Acetylcholine

Acetylcholine (ACh) is a small-molecule neurotransmitter that is used by motor neurons of the nervous system (at the neuromuscular junction) to activate muscles. Neurons releasing ACh are known as cholinergic. ACh also plays a role in the autonomic nervous system and...

Alzheimer’s

Alzheimer’s disease is the most common form of dementia, affecting up to 70% of all people with dementia. First recorded in 1907 by Dr Alois Alzheimer who reported the case of Auguste Deter, a middle-aged woman with dementia and specific changes in her brain. For the...

Amygdala

The amygdala is located in both hemispheres of the brain and is involved in a range of cognitive processes. The lateral amygdala receives input from visual, auditory, and somatosensory systems: the central nucleus is connected with the brainstem that controls innate...

Anterior

Anterior: Location terminology relating to the front or to the nose end.

Attachment

Attachment: The human reliance on others, our attachment to people, is one of the most basic and powerful neurobiological/psychological needs. Drawing on the extensive work of John Bowlby (1988, 2008) and the primary attachment figure, Grawe places attachment as a...

Attractors

Attractors are points of influence in a system that can alter the pattern of flow withing the system and the predictability of the system’s end state.

availability heuristic

An availability heuristic is a mental shortcut that comes into people’s minds when evaluating something or making a judgment based on the most readily available memories. People tend to weigh their judgments toward these more easily recalled memories.

Basal

Basal: Location terminology relating to the bottom layer or base.

Blood-Brain Barrier

What is the blood-brain barrier and how can we overcome it? The brain is precious, and evolution has gone to great lengths to protect it from damage. The most obvious is our 7mm thick skull, but the brain is also surrounded by protective fluid (cerebrospinal – of the...

cAMP

cyclic adenosine 3′,5′-cyclic monophosphate (cAMP) is an important “second messenger” for intracellular signalling, such as transferring into cells the effects of hormones that cannot pass through the plasma membrane, for the activation of...

Catecholamines

Catecholamines trigger physiological changes to prepare the body for physical activity such as the fight-or-flight response. Among the catecholamines are dopamine, epinephrine, and norepinephrine, all synthesized from tyrosine, which is then converted to L-dopa and...

Caudal

Caudal: Location terminology relating to the tail or the hind part, or directed toward the tail or hind part, or below another structure.

cerebrum

The cerebrum constitutes the largest part of the brain—responsible for memory, language/speech, sensing, and emotional response—and is divided into the frontal, temporal, parietal, and occipital lobes in both hemispheres. These lobes make up the cerebral cortex, or...

Chaos

Chaos in a complex system is sensitive to the initial conditions. When the initial conditions change by even a small amount, large effects can be felt elsewhere in the system. Resources Complex Systems SOP 12: Terry Marks-Tarlow talks complex systems  ...

Cingulate Cortex

The cingulate cortex is an important  interface between emotional regulation, sensing and action. It has strong reciprocal connections to the orbitofrontal cortex (OFC), the basal ganglia, and insula, and many other brain regions making it an important physical and...

Complex System

Many parts are interconnected and interdependent and the whole that arises from the complexity is more that the individual parts of the system.

Connectogram

Connectograms are graphical representations of connectomics, the field of study dedicated to mapping and interpreting all of the white-matter fiber connections in the human brain. These circular graphs based on diffusion MRI data utilize graph theory to demonstrate...

Consistency Theory

The Consistency Theory (Grawe, 2004, 2007) view of mental functioning is derived from both broadly accepted findings that goals and schemas govern mental activity, and from Grawe’s own argument that goal formation is developed to satisfy the four basic needs we have...

Cunningham Panel

The Cunningham Panel™ provides laboratory results that assist physicians in diagnosing infection-induced autoimmune neuropsychiatric disorders. The panel measures the level of circulating antibodies directed against antigens concentrated in the brain, and measures the...

Default Mode Network

The default-mode network (DMN), is a neural network that is preferentially active when individuals are not focused on the external environment. The network includes the medial prefrontal cortex (PFC), ventral anterior cingulate cortex (ACC), precuneus, posterior...