chapter 3 terms

  1. nervous system
    the body's electrochemical communication circuitry
  2. plasticity
    the brain's special capacity for change
  3. afferent nerves
    also called sensory nerves; nerves that carry information about the external environment to the brain and spinal cord via sensory receptors
  4. efferent nerves
    also called motor nerves; nerves that carry info out of the brain to the spinal cord to other areas of the body
  5. central nervous system
    the brain and spinal cord
  6. peripheral nervous system
    the network of nerves that connects the brain and spinal cord to other parts of the body
  7. somatic nervous system
    the body system consisting of the sensory nerves, whose function is to convey information from the skin and muscles to the CNS about conditions such as pain and temperature, and the motor nerves, whose function is to tell muscles what to do
  8. autonomic nervous system
    the body system that takes messages to and from the body's internal organs, monitoring such processes as breathing, heart rate, and digestion
  9. sypathetic nervous system
    the part of the autonomic nervous system that arouses the body
  10. parasympathetic nervous system
    the part fo the autonomic nervous system that calms the body
  11. neurons
    one of two types of cells in the nervous system; neurons are the nerve cells that handle the information-processing function
  12. glial cells
    also called glia; the second fo two types of cells in the nervous system; glial cells provide support, nutritional benefits, and other functions and keep neurons running smoothly
  13. cell body
    the part of the neuron that contains the nucleus, which directs the manufacture of substances that the neuron needs for growth and maintenance
  14. dendrites
    treelike fibers projecting from a neuron, which receive information and orient it toward the neuron's cell body
  15. axon
    the part of the neuron that carries information away from the cell body toward other cells
  16. myelin sheath
    a layer of fat cells that encases and insulates most axons
  17. resting potential
    in an inactive neuron, the voltage between the inside and outside of the axon wall
  18. action potential
    the brief wave of positive electrical charge that sweeps down the axon
  19. all-or-nothing principle
    the principle that once the electrical impulse reaches a certain level of intensity, it fires and moves all the way down the axon without losing any intensity
  20. synapses
    tiny spaces between neurons; the gaps between neurons are referred to as synaptic gaps
  21. neurotransmitters
    chemical substances that are stored in very tiny sacs within the terminal buttons and involved in transmitting information across a synaptic gap to the next neuron
  22. acetylcholine
    stimulates the firing of neurons and is involved in muscle action, learning and memory
  23. GABA
    found throughout the central nervous system
  24. glutamate
    has a key role in exciting many neurons to fire and is especially involved in learning and memory
  25. norepinephrine
    inhibits firing of the CNS but excites the hart muscle, intestines, and urogenital tract
  26. dopamine
    helps control voluntary movement and affects sleep, mood, attention, learning and the ability to recognize opportunities for rewarding experiences in the environment
  27. serotonin
    involved in the regulation of sleep, mood, attention, and learning
  28. endorphins
    natural opiates, substances that depress nervous system activity and eliminate pain
  29. neural networks
    networks of nerve cells that integrate sensory input and motor output
  30. oxytocin
    hormone and neurotransmitter that plays an important role in the experience fo love and social bonding
  31. hindbrain
    located at the skull's rear, the lowest portion of the brain, consisting of the medulla, cerebellum, and pons
  32. brain stem
    the stemlike brain area that includes much of the hindbrain and the midbrain; it connects with the spinal cord at its lower end and then extends upward to encase the reticular formation in the midbrain
  33. midbrain
    located between the hindbrain and forebrain, an area in which many nerve-fiber systems ascend and descend to connect the higher and lower portions of the brain; in particular, the midbrain relays information between the brain and the eyes and the ears
  34. reticular formation
    a system in the midbrain comprising a diffuse collection of neurons involved in stereotyped patterns of behavior such as walking, sleeping, and turning to attend ot a sudden noise.
  35. forebrain
    the brain's largest division and its most forward part
  36. limbic system
    a loosely connected network of structures under the cerebral cortex, important in both memory and emotion. its two principal structures are the amygdala and the hippocampus
  37. amygdala
    an almond-shaped structure within the base of the temporal lobe that is involved in the discrimination of objects that are necessary for the organism's' survival, such as appropriate food, mates, and social rivals
  38. hippocampus
    the structure in the limbic system that has a special role in the storage of memories
  39. thalamus
    the forebrain structure that sits at the top of the brain stem in the brain's central core and serves as an important relay station
  40. basal ganglia
    large neuron clusters located above the thalamus and under the cerebral cortex that work with the cerebellum and the cerebral cortex to control and coordinate voluntary movements
  41. hypothalamus
    a small forebrain structure, located just below the thalamus, that monitors three pleasurable activities-eating, drinking and sex as well as emotion, stress and reward
  42. cerebral cortex
    part of the forebrain, the outer layer of the brain, responsible for the most complex mental functions, such as thinking and planning
  43. neocortex
    the outermost part of the cerebral cortex, making up 80% of the cortex in the human brain
  44. occipital lobes
    structures located at the back of the head that respond to visual stimuli
  45. temporal lobes
    structures in the cerebral cortex that are located just above the ears and are involved in hearing, language processing, and memory
  46. frontal lobes
    the portion of the cerebral cortex behind the forehead, involved in perosnality, intelligence, and the control of voluntary muscles
  47. parietal lobes
    structures at the top and toward the rear of the head that are involved in registering spatial location, attention, and motor control
  48. somatosensory cortex
    a region in the cerebral cortex that processes information about body sensations, located at the fron of the parietal lobes
  49. motor cortex
    a region in the cerebral cortex that processes information about voluntary movement, located just behind the frontal lobes
  50. association cortex
    sometimes called association areas, the region of the cerebral cortex that is the site of the highest intellectual functions, such as thinking and problem solving
  51. corpus callosum
    the large bundle of axons that connects the brain's two hemispheres, responsible for relaying information between the two sides
  52. endocrine system
    the body system consisting of a set of glands that regulate the activities of certain organs by releasing their chemical products into the bloodstream
  53. glands
    organs or tissues in the body that create chemicals that control many of our bodily functions
  54. hormones
    chemical messangers that are produced by the endocrine glands and carried by the bloodstream to all parts of the body
  55. pituitary gland
    a pea-sized gland just beneath the hypothalamus that controls growth and regulates other glands
  56. adrenal glands
    glands at the top of each kidney that are responsible for regulating moods, energy level, and the ability to cope with stress
  57. pancreas
    a dual-purpose gland under the stomach that performs both digestive and endocrine funcitons
  58. ovaries
    sex-related endocrine glands in the scrotum that produce hormones related to womens's sexual development and reproduction
  59. testes
    sex-related endocrine glands in the scrotum that produce hormones related to men's sexual development and reproduction
  60. stem cells
    unique primitive cells that have the capacity to develop into most types of human cells
  61. chromosomes
    in the human cell, threadlike structures that come in 23 pairs, one member of each pair originating from each parent, and that contain the remarkable substance DNA
  62. deoxyribonucleic acid
    a complex molecule in the cell's chromosomes that carries genetic information
  63. genes
    the units of hereditary information, consisting of short segments of chromosomes composed of DNA
  64. dominant-recessive genes principle
    the principle that, if one gene of a pair is dominant and one is recessive, the dominant gene overrides the recessive gene. a recessive gene exerts its influence only if both genes of a pari are recessive
  65. genotype
    an individual's genetic heritage; his or her actual genetic material
  66. phenotype
    an individual's observable characteristics
  67. stress
    the responses of individuals to environmental stressors
  68. stressors
    circumstances and events that threaten individuals and tax their coping abilities adn that cause physiological changes to ready the body to handle the assault of stress
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chapter 3 terms