Bio Key Terms

For each term below, contribute a unique idea (a definition, an example, an image, a link to an article about the term, embed a video, or other information/media that helps us understand the term). Be sure your contribution relates to psychological connotation of the term if the term has multiple connotations.
Put 4 ~ next to your contribution so we know who added what. - tgalvez tgalvez Aug 16, 2010

___Hey you guys, I made a powerpoint because I tend to study better with flashcards, and it is just easier if it is done electronically so if you guys want to use it, go for it :)- Carly


(in context of Natural Selection)

Adaptation is the evolutionary process whereby a population becomes better suited to its habitat. This process takes place over many generations,and is one of the basic phenomena of biology.
The term adaptation may also refer to a feature which is especially important for an organism's survival.For example, the adaptation of horses' teeth to the grinding of grass, or their ability to run fast and escape predators. Such adaptations are produced in a variable population by the better suited forms reproducing more successfully, that is, by natural selection.

Adoption Studies

Adoption studies focus on two sets of factors that may account for differences in behavior, personality, and psychopathology: biological parents and environmental parents. Biological parents are the parents that you inherit your genes from, while environmental parents are the parents that raise you.


Axon is basically the long parts of the nerve cell (look at the picture). The electrical impulse goes through the axon when the nerve cell receives a signal from other cell.

Behavioral Genetics

The field of study that examines the role of genetics in animal and human behaviour... Studies the inheritance of behavioural traits by the use of twin studies and adoption studies...
(Ji Ho Son)


reactive or functioning or allowing movement in two usually opposite directions


Brain Plasticity

Brain plasticity is the brain's ability to reorganize neural pathways in order to retain new information. When new information is learned, there must be constant functional changes in the brain in order for the information to be successfully memorized.


(Paul Broca; Broca's Brain)

Paul Broca did a study on stroke victims and how the stroke victims left frontal lobe was affected. Broca found that the ability
form complex sentances was localized in this part of the brain.

Dendriteexternal image level06dendrite.jpg

Dendrites are the branches of the neuron that conduct electrochemical stimulation from the other neuron cells in the brain.

Diathesis-Stress Model

The diathesis–stress model is a psychological theory that explains behavior as both a result of biological and genetic factors ("nature"), and life experiences ("nurture").


Electroencephalography (EEG)
An EEG refers to a test which records the brains electrical activity over 20 to 40 minutes (usually), this information is recorded by multiple electrodes placed on the scalp.

Family Studies
Observational family studies in the study of traits and genes that are hereditary among families behavior, and how it affects human development. These studies focus on inheritance, and the family hierarchy in general.

fMRI (Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging)

One of the most recently developed neuro-imaging techniques. Taking the study of the brain into a new level and helping the unraveling of more
psychological mysteries.... More in
(Ji Ho)

Frontal Cortex

Also called, Frontal Lobe, it the anterior part of the brain, where memories, reason and logic are processed.

Gamma Waves

Highest and most energetic beam of light in the Electromagnetic spectrum.
Because of its penetrating properties, gamma rays damage cells at the cellular level, hence being very hazardous to all life.
It is used as a sterilization mean.

...More on


A region of the brain that helps regulate hormone activity, directs autonomic nervous system functions, and influences or manages many critical functions including sleep.


external image Mitochondrial%20inheritance%20pattern.jpg
(Ji Ho)

Interactionist Approach

It is the study of individuals and how they act within society

Longitudinal Study

This is a study that is usually carried out for a long period of time, so that the researchers are able to observe short and long term effects. The study of brain damaged patients is a longitudinal study.


Melatonin is a hormone that is secreted by the pineal gland. It regulates the circadian rhythm by influencing hypothalamus, a part of brain which affects appetite and sleep. The amount of melatonin released is controlled by the amount of sunlight; sunlight suppresses release of melatonin.


Meta-analysis combines several different research studies which share research hypotheses. Like as individual studies collect data from many patients and summarize the data in order to answer the specific research question, meta- analysis summarize data from different research studies which related to specific research studies. (Nakyung Oh)

Mirror Neurons

Mirror Neurons are neurons that fires when an animal (or a person) preforms an action or when the animal observes somebody else perform the same action. The mirror neuron is also called because it "mirrors" the behavior of another.

external image 800px-Mirror_Neurons_f2.gif
(Seon Jin Park)

Natural Selection

Natural Selection is the decrease or increase of a certain trait in a population because of it's effects on the carriers. In psychology natural selection is seen in different aspects such as memory, perception and language. For example, an adaptation that has become more common through natural selection is the ability for people to infer emotions or to collaborate effectively with others.



(in context of nature-nurture debate)
The nature versus nurture debate concerns the relative importance of an individual's innate qualities versus personal experiences ( nurture such as behaviorism) in determining or causing individual differences in physical and behavioral traits.


(Seon Jin Park)

The neuron is a cell that processes and transmits information by electrical and chemical signaling.


Neurotransmission is an electrical movement within the synapses caused by nerve impulses.


neurotransmitters, are released from one neuron at the nerve terminal. Neurotransmitters then cross the synapse where they may be accepted by the next neuron at the receptor.


(in context of nature-nurture debate)

The nature versus nurture debates concern the relative importance of an individual's innate qualities ("nature", i.e. nativism, or innatism) versus personal experiences ("nurture", i.e. empiricism or behaviorism) in determining or causing individual differences in physical and behavioral traits.

The act of nourishing or nursing; tender care; education; training; That which nourishes; food; diet; The environmental influences that contribute to the development of an individual; see also nature; to nourish or nurse


Oxytocin is a mammalian hormone and it also acts as a neurotransmitter in the brain. It released from the posterior lobe of the pituitary gland, and stimulates the contraction of smooth muscle of the uterus during labor and facilitates ejection of milk from the breast during nursing. (Nakyung)


Positron emission tomography (PET) is a nuclear medicine imaging technique which produces a three-dimensional image or picture of functional processes in the body.

Position Emission Tomography (PET) Is a medical term for the introduction of a radioactive component in one's body, which is later traced by a machine which emits gamma rays. PET is used to track the motion of the introduced element, thus helpful for producing a three dimensional image of certain body function within the body.

Post-Mortem Studies

Studies conducted on test subjects that have previously deceased. These studies in the invasive form are also called (Autopsies Plur.) (Autopsy sing.).

Post mortem is a medical procedure where a doctor does an examination of a corpse (autopsy) to determine a cause of death, disease, injury, or to do study to understand the human body

Reductionist Approach

All systems can be understood by the breakdown of their emergent properties.


Re-uptake, is the re-absorption of a neurotransmitter by a neurotransmitter transporter of a pre-synaptic neuron after it has performed its function of transmitting a neural impulse.

Seasonal Affective Disorder

Seasonal Affective Disorder is a disorder that occurs from lack of sunlight and is also called "winter blues". This disorder usually occurs in the northern longitutes such
Canada, Scandinavia, and Russia. A way to recover from SAD is a light that is brigher than regular lights, and sitting in front of it for 30-60 minutes a day
to recover from symptoms.


Gap between neuron and neuron. Electrical impulse releases from terminal button to synapse. Through the synapse, electrical impulse transmits to another neuron.synapse(1).jpg(nakyung)
Is the tiny gap between dendrites of a neuron and the terminal button of another neuron. Here, the neurotransmission takes place.

Terminal Buttons

Terminal Buttons are located at the end of the neuron, they are responsible for sending signals to other neurons.
(Maria)external image terminalbutton.jpg

Wernicke, Carl

Carl Wernicke was an influential member of the nineteenth-century German school of neuropsychiatry,
which viewed all mental illnesses as resulting from defects in brain physiology. A practicing clinical neuropsychiatrist, Wernicke also made major
discoveries in brain anatomy and pathology. He believed that abnormalities could be localized to specific regions of the cerebral cortex and thus could
be used to determine the functions of these regions. Wernicke was one of the first to conceive of brain function as dependent on neural pathways
that connected different regions of the brain, with each region contributing a relatively simple sensory-motor activity.

Carl Wernicke did a study on stroke victims and how the stroke affected their Left Posterior Superior Temporal Gyrus and found that it
has to do with language comprehension and when damaged, that is affected.