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 11, 2009


(in context of Natural Selection)
the ability of a species to survive in a particular ecological niche, esp. because of alterations of form or behavior brought about through natural selection. - bbhenrychen bbhenrychen Aug 29, 2009

Adoption Studies

A method in genetic research which allows the most direct comparison of genetic and environmental influences of behavior. Children share 50% of their genes with their natural mother. Thus, if genetic plays a major role of triggering a symptom, then the symptom should still occur even if the child is adopted. Vice versa, if environment plays the major role, then the symptom would be lost when the child is adopted.
- sakujun_marylu sakujun_marylu Dec 7, 2009


The long threadlike part of a nerve cell along which impulses are conducted from the cell body to other cells - VonLyn VonLyn Sep 1, 2009
external image moz-screenshot.pngexternal image moz-screenshot-1.pngexternal image moz-screenshot-2.pngexternal image moz-screenshot-3.pngexternal image moz-screenshot-4.pngexternal image moz-screenshot-5.pngexternal image moz-screenshot-6.pngexternal image moz-screenshot-7.pngexternal image moz-screenshot-8.pngexternal image moz-screenshot-9.pngexternal image moz-screenshot-10.pngexternal image moz-screenshot-11.pngexternal image moz-screenshot-12.pngexternal image moz-screenshot-13.pngexternal image moz-screenshot-14.pngexternal image moz-screenshot-15.pngexternal image moz-screenshot-16.pngexternal image moz-screenshot-17.png
-Tommy Fritz

Behavioral Genetics

The field of biology that studies the role of genetics in animal (including human) behavior.
- Jeffrey Huang

The way of understanding how genetics and environment plays a role in influencing human behavior.
- sakujun_marylu sakujun_marylu Dec 7, 2009


a characteristic of relations between two concepts, in that they can be expressed in the two opposing directions, from Concept A to concept B and vice versa, and often require different names in each direction (as in 'Mary has parent John / John parent of Mary').
- linjaime linjaime Dec 7, 2009

Brain Plasticity

The Brain's ability to rearrange the connections between its neurons
-Tommy Fritz

The brain's ability to be altered by environmental stimulation (being able to be influenced and formed)
- vkung vkung Sep 3, 2009


(Paul Broca; Broca's Brain)

Broca's area is the first one on the left
Broca's area is the first one to the left - VonLyn VonLyn Sep 1, 2009

Discovered by Paul Broca to be the left frontal lobe of the brain associated with understanding and making gramatically complex sentences. This researcher's patients could not produce speech but could understand it. This is known as Broca's aphasia.
- sakujun_marylu sakujun_marylu Dec 7, 2009

This region of the brain contains motor neurons involved in the control of speech. This area is located in the frontal part of the left hemisphere of the brain. It was discovered in 1861 by French surgeon Paul Broca, who found that it served a vital role in the generation of articulate speech. The Broca area also serves to regulate the function of other parts of the brain that initiate the complex patterns of bodily movement (somatomotor function) necessary for the performance of a given motor act.


a short branched extension of a nerve cell, along which impulses received from other cells at synapses are transferred to the cell body. - VonLyn VonLyn Sep 1, 2009
-Tommy Fritz

Diathesis-Stress Model

Model which is used to explain the origin of depression. The model argues that depression may be the result of interaction of genetic predisposition and traumatic environmental effects during early childhood. (Course Companion Book)
- sakujun_marylu sakujun_marylu


Uses a cap with multiple receptors to produce a read-out that looks like a seismograph of brain waves/ activity. - beirife beirife Oct 28, 2009

Family Studies

The way of studying behavioral genetics which is a more representative sample of the general population. Each individual shares 50 percent of their siblings, 25 percent with their grandparents, and 12.5 percent with their first cousins. Family studies compares this genetic relationship to determine whether a behavior results from environmental or genetic factors.
- sakujun_marylu sakujun_marylu Dec 7, 2009


external image moz-screenshot.pngexternal image moz-screenshot-1.pngexternal image moz-screenshot-2.pngexternal image fmri_image.jpg
High resolution, 3D imaging of the brain's activities. (MRI only gives anatomical picture, while fMRI gives metabolic activity as well as the anatomical picture.) Picture above is the type of coloring that would appear on the scans.


Frontal Cortex

The cortex of the frontal lobe of the cerebral hemisphere
-Tommy Fritz

"Part of the brain generally thought to be where higher level thinking, planning, and goal formulation take place."
- Caitlyn Rife

external image moz-screenshot.pngexternal image moz-screenshot-1.pngexternal image remember-birth-2.jpg
-Mary Lu

Gamma Waves

A gamma wave is essentially a pattern of brain waves with a frequency between 25 to 100 Hz. According to a popular 20 year old theory, gamma waves may be implicated in creating the unity of conscious perception.
- VonLyn VonLyn Dec 3, 2009


A region of the brain, between the thalamus and the midbrain, that functions as the main control center for the autonomic nervous system by regulating sleep cycles, body temperature, appetite, etc., and that acts as an endocrine gland by producing hormones, including the releasing factors that control the hormonal secretions of the pituitary gland.
-Tommy Fritz
external image Brain-Hypothalamus-Cerebellum.jpg
- Caitlyn Rife

The hypothalamus regulates homeostasis. It has regulatory areas for thirst, hunger, body temperature, water balance, and blood pressure, and links the nervous system to the endocrine system.
-Mary Lu



Something that is passed down to you from your parents. In the case of genetics this is your genes.

You inherit everything from your eye color to your favorite tastes. And we've learned of research that indicates that we can inherit the predispostion for many diseases like depression or schizophrenia. - beirife beirife Dec 12, 2009

Interactionist Approach

Approach by which modern psychologists use that does not rely solely on nature/nurture, but adopts a more holistic picture of human behavior. (Course Companion Book).
- sakujun_marylu sakujun_marylu

Longitudinal Study

A correlational research study that involves repeated observations of the same items over long periods of time — often many decades. It is a type of observational study. Longitudinal studies are often used in psychology to study developmental trends across the life span. The reason for this is that unlike cross-sectional studies, longitudinal studies track the same people, and therefore the differences observed in those people are less likely to be the result of cultural differences across generations. Because of this benefit, longitudinal studies make observing changes more accurate and they are applied in various other fields.
- iamjeff33 iamjeff33 Dec 7, 2009


A hormone that helps us sleep. There are pills called Melatonin that help with jetlag. - vkung vkung Aug 30, 2009
It is triggered for release when in a dark environment. Thus, long hours of exposure to darkness in extreme latitudes can cause too much release of melatonin and result with constant dreariness and potentially lead to seasonal affective disorder, or even depression. - sakujun_marylu sakujun_marylu Dec 7, 2009

- - linjaime linjaime Sep 7, 2009


A review that uses quantitative methods to combine the statistical measures from two or more studies and generates a weighted average of the effect of an intervention, degree of association between a risk factor and a disease, or accuracy of a diagnostic test.
- linjaime linjaime Dec 7, 2009

Mirror Neurons

A neuron that fires when an animal (or a person) performs an action or when the animal observes somebody else performing the same action.
-Tommy Fritz

Natural Selection

(Theory of)
This 'weeding out' of less suited organisms and the reward of survival to those better suited led Darwin to deduce that organisms had evolved over time, where the most desirable characteristics of a species are favoured and those organisms who exhibit them survive to pass their genes on.
-Mary Lu


(in context of nature-nurture debate)
What you inherit from your parents, basically your genes or genetics. The argument is if these genes, your inherited traits, or the way that you were brought up or what you've experienced have more effect on how you behave. - beirife beirife Sep 17, 2009


Nerve cells, one of the building blocks of behavior. They send signals to the brain so that people can respond to stimuli.
-Tommy Fritz

Image of a Neuron
- linjaime linjaime Sep 7, 2009


The method by which neurons send signals to the brain.
-Tommy Fritz


Released from the terminal buttons to get signals across the synapse.
-Tommy Fritz


(in context of nature-nurture debate)
This is the other side of the debate.The side that says that your life experiences, or how you were brought up is what influences how you act. - beirife beirife Sep 17, 2009


Neurotransmitter released in large amounts during birth labor and breast feeding. Stimulates the release of milk and contraction of the uterus. Also said to be released as a result of hugging, kissing. Creates a nurturing, loving, compassionate, empathatic nature. When in low levels it causes women in particular to be more violent; also causes difficulty in milk release and ueterus contraction. Said to reduce anxiety levels and boost confidence.


· Positron Emission Topography (PET)
· Radioactive glucose injected…a little invasive
· Used to find brain tumors or compare brains
· If someone has an abnormality, a PET scan can pick it up through comparisons
· Can also record ongoing activity over longer period of time-major advantage!

- linjaime linjaime Oct 28, 2009

Post-Mortem Studies

Postmortem studies are a neurobiological research method in which the brain of a patient, usually the subject of a longitudinal study, with some sort of phenomenological affliction (i.e. cannot speak, trouble moving left side of body, Alzheimer’s, etc.) is examined after death. The irregularities, damage, or other cerebral anomalies observed in the brain are attributed with whatever ailment the patient was afflicted with in life. With repeated studies a more exact correlation can be ascertained.
Postmortem studies have been used to further the understanding of the brain for centuries. Before the time of the MRI, Cat Scan, or x-ray, it was one of the few ways to study the relation between behavior and the brain.
Definition of Post-Mortem Studies
- Jaime Lin

Reductionist Approach

An approach to understand the nature of complex things by reducing them to the interactions of their parts, or to simpler or more fundamental things
- vkung vkung Oct 27, 2009


The reabsorption of a neurotransmitter, such as serotonin or norepinephrine, by a neuron following impulse transmission across a synapse
- iamjeff33 iamjeff33 Dec 14, 2009

The reabsorption of a secreted substance by the cell that originally produced and secreted it. The process of reuptake, for example, affects serotonin.

Seasonal Affective Disorder

Also known as winter depression or winter blues, Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) is a mood disorder in which people who have normal mental health throughout most of the year experience depressive symptoms, usually in the winter, repeatedly, year after year.
Symptoms of SAD may consist of: difficulty waking up in the morning, tendency to oversleep as well as to overeat, and especially a craving for carbohydrates, which leads to weight gain. Other symptoms include a lack of energy, difficulty concentrating on completing tasks, and withdrawal from friends, family, and social activities. All of this leads to the depression, pessimism, and lack of pleasure which characterize a person suffering from this disorder.

- bbhenrychen bbhenrychen Sep 3, 2009


The Gap between Neurons
-Tommy Fritz
between two different neurons
- Jeff Huang

Terminal Buttons

Located at the end of the Neuron, sends signals to other Neurons across the synapse using neurotransmitters.
-Tommy Fritz

Image of terminal buttons on a neuron.
- Jaime Lin

Wernicke, Carl

Researcher (1874) who described the area of the brain associated with language comprehension as the left posterior superior temporal gyrus. His patients were able to produce speech but not understand it; this became to be known as Wernicke's aphsia.
- sakujun_marylu sakujun_marylu Dec 7, 2009