Chapter 3 Outline: the Biological Bases of Behavior

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Chapter 3
The Biological Bases of Behavior

Communication in the Nervous System
* Nervous Tissue: The Basic Hardware
* Neurons are individual cells in the nervous system that receive, integrate, and transmit information. * The soma, or cell body, contains the cell nucleus and much of the chemical machinery common to most cells. * Dendrites are the parts of a neuron that are specialized to receive information. * The axon is a long, thin fiber that transmits signals away from the soma to other neurons or to muscles or glands. * The axon ends in a cluster of terminal buttons, which are small knobs that secrete chemicals called neurotransmitters. * The Neural Impulse: Using Energy to Send Information

* The Neuron at Rest: A Tiny Battery
* The resting potential of a neuron is its stable, negative charge when the cell is inactive. * The Action Potential
* An action potential is a very brief shift in a neuron’s electrical charge that travels along an axon. * The absolute refractory period is the minimum length of time after an action potential during which another action potential cannot begin. * The All-or-None Law

* The neural impulse is an all-or-none proposition. * The Synapse: Where Neurons Meet
* Sending Signals: Chemicals as Couriers
* The synaptic cleft is a microscopic gap between the terminal button of one neuron and the cell membrane of another neuron. * Neurotransmitters are chemicals that transmit information from one neuron to another. * Receiving Signals: Postsynaptic Potentials

* Postsynaptic potential is a voltage change at a receptor site on a postsynaptic cell membrane. * Reuptake is a process in which neurotransmitters are sponged up from the synaptic cleft by the presynaptic membrane. * Integrating Signals: A Balancing Act

* The elimination of old synapses appears to play a larger role in the sculpting of neural networks than the creation of ney synapses. * Neurotransmitters and Behavior
* Acetylcholine
* An agonist is a chemical that mimics the action of a neurotransmitter. * An antagonist is a chemical that opposes the action of a neurotransmitter. * Monoamines
* They are three neurotransmitters: dopamine, norepinephrine, and serotonin. * Endorphins
* Endorphins are internally produced chemicals that resemble opiates in structure and effects. Organization of the Nervous System
* The Peripheral Nervous System
* The peripheral nervous system is made up of all those nerves that lie outside the brain and spinal cord. * The Somatic Nervous System
* The somatic nervous system is made up of nerves that connect to voluntary skeletal muscles and to sensory receptors. * Afferent nerve fibers are axons that carry information inward to the central nervous system from the periphery of the body. * Efferent nerve fibers are axons that carry information outward from the central nervous system to the periphery of the body. * The Autonomic nervous System

* The autonomic nervous system is made up of nerves that connect to the heart, blood vessels, smooth muscles, and glands. * The Central Nervous System
* The central nervous system consists of the brain and spinal cord. The Brain and Behavior
* The Hindbrain
* The hindbrain includes the cerebellum and two structures found in the lower part of the brainstem: the medulla and the pons. * The Midbrain
* The midbrain is the segment of the brainstem that lies between the hindbrain and the forebrain. * The Forebrain
* The forebrain is the largest and most complex region of the brain, encompassing a variety of structures, including the thalamus, hypothalamus, limbic system, and cerebrum. * The Thalamus: A Way Station

* The thalamus is...
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