A neural structure lying below the thalamus; it directs several maintenance activities (eating, drinking, body temperature), helps govern the endocrine system via the pituitary gland, and is linked to emotion and reward.

critical (sensitive) period

time during fetal growth when specific parts or organs develop


A neural center located in the limbic system that helps process explicit memories for storage.

dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC)

upper portion of the prefrontal cortex thought to be important in cognitive control

basal ganglia

a set of subcortical structures that directs intentional movements


A large structure of the hindbrain that controls fine motor skills.


An abnormal condition marked by multiple cognitive defects that include memory impairment.

enlarged ventricles

abnormalities associated with schizophrenia

Alzheimer's disease

a progressive and irreversible brain disorder characterized by gradual deterioration of memory, reasoning, language, and, finally, physical functioning


a localized response to an injury or to the destruction of tissues


A type of protein involved in the formation of neuritic plaques both in normal aging and in Alzheimer's disease.

amyloid plaques

A characteristic of Alzheimer's disease in which clusters of dead or dying neurons become mixed together with fragments of protein molecules.

tau tangles

tangles of a protein called Tau that builds up inside of cells

Ken and H.M.


memory misconceptions

- memory is more about the future than the past
- memories are inaccurate
- memories are independent from each other
- memory is not unitary

medial temporal lobe amnesia

Amnesia associated with bilateral damage to the medial temporal lobes; its major feature is anterograde amnesia for explicit memories in combination with preserved intellectual functioning

declarative (explicit), non-declarative (implicit)

event memory (does not involve medial temporal lobe), knowledge and understanding

emotion memory

limbic system

working memory

active maintenance of information in short-term storage, prefrontal cortex


the changes that take place in the structure and functioning of neurons when a memory is formed, happens during sleep

selection, tagging

what to keep

stabilization, enhancement

memories can't be disrupted, ability to remember improves

association, integration

hippocampal independence (insert information)


memories keep the gist of the event

hippocampal independence

transfer of information to cortex

protein synthesis

building of structures

memory storage form



pull memories from storage, very fast (reconsolidation)


very fast, production of false memory

synaptic strength

the likelihood that one cell will alter the firing rate of the next

dendritic spines

short outgrowths that increase the surface area available for synapses


the inability to retrieve memory from long-term storage

false memories

Inaccurate memory created by the power of imagination or suggestion

encoding, storage, retrieval

3 processes of memory

hippocampal place neurons

neurons dedicated to certain parts of a maze


dreams replay events

Targeted memory reactivation

sleep is the price we pay for plasticity

amnesia (anterograde, retrograde)

anterograde: can't form new memories, remembers past
retrograde: can't remember past, forms new memories

long-term potentiation (LTP)

an increase in a synapse's firing potential after brief, rapid stimulation. Believed to be a neural basis for learning and memory.

receptor up-regulation, down-regulation

up-regulation of AMPA receptors

NMDA, AMPA receptors

N-Methyl-D-Aspartate receptor, a type of ionotropic glutamate receptor that is important for learning and memory. These are blocked with Mg2+ until AMPA receptors start to depolarize the cell by bringing in Na2+. This causes the Mg2+ to be pushed out and

NMDA knock-out experiments

knock-out mouse: absence of NMDA receptor

habituation, depression

decreased activity in response to stimuli

sensitization, potentiation

change in behavior with previous experience, can last for many days

gill-withdrawal reflex

in aplysia, a protective reflex in which the gill is retracted in response to touch


do not have a true brain and are capable of only basic responses to the environment

memory in a synapse

Long term potentiation

schedule of CNS development

1st, 2nd trimester: Create neural tube, populate it with neurons, form neuron aggregations
3rd trimester: establish connection patterns
early childhood: build synapses
early - adult: refine by removing

neural plate, groove, tube

neural plate comes first at 20 days, then neural groove, then finally neural tube, precursor of whole CNS system

radial glia

special glia with fibers that grow radially outward from the ventricular zone to the surface of the cortex; provide guidance for neurons migrating outward during brain development

proliferation, neurogenesis

Production of new cells; cells along the ventricles of the brain divide to become neurons and glia.


necessary of neuron arrangement

neuron differentiation

specialize structurally and functionally


the formation of a fatty sheath around the axons of a neuron

neuronal maturation

neurons become neurons with dendrites, axons, and myelin, contribute to brain weight


formation of synapses

neuron death

follows overproduction of neurons


initial overproduction of neurons followed by cell death

pruning, with timetable

strengthens active synapses, weakens inactive synapses

white matter


CNS network development


connectivity changes with age


teenagers' weird behavior

CNS not finished developing, pathways not fully connected

gray matter loss

with age

three-eyed frogs


growth cone

axons grow away from a cluster of neurons, attracted specifically to neurons in a target area, responds to signal

genetics vs. experience

neurons that play together stay together

chemoaffinity hypothesis

Proposal that neurons or their axons and dendrites are drawn toward a signaling chemical that indicates the correct pathway.


a diffusible molecule that acts over a distance to repel growing axons

landmark hypothesis

growth cones

cell adhesion molecules

mechanically link cell to extracellular material

nerve growth factor

A substance whose role is to guide neuronal growth during embryonic development, especially in the peripheral nervous system. Nerve growth factor also probably helps sustain neurons in the adult.


brain-derived neurotrophic factor, a neurotrophin similar to nerve growth factor

plasticity (3 types with examples)

developmental, compensatory, memory/learning

cross-modal plasticity

Brain reorganization permitting an area of the brain normally devoted to one sense (e.g., vision) to process information from another sense (such as touch)

CNS activity in newborn

(faces diagram)

kitten visual system experiments

ocular dominance columns not fully developed with eyes closed

ocular dominance column development

(competition diagrams)


(competition diagrams)

cortical map reorganization

(reorganization diagrams)

use it or lose it

neurons that play together stay together

strabismus, amblyopia

-Misalignment of eyes which made lead to amblyopia
-Failure of one eye to focus
cover the normal eye to fix

enriched/impoverished environments

affects brain later, where you lived growing up, studied adopted kids, Marion Diamond, Genie, "use it or lose it


A girl who was locked up for 14 years and when she was found, she had missed the critical period where she could have learned language so she could not speak and was extremely socially retarded.


surgical procedure where one cerebral hemisphere is removed


accumulation of fluid in the spaces of the brain


the process of using reflected sound waves to find objects; used by animals such as bats
solution to blindness

biological rhythm

Any repeating cycle of biological activity, such as sleep and waking cycles or changes in body temperature.


length of a wave, time between peaks

circadian rhythm

the biological clock; regular bodily rhythms that occur on a 24-hour cycle

infradian, ultradian

tau > 24, tau < 24


a stimulus (usually the light of dawn) that resets the biological clock that is responsible for circadian rhythms
light is the dominant zeitegeber


the process of altering the free-running cycle to fit a different rhythm

phase response curve



different animals have different taus


comparison of two different rhythms that have the same tau, yet occur at different times (slightly offset)

blue light

blue light can cause phase delay in circadian rhythms

endogenous clock

determine what time it is without external cues

free-run experiments

remove suprachiasmatic nucleus, random rhythm behavior

raster plot

A graphic representation of occurrences in a certain temporal relation (diagram)

physiological, behavioral rhythms

all regulated by SCN

24-hour sleep propensity rhythm


phase delay, phase advance



Individual differences in circadian activity

morning-type, evening-type


rhythms across lifespan

(chronotype changes diagram)

school start times

not correctly aligned with appropriate phases, go against circadian rhythms

circadian disruptions

in depressed patients

traffic accidents

align with sleep propensity rhythm

photoreceptive ganglion cells

SCN getting information about light without visual system


a photopigment that is sensitive to ambient light

retinohypothalamic tract

light -> retina -> SCN

suprachiasmatic nucleus (SCN)

a pair of cell clusters in the hypothalamus that controls circadian rhythm. In response to light, the SCN causes the pineal gland to adjust melatonin production, thus modifying our feelings of sleepiness

body organ clocks

all regulated by SCN (diagram)

defining sleep characteristics

(REM diagram)

sleepiness (objective/subjective measures)

sleep propensity rhythm

sleep stages

1, 2, 3, 4, REM (diagram)

EEG (desynchronized, synchronized)


sleep architecture

the structure of the various elements involved in the sleep cycle, including normal and abnormal patterns of sleep

REM sleep, characteristics

brain wave become rapid sew-toothed, heart rate increase, breathing more rapid and irregular


flaccidity; lack of muscle tone; relaxation of muscle

SWS characteristics

(diagram) big EEG waves

glymphatic system

functional waste clearance pathway for the CNS
removes amyloid

homeostatic factor

sleepiness "builds up" during wakefulness
duration of prior wakefulness determines current level of sleepiness and amount, duration, and depth of sleep


a nucleoside; a combination of ribose and adenine; serves as a neuromodulator in the brain
homeostatic component of sleepiness

two-factor model

sleep-wake control (diagram)


ventrolateral preoptic nucleus
inhibits cortical arousal system

arousal system

Pons, Locus Coeruleus, Raphe Nuclei, Nasal Forebrain, Tuberomammillary Nucleus

midbrain reticular activating system

Reticular formation - the brain's "on-off" switch
The reticular activating system (RAS) connects
with the forebrain and cerebral cortex; this system plays a key role in arousal. Damage
to the RAS can result in a coma.

sleep-wake cycle

regulation of sleep and arousal

falling asleep

Inhibition of the reticular activating circuit in the midbrain


A neurotransmitter associated with narcolepsy
A person with a genetic inability to produce orexin will most likely experience Random bouts of sleep that disrupt their wake cycle


Chemical stored in mast cells that triggers dilation and increased permeability of capillaries.


the state of intermediate consciousness preceding sleep (during first 5 minutes of stage 1)


waking state

sleep paralysis

state of being unable to move just after falling asleep or right before waking up
we are paralyzed during REM sleep

total sleep deprivation

impairment in thought, fasting, attention, memory
gets worse every day

EEG (sleep spindles, delta waves, etc.)



involves the use of EEG, EMG, and EOG to monitor stages of sleep and wakefulness during nighttime sleep.


Abnormal behaviors such as nightmares or sleepwalking that occur during sleep.

rhythms of sleep

Stage 1. Feel self drifting on the edge of consciousness
Stage 2. Minor noises won't disturb you
Stage 3. Breathing and pulse have slowed down
Stage 4. Deep sleep
REM. Increased eye movement, loss of muscle tone, dreaming

sensory isolation

thalamus role in sleep (diagram)


a 'sleep graph' (diagram)


Act as phagocytes, eating damaged cells and bacteria, act as the brains immune system

chronic partial sleep deprivation

Routinely sleeping less that the normal time needed for optimal daytime functioning

misperceptions regarding sleep, rhythms

inability to assess current abilities accurately

disk-over-water experiments

prevent mice from sleeping

sleep deprivation effects

Decreases efficiency of immune system functioning
Safety and accident issues
Contributes to hypertension, impaired concentration, irritability, etc.


brief sidesteps into sleep lasting only a few seconds

sleep duration

infants and toddler: 9-15 hours/day
adolescents: 9-10 hours/day
Adults: 7-8 hours/day

sleep hygiene

The practice of following good sleep habits to sleep soundly and be alert during the day

napping strategies, benefits

nap 20-30 minutes during afternoon slump
do not nap in the evening
reduce sleep inertia

obstructive sleep apnea

a disorder in which a person, while asleep, stops breathing because his or her throat closes; the condition results in frequent awakenings during the night

emotional regulation

the use of cognitive and behavioral strategies to influence one's emotional experience

sleep function theories

test using sleep deprivation experiments

dream content


lucid dreaming

experience of becoming aware that one is dreaming

sleep debt

A sleep deficiency caused by not getting the amount of sleep that one requires for optimal functioning.


stress hormone released by the adrenal cortex that helps you wake up

chromosomal sex

two X chromosomes in females, one X and one Y in males

congenital adrenal hyperplasia

genetic disease in which the adrenal gland is overdeveloped, resulting in a deficiency of certain hormones and an overproduction of others

preoptic nuclei

regulates body temperature

androgen insensitivity syndrome

A condition caused by a congenital lack of functioning androgen receptors; in a person with XY sex chromosomes, causes the development of a female with testes but no internal sex organs

behavioral estrus

When females will mate Coincides with vaginal proestrus Requires estrogen followed by
progesterone in most rodents

adult sexual behavior


preparation for waking up

REM and cortisol help you wake up

SHY hypothesis

says that sleep is important because it weakens the connections among brain cells to save energy, avoid cellular stress, and maintain the ability of neurons to respond selectively to stimuli

sleeping to remember

consolidation overnight

sleeping to forget

clear unwanted memories

sleep and insight

sleep on puzzles (diagram)

sleep inertia

a state characterized by cognitive impairment, grogginess, and disorientation that is experienced upon rising from short sleep or an overly long nap

sleep effects on memory

sleep enhances memory

roses experiment

declarative/spatial memory

states of consciousness

alertness, sleep, dreaming, altered states of consciousness

hormone (protein, steroid)

steroid: sex hormones derived from cholesterol
protein: similar to peptide neurotransmitters

activational, organizational effects

organizational before birth, activational for sex

'default' sex


T-shirt experiments

sweaty t-shirt gives off pheremones

androgen, estrogen

male, female


Male sex hormone


surgical excision of testicles or ovaries

rat sexual behaviors

can be altered via castration

sexually dimorphic nucleus

A nucleus in the preoptic area that is much larger in males than in females; first observed in rats; plays a role in male sexual behavior

SRY gene

the sex determining region of the Y chromosome in males. Encodes the testis-determining factor, which turns the primordial gonads into the testes
makes genetalia into testes, produce testosterone

sexual dimorphism (CNS, body)

Sexual dimorphism is the condition where the two sexes of the same species exhibit different characteristics beyond the differences in their sexual organs

phenotypic sex

the internal and external morphology of each sex, and results from differences in gene expression

sensitive period

A limited phase in an animal's development that is the only time when certain behaviors can be learned.


Chemical signals released by an animal that communicate information and affect the behavior of other animals of the same species.