Flash Cards

The Biological Basis of Behavior

Term Definition
Genotype The genetic structure an organism inherits from its parents.
Phenotype The observable characteristics resulting from the interaction between one's genotype and it's environment.
Heredity The transmission of traits from parents to offspring.
Genetics The inheritance of physical and psychological traits of ancestors.
Genes The biological units of heredity responsible for the transmission of traits.
Sociobiology The evolutionary explanation for the socail behavior and social systems of human and other animal species.
Broca's Area The region of the brain that translates thoughts into speech.
Lesions Injuries to or destruction of brain tissue.
Electroencephalogram(EEG) A recording of the electrical activity of the brain.
PET scans Provides a picture of the brain by recording the radioactivity emitted by cells during cognitive or behavioral activities.
Magnetic Resonance Imaging Provides a picture of the brain by using magnetic and radio waves.
Peripheral Nervous System Part of the nervous system that is composed of the spinal cord and cranial nerves that connect the sensory receptors to muscles and glands.
Somatic Nervous System The subdivision of the peripheral nervous system that connects the central nervous system to the skeletal muscles.
Central Nervous System Part of the nervous system consisting of the brain stem and the spinal cord.
Autonomic Nervous System The subdivision of the peripheral nervous system that connects the body's involuntary motor responses to the smooth, cardiac muscle and glands.
Sympathetic Division The subdivision of the autonomic nervous system that deals with emergency response and mobilization of energy.
Parasympathetic Division The subdivision of the autonomic nervous system that monitors the body's internal functions and conserves body energy.
Brain Stem The brain structure that regulates the basic life processes.
Medulla The region of the brain stem that regulates breathing, waking, and heartbeat.
Pons The region of the brain stem that connects the spinal cord with the brain.
Reticular Formation The region of the brain stem that alerts the cerebral cortex to incoming sensory signals and is responsible fro maintaining consciousness and awakening from sleep.
Thalamus The brain structure that relays sensory impulses to the cerebral cortex
Cerebellum The region of the brain that controls motor coordination, posture, and balance, as well as the ability to learn control of body measurements.
Limbic System The region of the brain that regulated emotional behavior, basic motivational urges, and memory, as well as major physiological functions.
Hippocampus The part of the limbic system that is involved in explicit memory.
Amygdala The part of the limbic system that controls emotion, aggression, and emotional memory.
Hypothalamus The brain structure that regulates eating, drinking, and homeostasis.
Neurotransmitters Chemical messengers released from neurons that cross the synapse from one neuron to another, stimulating the postsynaptic neuron.
Occipital Lobe The rearmost region of the brain, which contains the primary visual cortex.
Parietal Lobe The region of the brain behind the frontal lobe and above the lateral tissue; contains the somatosensory cortex.
Pituitary Gland Located in the brain, the gland that secretes growth hormone and influences the secretion of hormones by other endocrine glands.
Refractory Period The period of rest during which a nerve impulse cannot be activated in a segment of an axon.
Sensory Neuron The neuron that carries messages from sense receptors toward the central nervous system.




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