Unit 2

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Behavioral genetics

focuses on discovering how genes and experience interact and lead to specific behaviors and mental abilities

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Molecular Genetics

the study of chromosomes and gene expression of an organism can give insight into heredity, genetic variation, and mutations

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DNA

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

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Genes

segments of DNA that contain instructions to make proteins - building blocks of life

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Heritability

a measure of how well differences in people's genes account for differences in their traits

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Dominant alleles

show their effect even if the individual only has one copy of the allele

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Recessive alleles

only show their effect if the individual has two copies of the allele

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Genome

the entirely of that individuals hereditary information

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Genotype

the collection of genes responsible for the various genetic traits of a given organism

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Phenotype

the visible or observable expression of the results of genes, combined with the environmental influence on an organism 's appearance or behavior

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Reciprocal determinism

by interacting with the world around us, we have a role in changing the environment in which we live

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Epigenetics

the study of environmental influences on gene expression that occur without a DNA change

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Identical Twins

twins who develop from a single fertilized egg that splits in two, creating two genetically identical organisms(typically having similar personality and intelligence levels)

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Fraternal twins

twins who develop from separate fertilized eggs. They are genetically no close than brother and sister, but they share a fetal environment

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Charles Darwin

creator of natural selection - some psychological traits might be advantageous for survival and those traits would be passed down from parent to the next generation

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evolutionary psychology

the branch of psychology that studies the mental adaptations of humans to a changing environment

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Natural selection

certain behaviors and genes best for survival. Ex. behaviors such as stranger anxiety, parental love, phobias, can ll be explained natural selection.

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Endocrine System

the collection of glands that produce hormones that regulate metabolism, growth and development, tissue function, secual function, reproduction, sleep, and mood, etc

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Hormone

A chemical messenger produced in the body that controls and regulates that activity of certain cells or organs (released in the bloodstream)

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Hypothalamus

brain region controlling the pituitary gland

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Pituitary gland

the "master control gland"; controls other glands and makes the hormones that trigger growth

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Pineal gland

produces melatonin which affects sleep

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Adrenal Glands

produces hormones that help regulate your metabolism, immune system, blood pressure, response to stress and other essential functions (Cortisol, Adrenaline, etc)

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Parathyroid gland

help regulate the level of calcium in the blood

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Thyroid Gland

affects metabolism

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Pancreas

regulates the level of sugar in the blood

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Testis

secretes male sex hormones - linked with aggressive behavior

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Ovary

secretes female sex hormones

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Melatonin

chemical associated with sleep

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Nervous System

the body's electrochemical communications network

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Central Nervous System

the brain & spinal cord, which distributes & process messages

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Spinal Cord

nerves that form the connections between the brain and the peripheral nervous system and are encased in the spine

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Peripheral Nervous System

A branch of the human nervous system that includes all components except the brain and spinal cord

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somatic nervous system

the part of the peripheral nervous system that controls voluntary movements

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Autonomic Nervous System

a part of the peripheral nervous system that regulates bodily processes such as breathing, heart rate, and digestion

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Sympathetic nervous system

branch of the autonomic nervous system that excites body by preparing it for action (increased heartbeat, pupils dilate, lungs increase oxygen, relax bladder, ect) FIGHT OR FLIGHT

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Parasympathetic Nervous System

branch of the autonomic nervous system that restores the body's energy sources once they have been depleted (pupils dilate, heart beat slows, constrict airways, stomach contract, etc,) REST AND DIGEST

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Sensory or afferent neurons

neurons that take information from the senses to the brain

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Motor or efferent neurons

neurons that take information from the brain to the rest of the body

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Interneurons

in the brain or spinal cord, neurons that take messages and send them elsewhere in the brain or spinal cord

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Spinal Reflex

an immediate response to external stimuli directed at the level of the spinal cord

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Mirror neurons

neurons that play role in action understanding, imitation learning, and language processing. Enables use to recreate and embody intentions of others

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Neurons

individual nerve cells that make up our entire nervous system

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Dendrites

receives neural messages

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Cell body (soma)

contains the nucleus and other parts of the cell needed to sustain its life

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Axon

wirelike structure ending in the terminal buttons that extends from the cell body - passes the messages along

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Myelin Sheath

a fatty covering around the axon of some neurons that speeds neural impulses (lack of it can cause Multiple Sclerosis)

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Terminal buttons (axon terminals)

branched end of the axon that contains neurotransmitters

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Synapse

space between the terminal buttons of the one neurons and the dendrites of the next neuron

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Glial cells

provides nutrition and protection for the neurons

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Schwann Cells

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

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Node of Ranvier

tiny gaps within the myelin sheath covering a nerve cell; may help speed impulses

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Action Potential

an impulse or brief electric charge that travels down the axon

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Threshold

the level of stimulation needed to trigger a neural impulse

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All or none response

a neuron either sends an impulse or it does not

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Resting Potential

When a neuron does not have an action potential

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Polarized

the stage of a resting neuron; the outside of the membrane is positively charged while the inside of the membrane is negatively charged

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Depolarization

describes an axon that is firing. Positive charged sodium ions back outside of the cell

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Refractory Period

a resting pause, where neurons pump positively charged sodium ion back outside of the cell

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Vesicles

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

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Receptor Site

location on neurons receiving incoming messages; neurotransmitters fit into these sites

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Presynaptic Neuron

a neuron that is about to receive a neurotransmitter from the neuron across the synaptic gap

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Postsynaptic neuron

is the membrane that receives a signal (binds neurotransmitter)

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Neurotransmitters

chemical messengers that cross the synaptic gaps between neurons that generate the next neural impulse

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Endorphins

Natural, opiate-like neurotransmitters linked with pain control & pleasure

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Acetylcholine (ACh)

Enables muscle action, learning, and memory (ex. alzheimer's disease, ACh-producing neurons deteriorate)

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Dopamine

Influences movement, learning, attention, and emotion (ex. oversupply linked to schizophrenia, undersupply linked to tremors and decreased mobility in Parkinson's disease

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Serotonin

affects mood, hunger, sleep, and arousal (ex. Undersupply is linked to depression, antidepressant drugs raise levels of serotonin)

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Norepinephrine

Helps control alertness and arousal (undersupply can depress mood)

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GABA (gamma-aminobutyric acid)

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

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Glutamate

A major excitatory neurotransmitter; involved in memory (oversupply can overstimulate the brain, producing migraines or seizures. Why some people avoid MSG)

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Reuptake

the reabsorption of neurotransmitters by the sending neuron

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Excitatory neurotransmitter

send signals that stimulate the brain

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Inhibitory neurotransmitter

send signals to calm the brain down and create balance

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Agonists

chemicals that activate the receptors fro certain neurotransmitter and make the effects of neurotransmitters stronger (caffeine: agonist for ACH) (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIS): agonist for serotonin) (adderall, meth, coke, and speed; agonist for norepinephrine) (benzodiazepines and alcohol: agonist of GABA) (opiates: agonists of endorphins)

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Antagonists

chemicals that inhibit the actions of neurotransmitters (LSD: antagonist for serotonin)

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Reuptake inhibitors

are drugs that prvent the axon terminals from engaging in the reuptake of neurotransmitters (cocaine: reuptake inhibitor for dopamine)

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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; this part is responsible for automatic survival functions

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medulla

controls heartbeat, blood circulation, breathing, muscle maintance, regulation of reflexes like sneezing/coughing

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Reticular Formation

plays an important role in controlling arousal

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Pons

plays a role with sleep and dreaming

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cerebellum

the "little brian" 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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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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Limbic system

neural system (includes; hippocampus, amygdala, hypothalamus) located below the cerebral hemispheres; associated with emotions and drive

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Hippocampus

vital to our memory system

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Amygdala

the amygdala is the center of emotions and is responsible for fear and aggressive responses

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Hypothalamus

the hypothalamus regulates the autonomic nervous system (fight or flight), temprature, hunger, and sex

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Cerebrum

is the largest part of the brain. It is made up of two cerebral hemispheres (the left and right) that are separated by a large groove called the medial longitudinal fissure

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Hemisphere

the brain has two hemispheres, the left and right. The left controls the right side of the body, vice versa

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Left hemisphere

socializes in language, speech, handwriting, calculation, sense of time and rhythem

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Right hemisphere

specializes in processing involoving perception, visualization, recognition of faces & emotions

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Corpus Callosum

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

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Cerebral Cortex

the outer lauer of tissue of the hemispheres, and smaller subcortical structure

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Frontal Lobe

portion of the cerebral cortex lying just behind the forehead; invovled in speaking and muscle movements and in making plans and judgement

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Prefrontal cortex

is located at the very front of the frontal lobe, and it controls executive functions or a set of abilities that are needed to control cognitive behaviors. These behaviors include attention, inhibition, working memory, problem-solving, and planning

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Parietal Lobe

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

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temporal lobe

portion of the cerebral cortex lying roughly above the ears; includes the auditory areas and helps with hearing and meaningful speech; contains the primary auditory cortex

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occipital Lobe

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

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Motor Cortex

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

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