Behavioral Neuroscience Exam 1

Junk DNA

DNA that does not code for proteins; correlates with behavioral complexity of organisms and actually is very useful and controls the expression of other genes and controls their functions by accounting for translation of encoded information into the produ

Protein encoding DNA

3% of human DNA, about 21,000 genes; does not account for behavioral complexity

Vulnerability model

genes contribute to a predisposition for disorders such as schizophrenia, which may or may not exceed the threshold required to produce the disorder. Environmental challenges like neglect or trauma can combine with hereditary susceptibility to exceed this

4 principal structures of neuron

cell body, dendrites, axon, terminal buttons

Cell body

life support, regulation of chemical activity, collection and integration of information from dendrites to pass on info through the axon


branch out from cell body and function in reception to gather information from other neurons


extends from the cell body and carries and transmits information to the terminal buttons

Terminal buttons

rounded swellings at the end of the axon that synapse with another neuron; release neurotransmitters to communicate with other neurons, muscles, or organs

Action potential

neural impulse that abruptly depolarizes the cell membrane and allows the neuron to communicate over long distances; resting potential at -70mV with closed sodium and potassium channels, then local potential partially depolarizes membrane and only causes

All or none principle

action potentials occur at full strength or not at all


neurotransmitters packaged in the same vesicles but can be released unequally through the partial opening of the fusion pores to allow smaller molecules to exit freely while impeding larger ones


neurotransmitters are packaged in separate vesicles and have differing sensitivity to calcium, so low rate of neural impulses will trigger release of one of them, while high rate of neural impulses will release both; if the separate neurotransmitters are

8 structures of the subcortex

hypothalamus, thalamus, hippocampus, amygdala, basal ganglia (caudate, putamen, global pallidus), corpus callosum, pituitary gland, ventricles


controls emotional responses as well as things such as fight or flight, desire, and addiction; cortex controls subcortex so that we are not always driven by these


ensures homeostasis and generates and regulates hormones, controlling emotion and motivated behaviors


receives information from all sensory systems except olfaction and relays it to respective cortical projection areas


involved in the formation of memories as well as adult neurogenesis


associated with fear conditioning and negative emotions

Basal ganglia

functions in movement, habits, and addiction; caudate functions goal directed behavior, putamen functions sequence learning, global pallidus functions in controlling voluntary movements

Corpus callosum

consists of axons connecting the hemispheres and allowing them to communicate


contains cerebrospinal fluid that carries materials from blood vessels to the CNS and carries waste materials in the opposite direction

Pituitary gland

secretes hormones that control other glands in the body

Sympathetic nervous system

activates the body to help it cope in situations of emotional stress or physical emergencies; increases energy and fight or flight responses; sympathetic branch rises from the thoracic and lumbar areas of the spinal cord and most neurons pass through the

Parasympathetic nervous system

slows the activity of most organs to conserve energy but also activates digestion to renew energy (rest or digest); parasympathetic branch rises from cranial nerves and spinal nerves at the sacral end of the spinal cord; parasympathetic ganglia are not in

Why are locations of sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous systems different?

they each serve their respective functions through their specific connectivity