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chp. 4 textbook/terms

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Steve Joordens

PSY – Chap 4 Terms Central nervous system: the brain and the spinal cord Spinal cord: a long, thin collection of nerve cells attached to the back of the brain and running the length of the spinal column Nerve: a bundle of fibers that transmits information between the central nervous system and the body’s sense organs, muscles and glands Peripheral nervous system: the cranial and spinal nerves, that part of the nervous system peripheral to the brain and spinal cord Cranial nerve: a bundle of nerve fibers attached to the base of the brain; conveys sensory info from the face and head and carries messages to muscles and glands Spinal nerve: a bundle of nerve fibers attached to the spinal cord; conveys sensory info from the body and carries messages to muscles and glands Brain stem: the “stem” of the brain, including the medulla, pons, and midbrain Cerebral hemisphere: (left and right) the largest part of the brain, covered by the cerebral cortex and containing parts of the brain that evolved most recently Cerebellum: a pair of hemispheres resembling the cerebral hemispheres but much smaller and lying beneath and in back of them, controls posture and movements, especially rapid ones Vertebra: one of the bones that encase the spinal cord and constitute the vertebral column Meninges: the three-layered set of membranes that enclose the brain and spinal cord Cerebrospinal fluid (CSF): the liquid in which the brain and spinal cord float, provides a shock-absorbing cushion Blood-brain barrier: a barrier between the blood and the brain produced by the cells in the walls of the brain’s capillaries, prevents some substances from passing from the blood into the brain Cerebral cortex: the outer layer of the cerebral hemispheres of the brain, approximately 3mm thick Grey matter: the portions of the central nervous system that are abundant in cell bodies of neurons rather than axons. White matter: the portions of the central nervous system that are abundant in axons rather than cell bodies of neurons. The colour is from the presence of the axons’ myelin sheaths. Neuron: a nerve cell: consists of a cell body with dendrites and an axon whose branches end in terminal buttons that synapse with muscle fibers, gland cell of other neurons. Glial cell: a cell of the central nervous system that provides support for neurons and supplies them with some essential chemicals. Dendrite: a tree-like part of the neuron on which other neurons form synapses. Dendritic spine: (post-synaptic) a small bud-like protuberance on the surface of a neuron’s dendrite. Soma: a cell body, the largest part of a neuron. Axon: a long, thin part of a neuron attached to the soma, divides into a few or many branches, ending in terminal buttons. Terminal button: (pre-synaptic) the rounded swelling at the end of the axon of a neuron, releases transmitter substance. Neurotransmitter: a chemical released by the terminal buttons that causes the postsynaptic neuron to be excited of inhibited. Myelin sheath: the insulating material that encases most large axons. Action potential: a brief electrochemical event that is carried by an axon from the soma of the neuron to its terminal buttons, causes the release of a transmitter substance. Ion: a positively or negatively charged particle, produced when many substances dissolve in water. Ion channel: a special protein molecule located in the membrane of a cell, controls the entry or exit of particular ions. Ion transporter: a special protein molecule located in the membrane of a cell, actively transports ions into or out of a cell. All-or-none law: the principle that once an action potential is triggered in an axon, it is propagated, without getting smaller, to the end of the axon. Sensory neuron: a neuron that detects changes in the external or internal environment and sends info about these changes to the central nervous system. Motor neuron: a neuron whose terminal buttons form synapses with muscle fibers. When an action potential travels down its axon, the associated muscle fibers will twitch. Synapse: the junction between the terminal button of one neuron and the membrane of a muscle fiber, a gland, or another neuron. Presynaptic neuron: neuron that sends the messages and releases the neurotransmitter substance Postsynaptic neuron: neuron that receives the message and detects the neurotransmitter. Synaptic cleft: a fluid-filled space between the presynaptic and postsynaptic membranes: terminal button releases transmitter substance into this space. Neurotransmitter receptor: a special protein molecule located in the membrane of the postsynaptic neuron that responds to molecules of the neurotransmitter Reuptake: the process by which a terminal button retrieves the molecules of the transmitter substance that it has just released; terminating the effect of the transmitter substance on the receptors of the postsynaptic neuron. Glutamate: the most important excitatory neurotransmitter in the brain and spinal cord. GABA: the most important inhibitory neurotransmitter in the brain. Barbiturate: a drug that causes sedation, one of the several derivatives of barbituric acid. Antianxiety drug: a “tranquilizer” which reduces anxiety. Benzodiazepine: a class of drug having anxiolytic (tranquilizing) effects, such as Valium Acetylcholine (ACh): a neurotransmitter found in the brain, spinal cord, and parts of the peripheral nervous system: responsible for muscular contraction. Botulinum toxin: a drug that prevents the release of acetylcholine by terminal buttons. Black window venom: a drug that stimulates the release of ACh by terminal buttons. Neostigmine: a drug that enhances the effects of ACh by blocking the enzyme that destroys it. Nicotine: a drug that binds with and stimulates ACh receptors, mimicking the effects of the neurotransmitter. Curare: a drug that binds with and blocks ACh receptors, preventing the neurotransmitter from exerting its effects. Monoamine: a category of neurotransmitters that includes Dopamine, Norepinephrine, and Serotonin. Dopamine (DA): a monoamine neurotransmitter involved in control of brain mechanisms of movement and reinforcement. Parkinson’s disease: a neurological disorder characterized by tremors, rigidity of the limbs, poor balance, and difficulty initiating movements; caused by degeneration of a system of dopamine-secreting neurons. Norepinephrine (NE): a monoamine neurotransmitter involved in alertness and vi
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