The Brain and the Nervous System


Flashcards on The Brain and the Nervous System, created by feelingthepayne on 20/10/2014.
Flashcards by feelingthepayne, updated more than 1 year ago
Created by feelingthepayne over 9 years ago

Resource summary

Question Answer
neuron A specialized cell in the nervous system that accumulates and transmits information
dendrites The branched part of a neuron that receives impulses and conducts them toward the cell body
cell body The portion of the neuron containing the metabolic machinery that keeps the cell alive and functional
axon The part of a neuron that transmits impulses to glands, muscles, or other neurons
Which side of the brain is this? The LEFT side
efferent neurons Nerves that carry messages outward from the central nervous system.
afferent neurons Nerves that carry messages INward toward the central nervous system.
interneurons Neurons that are neither afferent nor efferent, but instead carry information from one neuron to another. NEURON TO NEURON (not within a neuron)
glia A type of cell in the nervous system long believed to provide a “support” function for neurons; recent research indicates that glia provide many other functions as well.
myelin a fatty substance that males up some types of glial cells; these cells wrap around the axon of some neurons, providing an insulating "myelin sheath" around these neurons
action potential A brief change in the electrical charge of a neuronal membrane; the physical basis of the signal that travels the length of the neuron.
resting potential –70 millivolts The voltage difference between the inside and the outside of a neuronal membrane when the neuron is not firing
excitation threshold the voltage difference between a neuron's interior and exterior that, if exceeded, causes a neuron to fire (about –55 millivolts in mammals)
refractory period The time after an action potential during which a neuron’s cell membrane is unprepared for the next action potential.
depolarize In the nervous system, to lose the charge that normally exists across the neuronal membrane
propagation the spread of the action potential down an axon, caused by successive changes in electrical charge along the length of the axon's membrane.
How does the action potential look as it travels along the axon? (Illustration) like a heartbeat (?)
all-or-none law The law that all action potentials have the same strength and speed regardless of the triggering stimulus
synapse The small gap between two adjacent neurons, consisting of the presynaptic and postsynaptic neurons’ membranes and the space between them
neurotransmitters Chemicals released by one neuron (usually the presynaptic neuron), which trigger a response in another neuron (usually the postsynaptic neuron); the chief means of communication among neurons.
What does "snyaptic transmission" look like? (Illustation)
synaptic reuptake The presynaptic neuron’s process of reabsorbing its own neurotransmitters after signaling so that they can be released again the next time the neuron fires.
Dopamine (DA) Influences movement, motivation, emotion.
Norepinephrine (NE) Helps control arousal level; influences wakefulness, learning, and memory
Glutamate Perhaps the major excitatory transmitter in the brain; plays a crucial role in learning and memory.
Gamma-amino butyric acid (GABA) The most widely distributed inhibitory transmitter of the central nervous system
Serotonin Involved in many of the mechanisms of sleep, mood, and arousal
Acetylcholine (ACh) Released at many synapses and at the junction between nerves and muscles; the release of ACh makes the muscle fibers contract. Involved in many of the mechanisms of sleep, mood, and arousal.
"Lock-and-key" model of synaptic transmission Transmitter molecules will affect the postsynaptic membrane only id their shape fits the shape of certain receptor molecules in that membrane - much as a KEY has to fit into a LOCK.
agonists Drugs that enhance a neurotransmitter’s activity.
antagonists Drugs that impede the activity of a neurotransmitter.
What do AGONISTS do? (Illustration)
What do ANTAGONISTS do? (Illustration
blood-brain barrier a layer of tightly joined cells that surrounds the blood vessels in the brain and literally acts as a filter to prevent toxins from reaching the central nervous system
endocrine system The system of glands that release secretions directly into the bloodstream and affect organs elsewhere in the body
hormone A chemical released by a gland. Hormones travel through the bloodstream and influence functions such as metabolic rate, arousal level, and the liver’s sugar output.
transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) The technique of applying repeated magnetic simulation at the surface of the skull to temporarily stimulate or disable a target brain region
electroencephalogram (EEG) A record of the brain’s electrical activity recorded by placing electrodes on the scalp
event-related potential (ERP) Electrical changes in the brain that correspond to the brain's response to a specific event; measured with EED
CT (computerized tomography) scan A technique for examining brain structure by constructing a composite of K-ray images taken from many different angles
MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) A neuroimaging technique that documents the effects of strong magnetic pulses on the molecules that make up brain tissue. A computer then assembles this information into a picture of brain structure.
PET (positron emission tomography) scan A technique for examining brain function by observing the amount of metabolic activity in different brain regions
functional MRI (fMRI) scan A technique for examining brain function by measuring blood flow and oxygen use within the brain
central nervous system (CNS) The brain and spinal cord.
peripheral nervous system (PNS) The afferent and efferent nerves that extend from the brain and spinal cord to connect them with the organs and muscles
somatic nervous system (SNS) The division of the peripheral nervous system that controls the skeletal muscles and transmits sensory information.
autonomic nervous system (ANS) The division of the peripheral nervous system that receives information from and controls the internal organs.
sympathetic branch The division of the autonomic nervous system that mobilizes the organism for physical exertion.
parasympathetic branch The division of the autonomic nervous system that restores the body’s normal resting state and conserves energy.
brain stem The brain region at the top of the spinal cord that includes the medulla and the pons.
cerebellum The part of the brain that controls muscular coordination and equilibrium.
cerebral cortex The outermost layer of the forebrain.
cerebral hemisphere One-half (left or right) of the cerebrum, the topmost part of the brain.
frontal lobe The area at the front of each cerebral hemisphere; includes tissue crucial for many aspects of planning and controlling thoughts and behavior.
parietal lobe the area in each cerebral hemisphere that lies between the frontal and occipital lobes; includes tissue crucial for receiving information from the skin senses
temporal lobe the areas in each cerebral hemisphere lying below the temples; includes tissue crucial for hearing and many aspects of language use
occipital lobe the rearmost area of each cerebral hemisphere, includes tissue crucial for processing visual information
hypothalamus A subcortical structure that plays a vital role in controlling many motivated behaviors, like eating, drinking, and sexual activity
limbic system A group of interconnected structures (including the hypothalamus, the amygdala, and others) that are crucial for emotion, motivation, and many aspects of learning and memory.
amygdala An almond-shaped, temporal lobe structure that plays a central role in emotion and evaluating stimuli
hippocampus A temporal lobe structure that plays a pivotal role in learning and forming new memories.
lateralization Functional differences between the two cerebral hemispheres. E.g., in most right-handers, the left hemisphere is specialized for language, while the right hemisphere is better at some visual and spatial tasks
corpus callosum The thick bundle of fibers connecting the cerebral hemispheres
projection areas Areas in which the brain tissue seems to form a “map” of sensory information.
contralateral control the typical pattern in vertebrates in which movements of the RIGHT side of the body are controlled by the LEFT hemisphere, while movements of the LEFT side are controlled by the RIGHT hemisphere.
apraxia a serious disturbance in beginning or carrying out voluntary movements
visual agnosia The inability to recognize a visual stimulus despite the ability to see and describe it.
neglect syndrome The result of certain right parietal lobe lesions that leave a patient completely inattentive to stimuli to her left, including the left side of her own body
aphasia Any of number of linguistic disorders caused by injury to or malformation of the brain.
prefrontal area The frontmost portion of the frontal lobes, involved in working memory, strategy formation, and response inhibition
executive control Processes such as making plans or overriding habitual responses that let the brain direct its own cognitive activities
perseveration The tendency to repeat a response inappropriately; often a result of deficits in executive control caused by prefrontal lesions
brain plasticity The capacity for the brain to alter its structure and function
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