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Flashcards in Biopsychology Key Terms Deck (40)
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Localisation of Function

The theory that different areas of the brain are responsible for different behaviours, processes or activities


Motor Area

A region of the frontal lobe involved in regulating movement


Somatosensory Area

An area of the parietal lobe that processes sensory information such as touch


Visual Area

A part of the occipital lobe that receives and processes visual information


Auditory Area

Located in the temporal lobe and concerned with the analysis of speech based information


Broca's Area

An area of the frontal lobe of the brain in the left hemisphere responsible for speech production


Wernicke's Area

An area of the temporal love in the left hemisphere responsible for language comprehension



AKA Neuroplasticity or Cortical Remapping. This describes the brain's tendency to change and adapt as a result of experience and new learning


Functional Recovery

A form of plasticity. Following damage through trauma, the brain's ability to redistribute or transfer functions usually performed by a damaged area to other, undamaged areas


Hemispheric Lateralisation

The idea that the hemispheres of the brain are functionally different and that certain mental processes and behaviours are mainly controlled by one hemisphere rather than the other


Spilt-Brain Research

A series of studies which began in the 1960's involving epileptic patients who had experienced a surgical separation of the hemispheres of the brain. This allowed researchers to investigate the extent to which brain function is lateralised


Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging

A method used to measure brain activity while a person is performing a task that uses MRI technology. This enables researchers to detect which regions of the brain are rich in oxygen and are active



A record of the tiny electrical impulses produced by the brains activity. By measuring characteristics wave patterns, the EEG can help diagnose certain conditions of the brain


Event-Related Potentials

The brain's electrophysiological response to a specific sensory, cognitive or motor event can be isolated through statistical analysis of EEG data


Post-Mortem Examinations

The brain is analysed after death to determine whether certain observed behaviours during a patients life can be linked to abnormalities in the brain


Biological Rhythms

Distinct patterns of changes in body activity that conform to cyclical time periods. Biological rhythms are influenced by internal-body clocks as well as external changes to the environment


Circadian Rhythm

A type of biological rhythm, subject to a 24 hour cycle, which regulates a number of body processes such as the sleep/wake cycle and changes in core body temperature


Infradian Rhythm

A type of biological rhythm with a frequency of less than one cycle in 24 hours such as menstruation


Ultradian Rhythm

A type of biological rhythm with a frequency of more than one cycle in 24 hours such as the stages of sleep


Endogenous Pacemakers

Internal body clocks that regulate many of our biological rhythms


Exogenous Zeitgebers

External cues that may affect or entrain our biological rhythms, such as the influence of light on our sleep/wake cycle


Sleep/Wake Cycle

A daily cycle of biological activity based on a 24 hour period that is influenced by regular variations in the environment, such as the alternation of night and day


Nervous System

Consists of the central nervous system and the peripheral nervous system


Central Nervous System

Consists of the brain and spinal cord and is the origin of all complex commands and decisions


Peripheral Nervous System

Sends information to the CNS from the outside world, and transmits messages from the CNS to muscles and glands in the body


Somantic Nervous System

Transmits information from receptor cells in the sense organs to the CNS. It also receives information from the CNS that directs muscles to act


Autonomic Nervous System

Transmits information to and from internal bodily organs. it is "autonomic" as the system operates involuntarily. It has two main divisions: the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous systems


Endocrine System

One of the body's major information systems that instructs glands to release hormones directly into the bloodstream. These hormones are carried towards target organisms in the body



An organ in the body that synthesizes substances such as hormones



Chemical substances that circulate in the bloodstream and only affect target organs. They are produced in large quantities but disappear quickly. Their effects are powerful