Also called behavioral neuroscience, brain and behavior, and physiological psychology. The study of biological bases of psychological processes and behavior.
Persistent issues in biopsychology (L)
Mind versus brain (L, T, pg 13, consciousness)
Mind refers to consciousness, which is the state of awareness of one's own existence, thoughts, emotions, and experiences.
Asserted that humans had a nonmaterial soul and a material body. The soul governed behavior through a point of contact, possibly the pineal gland. Basis of dualism, now rejected.
Separation of body and soul, promoted by Descartes. The mind has an immaterial aspect distinct from the material body and brain.
Localization of function
The concept that different brain regions specialize in specific behaviors.
Lesion studies (L)
The belief that bumps on the skull reflect enlargements of brain regions responsible for certain behavioral faculties.
The ability of the nervous system to change in response to experience or the environment.
Neural communication (L, T pg 9, pt 4)
Santiago Ramon y Cajal (L)
"Neural Doctrine" (L)
Somatic intervention (T)
An approach to finding relations between body variables and behavioral variables that involves manipulating the body structure or function and looking for resultant changes in behavior.
Independent variable (T)
The factor that is manipulated by an experimenter.
Dependent variable (T)
The factor that an experimenter measures to monitor a change in response to changes in the independent variable.
Behavioral intervention (T)
An approach to finding relations between body variables and behavioral variables that involves intervening in the behavior of an organism and looking for resultant changes in body structure or function.
The covariation of two measures.
The relation of cause and effect, such that we can conclude that an experimental manipulation has specifically caused an observed result.
Levels of analysis (T, Fig 1.9, understand generally)
The scope of experimental approaches. A scientist may try to understand behavior by monitoring molecules, nerve cells, brain regions, or social environments, or using some combination of these levels of analysis.
fMRI (functional magnetic resonance imaging)
Magnetic resonance imaging that detects changes in blood flow and therefore identifies regions of the brain that are particularly active during a given task.
PET (positron emission tomography)
A technique for examining brain function that combines tomography with injections of radioactive substances used by the brain. Analysis of the metabolism of these substances reflects regional differences in brain activity.
EEG (L, electroencephalography)
The recording and study of gross electrical activity of the brain via large electrodes placed on the scalp.
A passive and noninvasive technique for examining brain function that measures the tiny magnetic fields produced by active neurons, in order to identify regions of the brain that are particularly active during a given task.
Spatial resolution (L)
The ability to observe the detailed structure of the brain.
Temporal resolution (L)
The ability to track changes in the brain that occur very quickly.
Limits of specific techniques (fMRI & PET versus EEG & MEG; L)
Limits of neuroimaging in general
Causal inference (L)
Patient studies (L)
TMS (Transcranial magnetic stimulation; general technique pros/cons)
A noninvasive technique for examining brain function that applies strong magnetic fields to stimulate cortical neurons, in order to identify discrete ares of the brain that are particularly active during specific behaviors.
Animal studies; pros/cons (L)
Nerve cells. The basic unit of the nervous system, each composed of receptive extensions called dendrites, an integrating cell body, a conducting axon, and a transmitting axon terminal.
Nonneuronal brain cells that provide structural, nutritional, and other types of support to the brain.
Relative and approximate numbers of neurons & glia in the brain (L)
Extensions of the cell body that receive information from other neurons. Functionally, the dendrites are the input zone of the neuron.
The region of a neuron that is defined by the presence of the cell nucleus. Functionally, the cell body is the integration zone of the neuron.
Also called nerve fiber. A single extension from the nerve cell that carries action potentials from the cell body toward the axon terminals. Functionally, the axon is the conduction zone of the neuron.
The cone-shaped area on the cell body from which the axon originates. Begins the action potential.
Also called synaptic bouton (button). The end of an axon or axon collateral, which forms a synapse on a neuron or other target cell. Functionally, the axon terminals are the output zone of the neuron.
Sensory neurons (T)
Nerve cells that are directly affected by changes in the environment, such as light, odor or touch.
Motor neurons (T)
A nerve that transmits information from the central nervous system to the muscles and glands.
A nerve cell that is neither a sensory nor motorneuron; interneurons receive input from and send output to other neurons.
A nerve cell that has many dendrites and a single axon.
A nerve cell that has a single dendrite at one end and a single axon at the other.
Also called monopolar neuron. A nerve cell with a single branch that leaves the cell body and then extends in two directions; one end is the input zone, and the other end is the output zone.
The specialized membrane on the axon terminal of a nerve cell that transmits information by releasing neurotransmitter. Vesicles bearing neurotransmitter can bind to this membrane and release their contents, thus affecting the postsynaptic membrane.
The specialized membrane on the surface of a nerve cell that receives information by responding to neurotransmitter from a presynaptic neuron. This membrane contains specialized receptor proteins that allow it to respond to neurotransmitter molecules.
Synaptic cleft / Synapse
The space between the presynaptic and postsynaptic neurons at a synapse. This gap measures about 20-40 nm.
Small spherical structures that contain molecules of neurotransmitter. They fuse with the presynaptic membrane to release neurotransmitter into the synaptic cleft.
A signaling chemical, released by a presynaptic neuron, that diffuses across the synaptic cleft to alter the functioning of the postsynaptic neuron.
A protein that captures and reacts to molecules of neurotransmitter or hormone.
A type of glial cell that forms myelin in the central nervous system.
A type of glial cell that forms myelin in the peripheral nervous system.
The fatty insulation around an axon, formed by glial cells. This sheath boosts the speed at which nerve impulses are conducted.
Multiple sclerosis (T)
A disorder characterized by the widespread degeneration of myelin.
Nodes of Ranvier
The gaps between successive segments of the myelin sheath where the axon membrane is exposed.
A star-shaped glial cell with numerous processes (extensions) that run in all directions. Astrocyte extensions provide structural support for the brain and may isolate receptive surfaces.
Extremely small glial cells that remove cellular debris from injured or dead cells.
Central nervous system (T)
The portion of the nervous system that includes the brain and the spinal cord.
Peripheral nervous system (T) (NOT cranial or spinal nerves)
The portion of the nervous system that includes all the nerves and neurons outside the brain and spinal cord.
Nerves versus tracts
Tracts are a bundle of axons found within the central nervous system, whereas nerves are a collection of axons bundled together outside the central nervous system.
Ganglia versus nuclei
Ganglia are a collection of nerve cell bodies outside the central nervous system, whereas nuclei area collection of neuronal cell bodies within the central nervous system.
Autonomic nervous system (T)
The part of the peripheral nervous system that supplies neural connections to glands and to smooth muscles of internal organs. Its two divisions (sympathetic and parasympathetic) act in opposite fashion).
Sympathetic versus parasympathetic nervous systems (T) (Fig 2.9, pg 33)
Sympathetic arises from the thoracic and lumbar spinal cord and prepares the body for immediate action (fight or flight). Parasympathetic arises from both the cranial nerves and the sacral spinal cord and helps the body relax, recuperate, and prepare for future action (rest and digest).
The outer covering of the cerebral hemispheres, which consists largely of nerve cell bodies and their branches. Has six distinct layers in mammals.
Gyri/gyrus versus sulci/sulcus
Gyri/gyrus are the ridged or raised portions of a convoluted brain surface, whereas sulci/sulcus are the crevices or valleys.
Four lobes of cortex (*)
The main band of axons that connects the two cerebral hemispheres.
Three planes of orientations (T) (Box 2.2, pg 35)
Horizontal plane (midline horizontally), Sagittal Plane (vertical, front to back), Coronal Plane (midline vertically left to right)
White matter is a lighter colored layer of tissue consisting mostly of myelin-sheathed axons that lies underneath the gray matter and mostly transmits information. Gray matter are the areas of the brain dominated by cell bodies and are devoid of myelin; gray matter mostly receives and processes information.
Developmental divisions of the central nervous system (Fig. 2.12b)
(study in textbook, pg 37)
Layers of cerebral cortex (Fig. 2.13, pg 38)
study in textbook
A group of forebrain nuclei, including the caudate nucleus, globus pallidus, and putamen, found deep within the cerebral hemispheres. (need function...)
A group of nuclei in the medial anterior part of the temporal lobe. (need function...)
A medial temporal lobe structure that is important for learning and memory.
The brain regions at the top of the brainstem that trade information with the cortex.
Part of the diencephalon, lying ventral to the thalamus (need function...)
The middle division of the brain. (need function...)
A brainstem structure that innervates the basal ganglia and is the source of all dopaminergic projections.
Parkinson's Disease (L)
A degenerative neurological disorder, characterized by tremors at rest, muscular rigidity, and reduction in voluntary movement, caused by loss of the dopaminergic neurons of the substantia nigra.
A structure located at the back of the brain, dorsal to the pons, that is involved in the central regulation of movement.
The three protective membranes -- dura mater, pia mater, and arachnoid -- that surround the brain and spinal cord.
The fluid that fills the cerebral ventricles (function?)
Ventricles (T) (general purpose, not specific location of each)
A system of fluid-filled cavities inside the brain. (function?)
The mechanisms that make the movement of substances from blood vessels into brain cells more difficult than exchanges in other body organs, thus affording the brain greater protection from exposure to some substances found in the blood.
Exhibiting a difference in electrical charge between the inside and outside of the cell.
An atom or molecule that has acquired an electrical charge by gaining or losing one or more electrons
A difference in electrical potential across the membrane of a nerve cell during an inactive period.
A pore in the cell membrane that permits the passage of certain ions through the membrane when the channels are open.
Potassium ions (K+)
A potassium atom that carries a positive charge because it has lost one electron Found inside the neuron when in concentration within a neuron during resting state.
The spontaneous spread of molecules until a uniform concentration is achieved.
Concentration / Diffusion gradient (L)
Electrostatic pressure / Electrical gradient
The propensity of charged molecules or ions to move, via diffusion, toward areas with the opposite charge.
The energetically expensive mechanism that pushes sodium ions out of a cell and potassium ions in. Uses ATP and goes against the concentration gradient. Activated following an action potential to return cell to resting equilibrium.
Sodium ions (Na+)
Positively charged sodium atoms, found concentrated outside a cell during resting state, and responsible for hyperpolarization of the cell once threshold is reached.
The point at which the movement of ions across the cell membrane is balanced, as the electrostatic pressure pulling ions in one direction is offset by the diffusion force pushing them in the opposite direction.
An increase in membrane potential (the interior of the neuron becomes even more negative).
A decrease in membrane potential (the interior of the neuron becomes less negative).
The stimulus intensity that is just adequate to trigger an action potential at the axon hillock. Occurs at about +40 mV.
A rapid reversal of the membrane potential that momentarily makes the inside of the membrane positive with respect to the outside.
All-or-none property (T)
The fact that the size (amplitude) of the action potential is independent of the size of the stimulus.
Voltage-gated Na+ channel
A Na+ selective channel that opens or closes in response to changes in the voltage of the local membrane potential; it mediates the action potential.
Voltage-gated K+ channel
Refractory phase (T)
A period during and after a nerve impulse in which the responsiveness of the axonal membrane is reduced. A brief period of complete insensitivity to stimuli is followed by a longer period of reduced sensitivity during which only strong stimulation produces an action potential.
Saltatory conduction (T)
The form of conduction that is characteristic of myelinated axons, in which the action potential jumps from one node of Ranvier to the next.
Presynaptic vs postsynaptic cells
Presynaptic cells send a signal across the synaptic cleft via neurotransmitter diffusion, while postsynaptic cells receive and respond to the neurotransmitter via receptor proteins.
A local potential that is initiated by stimulation at a synapse, can vary in amplitude, and spreads passively across the cell membrane, decreasing in strength with time and distance.
Chloride ions (Cl-)
Negatively charged chlorine atoms (gained one electron) that...(function?)
The summation of postsynaptic potentials that reach the axon hillock from different locations across the cell body. If this summation reaches threshold, an action potential is triggered.
The summation of postsynaptic potentials that reach the axon hillock at different times. The closer in time the potentials occur, the more complete the summation is.
Calcium ions (Ca2+)
A positively charged calcium ion (lost 2 electrons) that...(function?)
A substance that binds to receptor molecules, such as a neurotransmitter or drug that binds postsynaptic receptors.
A molecule, usually a drug, that binds a receptor molecule and initiates a response like that of another molecule, usually a neurotransmitter. (further definition from lecture...)
A molecule, usually a drug, that interferes with or prevents the action of a neurotransmitter.
The chemical breakdown of a neurotransmitter into inactive metabolites.
The process by which released synaptic transmitter molecules are taken up and reused by the presynaptic neuron, thus stopping synaptic activity.
A specialized receptor in the presynaptic membrane that recognizes transmitter molecules and returns them to the presynaptic neuron for reuse.
Types of synaptic connections (T, Fig 3.13)
Axo-dendritic (axon to dendrite), Axo-somatic (axon to cell body), Axo-axonic (axon to axon), Dendro-dendritic (Dendrite to dendrite).
A brain disorder marked by major, sudden changes in the electrophysiological state of the brain that are referred to as seizures (see lecture for more)
An epileptic episode. (see lecture for more)
Mapping the human brain (T, Fig 3.17)
See page 72.
Arising from outside the body.
Produced inside the body.
Also called ligand-gated channel. A receptor protein containing an ion channel that opens when the receptor is bound by an agonist.
A receptor protein that does not contain ion channels but may, when activated, se a G protein system to open nearby ion channels or to produce other cellular effect (e.g. produce more receptors).
Discovery of acetylcholine (Fig 4.3)
Otto Loewi extracted chemical from electrically stimulated heart, added to second heart, and heart reacted by slowing down.
A neurotransmitter that is produced and released by parasympathetic postganglionic neurons, by motoneurons, and by neurons throughout the brain. (function?)
A region, ventral to the basal ganglia, that is the major source of acetylcholine in the brain and has been implicated in sleep (see lecture for more).
A monoamine transmitter found in the midbrain -- especially the substantia nigra, and in the basal forebrain (function?)
Ventral tegmental area (Note: substantia nigra is in Ch. 2 list)
A portion of the midbrain that projects dopaminergic fibers to the nucleus accumbens (see lecture for more).
An amino acid transmitter, the most common excitatory transmitter (see lecture for more).
A widely distributed amino acid transmitter and the main inhibitory transmitter in the mammalian nervous system.
Metabolic tolerance (T)
The form of drug tolerance that arises when repeated exposure to the drug causes the metabolic machinery of the body to become more efficient at clearing the drug.
Functional tolerance (T)
The form of drug tolerance that arises when repeated exposure to the drug causes receptors to be up-regulated or down-regulated.
A compensatory decrease in receptor availability at the synapses of a neuron.
A compensatory increase in receptor availability at the synapses of a neuron.
Drug effects on...
(See lecture and chapter on drugs)
Neuroleptics / Antipsychotics
Any class of drugs that alleviate symptoms of schizophrenia, typically blocking dopamine receptors.
Monoamine oxidase (MAO) inhibitors
Drugs that inhibit MAO enzymes that break down and thereby inactivate monoamine transmitters. An older treatment for depression by maintaining monoamine transmitters, which are implicated in positive feelings.
Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs)
A drug that blocks the reuptake of transmitter at serotonergic synapses, commonly used to treat depression.
Any class of anti-anxiety drugs that are agonists of GABA receptors in the central nervous system. Diazepam (Valium) is an example.
An opiate compound derived from the poppy flower.
Diacetylmorphine, an artificially modified, very potent from of morphine.
Any of a class of opium-like peptide transmitters that have been called the body's own narcotics. The three kinds are enkephalins, endorphins, and dynorphins.
A compound found in plants, including tobacco, that acts as an agonist on a large class of cholinergic receptors.
A neuroactive compound that first stimulates (glutamate) and then depresses (GABA) neural activity.
The major ingredient in marijuana (see lecture for more info)
An endogenous ligand of cannabinoid receptors; thus, a marijuana analog that is produced in the brain.
A stimulant compound found in coffee, cacao, and other plants.
A drug of abuse, derived from the coca plant, that acts by enhancing catecholamine neurotransmission.
A molecule that resembles the structure of the catecholamine transmitters and enhances their activity.
AKA Acid, Lysergic acid diethyl-amide. A hallucinogenic drug.
AKA Ecstasy. 3,4-Methylenedioxymethamphetamine, a drug of abuse.