AP Psychology Unit 2

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Heredity

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114 Terms
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Heredity

passing on of physical or mental characteristics genetically from one generation to another

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Nature vs Nurture

controversy that genes and experience make to the development of psychological traits and behaviors

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Twin Studies

common method of investigating whether nature or nurture affects behavior

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Fraternal Twins

siblings who develop from separate eggs and separate sperm cells, but during the same fertilization period.

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Identical Twins

twins that develop from a single fertilized egg that splits to produce two individuals who carry the same complement of genes

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Temperament

a person’s characteristic emotional reactivity and intensity

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Evolutionary Psychology

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

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Natural Selection

the process through which populations of living organisms adapt and change

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Hormones

chemical messengers, mostly those manufacture by the endocrine glands, that are produced in one tissue and affect another

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Adrenal Gland

a pair of endocrine glands; sits above kidneys; secrete hormones epinephrine (adrenaline) and norepinephrine (fight or flight)

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Pituitary Gland

endocrine system’s most influential gland; under the influence of the hypothalamus it releases hormones that influences growth and controls other endocrine glands

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Central Nervous System

consists of the brain and spinal cord; transmits and receives messages to and from the peripheral nervous system

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Peripheral Nervous System

sensory and motor neurons that connect the CNS to the rest of the body; somatic and autonomic nervous system

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Somatic Nervous System

division of the PNS that controls the body’s skeletal muscles

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Autonomic Nervous System

part of the PNS that control the glands and muscles of the internal organs (like heart); sympathetic nervous system arouses while parasympathetic nervous system calms

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Sympathetic Nervous System

division of the autonomic nervous system that arouses the body, mobilizing its energy in stressful situation (accelerates heartbeat, raises blood pressure, slow digestion, alert)

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Parasympathetic Nervous System

division of the autonomic nervous system that calms the body, conserving energy (decreases heartbeat, lowers blood pressure)

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Sensory Neurons

neurons that carry incoming info from the sense receptors to the central nervous system

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Afferent Neurons

sensory neurons; takes info from sense to the brain

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Motor Neurons

neurons that carry outgoing info from the brain and spinal cord (CNS) to the muscles and glands

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Efferent Neurons

motor neurons; takes info from the brain to the rest of the body

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Interneurons

CNS neurons that internally communicate and intervene between the sensory inputs and motor inputs.

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Receptor Sites

locations on a receptor neuron into which a specific neurotransmitter fits like a key into a lock

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Dendrites

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

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Soma (Cell Body)

contains the nucleus an other parts of the cell needed to sustain life

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Axon

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

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Myelin Sheath

fatty covering around the axon of some neurons that protect the neuron and speed up neural impulses

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Nodes of Ranvier

gaps in the myelin sheath to which voltage-gated sodium channels are confined

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Terminal Buttons

end buttons; branched end of the axon that contains neurotransmitters

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Vesicles

small membrane sacs that specialized in moving products into, out of, and within a cell

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Synapses

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

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Semipermeable Membrane

a membrane that allows some molecules to pass through but not others

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Glial Cells

cells in the nervous system that support, nourish, and protect neurons

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Schwann Cells

supporting cells of the peripheral nervous system responsible for the formation of the myelin

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Depolarization

loss of a state of polarity; loss or reduction of a negative membrane potential

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Action Potential

a neural impulse; a brief electrical charge that travels down an axon after simulated by a sensory receptor or chemical signals

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Repolarization

return of the cell to resting state, caused by reentry of potassium into the cell while sodium exits the cell

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Resting Potential

the state of the neuron when not firing a neural impulse

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Reuptake

the reabsorption by a neuron of a neurotransmitter following the transmission of a nerve impulse across a synapse

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Refractory Period

the time following an action potential during which a new action potential cannot be initiated; period of inactivity after a neuron or muscle cell has undergone excitation

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All-Or-None Response

a neuron's reaction of either firing or not firing; if dendrites of a neuron receives enough neurotransmitters to push the neuron past its threshold, the neuron will completely fire each time

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Threshold

the level of stimulation required to trigger a neural impulse

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Agonist

a molecule that increases a neurotransmitter's action; drug mimics neurotransmitters; excite

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Antagonist

a molecule/drug that inhibits or blocks a neurotransmitters action (blocks its release from the sending neuron)

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Excitatory vs Inhibitory Neurotransmitters

excitatory neurotransmitters can excite the next cell into firing and inhibitory neurotransmitters inhibit the next cell from firing

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Acetylcholine

a neurotransmitter that enables learning and memory and also triggers muscle transmission (when released to muscle cells, muscle contracts...when blocked, muscles can’t contract = paralysis)

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Epinephrine

neurotransmitter secreted by the adrenal medulla in response to stress aka adrenaline

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Norepinephrine

a neurotransmitter involved in arousal, as well as in learning and mood regulation -helps control alertness (fight or flight) and arousal; undersupply can depress mood

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Glutamate

a major excitatory neurotransmitter; involved in memory (plays critical role in cognitive, motor, and sensory functions)

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Dopamine

a neurotransmitter associated with movement, attention, and learning and the brain’s pleasure and reward system

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Serotonin

a neurotransmitter that affects hunger, sleep, arousal, and mood

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GABA

a major inhibitory neurotransmitter

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Medulla

helps control vital processes like your heartbeat, breathing and blood pressure

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Pons

a major pathway for motor and sensory information between the body and higher level brain functioning.

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Reticular Formation

a nerve network that travels through the brainstem and plays an important role in controlling arousal and conciousness

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Thalamus

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

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Cerebellum

’little brain’; processes sensory input and coordinates movement output and balance; judge time, modulate emotions, discriminate sounds and textures, voluntary movement

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Amygdala

two lima bean sized clusters linked to emotion; influences aggression and fear

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Hypothalamus

below the thalamus, directs several maintenance activities (eating, drinking, body temp); helps govern endocrine system via pituitary gland; emotion and reward

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Hippocampus

helps process explicit memories for storage; memories processed here and sent to other locations

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Frontal lobe

portion of the cerebral cortex behind the forehead; speaking and muscle movements and making plans and judgements

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Parietal lobes

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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Occipital lobes

visual areas, each receiving info from the opposite visual field

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Temporal lobes

above the ears; auditory areas, each receiving info primarily from the opposite ear

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Motor Cortex

an area at the rear of the frontal lobes that control voluntary movements

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Somatosensory Cortex

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

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Association Areas

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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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) connecting them

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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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Electroencephalogram (EEG)

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

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PET (positron emission tomography) scan

a visual display of brain activity that detects where a radioactive form of glucose goes while the brain performs a given task (hotspots shows where brain is most active)

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MRI (magnetic resonance imaging)

a technique that uses magnetic fields and radio waves to produce computer-generated images of soft tissue (shows brain anatomy/structure)

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fMRI (functional MRI)

a technique for revealing blood flow, and therefore, brain activity by comparing successive MRI scans (shows brain function)

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Neuroplasticity

the ability of the nervous system to change in response to experience or the environment

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Neurogenesis

creation of new neurons in the adult brain

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Blindsight

a condition in which a person can respond to a visual stimulus without consciously experiencing it (blind people can accurately describe a path of a moving object or grasp objects they can’t see)

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Selective attention

the focusing of conscious awareness on a particular stimulus

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Inattentional blindness

failing to see visible objects when our attention is directed elsewhere

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Change blindness

failing to notice changes in the environment; a form of inattentional blindness

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Circadian rhythms

the biological clock; regular bodily rhythms that occur on a 24 hour cycle (like temp and wakefulness)

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Psychoactive drugs

chemical substances that alter perceptions , mood, or behavior . (affect nerve synapses and neurotransmitters by binding with agonists on cell surfaces to support an action, block receptor sites (antagonists) to suppress an action, or block the reuptake of neurotransmitters)

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Tolerance

after long term use the brain produces less of a specific neurotransmitter developing this

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Addiction

a state of psychological or physical dependence (or both) on the use of alcohol or other drugs

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Withdrawal

a set of symptoms associated with discontinuing a drug--reverses neuroadaptation (cravings, tremors, anxiety, depression, seizures, death) that are psychological and/or physiological

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