Psychology Chapter 3 (set 1 of 2)

Victoria hamm
Flashcards by Victoria hamm, updated more than 1 year ago
Victoria hamm
Created by Victoria hamm almost 4 years ago


A review of the key terms from chapter 3, Psyc 260

Resource summary

Question Answer
acetylcholine (ACh): One of seven major neurotransmitters. -controls muscle movement and plays a role in mental processes such as learning, memory, attention, sleeping, and dreaming.
action potential the impulse of positive charge that runs down an axon.
adoption studies research into hereditary influence in which adopted people are compared to their biological and adoptive parents.
alleles pairs or alternate forms of a gene.
all-or-none principle the idea that once the threshold has been crossed, an action potential either fires or it does not; there is no half-way.
Amygdala a small, almond-shaped structure located directly in front of the hippocampus; has connections with many important brain regions and is important for processing emotional information, especially that related to fear.
antisense synthetic DNA sequence used to block the expression of a gene.
aphasia deficit in the ability to speak or comprehend language.
arborization the growth & formation of new dendrites
association cortex cortical areas that do not produce movement or sensation when stimulated; involved in complex perception and thought.
autonomic nervous system (ANS) all the nerves of the peripheral nervous system that serve involuntary systems of the body, such as the internal organs and glands.
axon a long projection that extends from a neuron’s soma; it transmits electrical impulses toward the adjacent neuron & stimulates the release of neurotransmitters.
basal ganglia a collection of structures surrounding the thalamus involved in voluntary motor control.
behavioural genetics the scientific study of the role of heredity in behaviour
Broca’s area an area in the left frontal lobe responsible for the ability to produce speech
central nervous system (CNS) the part of the nervous system that comprises the brain and spinal cord.
cerebellum a hind-brain structure involved in body movement, balance, coordination, fine-tuning motor skills,& cognitive activities such as learning and language.
cerebral cortex the thin outer layer of the cerebrum, in which much of human thought, planning, perception, & consciousness takes place.
chromosomes coiled-up threads of DNA
cingulate gyrus a belt-like structure around the corpus callosum that plays an important role in attention and cognitive control.
concentration gradient the difference in the concentration of different ions across the neuronal cell membrane; creates a driving force for ion movement.
contralaterality fact that one side of the brain controls movement on the opposite side
contralateral neglect a condition in which individuals do not respond to one side of space, usually caused by damage to the right parietal lobe.
corpus callosum the nerve fibers that connect the two hemispheres of the brain.
dendrites finger-like or tree-branch projections from a neuron’s soma that receive incoming messages from other neurons.
depolarization a change in the membrane potential of a neuron so that the inside of the cell becomes less negative.
DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid) a large molecule that contains genes. It contains the hereditary information of what makes us who we are.
dominant genes genes that show their effects even if there is only one copy of that gene in the pair. Out of the pair, dominant genes show expression when paired with recessive genes. ie. Brown eye genes dominate recessive blue eye genes.
dopamine one of seven major neurotransmitters-it is released in response to behaviors that feel good or are rewarding experiences
electrical gradient the difference in charge across the neuron cell membrane; it creates a driving force for ion movement based on charge differences.
electroencephaolography (EEG) a method for measuring brain activity in which the electrical activity of the brain is recorded from electrodes placed on a person’s scalp.
electrophysiology study of electrical activity in the body
enzymatic degradation a way of removing excess neurotransmitter from the synapse, in which enzymes specific for that neurotransmitter bind with the neurotransmitter & destroy it.
epigenetics change in the way genes are turned on or off without a change in the sequence of DNA.
Epinephrine/adrenaline One of seven major neurotransmitters- that arouses bodily systems (such as increasing heart rate, breathing, & alertness ). The body releases it in response to flight/fight/freeze situations.
event-related potential (ERP) a special technique that extracts electrical activity from raw EEG data to measure cognitive processes.
fraternal twins not to be confused with identical twins, these twins develop from two different eggs fertilized by two different sperm. sharing 50-50 gene traits.
identical twins not to be confused with fraternal twins, these twins develop from a single fertilized egg that splits into two independent cells. Sharing the unique 100%-100% gene traits of one another.
functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) a brain imaging technique that uses magnetic fields to produce very finely detailed images of the activity of areas of the brain and other soft tissues.
GABA (gamma-aminobutyric acid) a major inhibitory neurotransmitter in the brain that tells post-synaptic neurons not to fire; it slows CNS activity and is necessary to regulate and control neural activity.
gene-by-environment interaction research a method of studying heritability by comparing genetic markers-Allows researchers to assess how genetic differences interact with environment to produce certain behaviors in some people but not in others.
genes small segments of DNA sequences that contain information for producing proteins.
genome grouping of genes, considered all the genetic information in DNA.
glial cells cells of the central nervous system that provide structural support, promote efficient communication between neurons, and serve as scavengers, removing cellular debris. Supporters of the neuron.
glutamate a major excitatory neurotransmitter in the brain that increases the likelihood that a post-synaptic neuron will fire; important in learning, memory, neural processing, and brain development.
graded potentials small changes in membrane potential that by themselves are insufficient to trigger an action potential.
heritability the extent to which a characteristic is influenced by genetics, and is passed on through reproduction.
hippocampus a limbic structure that wraps itself around the thalamus; plays a vital role in learning and memory.
hyperpolarization a change in the membrane potential of a neuron so that the inside of the cell becomes more negative.
hypothalamus a portion of the limbic system; the master regulator of almost all major drives & motives we have, such as hunger, thirst, temperature, & sexual behaviour; also controls the pituitary gland.
insula a small structure inside the cerebrum that plays an important role in the perception of bodily sensations, emotional states, empathy, & addictive behavior.
interneurons the communication neurons that transmit only with other neurons. Most commonly release neuromodulators like acetylcholine.
ions chemically charged particles that predominate in bodily fluids; found both inside and outside cells.
knockout A term used to define a removal of a gene from a genome. ie. an animal, usually a mouse, may have had a specific gene removed from its genome for scientific study & to observe expression of specific traits associated with the genes.
lesioning intentionally damaging the brain with chemicals or electricity in order to determine how it effects the role in behavior.
magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) a brain imaging technique that uses magnetic fields to produce very finely detailed images of the structure of the brain & soft tissues.
medulla a hind-brain structure that extends directly from the spinal cord; regulates breathing, heart rate, and blood pressure. Considered by Professor Davis"The human weakness area,or the last thing you want to lose in life."
microdialysis technique to measure released neurotransmitter by implanting a probe in the brain.
monogenic transmission the hereditary passing on of traits determined by a single gene.
motor neurons nerve cells that carry commands for movement from the brain to the muscles of the body. The "exit" of information.
myelin sheath An neural axon insulator-the fatty substance wrapped around some axons, which insulates along the axon, making the nerve impulse travel more efficiently.
neurogenesis the development of new neurons, a time consuming process.
neurons the cells that process & transmit information in the nervous system
neuroplasticity the brain’s ability to adopt new functions, reorganize itself, or make new neural connections throughout life, as a function of experience.
neurotransmitters chemicals that transmit information between neurons, across the synapses.
nodes of Ranvier most often called nodes, uninsulated gaps between segments of myelin along the axon of the neuron; the neuronal impulse travels by skipping from node to node, increasing the speed of conduction. They speed up reactions between neurons.
norepinephrine a neurotransmitter that plays an important role in the sympathetic nervous system, energizing bodily systems, and increasing mental arousal and alertness.
nucleus accumbens basal ganglia structure involved in the reward sensations.
parasympathetic nervous system the branch of the autonomic nervous system that usually relaxes or returns the body to a less active, restful state.
peripheral nervous system (PNS) the part of the nervous system that comprises all the nerve cells in the body outside of the central nervous system.
polygenic transmission the process by which many genes interact to create a single characteristic.
pons One of three hindbrain structures that serves as a bridge between lower brain regions& higher midbrain and forebrain activity.
positron emission tomography (PET) brain imaging technique that measures blood flow to areas in the active brain; indicates which brain areas are active during certain situations.
postsynaptic neuron the neuron on the receiving side of the synapse, neurotransmitters bind to receptors on its membrane.
presynaptic neuron the neuron on the "sending-side" of a synapse, it releases neurotransmitter in the terminal.
prosopagnosia a condition in which individuals don't recognize faces, often caused by damage to the right cortex.
recessive gene The genes that show their effects only when both alleles are the same in a gene pair. They don't express when paired with a dominant gene.
reflexes inborn &involuntary behaviors—such as swallowing, sneezing, or vomiting—that are elicited by very specific stimuli & mainly cannot be inhibited by voluntary muscles.
refractory period the span of time, after an action potential has been generated, when the neuron is returning to its resting state and the neuron cannot generate an action potential. "recharging period"
resting potential the difference in electrical charge between the inside & outside of the axon when the neuron is at rest.
reticular formation a network of nerve fibers that runs up through both the hind-brain & the mid-brain; it is crucial to waking up & to falling asleep.
sensory neurons neurons that receive incoming sensory information from the sense organs (eye, ear, skin, tongue, nose).
serotonin One of seven major neurotransmitters -with wide ranging effects: involved in dreaming & controlling emotional states, especially anger, anxiety, and depression.
soma the cell body of the neuron-is the factory of the neuron. It produces all the proteins for the dendrites, axons & synaptic terminals and contains specialized organelles.
somatic nervous system nerve cells of the PNS that transmit sensory information to the central nervous system (CNS) and those that transmit information from the CNS to the skeletal muscles.
sympathetic nervous system the branch of the autonomic nervous system that activates bodily systems in times of emergency.
synapse the junction between an axon & the adjacent neuron, where information is transmitted from one neuron to another.
synaptic vesicles tiny sacs in the terminal buttons that contain neurotransmitters.
synaptogenesis the formation of entirely new synapses or connections with other neurons.
terminals little knobs at the end of the axon that contain tiny sacs of neurotransmitters.
thalamus a fore-brain structure that receives inputs from the ears, eyes, skin, or taste buds, and relays sensory information to the part of the cerebral cortex most involved in processing that specific kind of sensory information.
threshold membrane potential of -55 mV, necessary for the generation of an action potential.
transgenic an animal, usually a mouse, that has a foreign gene inserted into its genome.
twin studies research into hereditary influence comparing pairs of fraternal &identical twins.
twin-adoption studies research into hereditary influence on twins, both identical& fraternal, who were raised apart (adopted) and who were raised together.
viral-mediated gene transfer technique whereby a gene is packaged into a virus & injected into a brain region.
Wernicke’s area an area deep in the left temporal lobe responsible for the ability to speak in meaningful sentences & to comprehend the meaning of speech.
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