How To Use This Glossary
This glossary is organized alphabetically, with all defined terms on the left in bold italics, and all terms used in the definition that are also defined in the glossary are in italics. The definition is then given, then a brief explanation of the word's etymology, if applicable, and then synonyms or antonyms.
- At some later date words in italics may be linked to their respective definition, but at the moment, that is not a priority.
- If you want to add a definition, please at least put it in the proper alphabetical place, even if you don't provide a complete definition.
- Please do not give the definition given by any other source, but compile it based on your personal knowledge. This is to reduce the risk of suit for copyright infringement.
- The author is not concerned with providing perfect definitions for words at the moment. If any good Samaritan comes along and notices something that they can improve, I beg them to please do so!
- action potential -- 'wave' that moves along an axon in response to a stimulus. An action potential may be either afferent or efferent, depending on its source.
- adrenaline rush -- a rush of energy that permeates the body when extreme danger is sensed. This response is mediated by the sympathetic division, and is antagonistic to the workings of the parasympathetic division. The actual 'rush' is caused by a release of epinephrine (adrenaline) and norepinephrine from the adrenal glands.
- afferent -- referring to an action potential that does not originate in the central nervous system, but instead originates in the sensory receptors of the peripheral nervous system.
- anterior -- to the front. Synonymous with ventral.
- autonomic division -- the nervous system division responsible for autonomous tasks like blinking, breathing, heartbeat and vascular control. It is not under conscious control, and therefore it cannot be controlled by thought.
- Brain -- the primary neurological center of the body.
- Brainstem -- the thin, tapering portion of the brain attached to the spinal cord, responsible for coordinating autonomic muscle movements, such as breathing, heart beat, walking, etc.
- Broca's area --
- cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) -- the thick, cushy, nutrient dense fluid that surrounds vital neurological organs, including the brain. CSF provides the organs and cells of the central nervous system with nutrients, protects them from shock and trauma, lubricates the sides of the cranial cavity, and helps cool the organs of the CNS.
- central nervous system (CNS) -- the control and integration sections of the nervous system, comprised of the brain and spinal cord. It receives stimuli from the peripheral nervous system, integrates and interprets those stimuli, and the sends the orders to execute an appropriate response to the stimulus
- cephalization -- the gradual expansion of the rostral portion of the central nervous system, including increases in the number of neurons and ganglia, and an increase in the blood flow to the associated areas. Cephalization is believed to increase intelligence in affected organisms, reaching it's pinnacle in the human brain.
- contralateral -- anatomical term referring to anything on the opposite side of the body, in relation to a midsagittal section. Antonym of ipsilateral.
- cranial nerves -- the 12 pairs of cranial nerves are nerves that link the various senses of the PNS to the brain, in the CNS.
- diencephalon --
- effector -- any organ, muscle or gland that performs an action upon reception of an action potential originating in the central nervous system.
- efferent -- refers to any action potential originating in the central nervous system that gives orders to an effector to perform an action in response to a stimulus.
- ipsilateral -- anatomical term referring to anything that is on the same side of the body, in relation to a midsagittal section. Antonym of contralateral.
- limbic system --
- mesencephalon --
- midsagittal section --
- necrotic -- dead.
- organism -- any living thing.
- peripheral nervous system -- the portion of the nervous system responsible for the reception of stimuli, and the subsequent transfer of those stimuli to the central nervous system.
- pons -- the portion of the brain stem that attaches to the underside of the brain, thus allowing communication between the brain and the rest of the body. 'Pons' is Latin for 'bridge'.
- rostral -- rostral is an anatomical term referring to the front or foremost part of an organ or appendage. The word stems from Latin 'rostrum', or 'beak, nose'. Synonym to anterior.
- somatic division -- the nervous system division under conscious control. Most skeletal muscles are under conscious control.
- spinal nerves -- the 31 pairs of spinal nerves connect to the spinal cord on either side all along its length, sending information from many afferent sources to be interpreted in the brain.
- stimulus -- anything that elicits a response from an organism.
- terminal --
- ventral -- to the front. Synonymous with anterior. Typically used in veterinary medicine to refer to the underside of an animal.
- Wernicke's area --