Biopsychology

Autonomic nervous system (ANS)
Governs the brain's involuntary activities (e.g stress/heartbeat) and is self-regulating. It is divided into the sympathetic branch and the parasympathetic branch.
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Brain
The part of the central nervous system that is responsible for coordinating sensation, intellectual and nervous activity.
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Central nervous system (CNS)
Comprises of the brain and spinal cord. It receives information from the senses and controls the body's responses.
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Peripheral nervous system
The part of the nervous system that is outside the brain and spinal cord.
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Somatic nervous system
The part of the peripheral nervous system responsible for carrying sensory and motor information to and from the central nervous system.
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Spinal cord
A bundle of nerve fibres enclosed with the spinal column, which connects nearly all parts of the body with the brain.
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Motor neurons
Form synapses with muscles and control their contractions
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Neurotransmitter
Chemical substances that play an important part in the workings of the nervous system by transmitting nerve signals across the synapse.
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Relay neurons
These neurons are the most common type in the CNS. They allow sensory and motor neurons to communicate with each other
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Sensory neurons
Carry nerve impulses from sensory receptors to the spinal cord and the brain.
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Synapse
The conjunction of the end of the axon of one neuron and the dendrite or cell body of another.
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Synaptic transmission
Refers to the process by which a nerve impulse passes across the synaptic cleft from one neuron (the presynaptic neuron) to another (the postsynaptic neuron)
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Endocrine glands
Special group of cells within the endocrine system whose function is to produce and secrete hormones.
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Endocrine system
A network of glands throughout the body that manufacture and secrete chemical messengers known as hormones.
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Hormones
The body's chemical messengers. They travel through the bloodstream, influencing many different processes including mood and stress response.
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Pituitary gland
The 'master gland', whose primary function is to influence the release of hormones from other glands.
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Flight-or-fight response
A sequence of activity within the body that is triggered when the body prepares itself for attacking, or running away to safety. This involves changes in the nervous system and the secretion of hormones that are necessary to sustain arousal.
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HPA axis
Describes the sequence of bodily activity in response to stress that involves the hypothalamus, pituitary and adrenal cortex.
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Broca's area
An area in the frontal lobe of the brain, usually in the left hemisphere, related to speech production.
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Localisation of function
Refers to the belief that specific areas of the brain are associated with specific cognitive processes.
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Motor cortex
A region of the brain responsible for the generation of voluntary motor movements
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Somatosensory cortex
A region of the brain that processes input from sensory receptors in the body that are sensitive to touch.
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Wernicke's area
An area in the temporal lobe of the brain important in the comprehension of language.
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Hemispheric lateralisation
Refers to the fact that some mental processes in the brain are mainly specialised to either the left or right hemisphere
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Split-brain research
Research that studies individuals who have been subjected to the surgical separation of the two hemispheres of the brain as a result of severing the corpus callosum.
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Brain plasticity
Refers to the brains ability to modify its own structure and function as a result of experience.
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Functional recovery
Refers to the recovery of abilities and mental processes that have been compromised as a result of brain injury or disease
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Electroencephalogram (EEG)
A method of recording changes in the electrical activity of the brain using electrodes attached to the scalp.
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Event-related potential (ERP)
A technique that takes raw EEG data and uses it to investigate cognitive processing of a specific event. It achieves this by taking multiple readings and averaging them to filter responses not associated with the stimulus.
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Functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI)
A technique for measuring brain activity. It works by detecting changes in blood oxygenation and flow that indicate increased neural activity
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Post-mortem examinations
Ways of examining the brains of people who have shown particular psychological abnormalities in an attempt to establish the potential neurobiological cause for this behaviour
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Circadian rhythm
A pattern of behaviour that occurs or recurs approximately every 24 hours, and which is set and reset by environmental light levels
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Sleep-wake cycle
Refers to the alternating states of sleep and waking that are dependant on the 24-hour circadian cycle.
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Infradian rhythms
Rhythms that may have a duration of over 24-hours, and may be weekly, monthly or annually.
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Ultradian rhythms
Cycles that last less than 24 hours, such as the cycle of sleep stages that occur throughout the night.
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Endogenous pacemakers
Mechanisms within the body that govern the internal, biological bodily functions.
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Exogenous zeitgeber
An environmental cue, such as light, that helps to regulate the biological clock in an organism
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Other cards in this set

Card 2

Front

The part of the central nervous system that is responsible for coordinating sensation, intellectual and nervous activity.

Back

Brain

Card 3

Front

Comprises of the brain and spinal cord. It receives information from the senses and controls the body's responses.

Back

Preview of the back of card 3

Card 4

Front

The part of the nervous system that is outside the brain and spinal cord.

Back

Preview of the back of card 4

Card 5

Front

The part of the peripheral nervous system responsible for carrying sensory and motor information to and from the central nervous system.

Back

Preview of the back of card 5
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