Chapter 2: Neuroscience And Behavior

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Chapter 2: Neuroscience And Behavior


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a French surgeon and neuroanatomist. He treated a series of patients who had great difficulty speaking but could comprehend written a series of patients who had great difficulty speaking but could comprehend written or spoken language. Subsequent autopsies of these patients revealed a consistent finding--brain damage to an area on the lower left frontal lobe. Today, this are on the left hemisphere is referred to as Broca's area, and it is known to play a crucial role in speech production
Pierre Paul Broca
psychologist and neuroscientist. He and his colleagues began unraveling the puzzle of the left and right hemispheres. They used an apparatus to test the abilities of split-brain patients. They would direct a split subject to focus on a point in the middle of a screen, while briefly flashing a word or picture to the left or right of the midpoint.
Roger Sperry
a young German neurologist discovered another area in the let hemisphere that, when damaged, produced a different type of language disturbance. Unlike Broca's patients, his patients had great difficulty understanding spoken or written communications. They could speak quickly and easily, but their speech sometimes made no sense. They sometimes used meaningless words or even nonse syllables, though their sentences seemed to be grammatical.
Karl Wernicke
specialized branch of psychology that studies the relationship between behavior and bodily processes and systems
biological psychology
the study of the nervous system, especially the brain
highly specialized cell that communicates information in electrical and chemical form; a nerve cell
type of neuron that conveys information from the environment and holds it for a very brief period of time
sensory neuron
type of neuron that signals muscle to relax or contract
motor neuron
type of neuron that communicates information from one neuron to the next
support cells that assist neurons by providing structural support, nutrition, and removal of cells wastes; manufacture myelin
glial cells
processes nutrients and provides energy for the neuron to function; contains the cell's nucleus; also called the soma
cell body
multiple short fivers that extend from the neuron's cell body and receive information from other neurons or from sensory receptor cells
the long, fluid-filled tube that carries a neuron's messages to other body areas
a white, fatty covering wrapped around the axons of some neurons that increases their communication speed
myelin sheath
a brief electrical impulse by which information is  transmitted along the axon of a neuron
action potential
the minimum level of stimulation required to activate a particular neuron
stimulus threshold
state in which a neuron is prepared to activate and communicate its message if it receives sufficient stimulation
resting potential
the principal that either a neuron is sufficiently stimulated and an action potential occurs or a neuron is not sufficiently stimulated and an action potential does not occur
all-or-none law
the point of communication between two neurons
the tiny space between the axon terminal of one neuron and the dendrite of an adjoining neuron
synaptic gap
branches at the end of the axon that contain tiny pouches, or sacs, called synaptic vesicles
axon terminals
tiny pouches or sacs in the axon terminals that contain chemicals called neurotransmitters
synaptic vesicles
chemical messengers manufactured by a neuron
the process through which neurotransmitters are released by one neuron, cross the synaptic gap, and affect adjoining neurons
synaptic transmission
Neurotransmitter that causes muscle contractions and is involved in learning and memory
Neurotransmitter involved in the regulation of bodily movement, thought processes, and rewarding sensations
neurotransmitter involved in sensory perceptions, sleep, and emotions
neurotransmitter involved in learning, memory, and regulation of sleep; also a hormone manufactured by adrenal glands
Neurtransmitter that usually communicates an inhibitory message
neurotransmitters that regulate pain perceptions
the primary internal communication network of the body; divided into the central nervous system and the peripheral nervous system
nervous system
bundles of neuron axons that carry information in the peripheral nervous system
division of the nervous system that consists of the brain and spinal cord
central nervous system
simple, automatic behaviors that are processed in the spinal cord
spinal reflexes
division of the nervous system that includes all the nerves lying outside the central nervous system
peripheral nervous system
subdivision of the peripheral nervous system that communicates sensory information to the central nervous system and carries motor messages from the central nervous system to the muscles
somatic nervous system
subdivision of the peripheral nervous system that regulates involuntary functions
autonomic nervous system
branch of the autonomic nervous system that produces rapid physical arousal in response to perceived emergencies or threats
sympathetic nervous system
branch of the autonomic nervous system that maintains normal bodily functions and conserves the body's physical resources
parasympathetic nervous system
system of glands located throughout the body that secrete hormones into the bloodstream
endocrine system
chemical messengers secreted into the bloodstream primarily by endocrine glands
endocrine gland attached to the base of the brain that secretes hormones that affect the function of other glands as well as hormones that act directly on physical processes
pituitary gland
pair of endocrine glands that are involved in the human stress response
adrenal glands
the outer portion of the adrenal glands
adrenal cortex
the inner portion of the adrenal glands; secretes epinephrine and norepinephrine
adrenal medulla
the endocrine glands that secrete hormones that regulate sexual characteristics and reproductive processes; ovaries in females and testes in males
the brain's ability to shift functions from damaged to undamaged brain areas
functional plasticity
the brain's ability to change its physical structure in response to learning, active practice, or environmental influences
structural plasticity
the development of new neurons
a pseudoscientific theory of the brain that claimed that personality characteristics, moral character, and intelligence could be determined by examining the bumps on a person's skull
the notion that different functions are located or localized in different areas of the brain
cortical localization
a region of the brain made up of the hindbrain and the midbrain
a region at the base of the brain that contains several structures that regulate basic life functions
a hindbrain structure that controls vital life functions such as breathing and circulation
a hindbrain structure that connects the medulla to the two sides of the cerebellum; helps coordinate and integrate movements on each side of the body
a large, two-sided hindbrain structure at the back of the brain; responsible for muscle coordination and maintain posture and equilibrium
a network of nerve fibers located in the center of the medulla that helps regulate attention, arousal, and sleep
reticular formation
the middle and smallest brain region, involved in processing auditory and visual sensory information
an area of the midbrain that is involved in motor control and contains a large concentration of dopamine-producing neurons
substantia nigra
the largest and most complex brain region, which contains centers for complex behaviors and mental processes
the wrinkles outer portion of the forebrain, which contains the most sophisticated brain centers
cerebral cortex
the nearly symmetrical left and right halves of the cerebral cortex
cerebral hemispheres
a thick band of axons that connects the two cerebral hemispheres and acts as a communication link between them
corpus callosum
an are on each hempishere of the cerebral cortex near the temples that is the primary receiving area for auditory information
temporal lobe
an area at the back of each cerebral hemisphere that is the primary receiving area for visual information
occipital lobe
an area on each hemisphere of the cerebral cortex located above the temporal lobe that processes somatic sensations
parietal lobe
the largest lobe of each cerebral hemisphere; processes voluntary muscle movements and is involved in thinking, planning, and emotional control
frontal lobe
a group of forebrain structures that form a border around the brainstem and are involved in emotion, motivation, learning and memory
limbic system
a curved forebrain structure that is part of the limbic system and is involved in learning and forming new memories
a forebrain structure that processes sensory information for all senses,except smell, and relays it to the cerebral cortex
a peanut-sized forebrain structure that is part of the limbic system and regulates behaviors related to survival, such as eating, drinking, and sexual activity
almond-shaped cluster of neurons in the brain's temporal lobe, involved in memory and emotional responses, especially fear; part of the limbic system
the notion that different functions are located or localized in different areas of the brain
cortical localization
the notion that specific psychological or cognitive functions are processed primarily on one side of the brain
lateralization of function
the partial or complete inability to articulate ideas or understand spoken or written language because of brain injury or damage
a surgical procedure that involves cutting the corpus callosum
split-brain operation