Unit 3: Biological Base of Behavior

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Biological Psychology
a branch of psychology concerned with the links between biology and behavior
a nerve cell; the basic building block of the nervous system
sensory neuron
neurons that carry incoming information from the sensory receptors to the brain and spinal cord
motor neurons
neurons that carry outgoing from the brain and spinal cord to the muscles and glands
neurons within the brain and spinal cord that communicate internally and intervene between the sensory inputs and motor outputs
the bushy, branching extensions of a neurons that receive messages and conduct impulses toward the cell body
the extension of a neuron, ending in branching terminal fibers, through which messages pass to other neurons or to muscles or glands
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
action potential
a neural impulse; a brief electrical charge that travels down an axon
the level of stimulation required to trigger a neural impulse
the junction between the axon tip of the sending neuron and the dendrite or cell body of the receiving neuron.
chemical messages that cross the synaptic gaps between neurons. When released by the sending neuron, neurotransmitters travel across synapse and bind to receptor sites on the receiving neuron, thereby influencing whether that neuron will generate a neural impulse
a neurotransmitter's reabsorption by sending neuron
"morphine within" - natural, opiate like neurotransmitters linked to pain control and to pleasure
Nervous System
the body's speedy electrochemical communication network, consisting of all the nerve cells of the peripheral and central nervous systems
Central Nervous System(CNS)
the brain and spinal cord
peripheral nervous system(pns)
the sensory and motor neurons that connect the central nervous system(cns) to the rest of the body
bundled axons that form neural "cables" connecting the central nervous system with muscles, glands, and sense organs
somatic nervous system
the division of the peripheral nervous system that controls the body's skeletal muscles.
autonomic nervous system
the part of the peripheral nervous system that controls the glands and the muscles of the internal organs. Its sympathetic division arouses. Its parasympathetic division calms.
sympathetic nervous system
the division of the autonomic nervous system that arouses the body, mobilizing its energy in stressful situations
parasympathetic nervous system
the division of the autonomic nervous system that calms the body, conserving its energy
a simple, automatic response to a sensory stimulus, such as the knee-jerk response
endocrine system
the body's "slow" chemical communication system; a set of glands that secrete hormones into the bloodstream
chemical messengers that are manufactured by the endocrine glands, travel through the bloodstream, and affect other tissues
adrenal glads
a pair of endocrine glands that sit just above the kidneys and secrete hormones that help arouse the body in times of stress
pituitary gland
the endocrine system's most influential gland. under the influence of the hypothalamus, the pituitary regulates growth and controls other endocrine glands.
tissue destruction; a brain lesion is a naturally or experimentally caused destruction of brain tissue
an amplified recording of the waves of electrical activity that sweep across the brain's surface. these waves are measured by the electrodes placed on the scalp.
CT scan
a series of x-ray photographs taken from different angles and combined by computer into a composite representation of a slice through the body
PET scan
a visual display of brain activity that detects where a radioactive form of glucose goes while the brain performs a given task
a technique that uses magnetic fields and radio waves to produce computer-generated images of soft tissue. MRI scans show brain anatomy
a technique for revealing blood flow and, therefore, brain activity by comparing successive MRI scans. fMRI scans show brain function
the oldest part and central core of the brain, beginning where the spinal cord swells as it enters the skull; the brainstem is responsible for automatic survival functions
the base of the brainstem; controls heartbeat and breathing
reticular formation
a nerve network in the brainstem that plays an important role in controlling arousal
the brain's sensory switchboard, located on top of the brainstem; it directs messages to the sensory receiving areas in the cortex and transmits replies to the cerebellum and medulla
the "little brain" at the rear of the brainstem; function include processing sensory input and coordinating movement output and balance
limbic system
doughnut-shaped neural system located below the cerebral hemispheres; associated with emotions and drives
two lima bean-sized neural clusters in the limbic systems; linked to emotions
a neural structure lying below the thalamus; it directs several maintenance activities, helps govern the endocrine system via the pituitary gland, and is linked to emotion and reward
cerebral cortex
the intricate fabric of interconnected neural cells covering the cerebral hemisphere; the body's ultimate control and information-processing center
glial cells
cells in the nervous system that support, nourish, and protect neurons
frontal lobes
portion of the cerebral cortex lying just behind the forehead; involved in speaking and muscle movements and in making plans and judgements
parietal lobes
portion of the cerebral cortex lying at the top of the head and toward the rear; receives sensory input for touch and body position
occipital lobes
portion of the cerebral cortex lying at the back of the head; includes areas that receive information from the visual fields
temporal lobes
portion of the cerebral cortex lying roughly above the ears; includes the auditory areas, each receiving information primarily from the opposite ear
motor cortex
an area at the rear of the frontal lobes that controls voluntary movements
sensory cortex
area at the front of the parietal lobes that registers and processes body touch and movement sensations
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 speeking
impairment of language, usually caused by the left hemisphere damage either to Broca's area or to Wernicke's area
broca's area
controls language expression-an area, usually in the left frontal lobe, that directs the muscle movements involved in speech
wernicke's area
controls language reception-a brain area involved in language comprehension and expression; usually in the left temporal lobe
the brain's ability to change, especially during childhood, by reorganizing after damage or by building new pathways based on experience
the formation of new neurons
corpus callosum
the large band of neural fibers connecting the two brain hemispheres and carrying messages between them
split brain
a condition resulting from surgery that isolates the brain's two hemispheres by cutting the fibers connecting them
our awareness of ourselves and our enviroment
cognitive neuroscience
the interdisciplinary study of the brain activity linked with cognition
dual processing
the principle that information is often simultaneously processed on separate conscious and unconscious tracks
behavior genetics
the study of the relative power and limits of genetic and environmental influences on behavior
every non-genetic influence, from prenatal nutrition to the people and things around us
threadlike structures made of DNA molecules that contain the genes
DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid)
a complex molecule containing the genetic information that makes up the chromosomes
the biochemical units of heredity that make up the chromosomes; segments of DNA capable of synthesizing a protein
the complete instructions for making an organism, consisting of all the genetic material in that organism's chromosomes
identical twins
twins who develop from a single fertilized egg that splits in two, creating two genetically identical organisms
fraternal twins
twins who develop from separate fertilized egg. They are genetically no closer than brothers and sisters, but they share a fetal environment
the proportion of variation among individuals that we can attribute to genes. This thing of trait may vary, depending on the range of populations and environments studied
the interplay that occurs when the effect of one factor depends on another factor
molecular genetics
the subfield of biology that studies the molecular structure and function of genes
evolutionary psychology
the study of the ________ of behavior and the mind, using principles of natural selection
natural selection
the principle that, among the range of the inherited trait variations, those that lead to increased reproduction and survival will most likely be passed on to succeeding generation
a random error in gene replication that leads to a change
How is the body made?
Tiny cells organize to create organs, Organs form a system(like digestion), and these Systems form the individual