Learning and Memory: The Brain in Action

By Marilee Sprenger | Go to book overview

Glossary

acetacetylcholine—neurotransmitter involved in muscle movement and memory

action potential—signal sent down the axon of a neuron when the neuron is stimulated

adrenaline—hormone released from the adrenal gland during stress; also called epinephrine

amino acids—fast-acting neurotransmitters that include GABA and glutamate

amygdala—forebrain structure that catalogs emotional memory

antidepressant—drug used to balance availability of neurotransmitters in the brain

association cortex—area of the cerebral cortex responsible for processing information

authentic assessment—assessment associated with a real-life task

automatic memory—reflexive memory located in the cerebellum

axon—part of the neuron that sends the signal to another neuron

brain stem—lower part of the brain where information enters

Broca’s area—area in the frontal lobe that puts spoken words in order

catecholamines—neurotransmitters such as norepinephrine, epinephrine, and dopamine; a type of monoamine

cell membrane—outer covering of the brain cell or neuron

cerebellum—hindbrain structure responsible for balance and posture; contains procedural and automatic memories

cerebrum—forebrain structure that contains mostly myelinated axon fibers

corpus callosum—large band of fibers connecting the two hemispheres of the brain

cortisol—stress chemical released by the adrenal gland that can damage the hippocampus

CREB (cyclic amp-response element binding)— molecule believed to be associated with longterm memory

dendrite—neuronal structure that receives signals from sending neurons

dopamine—neurotransmitter associated with movement and pleasure

emotional memory—memory filed in the amygdala that deals with feelings

endorphin—endogenous morphine; the body’s natural pain killer

epinephrine—another term for adrenaline episodic memory—location-oriented memories filed in the hippocampus

excitatory neurotransmitter—chemical that causes neurons to fire

explicit memory—type of memory associated with the hippocampus that involves memories of words, facts, and places

forebrain—large part of the brain containing the cerebral hemispheres, hippocampus, amygdala, thalamus, hypothalamus, pituitary gland, and pineal gland

frontal lobe—the part of the front of the brain that is involved in critical thinking, problem solving, planning, and decision making

GABA (gamma-aminobutyric acid)—very prevalent inhibitory neurotransmitter

glial cell—brain cell that nurtures neurons glutamate—very prevalent excitatory neurotransmitter

hindbrain—lower area of the brain that includes the brain stem, medulla oblongata, and pons

hippocampus—structure located in the forebrain that catalogs long-term factual memories

hypothalamus—structure located in the forebrain

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