Psych3: Biological Foundations

  1. synesthesia
    • when a visual image has a taste
    • synesthetes (a person who experiences this)
  2. chromosomes
    • structures within a cell body that are made up of genes
    • humans have 23 pairs, half of each chromosome from each parent
    • made up of DNA
  3. gene
    the unity of heredity that determines a particular characteristic in an organism
  4. proteins
    basic chemicals that make up the structure of cells and direct their activities
  5. selective breeding
    Mendel's experimental technique that controlled which plants bred with other plants
  6. dominant gene
    a gene that is expressed in an offspring whenever it is present
  7. recessive gene
    a gene that is expressed only when it is matched with a similar gene from the other parent
  8. genotype
    the genetic constitution determined at the moment of conception
  9. phenotype
    observable physical characteristics that result from both genetic and environmental influences
  10. polygenic
    characteristic is influenced by many genes (like skin tones)
  11. gametes
    egg and sperm cells - which contain half of every chromosome pair
  12. zygote
    a fertilized cell (egg and sperm) combine chromosomes to result in 23 pairs

    (from any two parents, 8 million different combinations of the 23 chromosomes are possible)
  13. cell division
    chromosomes duplicate and cells splitinto two identical ones
  14. mutations
    errors that occur during cell division
  15. industrial melanism
    lighter moths survived before industrialization, but darker ones thrived afterward due to the soot and smog in the air
  16. sickle-cell disease
    • affects the bloodstream's processing of oxygen
    • occurs mainly in African Americans, and is recessive

    if one has only one gene of sickle-cell disease, one is resistant to malaria
  17. behavioral genetics
    study of how genes and environment interact to influence psychological activity
  18. twin studies
    compare similarities between different types of twins to determine the genetic basis of specific traits
  19. monozygotic (identical) twins
    result from one zygote splitting into two
  20. dizygotic (fraternal or nonidentical) twins
    two zygotes develop at the same time
  21. adoption studies
    compare similarities between biological relatives and adoptive relatives
  22. heritability
    a statistical estimate of the variation caused by differences in heredity, in a trait within a population
  23. heredity
    transmission of characteristics from parents to offspring by means of genes
  24. variation
    measure of the overall difference among a group of people for that particular trait
  25. neurons
    basic unit of the nervous system; it operates through electrical impulses, which communicate with other neurons through chemical signals. Neurons receive, integrate, and transmit information in the nervous system

    • reception: take in information
    • conduction: integrating those signals
    • transmission: passing signals to other neurons

    • three types of Neurons:
    • sensory, motor, & interneurons
  26. sensory (afferent) neurons
    detect information from the physical world and pass that information along to the brain

    somatosensory neurons: those that provide information form the muscles (for sensations felt within the body)
  27. motor (efferent) neurons
    direct muscles to contract or relax, which produces movement
  28. interneurons
    communicate only with other neurons, typically within the same brain region
  29. neural networks
    neurons communicate with other neurons to form circuits
  30. dendrites
    branchlike extensions of the neuron that detect information from other neurons
  31. cell body
    in the neuron, where information from thousands of other neurons is collected and processed
  32. axon
    a long, narrow outgrowth of a neuron by which information is transmitted to other neurons
  33. terminal buttons
    small nodules, at the ends of axons, that release chemical signals from the neuron to the synapse
  34. synapse, or synaptic cleft
    the site for chemical communication between neurons, which contains extracellular fluid
  35. myelin sheath
    a fatty material, made up of glial cells, that insulates the axon and allows for the rapid movement of electrical impulses along the axon
  36. nodes of Ranvier
    small gpas of exposed axon, between the segments of myelin sheath, where action potentials are transmitted
  37. nerve
    a bundle of axons that carry information between the brain and other places in the body
  38. resting membrane potential
    electrical charge of a neuron when it is not active
  39. polarization
    changing the differential electrical charge inside (more negative) and outside the neuron which creates the electrical energy needed to power the firing of the neuron
  40. ion channels
    where ions pass through the cell membrane of the axon at the nodes of Ranvier

    allow or does not allow passage of potassium and sodium ions

    • sodium: positively charged (let in to fire neuron)
    • potassium: negatively charged (let out to fire neuron)
  41. action potential (neural firing)
    neural/electrical impulse that passes along the axon and subsequently causes the release of chemicals from the terminal buttons
  42. excitatory and inhibitory signals
    excitatory: depolarize the cell membrane and increase likelihood that the neuron will fire

    inhibitory: hyperpolarize the cell membrane and decrease likelihood that the neuron will fire
  43. propagation
    action of cell membrane's depolarization moves along axon like a wave
  44. all-or-none principle
    a neuron fires with the same potency every time, although frequency can vary; it either fires or it doesn't - it cannot partially fire
  45. presynaptic neuron and postsynaptic neuron
    presynaptic: neuron that send the signal to the next neuron

    postsynaptic: neuron that receives the signal of the previous neuron
  46. neurotransmitters
    chemical substance that carries signals from one neuron to another
  47. receptors
    in neurons, specialized protein molecules, on the postsynaptic membrane, that neurotransmitters bind to after passing through the synaptic cleft

    each can only be influenced by one specific type of neurotransmitter
  48. reuptake
    the process whereby a neurotransmitter is taken back into the presynaptic terminal buttons, thereby stopping its activity
  49. enzyme deactivation
    enzymes destroy the transmitter substance in the synaptic cleft
  50. autoreceptors
    monitor how much neurotransmitter has been released and once excess is detected, it tells the presynaptic neuron to stop releasing the neurotransmitter
  51. agonist drugs
    any drug that enhances the actions of a specific neurotransmitter
  52. antagonist drug
    any drug that inhibits the action of a specific neurotransmitter
  53. acetylcholine neurotransmitter (ACh)
    neurotransmitter responsible for motor control at the junction between nerves and muscles; also involved in mental processes such as learning, memory, sleeping, and dreaming
  54. epinephrine neurotransmitter
    neurotransmitter responsible for adrenaline rushes, bursts of energy caused by its release throughout the body
  55. noreinephrine neurotransmitter
    neurotransmitter involves in states of arousal and awareness
  56. serotonin neurotransmitter
    monoamine neurotransmitter important for a wide range of psychological activity, including emotion states, impulse control, and dreaming
  57. dopamine neurotransmitter
    monoamine neurotransmitter  involved in reward, motivation, and motor control
  58. Parkinson's Diseaseby
    neurological disorder that seems to be caused by dopamine depletion, marked by muscular rigidity, tremors, and difficulty initiating voluntary action
  59. GABA (gamma-aminobutyric acid)
    primary inhibitory tansmitter in the nervous system
  60. glutamate
    primary excitatory transmitter in the nervous system
  61. endorphins
    neurotransmitter involved in natural pain reduction and reward
  62. substance P
    neurotransmitter involved in pain perception
  63. central nervous system (CNS)
    brain and spinal cord
  64. peripheral nervous system (PNS)
    all nerve cells in the body that are not part of the central nervous system. includes the somatic and autonomic nervous systems
  65. equipotentiality
    (wrong) idea that all areas are equally important in cognitive activities such as problem solving and memory
  66. phrenology
    • (Johann Spurzheim)
    • practice of assessing personality traits and mental abilities by measuring bumps on the human skull
  67. Broca's area
    left frontal region of the brain, crucial for production of language
  68. 2 brain tissues:
    gray matter and white matter
    gray matter: neruons' cell bodies

    white matter: axons and fatty sheaths that surround them
  69. brainstem
    a section of the bottom of the brain, housing the most basic programs of survival, such as breathing, swallowing, vomiting, urination, and orgasm

    • consists of the:
    • medulla oblongata, pons, and midbrain

    reticular formation: networks of neurons that project up into the cerebral cortex  and affect general alertness
  70. cerebellum
    large, convoluted protuberance at the back of the brainstem, essential for coordinated movement and balance
  71. forebrain
    area above the brainstem and cerebellum which consists of two cerebral hemispheres

    includes the cerebral cortex
  72. subcortical regions
    areas of the brain that lie under the cortex

    hypothalamus, thalamus, hippocampus, amygdala, basal ganglia
  73. limbic system
    limbic: "border"

    separates the evolutionarily older (brain stem and cerebellum) and newer (cerebral cortex) parts of the brain

    control basic drives, such as eating, drinking, and controlling emotions
  74. hypothalamus
    small brain structure that is vital for temperature regulation, emotion, sexual behavior, and motivation
  75. thalamus
    the gateway to the brain; it receives almost all incoming sensory information before that information reaches the cortex
  76. hippocampus
    a brain structure important for the formation of certain types of memory
  77. amygdala
    a brain structure that serves a vital role in our learning to associate things with emotional responses and in processing emotional information
  78. basal ganglia
    system of subcortical structures that are important for the initiation of planned movement

    nucleus accumbens: one structure that is important for experiencing reward
  79. cerebral cortex
    outer layer of the brain tissue, which forms the convoluted surface of the brain (the wrinkled part of the brain)
  80. occipital lobe
    region of the cerebral cortex, at the back of the brain, important for vision
  81. parietal lobe
    region of the cerebral cortex, in front of the occipital lobes and behind the frontal lobes, important for the sense of touch and of the spacial layout of an environment

    primary somatosensory cortex: part of the parietal lobe devoted to touch (right side of body reports to left side of brain.. etc)

    somatosensory homunculus: "little man" distorted because more cortical area is devoted to more sensitive areas, such as face and fingers
  82. temporal lobes
    lower region of cerebral cortex, important for processing auditory information and for memory

    fusiform face area: active when people look at faces
  83. frontal lobes
    region at front of cerebral cortex concerned with planning and movement
  84. prefrontal cortex
    region of frontal cortex lobes, especially prominent in humans, important for attention, working memory, decision making, appropriate social behavior, and personality
  85. lobotomy
    deliberately damaging the prefrontal cortex, to treat mental patients, leaving them lethargic and emotionally flat
  86. somatic nervous system
    major component of the peripheral nervous system; it transmits sensory signals to the CNS via nerves
  87. autonomic nervous system (ANS)
    major component of the peripheral nervous system; it regulates the body;s internal environment by stimulating glands and by maintaining internal organs such as the heart, gall bladder, and stomach

    carries somatosensory signals to CNS

    sympathetic and parasympathetic divisions
  88. sympathetic division of ANS
    division of the ANS that prepares the body for action
  89. parasympathetic division of ANS
    division of the ANS that returns the body to its resting state
  90. endocrine system
    communication system that uses hormones to influence thoughts, behaviors, and actions
  91. hormones
    chemical substances, typically released from endocrine glands, that travel through the bloodstream, to targeted tissues, which are subsequently influenced by the hormones
  92. gonads
    the main endocrine glands involved in sexual behavior: in males, the testes, in females, the ovaries

    androgens: such as testosterone, more prevalent in males

    estrogens: such as progesterone, more prevalent in females

    • castration: surgical removal of the testes
    • estrus: when female animals are in heat
  93. pituitary gland
    located at base of hypothalamus; the gland that sends hormonal signals controlling the release of hormones from endocrine glands
  94. plasticity
    property of the brain that allows it to change as a result of experience, drugs, or injury
  95. cultural neuroscience
    studies cultural variables' effects on the brain, mind, genes, and behaviors
  96. radical hemispherectomy
    surgical removal of an entire cerebral hemisphere to avoid epilepsy and paralysis in some limbs due to the epilepsy
  97. stem cells
    "master cells" that can regenerate themselves, and can develop into any type of tissue, such as muscle or nerve cells
Card Set
Psych3: Biological Foundations
Psychology Chapter 3 - Biological Foundations