General Psychology Chapter 2: The Brain and Behavior

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The scientific study of the nervous system.
Billions of interconnected cells (Neurons) in the brain carry out many different tasks simultaneously.
Steven Hyman (2001) came up with this idea because the brain is constantly being fed information (sound, feeling, sight)
Plasticity- the brain’s special capacity for change.
Electrochemical Transmission
information processing system powered by electrical and chemical messengers
Afferent Nerves
sensory nerves that bring information to brain and spinal cord from the internal or external environment (feeling cold, rain, stuffy, full, sick) and travel into your body from the affected part of the body to the brain.
Efferent Nerves
Motor nerves which bring information out of the brain and spinal cord to other parts of the body and cause reactions to feelings from the brain.
Neural Networks
Integration of sensory input and motor output which bridges the gap between Afferent and Efferent nerves
Central Nervous System
Consists of the brain and spinal cord and 99% of all nerve cells
Peripheral Nervous System
Network of nerves connecting the Central Nervous System to the body and brings information to and from the brain and spinal cord and carries out the commands of the Central Nervous System.
Somatic Nervous System
Subdivision of the Peripheral Nervous System which sends sensory information from skin and muscles to the Central Nervous System like pain, temperature, and muscle control
Autonomic Nervous System
Subdivision of the Peripheral Nervous System that sends messages to and from internal organs
Sympathetic Nervous System
Subdivision of the Autonomic Nervous System which controls arousal and moving into action (fight or flight reactions)
Parasympathetic Nervous System
Subdivision of the Autonomic Nervous System which controls calming, maintenance, and repair
stress hormones
Acute Stress
momentary stress
Chronic Stress
Continuous stress which does not allow for body to repair itself through Parasympathetic Nervous System
Nerve cells (specific to the nervous system) which process information
Glial cells
Cells in the nervous system that support, nourish, and protect neurons
Cell Body
Main component of the neuron which contains the nucleus or “brain” of a cell
Fibers projecting from neurons that bring information from other neurons
Carries information from cell body toward other cells
Myelin Sheath
Layer of fat cells encasing and insulating most axons
Resting Potential
Stable negative charge of inactive neurons when neurons aren’t getting any signals
Action Potential
Brief, positive electrical charge, or firing
All or nothing principle
When neurons fire the message doesn’t stop until it moves all the way through the axon
space between neurons
Chemical signals stored in synaptic vesicles with terminal bonds, which allow electrical impulses to cross synaptic gaps
an excitatory neurotransmitter that stimulates the firing of neurons and is involved in the action of muscles, learning, and memory (Alzheimer’s disease is an ACh deficiency) also works with Gamma Aminobutyric Acid to help with sleep and rising
Gamma Aminobutyric Acid
an inhibitory neurotransmitter which keeps neurons from firing (Anxiety is a lack of GABA) also works with Acetylcholine to help with sleep and rising
Both an excitatory and inhibitory neurotransmitter which inhibits the firing of neurons in the CNS and excites the heart muscles, intestines, urogenital tract. (Depression: too little ; Agitated, manic states: too much)
Both an excitatory and inhibitory neurotransmitter that helps to control voluntary movement, affects sleep, mood, attention, and rewards. (Parkinsons disease: low levels; Schizophrenia: high levels)
Both an excitatory and inhibitory neurotransmitter involved in regulation of sleep, mood, attention, and learning. (Depression: lowered levels)
Natural opiates that mainly stimulate firings of neurons, shield body from pain, and elevate feelings of pleasure.
Hormone and Neurotransmitter that plays an important role in experiences of love and social bonding
influence behavior mainly by interfering with neurotransmitters
Drug that mimics or increases effects of neurotransmitters
Drug that blocks/ inhibits the effects of neurotransmitters (schizophrenia drugs)
Three Sections of the Brain
Hindbrain, Midbrain, Forebrain
Adjacent to the top of the spinal cord; controls heartbeat, breathing, and basic functions
rises above hindbrain
Uppermost region of the brain
Part of the Hindbrain that controls vital functions, such as breathing and heart rate, and regulates reflexes
Part of the Hindbrain that plays and important role in motor coordination; cauliflower shaped
Part of the Hindbrain that is involved in sleep and arousal; small area
Brain Stem
Part of the midbrain that includes much of the hindbrain (but not the cerebellum) which midbrain and determines alertness and regulates basic survival functions
Reticular Formation
Part of the Midbrain that is involved in stereotyped patters of behavior, such as breathing, walking and sleeping
Stereotyped Patterns of Behavior
Behavior that everyone does basically in the same way
Limbic System
Part of the Forebrain that is split into the Amygdala and Hippocampus and controls memory and emotion
Part of the Limbic System that controls emotions (anger and anger managment) and helps in discriminating objects necessary for survival
Part of the Limbic System that controls memory and has a special role in storage of memories by determining which memories will be stored)
Part of the Forebrain which serves has a relay station for information and sends every piece of information where it needs to go
Basal Ganglia
Part of the Forebrain that works with the cerebellum and cerebral cortex to control and coordinate voluntary movements
Part of the Forebrain that monitors eating, drinking, sex, emotion, stress, reward, helps direct the endochrine system, regulates the body’s internal state, and is involved in pleasurable feelings
Lobes of the Cerebral Cortex
Occipital Lobe, Temporal Lobe, Frontal Lobe, Parietal Lobe
Occipital Lobe
Part of the Cerebral Cortex which responds to visual stimuli
Temporal Lobe
Part of the Cerebral Cortex which controls hearing, language processing, and memory
Frontal Lobe
Part of the Cerebral Cortex which controls personality, intelligence, and control of voluntary movements
Parietal Lobe
Part of the Cerebral Cortex which controls registering spatial location, attention, and motor control
Somatosensory Cortex
Located at the front of the parietal lobe and processes information about body sensations
Motor Cortex
Located just behind frontal lobes and processes information about voluntary movement
Association Cortex
Makes up 75% of the Cerebral Cortex and integrates information
Corpus Callosum
Large bundle of axons connecting the brain’s two hemispheres and relays information between two sides
Left Hemisphere
Part of the Brain that receives information from the right side of the body and is involved in language processing, such as speech and grammar
Right Hemmisphere
Part of the Brain that receives information from the left side of the body and is involved in non-verbal information, such as spatial perception, visual recognition, and emotion
Collateral Sprouting
When axons of healthy neurons adjacent to damaged cells grow new branches
Substitution of Function
When the damaged regions of the brain’s function is taken over by another brain area
When new neurons are regenerated
The Endocrine System
A set of glands that regulate the activities of certain organs
Organs or tissues that create chemicals that control bodily functions (Hypothalamus connects nervous and endocrine systems)
Chemical messengers produced by the endocrine glands that are carried through the bloodstream (much slower than electrical impulses)
Pituitary Gland
Gland located on the base of the brain by the hypothalamus which controls growth and regulates other glands
Thyroid and Parathyroid Glands
Glands located around the neck which regulate metabolism and amount of calcium in the body
Adrenal Glands
Glands that sit on top of the kidneys which regulate mood, energy level, and ability to cope with stress
Gland and organ that performs both digestive and endocrine functions
Glands and organs which produce hormones related to sexual development and reproduction
Genetic Heritage
Observable characteristics which are influenced by genotype and environmental factors
Genetic Expression
The activity of genes is affected by their environment
Dominant-Recessive Genes Principle
If one gene in a pair is dominant and one is recessive. the dominant gene overrides the recessive one
Polygenic Inheritance
Influence of multiple genes on behavior
Selective Breeding
Genetic method used to demonstrate the importance of genetic influence on behavior
Behavior Genetics
The study of the degree and nature of heredity’s influence on behavior
Categories: General Psychology