurons to neurons (not glial cells)

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Neuron's Threshold

he level of stimulation required to trigger a neural impulse

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Synapse

a junction between the axon tip of the sending neuron and the dendrite or cell body of the receiving neuron

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Agonists

mimic a neurotransmitter at the receptor site and strengthen its effects

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Antagonist

block the normal activity of the neurotransmitter at the receptor

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amygdala

two lima-bean-sized neural clusters in the limbic system; linked to emotion

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mutation

a random error in gene replication that leads to a change

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hippocampus

a neural center located in the limbic system; helps process for storage explicit (conscious) memories of facts and events

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limbic system

EMOTION; a system of functionally related neural structures in the brain that are involved in emotional behavior; includes amygdala, hippocampus, hypothalamus

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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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pituitary gland

the endocrine system’s most influential gland. Under the influence of the hypothalamus, the pituitary regulates growth and controls other endocrine glands

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hormones

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

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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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EEG stands for

electroencephalogram

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EEG definition

an amplified recording of the waves of electrical activity sweeping across the brain’s surface. These waves are measured by electrodes placed on the scalp

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CT stands for

computed tomography

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CT scan definition

a series of X-ray photographs taken from different angles and combined by computer into a composite representation of a slice of the brain’s structure. (Also called CAT scan.)

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PET scan stands for

positron emission tomography

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PET scan definition

a visual display of brain activity that detects where a radioactive form of glucose goes while the brain performs a given task

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MRI stands for

magnetic resonance imaging

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MRI definition

a technique that uses magnetic fields and radio waves to produce computer-generated images of soft tissue. scans show brain anatomy

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fMRI stands for

functional MRI

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fMRI definition

a technique for revealing bloodflow and, therefore, brain activity by comparing successive MRI scans. fMRI scans show brain function as well as structure

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frontal lobes

the portion of the cerebral cortex lying just behind the forehead; involved in speaking and muscle movements and in making plans and judgments.

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epigenetics

“above” or “in addition to” (epi) genetics; the study of environmental influences on gene expression that occur without a DNA change

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natural selection

the principle that inherited traits that better enable an organism to survive and reproduce in a particular environment will (in competition with other trait variations) most likely be passed on to succeeding generations.

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evolutionary psychology

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

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human genome

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

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cognitive neuroscience

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

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Temporal Lobes

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

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association area

areas of the cerebral cortex that are not involved in primary motor or sensory functions; rather, they are involved in higher mental functions such as learning, remembering, thinking, and speaking

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Occipital Lobes

the portion of the cerebral cortex lying at the back of the head; includes areas that receive information from the visual fields

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Lobes

the major identifiable zones of the cerebral cortex, and they comprise the surface of each hemisphere of the cerebrum

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agonists

a molecule that increases a neurotransmitter’s action

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antagonists

a molecule that inhibits or blocks a neurotransmitter’s action

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Dendrite

a neuron’s often bushy, branching extensions that receive and integrate messages, conducting impulses toward the cell body

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axon

the neuron extension that passes messages through its branches to other neurons or to muscles or glands

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myelin sheath

a fatty tissue layer segmentally encasing the axons of some neurons; enables vastly greater transmission speed as neural impulses hop from one node to the next

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Glial Cells

cells in the nervous system that support, nourish, and protect neurons; they also play a role in learning, thinking, and memory

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action potential

the local voltage change across the cell wall as a nerve impulse is transmitted

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refractory period

the time after a neuron fires or a muscle fiber contracts during which a stimulus will not evoke a response

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endorphins

“morphine within”—natural, opiate-like neurotransmitters linked to pain control and to pleasure

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Peripheral Nervous System (PNS)

the sensory and motor neurons that connect the central nervous system (CNS) to the rest of the body.

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somatic nervous system

the division of the peripheral nervous system that controls the body’s skeletal muscles

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autonomic nervous system

the part of the peripheral nervous system that controls the glands and the muscles of the internal organs (such as the heart). Two divisions: Its sympathetic division arouses; its parasympathetic division calms

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sympathetic nervous system

the division of the autonomic nervous system that arouses the body, mobilizing its energy

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parasympathetic nervous system

the divisions of the autonomic nervous system that calms the body, conserving its energy

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Reflex

a simple, automatic response to a sensory stimulus, such as a knee-jerk response

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motor neurons

neurons that carry outgoing information from the brain and spinal cord to the muscles and glands

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motor neurons are also called

efferent neurons

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sensory neurons are also called

afferent neurons

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sensory neurons

neurons that carry incoming information from the body’s tissues and sensory receptors to the brain and spinal cord

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cerebral cortex

the intricate fabric of interconnected neural cells covering the cerebral hemispheres; the body’s ultimate control and information-processing center; outer layer that lies on top of your cerebrum

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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

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neuron

a specialized cell transmitting nerve impulses; a nerve cell.

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neuron cell body

the part of a neuron (nerve cell) that contains the nucleus and most organelles

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Pineal Gland

Helps with sleep, located in the center of the brain; easier to fall asleep in the dark than the light because of this

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somatosensory cortex

located behind the frontal lobe, a region of the brain which is responsible for receiving and processing sensory information from across the body, such as touch, temperature, and pain

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brain lateralization

the two sides of the brain are specialized to different information, to process sensory input in different ways and to control different types of motor behavior

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Paul Broca's Contribution

discovered the speech production center of the brain

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Broca's Area

motor production of speech

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Thyroid gland

Releases hormones that control metabolism, hormones regulate the body’s functions, a butterfly-shaped organ located in the base of your neck

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parathyroid hormone

produced by the thyroid glands helps maintain the right balance of calcium in the bloodstream and in tissues that depend on calcium for proper functioning. This is especially important for nerve and muscle function, as well as bone health

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Drugs

a medicine or other substance which has a physiological effect when ingested or otherwise introduced into the body

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Genetics

the scientific study of genes and heredity

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Carl Wernicke's Contributions

studied nerve disease and parts of the brain, discovered area which is essential in understanding language and speech

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