Biological Bases of Behavior

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central nervous system (CNS)

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108 Terms

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central nervous system (CNS)

Division of the nervous system that consists of the brain and spinal cord

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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

division of the peripheral nervous system that control's the body's skeletal muscles.

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neuron

a nerve cell; basic cell of the nervous system

<p>a nerve cell; basic cell of the nervous system</p>
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sensory (afferent) neurons

neurons that carry information from the receptors to the spinal cord and brain

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motor (efferent) neurons

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

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autonomic nervous system (ANS)

division of the peripheral nervous system involved in the control of (generally unconscious/automatic) bodily functioning through organs and glands; its sympathetic division arouses while the parasympathetic division calms

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sympathetic nervous system

subdivision of the autonomic nervous system responsible for mobilizing the body in times of stress, and preparing for flight or fight

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parasympathetic nervous system

subdivision of the autonomic nervous system responsible for calming the body

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reflex

automatic behavior in response to a specific stimulus; does not involve communication with the brain

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brainstem

the oldest part and central core of the brain; responsible for automatic survival functions and composed of medulla, pons, and reticular formation.

<p>the oldest part and central core of the brain; responsible for automatic survival functions and composed of medulla, pons, and reticular formation.</p>
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pons

structure of the brainstem that allows for communication between the cerebellum, cerebral cortex, & brain stem; has nuclei that are important for sleep and arousal

<p>structure of the brainstem that allows for communication between the cerebellum, cerebral cortex, & brain stem; has nuclei that are important for sleep and arousal</p>
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medulla

base of the brainstem; controls heartbeat & breathing

<p>base of the brainstem; controls heartbeat & breathing</p>
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reticular formation

band of nerve fibers that run through the center of the brain stem; important in controlling arousal levels

<p>band of nerve fibers that run through the center of the brain stem; important in controlling arousal levels</p>
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cerebellum

structure of the hindbrain that coordinates voluntary muscular movements

<p>structure of the hindbrain that coordinates voluntary muscular movements</p>
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corpus callosum

wide band of neural fibers that connects the two hemispheres of the brain

<p>wide band of neural fibers that connects the two hemispheres of the brain</p>
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limbic system

a group of structures located beneath the cerebral cortex that are involved in regulating emotions and motivated behaviors

<p>a group of structures located beneath the cerebral cortex that are involved in regulating emotions and motivated behaviors</p>
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thalamus

subcortical structure that relays incoming sensory information to the cerebral cortex and other parts of the brain; a.k.a "sensory switchboard"

<p>subcortical structure that relays incoming sensory information to the cerebral cortex and other parts of the brain; a.k.a "sensory switchboard"</p>
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electroenchephalogram (EEG)

device that monitors and records waves of electric activity within the brain; measured by electrodes placed on the scalp

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positron emission tomography (PET scan)

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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computed tomography (CT scan)

imaging technique that involves the production of a large number of X-rays interpreted by a computer

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MRI (magnetic resonance imaging)

imaging technique that involves the use of radio waves and a strong magnetic field to produce a signal that can be interpreted by computer

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dendrites

short, branchlike structures of a neuron that receive information from receptors and other neurons

<p>short, branchlike structures of a neuron that receive information from receptors and other neurons</p>
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fMRI

technique for revealing bloodflow and, therefore, brain activity by comparing successive MRI scans; capable of showing BOTH structure and function of the brain

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soma

cell body of a neuron

<p>cell body of a neuron</p>
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axon

part of a neuron that transmits information to other neurons and to muscles and glands

<p>part of a neuron that transmits information to other neurons and to muscles and glands</p>
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myelin sheath

fatty protein substance that covers some axons, increasing speed of transmission

<p>fatty protein substance that covers some axons, increasing speed of transmission</p>
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neurotransmitters

chemical messengers that cross the synaptic gap between neurons

<p>chemical messengers that cross the synaptic gap between neurons</p>
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synapse

site where two or more neurons interact but do not touch

<p>site where two or more neurons interact but do not touch</p>
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reuptake

method of clearing a neurotransmitter from the synaptic cleft, in which the neurotransmitter is reabsorbed into the terminal buttons

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synaptic vesicles

small pockets or sacs located in terminal buttons that contain a neurotransmitter

<p>small pockets or sacs located in terminal buttons that contain a neurotransmitter</p>
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agonist

a molecule (e.g., drug) that enhances the operation of a neurotransmitter

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antagonist

a molecule (e.g., drug) that blocks or inhibits the operation of a neurotransmitter

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endorphins

"morphine within"; natural, opiate-like neurotransmitters linked to pain control and to pleasure

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resting potential

electrical charge (negative) of a neuron when it is not firing

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action potential

brief electrial charge that travels down the axon; a process also called "depolarization"

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threshold

the level of stimulation required to trigger a neural impulse

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refractory period

period, after firing, during which the neuron is unable to fire because it is repolarizing

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aphasia

loss of ability to speak or understand written or spoken language

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endocrine system

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

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

chemicals produced by the glands of the endocrine system that are carried by the bloodstream to other body tissues

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pituitary gland

gland located below the thalamus and hypothalamus; called the "master gland" of the endocrine system because it controls many other glands

<p>gland located below the thalamus and hypothalamus; called the "master gland" of the endocrine system because it controls many other glands</p>
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biological psychology

branch of psychology concerned with the links between biology and behavior

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acetylcholine (ACh)

a neurotransmitter that enables muscle action, learning and memory; an undersupply is linked with Alzheimer's disease

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dopamine

a neurotransmitter that influences movement, learning and attention; overactivity of receptors linked to schizophrenia while an undersupply linked to Parkinson's disease

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serotonin

a neurotransmitter that affects mood, hunger, sleep, and arousal. An undersupply of this neurotransmitter is linked with depression.

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norepinephrine

a neurotransmitter that controls alertness and arousal; undersupply can depress mood

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GABA

a major inhibitory neurotransmitter; undersupply linked to seizures, tremors, and insomnia

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glutamate

a major excitatory neurotransmitter; oversupply can overstimulate brain, producing migraines or seizures

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nerves

bundled axons that form neural "cables" connecting the CNS to the rest of the body

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interneurons

central nervous system neurons that internally communicate and intervene between sensory inputs and motor outputs

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lesion

brain destruction; can be naturally caused or created for experimentation

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hippocampus

structure in the limbic system important in processing memories

<p>structure in the limbic system important in processing memories</p>
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hypothalamus

structure in the limbic system responsible for directing several maintenance activities (eating, drinking, body temp); helps govern endocrine system via the pituitary gland

<p>structure in the limbic system responsible for directing several maintenance activities (eating, drinking, body temp); helps govern endocrine system via the pituitary gland</p>
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55

Paul Broca

responsible for discovering the area on the left frontal lobe responsible for coordinating muscle movements involved in spoken language

<p>responsible for discovering the area on the left frontal lobe responsible for coordinating muscle movements involved in spoken language</p>
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Carl Wernicke

discovered a brain area responsible for interpreting meaning of language

<p>discovered a brain area responsible for interpreting meaning of language</p>
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depolarization

process of neural firing; when action potential is generated and the neuron briefly takes on a positive charge

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all-or-none response

neuron will only fire (if threshold is reached) OR not fire (if stimulation is insufficient)

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amygdala

the two almond-shaped nerve clusters in the limbic system believed to be responsible for fear and aggressive responses

<p>the two almond-shaped nerve clusters in the limbic system believed to be responsible for fear and aggressive responses</p>
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60

cerebral cortex

wrinkled, gray covering of the brain that accounts for 80% of brain weight is responsible for complex processing of information, planning, learning, memory storage, etc.

<p>wrinkled, gray covering of the brain that accounts for 80% of brain weight is responsible for complex processing of information, planning, learning, memory storage, etc.</p>
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Phineas Gage

famous case study in neuroscience; sustained catastrophic damage to his frontal lobes

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motor cortex

located on the rear of the frontal lobes; responsible for directing voluntary movement on the opposite side of the body

<p>located on the rear of the frontal lobes; responsible for directing voluntary movement on the opposite side of the body</p>
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somatosensory cortex

located on the front of the parietal lobes; registers and processes body touch and movement sensations

<p>located on the front of the parietal lobes; registers and processes body touch and movement sensations</p>
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64

occipital lobes

portion of the cerebral cortex at the "back" of the head; contains the visual cortex

<p>portion of the cerebral cortex at the "back" of the head; contains the visual cortex</p>
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temporal lobes

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

<p>portion of the cerebral cortex located on the "sides" of the brain lying roughly above the ears; includes auditory areas, each receiving information primarily from the opposite ear</p>
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66

Roger Sperry & Michael Gazzaniga

studied split brain patients

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phrenology

early, misguided attempt at studying the functions of parts of the brain; held that bumps on the skull revealed the person's personality traits

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Franz Gall

early comparative brain anatomist; developed phrenology

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69

Broca's area

area (usually in the left frontal lobe) that directs the muscle movements involved in speech

<p>area (usually in the left frontal lobe) that directs the muscle movements involved in speech</p>
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Wernicke's area

brain area involved in language comprehension; usually in left temporal lobe

<p>brain area involved in language comprehension; usually in left temporal lobe</p>
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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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angular gyrus

transforms visual representations into an auditory code; damage to this leaves the person unable to speak and understand, but able to read

<p>transforms visual representations into an auditory code; damage to this leaves the person unable to speak and understand, but able to read</p>
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neuroplasticity

Brain's ability to reorganize and change its structure and function throughout the life span, in reponse to injury or new learning

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Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI)

blow to head or a penetrating head injury that damages brain

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hemispheric specialization

This is also called lateralization; refers to the fact that the left and right hemispheres of the brain have some specific functions that exist only in those hemispheres.

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contralateral control

The left hemisphere controls the right side of the body and the right hemisphere controls the left side.

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nervous system

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

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adrenal glands

A pair of endocrine glands that sit just above the kidneys and secrete hormones that help arouse the body in times of stress.

<p>A pair of endocrine glands that sit just above the kidneys and secrete hormones that help arouse the body in times of stress.</p>
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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.

<p>Portion of the cerebral cortex lying at the top of the head and toward the rear; receives sensory input for touch and body position.</p>
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glial cells (glia)

Cells in the nervous system that support, nourish, and protect neurons.

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81

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

<p>the portion of the cerebral cortex lying just behind the forehead; involved in speaking and muscle movements and in making plans and judgments</p>
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neurogenesis

formation of new neurons

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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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consciousness

Awareness of ourselves and our environment

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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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dual processing

The principle that information is often simultaneously processed on separate conscious and unconscious tracks; also known as "parallel processing"

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multiple sclerosis

a progressive disease of the nervous system that involves a degeneration of the myelin that surrounds nerve fibers in the brain and spinal cor

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adoption studies

Assess hereditary influence by examining the resemblance between adopted children and both their biological and their adoptive parents.

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behavior genetics

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

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Charles Darwin

English natural scientist who formulated a theory of evolution by natural selection

<p>English natural scientist who formulated a theory of evolution by natural selection</p>
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chromosomes

Threadlike, gene-carrying structures found in a cell's nucleus (46 in body cells; 23 in sex cells). Each chromosome consists of one very long DNA molecule and associated proteins.

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concordance rates

The percentage of cases where both twins share the same trait or disorder

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Dmitry Belyaev

Russian geneticist who, through artificial selection, bred tame foxes

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DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid)

a complex molecule containing the genetic information that makes up chromosomes

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epigenetics

study of how the environment can alter gene expression or function (e.g. light, nutrition, temperature, presence of other species); example of interaction of nature & nurture

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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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fraternal twins

Twins who develop from separate eggs; dizygotic (DZ) twins. They are genetically no closer than brothers and sisters, but they share a fetal environment.

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genes

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

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genome

All the genetic information in an organism; all of an organism's chromosomes.

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heritability

the proportion of variation among individuals that is related to genetic variation; estimates may vary depending on the range of populations and environments studied

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