An extensive network of specialized cells that carry information to and from all parts of the body.
A branch of the life sciences that deals with the structure and function of neurons, nerves and nervous tissue, especially focusing on their relationship to behavior and learning.
The basic cell that makes up the nervous system and that receives and sends messages within that system.
Branchlike structures that receive messages from other neurons.
The cell body of the neuron responsible for maintaining the life of the cell.
Tublike structure that carries the neural message to the cells.
Grey fatty cells that provides support for the neurons to grow on and around, deliver nutrients to neurons, produce myelin to coat axons, clean up waste products and dead neurons, influence information processing and during prenatal development, influence the generation of new neurons.
Fatty substance produced by certain glial cells that coat the axons of neurons to insulate, protect and speed up the neural impulses.
Bundles of axons cotated in myelin that travel together through the body.
The state of the neuron when not firing a neural impulse.
The release of the neural impulse consisting of a reversal of the electrical charge within the axon.
Referring to the fact that a neuron either fires completely or does not fire at all.
Brances at the ends of the axon
Rounded areas on the end of the axon terminals.
Sacklike structures found inside the synaptic knob containing chemicals.
Chemical found in the synaptic vesicles, that, when released, has an effect on the next cell.
Microscopic fluid-filled space between the synaptic knob of one cell and the dendrites or sufrace of the next cell.
Synapse (Synaptic Gap)
Holes in the surface of the dendrites or certain cells of the muscles and glands which are shaped to fit only certain neurotransmitters.
Synapse at which a neurotransmitter causes the receiving cell to fire.
Synapse at which a neurotransmitter causes the receiving cell to stop firing.
Chemical substances that mimic or enhance the effects of a neurostransmitter on the receptor sites of the next cell, increasing or decreasing the activity of that cell.
Chemical substances that block or reduce a cell's response to the action of the other chemicals or neurotransmitters.
Process by which neurotransmitters are taken back into the synaptic vesicles.
Part of the nervous system consisting of the brain and spinal cord.
Central Nervous System (CNS)
A long bundle of neurons that carries messages between the body and the brain and is responsible for very fast, life saving reflexes.
A neuron that carries information from the senses to the central nervous system.
Accesses the spinal cord.
Afferent (sensory) Neurons
A neuron that carries messages from the central nervous system to the muscles of the body.
Efferent (Motor) Neurons
A neuron found in the center of the spinal cord that receives information from the afferent neurons and sends commands to the muscles through the efferent neurons. Also make up the bulk of the neurons in the brain.
The connection of the afferent neurons to the interneurons to the efferent neurons, resulting in a reflex action.
The ability within the brain to constantly change both the structure and function of many cells in response to experience or trama.
Special cells found in all tissues of the body that are capable of manufacturing other cell types when those cells need to be replaced due to damage or wear and tear.
All nerves and neurons that are not contained in the brain and spinal cord but that run through the body itself.
Peripheral Nervous System (PNS)
Division of PNS consisting of nerves that carry information from the senses to the CNS and from the CNS to the voluntary musles of the body.
Somatic Nervous System
Division of the PNS consisting of nerves that controls all of the involuntary muscles, organs and glands.
Autonomic Nervous System (ANS)
Nerves coming from the sensory organs to the CNS consisting of afferent neurons.
Nerves coming from the CNS to the voluntary muscles consisting of efferent neurons.
Part of the ANS that is responsible for reacting to stressful events or bodiy arousal.
Sympathetic Division (Fight or Flight System)
Part of the ANS that restores the body to normal functioning after arousel and is responsible for the day-to-day functions of the organs and glands.
Insertion of a thin insulated wire into the brain through which an electrical current is sent that destroys the brain cells at the tip of the wire.
Machine designed to record the brain-wave patterns produced by electrical activity of the surface of the brain.
Brain imaging method using computer controlled X-rays of the brain.
Computer Tomography (CT)
Brain imaging method using radio waves and magnetic fields of the body to produce detailed images of the brain.
Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI)
Brain imaging method in which a radioactive sugar is injected into the subject and a computer compiles a color coded image of the activity of the brain with lighter colors indicating more activity.
Positron Emission Tomography (PET)
The first large swelling at the top of the spinal cord forming the lowest part of the brain, which is responsible for life-sustaining functions such as breathing, swallowing and heart rate.
The larger swelling above the medulla that connects the top of the brain to the bottom and plays a part in sleep, dreaming, left-right body coordination and arousal.
An area of the neurons running through the middle of the medulla and the pons and slightly beyond that is responsible for selective attention.
Reticular Formation (RF)
Part of the lower brain located behind the pons that controls and coordinates involuntary, rapid and fine motore movements.
A group of several brain structures located under the cortex and involved in learning, emotion, memory and motivation.
Part of the limbic system located in the center of the brain, this structure relays sensory information from the lower part of the brain to the proper areas of the cortex and processed some sensory information before sending it to its proper area.
Two projections just under the front of the brain that receive information from the receptors in the nose located just below.
Small structure in the brain located below the thalamus and directly above the pituitary gland, responsible for motivational behavior, such as sleep, hunger, thurst and stress.
H-hungry, Y-Yawning, P-parched, O-overly excited
Curved structure located within each temporal lobe responsible for the formation of long-term memories and the storage of memory for location of objects.
Brain structure located near the hippocampus responsible for fear responses and memory of fear.
Outer most covering of the brain consisting of densely packed neurons, responsible for higher thought processes and interpretation of sensory input.
The two sections of the cortex on the left and right sides of the brain.
Thick band of neurons that connect the right and left cerebral hemispheres.
Sections of the brain located at the top and back of each cerebral hemisphere containing the centers of touch, taste and temperature sensations.
Areas of the cortex located just behind the temples, containing the neurons responsible for the sense of hearing and meaningful speech.
Areas of the cortex located in the front and top of the brain, responsible for higher mental processes and decision making as well as the production of fluent speech.
The band of neurons located at the back of the frontal lobe that controls motor movements.
Areas within each lobe of the cortex responsible for the coordinating and interpretation of information as well as igher mental processing.
Association area of the brain located in the frontal lobe that is responsible for language production and language processing.
The condition associated when a person has damage to the Brocha's area that affect word production.
Association area of the brain in the temporal lobe that has been found to be involved in the comprehension of spoken language.
A language disorder where the Wernicke's area is damaged causing individuals to speak fluently, but their words do not make sense.
Caused by damage to the right parietal and occipital lobes where the individual ignores objects in their left visual field.
Made up of the two cerebral hemispheres and the structures connecting them.
Studies of Roger Sperry helped scientists figure out that the two cerebral hemispheres are not identical.
Glands that secrete chemicals called hormones directly into the bloodstream
Chemicals released into the bloodstream by the endocrine glands.
Gland located in the brain that secretes human grown hormone and influences all other hormone secreting glands (master gland).
Endocrine gland located near the base of the cerebrum, secretes melatonin (regulates sleep-wake cycle).
Endocrine gland found in the neck; regulates metabolism
Endocrine gland; controls the levels of sugar in the blood.
Sex glands; secrete hormones that regulate sexual development and behavior as well as reproduction.
The female gonads
The mail gonads.
Endocrine glands located on the top of each kidney that secrete over 30 different hormones to deal with stress, regulate salt intake and provide a secondary source of sex hormones, affecting the sexual changes that occur during adolescence.
Neurons that fire when an animal or person performs an action and also when an animal or person observes that same action being performed by another.