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Chapter 2: Biology and Psychology - Flashcards

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Class:PSYC 050 - Intro to Psychology
Subject:Psychology
University:Howard University
Term:Fall 2012
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Neurons a specialized cell of the nervous system that transmits messages.
Glial cells cells that nourish and insulate neurons, direct their growth, and remove waste products from the nervous system.
Dendrites root-like structures, attached to the cell body of a neuron, that receive impulses from other neurons.
Axon a long, thin part of a neuron that transmits impulses to other neurons from branching structures called terminal buttons.
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Myelin A fatty substance that encases and insulates axons, facilitating transmission of neutral impulses.
Afferent neurons neurons that transmit messages from sensory receptors to the spinal cord and brain. Also called sensory neurons.
Efferent neurons neurons that transmit messages from the brain or spinal cord to muscles and glands. Also called motor neurons.
Neural impulse the electrochemical discharge of a nerve cell, or neuron.
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Polarize to ready a neuron for firing by creating an internal negative charge in relation to the body fluid outside the cell membrane.
Resting potential the electrical potential across the neural membrane when it is not responding to other neurons.
Depolarize to reduce the resting potential of a cell membrane from about 70 millivolts toward zero.
Action potential the electrical impulse that provides the basis for the conduction of a neural impulse along an axon of a neuron.
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All-or-None principle the fact that a neuron fires an impulse of the same strength whenever its action potential is triggered.
Refractory period a phase following firing during which a neuron is less sensitive to messages from other neurons and will not fire.
Synapse a junction between the axon terminals of one neuron and the dendrites or cell body of another neuron.
Neurotransmitters chemical substances involved in the transmission of neural impulses from one neuron to another.
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Receptor site a location on a dendrite of a receiving neuron tailored to receive a neurotransmitter.
Acetylcholine (ACh) a neurotransmitter that controls muscle contractions.
Dopamine a neurotransmitter that is involved in Parkinson's disease and that appears to play a role in schizophrenia.
Hippocampus a part of the limbic system of the brain that is involved in memory formation.

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Norepinephrine a neurotransmitter whose action is similar to that of the hormone epinephrine and that may play a role in depression.
Serotonin a neurotransmitter, deficiencies of which have been linked to affective disorders, anxiety, and insomnia.
Gamma-aminobutyric acid an inhibitory neurotransmitter that apparently helps calm anxiety
Endorphins neurotransmitters that are composed of amino acids and that are functionally similar to morphine.
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Nerve a bundle of axons from many neurons
Central nervous system the brain and spinal cord
Peripheral nervous system The part of the nervous system consisting of the somatic nervous system and the autonomic nervous system.
Somatic nervous system the division of the peripheral nervous system that connects the central nervous system with sensory receptors, skeletal muscles, and the surface of the body.
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Autonomic nervous system (ANS) the division of the peripheral nervous system that regulates glands and activities such as heartbeat, respiration, digestion, and dilation of the pupils.
Sympathetic the branch of the ANS that is most active during emotional responses, such as fear and anxiety, that spend the body's reserves of energy.
Parasympathetic the branch of the ANS that is most active during processes (such as digestion) that restore the body's reserves of energy.
Spinal cord A column of nerves that transmits messages from sensory receptors to the brain and from the brain to muscles and glands throughout the body.
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Spinal reflex a simple, unlearned response to a stimulus that may involve only two neurons.
Gray matter in the spinal cord, the grayish neurons and neural segments that are involved in spinal reflexes.
White matter in the spinal cord, axon bundles that carry messages from and to the brain
Computerizes axial tomography (CAT scan) a method of brain imaging that passes a narrow X-ray beam through the head and measures structures that reflect the rays from various angles, enabling a computer to generate a three-dimensional image.
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Positron emission tomography (PET scan) a method of brain imaging that injects a radioactive tracer into the bloodstream and assesses activity of parts of the brain according to the amount of glucose they metabolize.
Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) A method of brain imaging that places a person in a magnetic field and uses radio waves to cause the brain to emit signals that reveal shifts in the flow of blood which, in turn, indicate brain activity.
Medulla an oblong area of the hindbrain involved in regulation of heartbeat and respiration.
Pons a structure of the hindbrain involved in respiration, attention, and sleep and dreaming.
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Cerebellum a part of the hindbrain involved in muscle coordination and balance.
Reticular activating system (RAS) a part of the brain involved in attention, sleep, and arousal.
Thalamus the area near the center of the brain involved in the relay of sensory information to the cortex and in the functions of sleep and attention.
Hypothalamus a bundle of nuclei below the thalamus involved in body temperature, motivation, and emotion.
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Limbic system a group of structures involved in the memory, motivation, and emotion that forms a fringe along the inner edge of the cerebrum.
Amygdala A part of the limbic system that apparently facilitates stereotypucal aggressive responses.
Cerebrum the large mass of the forebrain, which consists of two hemispheres.
Cerebral cortex the wrinkled surface area (gray matter) of the cerebrum.
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Corpus callosum a thick fiber bundle that connects the hemispheres of the cortex.
Somatosensory cortex the section of the cortex in which sensory stimulation is projected. It lies just behind the central fissure in the parietal lobe.
Motor cortex the section of cortex that lies in the frontal lobe, just across the central fissure from the sensory cortex. Neural impulses in the motor cortex are linked to muscular responses throughout the body.
Aphasia A disruption in the ability to understand or produce language.
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Wernicke's aphasia a language disorder characterize by difficulty comprehending the meaning of spoken language.
Broca's aphasia a language disorder characterized by slow laborious speech.
Epilepsy temporary disturbances of brain functions that involve sudden neural discharges.
gland an organ that secretes one or more chemical substances such as hormones, saliva, or milk
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Endocrine system the body's system of ductless glands that secrete hormones and release them directly into the bloodstream
Hormone a substance secreted by an endrocrine gland that regulates various body functions.
Pituitary gland the gland that secretes growth hormone, prolactin, antidiuretic hormone, and other hormones.
Natural selection a core concept of the theory of evolution that holds that adaptive genetic variations among members of a species enable individuals with those variations to survive and reproduce.
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Mutation a sudden variation in an inheritable characteristic, as distinguished from a variation that results from generations of gradual selection.
Evolutionary Psychology the branch of psychology that studies the ways in which adaptation and natural selection are connected with mental processes and behavior.
Species a category of biological classification consisting of related organisms who are capable of interbreeding.
Instinct a stereotypes pattern of behavior that is triggered by a particular stimulus and nearly identical among members of a species, even when they are reared in isolation.
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Heredity the transmission of traits from parent to offspring by means of genes.
Genetics the area of biology that focuses on heredity
Gene a basic unit of heredity, which is found at a specific point on a chromosome.
Chromosome a microscopic rod-shaped body in the cell nucleus carrying genes that transmit hereditary traits from generation to generation. Humans normally have 46 chromosomes.
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DNA an acronym for deoxyribonucleic acid, the substance that forms the basic material of chromosomes. It takes the form of a double helix and contains genetic code.
Polygenic referring to traits that are influences by combinations of genes. Genotype One's genetic makeup, based on the sequencing of the nucleotides we term A, C, G, and T.
Phenotype One's actual development and appearance, as based on one's genotype and environmental influences.
Nature the inborn, innate character of an organism.
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Nurture the sum total of the environmental factors that affect an organism from conception onward.
Sex chromosomes the 23rd pair of chromosomes, whose genetic material determines the sex of the individual.
Down syndrome a condition caused by an extra chromosome on the 21st pair and characterized by mental deficiency, a broad face, and slanting eyes.
Monozygotic (MZ) twins twins that develop from a single fertilized ovum that divides in two early in prenatal development. MZ twins thus share the same genetic code. Also called identical twins.
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Dizygotic (DZ) twins twins that develop from two fertilized ova and who are thus as closely related as brothers and sisters in general. Also called fraternal twins.
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 Neuronsa specialized cell of the nervous system that transmits messages.
 Glial cellscells that nourish and insulate neurons, direct their growth, and remove waste products from the nervous system.
 Dendritesroot-like structures, attached to the cell body of a neuron, that receive impulses from other neurons.
 Axona long, thin part of a neuron that transmits impulses to other neurons from branching structures called terminal buttons.
 MyelinA fatty substance that encases and insulates axons, facilitating transmission of neutral impulses.
 Afferent neuronsneurons that transmit messages from sensory receptors to the spinal cord and brain. Also called sensory neurons.
 Efferent neuronsneurons that transmit messages from the brain or spinal cord to muscles and glands. Also called motor neurons.
 Neural impulsethe electrochemical discharge of a nerve cell, or neuron.
 Polarizeto ready a neuron for firing by creating an internal negative charge in relation to the body fluid outside the cell membrane.
 Resting potentialthe electrical potential across the neural membrane when it is not responding to other neurons.
 Depolarizeto reduce the resting potential of a cell membrane from about 70 millivolts toward zero.
 Action potentialthe electrical impulse that provides the basis for the conduction of a neural impulse along an axon of a neuron.
 All-or-None principlethe fact that a neuron fires an impulse of the same strength whenever its action potential is triggered.
 Refractory perioda phase following firing during which a neuron is less sensitive to messages from other neurons and will not fire.
 Synapsea junction between the axon terminals of one neuron and the dendrites or cell body of another neuron.
 Neurotransmitterschemical substances involved in the transmission of neural impulses from one neuron to another.
 Receptor sitea location on a dendrite of a receiving neuron tailored to receive a neurotransmitter.
 Acetylcholine (ACh)a neurotransmitter that controls muscle contractions.
 Dopaminea neurotransmitter that is involved in Parkinson's disease and that appears to play a role in schizophrenia.
 Hippocampusa part of the limbic system of the brain that is involved in memory formation.

 Norepinephrinea neurotransmitter whose action is similar to that of the hormone epinephrine and that may play a role in depression.
 Serotonina neurotransmitter, deficiencies of which have been linked to affective disorders, anxiety, and insomnia.
 Gamma-aminobutyric acidan inhibitory neurotransmitter that apparently helps calm anxiety
 Endorphinsneurotransmitters that are composed of amino acids and that are functionally similar to morphine.
 Nervea bundle of axons from many neurons
 Central nervous systemthe brain and spinal cord
 Peripheral nervous systemThe part of the nervous system consisting of the somatic nervous system and the autonomic nervous system.
 Somatic nervous systemthe division of the peripheral nervous system that connects the central nervous system with sensory receptors, skeletal muscles, and the surface of the body.
 Autonomic nervous system (ANS)the division of the peripheral nervous system that regulates glands and activities such as heartbeat, respiration, digestion, and dilation of the pupils.
 Sympatheticthe branch of the ANS that is most active during emotional responses, such as fear and anxiety, that spend the body's reserves of energy.
 Parasympatheticthe branch of the ANS that is most active during processes (such as digestion) that restore the body's reserves of energy.
 Spinal cordA column of nerves that transmits messages from sensory receptors to the brain and from the brain to muscles and glands throughout the body.
 Spinal reflexa simple, unlearned response to a stimulus that may involve only two neurons.
 Gray matterin the spinal cord, the grayish neurons and neural segments that are involved in spinal reflexes.
 White matterin the spinal cord, axon bundles that carry messages from and to the brain
 Computerizes axial tomography (CAT scan)a method of brain imaging that passes a narrow X-ray beam through the head and measures structures that reflect the rays from various angles, enabling a computer to generate a three-dimensional image.
 Positron emission tomography (PET scan)a method of brain imaging that injects a radioactive tracer into the bloodstream and assesses activity of parts of the brain according to the amount of glucose they metabolize.
 Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI)A method of brain imaging that places a person in a magnetic field and uses radio waves to cause the brain to emit signals that reveal shifts in the flow of blood which, in turn, indicate brain activity.
 Medullaan oblong area of the hindbrain involved in regulation of heartbeat and respiration.
 Ponsa structure of the hindbrain involved in respiration, attention, and sleep and dreaming.
 Cerebelluma part of the hindbrain involved in muscle coordination and balance.
 Reticular activating system (RAS)a part of the brain involved in attention, sleep, and arousal.
 Thalamusthe area near the center of the brain involved in the relay of sensory information to the cortex and in the functions of sleep and attention.
 Hypothalamusa bundle of nuclei below the thalamus involved in body temperature, motivation, and emotion.
 Limbic systema group of structures involved in the memory, motivation, and emotion that forms a fringe along the inner edge of the cerebrum.
 AmygdalaA part of the limbic system that apparently facilitates stereotypucal aggressive responses.
 Cerebrumthe large mass of the forebrain, which consists of two hemispheres.
 Cerebral cortexthe wrinkled surface area (gray matter) of the cerebrum.
 Corpus callosuma thick fiber bundle that connects the hemispheres of the cortex.
 Somatosensory cortexthe section of the cortex in which sensory stimulation is projected. It lies just behind the central fissure in the parietal lobe.
 Motor cortexthe section of cortex that lies in the frontal lobe, just across the central fissure from the sensory cortex. Neural impulses in the motor cortex are linked to muscular responses throughout the body.
 AphasiaA disruption in the ability to understand or produce language.
 Wernicke's aphasiaa language disorder characterize by difficulty comprehending the meaning of spoken language.
 Broca's aphasiaa language disorder characterized by slow laborious speech.
 Epilepsytemporary disturbances of brain functions that involve sudden neural discharges.
 glandan organ that secretes one or more chemical substances such as hormones, saliva, or milk
 Endocrine systemthe body's system of ductless glands that secrete hormones and release them directly into the bloodstream
 Hormonea substance secreted by an endrocrine gland that regulates various body functions.
 Pituitary glandthe gland that secretes growth hormone, prolactin, antidiuretic hormone, and other hormones.
 Natural selectiona core concept of the theory of evolution that holds that adaptive genetic variations among members of a species enable individuals with those variations to survive and reproduce.
 Mutationa sudden variation in an inheritable characteristic, as distinguished from a variation that results from generations of gradual selection.
 Evolutionary Psychologythe branch of psychology that studies the ways in which adaptation and natural selection are connected with mental processes and behavior.
 Speciesa category of biological classification consisting of related organisms who are capable of interbreeding.
 Instincta stereotypes pattern of behavior that is triggered by a particular stimulus and nearly identical among members of a species, even when they are reared in isolation.
 Hereditythe transmission of traits from parent to offspring by means of genes.
 Geneticsthe area of biology that focuses on heredity
 Genea basic unit of heredity, which is found at a specific point on a chromosome.
 Chromosomea microscopic rod-shaped body in the cell nucleus carrying genes that transmit hereditary traits from generation to generation. Humans normally have 46 chromosomes.
 DNAan acronym for deoxyribonucleic acid, the substance that forms the basic material of chromosomes. It takes the form of a double helix and contains genetic code.
 Polygenicreferring to traits that are influences by combinations of genes. Genotype One's genetic makeup, based on the sequencing of the nucleotides we term A, C, G, and T.
 PhenotypeOne's actual development and appearance, as based on one's genotype and environmental influences.
 Naturethe inborn, innate character of an organism.
 Nurturethe sum total of the environmental factors that affect an organism from conception onward.
 Sex chromosomesthe 23rd pair of chromosomes, whose genetic material determines the sex of the individual.
 Down syndromea condition caused by an extra chromosome on the 21st pair and characterized by mental deficiency, a broad face, and slanting eyes.
 Monozygotic (MZ) twinstwins that develop from a single fertilized ovum that divides in two early in prenatal development. MZ twins thus share the same genetic code. Also called identical twins.
 Dizygotic (DZ) twinstwins that develop from two fertilized ova and who are thus as closely related as brothers and sisters in general. Also called fraternal twins.
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