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PSYB64 Chapter 3 Terms

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Janelle Leboutillier

PSYB64 Physiological Psychology Chapter 3 Vocabulary Terms Action potential: The nerve impulse arising in an axon. Neuron: A cell of the nervous system that is specialized for information processing and communication. Glia: Cells in the nervous system that support the activities of neurons. Organelle: A small structure within a cell that carries out a specific function. Cell body/soma: The main mass of a neuron, containing the nucleus and many organelles. Axon: The branch of a neuron usually responsible or carrying signals to other neurons. Dendrite: The branch of a neuron that generally receives information from other neurons. Intracellular fluid: The fluid inside a cell. Extracellular fluid: The fluid surrounding a cell. Permeability: A property of a substance that determines the extent to which other substances may pass through it. Ion channel: A protein structure embedded in a cell membrane that allows ions to pass without the use of additional energy. Ion pump: A protein structure embedded in a cell membrane that uses energy to move ions across the membrane. Ion: An electrically charged particle in solution. Voltage-dependent channel: An ion channel that opens or closes in response to the local electrical environment. Ligand-gated channel: An ion channel in the neural membrane that responds to chemical messengers. Synapse: The junction between two neurons at which information is transferred from one to another. Sodium-potassium pump: An ion pump that uses energy to transfer three sodium ions to the extracellular fluid for every two potassium ions retrieved from the extracellular fluid. Calcium pump: A protein structure embedded in the neural membrane that uses energy to move calcium ions out of the cell. Neurotransmitter A chemical messenger that transfers information across a synapse. Cytoskeleton: A network of filaments that provides the internal structure of a neuron. Microtubule: The largest fiber in the cell cytoskeleton, responsible for the transport of neurotransmitters and other products to and from the cell body. Anterograde transport: Movement of materials from the cell body of a neuron to the axon terminal along the microtubules. Retrograde transport: Movement of material from the axon terminal back to the cell body via the cell’s system of microtubules. Neurofilaments: A neural fiber found in the cell cytoskeleton that is responsible for structural support. Microfilament: The smallest fiber found in the cell cytoskeleton that may participate in the changing of the length and shape of axons and dendrites. Nucleus: The substructure within a cell body that contains the cell’s DNA. Nucleolus: A substructure within a cell nucleus where ribosomes are produced. Ribosome: An organelle in the cell body involved with protein synthesis. Endoplasmic reticulum: An organelle in the cell body that participates in protein synthesis. Golgi apparatus: An organelle in the cell body that packages proteins in vesicles. Mitochondria: Organelles that provide energy to the cell by transforming pyruvic acid and oxygen into molecules of adenosine triphosphate (ATP). Synaptic gap: The tiny fluid filled space between neurons forming a synapse. Dendritic spine: A knob on the dendrite that provides additional membrane area for the formation of synapses with other neurons. Axon hillock: The cone-shaped segment of axon located at the junction of the axon and cell body that is specialized for the generation of action potentials. Myelin: The fatty insulating material covering some axons that boosts the speed and efficiency of electrical signaling. Local circuit neuron: A neuron that communicates with neurons in its immediate vicinity. Projection neuron: A neuron with a very long axon that communicates with neurons in distant areas of the nervous system. Collateral: One of the branches near the end of the axon closest to its targets. Axon terminal: The swelling at the tip of an axon collateral specialized for the release of neurotransmitter substances. Synaptic vesicle: A small structure in the axon terminal that contains neurotransmitters. Node of Ranvier: The uncovered section of axon membrane between two adjacent segments of myelin. Unipolar neuron: A neuron with one branch that extends a short distance from the cell body then splits into two branches. Bipolar neuron: A neuron with two branches, one axon and one dendrite. Multipolar neuron: A neuron that has multiple branches, usually one axon and numerous dendrites. Sensory neuron: A specialized neuron that translates incoming sensory information into electrical signals. Motor neuron: A specialized neuron that communicates with muscles and glands. Interneuron: A neuron that serves as a bridge between sensory and motor neurons. Macroglia: Large glial cells, including astrocytes, oligodendrocytes, and Schwann cells. Microglia: Tiny, mobile glial cells that migrate to areas of damage and digest debris. Astrocyte:
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