Unit 2 AP Psychology

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biological psychologists

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128 Terms

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biological psychologists

the scientific study of the links between biological and psychological processes.

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neuron

a nerve cell; the basic building block of the nervous system.

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dendrites

the bushy, branching extensions of a neuron that receive messages and conduct impulses toward the cell body. “antenna”

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axon

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

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myelin sheath

a layer of fatty tissue segmentally encasing the fibers of many neurons; enables vastly greater transmission speed of neural impulses as the impulse hops from one node to the next.

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action potential

a neural impulse; a brief electrical charge that travels down an axon.

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refractory period

a period of inactivity after a neuron has fired.

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threshold

the level of stimulation required to trigger a neural impulse.

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all-or-nothing response

a neuron's reaction of either firing or not firing.

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synapse

the junction between the axon tip of the sending neuron and the dendrite or cell body of the receiving neuron. The tiny gap at this junction is called the synaptic gap or synaptic cleft.

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neurotransmitters

chemical messengers that cross the synaptic gaps between neurons. When released by the sending neuron, they travel across the synapse and bind to receptor sites on the receiving neuron, thereby influencing whether that neuron will generate a neural impulse.

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reuptake

a neurotransmitter's reabsorption by the sending neuron.

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Agonist

A chemical that mimics the action of a neurotransmitter.

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Antagonists

Chemical substances that block or reduce a cell's response to the action of other chemicals or neurotransmitters.

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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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Peripheral nervous system (PNS)

the sensory and motor neurons that connect the central nervous system to the rest of the body

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nerves

bundled axons that form neural "cables" connecting the central nervous system with muscles, glands, and sense organs.

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sensory (afferent) neurons

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

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motor (efferant) neurons

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

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interneurons

neurons within the brain and spinal cord that communicate internally and intervene between the sensory inputs and motor outputs.

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Somatic nervous system

the division of the peripheral nervous system that controls the body's skeletal muscles (skeletal nervous system)

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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. It's sympathetic system arouses and parasympathetic calms.

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Sympathetic nervous system

the division of the autonomic nervous system that arouses the body, mobilizing its energy in stressful situations. (If you get scared)

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Parasympathetic nervous system

the division of the autonomic nervous system that calms the body, conserving its energy (Your PARents come home and calm you down)

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Reflexes

simple, automatic responses to sensory stimuli, such as the knee-jerk response

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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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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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Pituitary gland

"THE MASTER 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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Lesion

tissue destruction. It can occur naturally or experimentally by the caused distruction/remove of brain tissues

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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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MEG (magnetoencephalography)

a brain imaging technique that measures magnetic fields from the brain’s natural electrical activity.

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CT (computed tomography) scan

a series of x-ray photographs taken from different angles and combined by computer into a composite representaion of a slice through the body. Aslo called a CAT scan

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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.

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MRI (magnetic resonance imaging)

a TECHNIQUE THAT USES MAGNETIC FIELDS AND RADIO WAVES TO PRODUCE COMPUTER generated images that distinguish among different types of soft tissues.

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fMRI (functional MRI)

A technique for revealing bloodflow and, therefore, brain activity by comparing successive MRI scans. fMRI scans show brain function.

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Brainstem

the oldest part and central core of brain. AKA reticular formation, or reticular activating system. In charge of automatic survival functions

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Medulla

The base of the brainstem. Controls heartbeat and breathing.

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Pons

regulates several functions including hearing, equilibrium, taste and facial sensations and movement

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Thalamus

the brains 'sensory switch board' Located at top of brainstem; directs messages to the sensory areas and transmits them to cerebellum and medulla.

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Reticular Formation

nerve network in the brainstem that acts like a messenger & plays an important role in controlling arousal (help focus)

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Cerebellum

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

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Limbic system

A system of neural structures at the border of brainstem. Associated with emotions like fear, agression, and drives such as those for food and sex. Includes the Hippocampus, Amygdala and hypothalamus.

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Amygdala

2Lima bean sized neural clusters in the limbic system, linked to emotion. Includes rage and fear.

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Hippocampus

Limbic system. Learning and memory matcher.

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hypothalamous

A neural structure lying below 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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Cerebral cortex

Fabric of interconnected neuron cells. Higher order thinking. Takes meaning and puts it to focus. The body's ultimate control and information-processing center.

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Glial Cells

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

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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 judgements.

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Parietal lobes

The portion of the cerebral cortex lying at the top of the head and toward the rear; includes the sensory cortex. Receives sensory input for touch and body position.

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Occipital lobes

the portion of the cerebral cortex lying at the back of the head; includes the visual areas, which receive visual info from the opposite visual feild.

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Temporal lobes

The portion of the cerebral cortex lying roughyl above the ears; includes the auditory areas, each of which revieves aditory info primarily from the opposite end.

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motor cortex

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

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somatosensory cortex

the 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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Plasticity

The brain's ability to change, especially during childhood, by reorganizing after damage or by building new pathways based on experience.

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functional plasticity

move function of one damaged area to another undamaged area

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structural plasticity

change physical structure as a result of learning

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Neurogenesis

Formation of new neurons

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Corpus Callosum

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

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Split Brain

A conditioning resulting from surgery that isolates the brain's two hemispheres by cutting the fibers connecting them.

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Consciousness

our 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

a phenomenon can occur in two different ways, or as a result of two different processes, The principle that information is often simultaneously processed on separate conscious and unconscious tracks

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blindsight

a condition in which a person can respond to a visual stimulus without consciously experiencing it

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parallel processing

processing many aspects of a problem simultaneously; generally used to process well-learned information or to solve easy problems

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sequential processing

processing one aspect of a problem at a time; generally used to process new information or to solve difficult problems

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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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heredity

the genetic transfer of characteristics from parents to offspring.

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environment

every nongenetic influence, from prenatal nutrition to the people and things around us, Every nongenetic influence, from prenatal nutrition to the people and things around us.

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chromosomes

threadlike structure made of DNA molecules that contain the genes

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DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid)

(deoxyribonucleic acid) a complex molecule containing the genetic information that makes up the chromosomes

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genes

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

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genome

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

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identical twins (monozygotic)

twins who develop from a single fertilized egg that splits in two, creating two genetically identical organisms

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fraternal twins (dizygotic)

twins who develop from separate fertilized eggs; no genetically closer than brothers and sisters, but they share a fetal environment

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heritability

the proportion of variation among individuals that we can attribute to genes; this may vary depending on population range and the environment being studied

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interaction

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

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molecular genetics

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

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molecular behavior genetics

the study of how the structure and function of genes interact with our environment to influence behavior.

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epigenetics

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

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evolutionary psychologists

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

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natural selection

the principle that, among range of inherited trait variations, those that lead to increased reproduction and survival will most likely be passed on to succeeding generations

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mutations

A random error in gene replication that leads to a change

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soma (cell body)

the part of a neuron that contains the nucleus; the cell’s life-support center.

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social script

a culturally modeled guide for how to act in various situations

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prefrontal cortex

the cerebral cortex covering the front part of the frontal lobe, implicated in planning complex cognitive behavior, personality expression, decision-making, and moderating social behaviour

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broca’s area

speech production and language comprehension

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visual association cortex

responsible for recognizing lines, angles, shapes, shadows, and movements

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wernicke's area

the language area that is responsible for comprehending spoken word as well as formulating written and spoken language

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Case study

A research design involving an in-depth and detailed examination of a single subject, or case, usually an individual or a small groupau

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Prefrontal Lobotomy

surgical procedure that severs fibers connecting the frontal lobes of the brain from the underlying thalamus

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hemispherectomy

brain surgery used to treat behavioral disorders/illnesses by removing half of the brain

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Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation / TMS.

a new technique that permits scientists to temporarily enhance or depress activity in a specific area of the brain

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Acetylcholine

"movement & memory" a very widely distributed excitatory neurotransmitter that triggers muscle contraction and excretion of certain hormones

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Serotonin

"mood" / “happiness” a neurotransmitter that regulates sleep, mood, appetite, and body temperature

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Dopamine

"reward" A neurotransmitter involved in mood, movement, attention, and learning

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Norepinephrine

"fight, flight, or freeze" A neurotransmitter important in controlling alertness, wakefulness, mood, and attention

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GABA

"calming" the primary inhibitory neurotransmitter in the nervous system

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