Biological psyc 2

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Biological psyc 2
2010-08-15 18:05:26


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  1. What does a motor neuron do?
    - it receives excitation from other neurons and conducts impulses from its soma in the spinal cord to muscle or gland cells
  2. What do sensory neurons do?
    - are specialized at one end to be highly sensitive to a particular type of stimulation, such as touch information in the skin
  3. What are dendritic spines?
    - short outgrowths that increase the surface area available for synapses
  4. What is an afferent axon?
    - axon that brings information into a structure
  5. What is an efferent axon?
    - an axon that carries information away from a structure
  6. What is an interneuron or intrinsic neuron?
    - when a cell's dendrites and axon are entirely within a single structure
  7. What are the 5 different kinds of glia?
    • - astrocytes
    • - microglia
    • - oligodendrocytes
    • - schwann cells
    • - radial glia
  8. What are astrocytes ?
    - star-shaped glia that wrap around the presynaptic terminals of several axons, presumably a functionally related group.

    - they take up chemicals released by those axons and later release them back to the axons, helping synchronize the activity of axons
  9. What are microglia?
    - very small glia cells that remove water material as well as viruses, fungi, and other microorganisms.
  10. What are oligodendrocytes?
    - glia cells that are in the brain and spinal cord that build the myelin sheaths that surrounds and insulates certain vertebrate axons
  11. What are schwann cells?
    - glia cells in the periphery of the body that build the myelin sheaths that surround and insulate certain vertebrate axons
  12. What are radial glia?
    - a type of astrocyte, they guide the migration of neurons and the growth of their axons and dendrites during embryonic development
  13. What is the blood brain barrier?
    - the mechanism that keeps most chemicals out of the vertebrate brain
  14. What is active transport?
    - a protein-mediated process that expends energy to pump chemicals from the blood into the brain
  15. What is an electrochemical gradient?
    - when there is a difference in electrical charge between the inside and outside of the cell
  16. What is polarization?
    - a difference in electrical charge between two locations
  17. What is a resting potential?
    - the difference in voltage in a resting neuron
  18. What is the sodium-potassium pump?
    - a protein complex that repeatedly transports three sodium ions out of the cell while drawing two potassium ions into the cell
  19. What is a concentration gradient?
    - the difference in distribution of ions across the membrane
  20. How do local anesthetic drugs work?
    - they attach to the sodium channels of the membrane, preventing sodium ions from entering, thus blocking action potentials
  21. How do general anesthetics work?
    - they decrease brain activity by opening certain potassium channels wider than usual, thus preventing most action potentials
  22. What is the "all-or-none law"?
    - the amplitude and velocity of an action potential are independent of the intensity of the stimulus that initiated it
  23. What is the refractory period?
    - a period during which it resists the production of further action potentials
  24. What is the absolute refractory period?
    - when the sodium gates are firmly