PSYC 1001 Key Terms & Concepts Chapters 3,4 and 5

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PSYC 1001
Dr.Mc Grath

Psychology 1001: Intro to Psych I Cydney Kane neurons: nerve cells specialized to communicate with one another dendrites: receiving parts that gradually taper from the cell body region axon: long extensions specialized for sending messages synaptic cleft: space between two connecting neurons where neurotransmitters are received synaptic vesicles: spheres that contain neurotransmitters located at the axon terminal glial cells: support cells in the nervous system that play roles in the formation of myelin and blood-brain barrier, respond to injury and remove debris blood-brain barrier: glial cells forming a fatty coating that prevents certain substances from entering the brain resting potential: electrical charge difference across the neuronal membrane, when the neuron is not being stimulated or inhibited ions: positively or negatively charged particles produced when dissolved in water action potential: an electrical impulse that travels down the axon and allows neurons to communicate synaptic knobs: balloon-like structures at the end of the branches of an axon containing neurotransmitters neurotransmitters: chemical messengers specialized for communication and released at the synapse absolute refractory period: time during which another action potential is impossible. this limits maximum firing rate of a neuron myelin sheath: glial cell-wrappers around axons that act as insulators of the neuron's signal graded potentials: postsynaptic potentials that can be excitatory or inhibitory depending on whether positively or negatively charged particles flow across the neuronal membrane, and in which direction they flow threshold: membrane potential necessary to trigger an action potential receptor sites: locations that uniquely recognize a neurotransmitter acetylcholine: neurotransmitter used to control activities like movement, memory, attention and dreaming dopamine: neurotransmitter that plays a key role in movement and reward endorphins: chemicals in the brain that play a specialized role in pain reduction central nervous system (CNS): part of the nervous system containing the brain and spinal cord, as well as their associated functions peripheral nervous system (PNS): nerves in the body that extend outside the CNS forebrain (AKA cerebrum): forward part of the brain that allows advanced intellectual abilities cerebral cortex: outermost part of forebrain, responsible for analyzing sensory processing, programming motor movement and higher brain function cerebral hemispheres: two halves of the cerebral cortex, which serve different, yet highly integrated functions corpus callosum: large bands of fibres connecting the two cerebral hemispheres and allowing communication between the two frontal lobe: forward part of cerebral cortex containing the motor cortex and the prefrontal cortex responsible for motor function, language and memory motor cortex: part of frontal lobe responsible for body movement prefrontal cortex: part of frontal lobe responsible for thinking, planning and languages Broca's area: language area in the prefrontal cortex that helps to control speech productions Broca's aphasia: a speech deficit involving severe difficulty in articulating words caused by damage to an area of the prefrontal cortex known as Broca's area parietal lobe: upper-middle part of the cerebral cortex lying behind the frontal lobe specialized for touch and perception temporal lobe: lower part of cerebral cortex below the temples, which plays roles in hearing and understanding language, as well as memory Wernicke's area: part of the temporal lobe involved in understanding speech occipital lobe: back part of the cerebral cortex specialized for vision sensory cortex: regions of the cerebral cortex devoted to vision, touch, hearing, balance, taste and smell association cortex: regions of the cerebral cortex that integrate simpler functions to perform more complex functions basal ganglia: structures in the forebrain that help to control movement basal forebrain: region in the forebrain containing acetylcholine neurons that affect activity of the cortex thalamus: part of the brain that processes sensory information and serves as a gateway to the cerebral cortex brain stem: part of the brain between the spinal cord and the cerebral cortex that contains the medulla, midbrain and pons midbrain: part of the brain stem that lies between the forebrain and hindbrain, helps to control head and neck reflexes and modulate motor activity. It contains the substantia nigra, superior colliculus and inferior colliculus substantia nigra: activates the basal ganglia to respond to reward superior colliculus: processes information about sight in the context of head and neck reflexes inferior colliculus: processes information about sound in the context of head and neck reflexes reticular activating system (RAS): group of neurons in the brain stem that play a key role in arousal hindbrain: part of the brain between the spinal cord and midbrain, consisting of the cerebellum, pons and medulla cerebellum: small cerebrum in hindbrain, responsible for our sense of balance pons: the part of the hindbrain that connects the cerebral cortex with the cerebellum medulla: part of the brain stem involved in vital functions, such as heartbeat and breathing cerebral ventricles: internal waterways of the CNS that carry cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) which provides the brain with nutrients and cushioning against injury interneurons: neurons that send messages to other neurons nearby and stimulate motor neurons reflexes: an automatic motor response to a sensory stimulus like muscle stretch somatic nervous system: part of the PNS carrying messages from the CNS through the body to control movement limbic system: emotional center of the brain that also plays a role in smell, motivation and memory hypothalamus: part of the brain responsible for maintaining a constant internal state by overseeing endocrine and autonomic nervous system amygdala: part of the limbic system that plays key roles in fear, excitement and arousal hippocampus: part of the brain that plays a role in spatial memory autonomic nervous system (ANS): part of the peripheral nervous system controlling the involuntary actions of our internal organs and glands, which participate in emotion along with the limbic system sympathetic division: part of the ANS engaged during a crisis, or after action that requires a fight or flight responses parasympathetic division: part of the ANS that controls rest and digestion, calms the body after a fight or flight response endocrine system: system of glands and hormones that controls secretion of hormones hormones: blood-bone chemicals that influence target tissues and glands pituitary gland: master gland that, under control of the hypothalamus, directs the other glands of the body adrenal gland: tissue located above the kidneys that releases adrenaline and cortisol during states of emotional arousal lesion: area of damage due to surgery, injury or disease electroencephalography (EEG): recording of brain's electrical activity at the surface of the skull computed topography (CT): a scanning technique using multiple x-rays to construct 3D images magnetic resonance imaging (MRI): technique that uses magnetic fields to indirectly visualize brain structure split-brain surgery: procedure that involves severing the corpus callosum to reduce the spread of epileptic seizures lateralization: cognitive function that relies more on one hemisphere of the brain than the other family studies: analyses of how traits run in families twin studies: analyses of how traits differ in identical twins, who share 100% of DNA versus fraternal twins who share 50% of DNA a
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