CARTA Glossary

Displaying 301 - 378 of 378 defined words
Word Definition Related Vocabulary
Psychological Evolutionary Barrier

The mental equivalent of a physiological evolutionary barrier (such as the difficulty of evolving from an aquatic existence to living on land). A hypothetical concept.

Psychopathology

The study of mental disorders.

Pup

The term used to refer to an infant rodent (rat or mouse).

Pup Retrieval

An infant transport behavior in which the mother uses her mouth to gently carry a pup by the back of the neck. Mothers do this if pups crawl out of the nest or if she has to move her pups to a new nest location. In the laboratory, this behavior can be used as an index of maternal motivation because it is a proactive, voluntary response to an infant.

Pyramidal Neurons

A type of multipolar neuron found in areas of the brain including the cerebral cortex, the hippocampus, and the amygdala. Pyramidal neurons are the primary excitation units of the mammalian prefrontal cortex and the corticospinal tract.

Radial Glia

A primary progenitor cell capable of generating neurons, astrocytes, and oligodendrocytes. Radial glia are defined by their position, morphology, and genetic phenotype. These cells are involved in establishing a temporary scaffold for cortical layer development.

Reading-Frame A way of dividing the sequence of nucleotides in a nucleic acid (DNA or RNA) molecule into a set of consecutive, non-overlapping triplets called codons.
Reading-Frame Shift A genetic mutation caused by indels (insertions or deletions) of a number of nucleotides in a DNA sequence that is not divisible by three.
Reality Denial

A subconscious defense mechanism characterized by refusal to acknowledge (or rationalization of) unwanted or unpleasant facts, realities, thoughts, or feelings. Related Term: “Denialism.”

Recombination

Exchanges between chromosomes that causes independent inheritance of alleles.

REM sleep

Rapid eye movement sleep, a phase of mammalian sleep characterized by random movement of eyes, low muscle tone, and vivid dreams.

Reproductive Debut

Age at which an individual initiates their reproductive career, influences lifetime reproductive success.

Resilience

Capacity (potential or manifested) of a system to adapt successfully to challenges that threaten system function, survival, or development; positive adaptation in the context of significant adversity exposure.

Risk

Higher probability of a negative (undesired) outcome.

Risk Factor

Indicator of risk for specified negative outcome in a population.

RNA Binding Proteins (RBP)

Proteins that bind RNA

Sahelanthropus tchadensis (Toumaï)

An extinct archaic species of hominin dating close to the split between the chimpanzee-human split, ~7 mya.  A probable ancestor to Orrorin tugenensis and may have walked bipedally.  

Savanna-Woodland Mosaic

A transitory ecotone between the tropical moist broadleaf forests of Equatorial Africa and the drier savannas and open woodlands to the north and south of the forest belt. The forest-savanna mosaic consists of drier forests, often gallery forest, interspersed with savannas and open grasslands.

Savant

A person affected with a mental disability who exhibits exceptional skill or brilliance in some limited field.

Savant Syndrome

is a loose term that refers to people who have a combination of significant cognitive difficulties, often stemming from autism, and profound skills.

Scavengers

Organisms that search for and feed on carrion, dead plant material, or refuse.

Selection

Allele frequency change over time caused by the different replication rate of specific alleles.

Selective Attachment

A specific bond formed between a mother and her offspring, which results in the mother exclusively caring for her own young and actively rejecting non-familiar young.

Self-Awareness

Conscious knowledge of one’s own character, feelings, motives, and desires.

Semantics (Linguistics)

The study of the logic and meaning of a word, phrase, sentence, or text.

Sequence

The linear order of the building blocks, which encodes individual form and function.

Sequencing

Reading the order of nucleotides in DNA.

Shotgun

Sequencing cuts the genome into short chunks that are read and reassembled by a computer.

Sialic Acids

Acidic molecules prominently found at the outermost fringes of the forest of sugar chains that cover all vertebrate cells.

Silent Mutations

No change to the phenotype.

Silver-Russell Syndrome

A complex genetic disorder affecting growth.

Single Clonal Lineage Analysis A system for labeling and following a single progenitor cell and its daughter cells as they proliferate and mature.
Single Nucleotide Polymorphisms (SNPs)

Single nucleotide differences (e.g. A vs. T).

Social

Relating to society or its organization.

Social Bond

The degree to which an individual is integrated into the society, or ‘the social’. Social bond is the binding ties or social bonding to the family. Social bond also includes social bonding to the school, to the workplace and to the community.

Social Referencing

A process where an individual takes cues from other people in the environment, about which emotions and actions are appropriate in a certain context or situation. 

Social-Emotional Development

The experience, expression, and management of emotions and the ability to establish positive and rewarding relationships with others. It encompasses both intra- and interpersonal processes. The core features of emotional development include the ability to identify and understand one’s own feelings, to accurately read and comprehend emotional states in others, to manage strong emotions and their expression in a constructive manner, to regulate one’s own behavior, to develop empathy for others, and to establish and maintain relationships.

Species

A population whose individuals can mate with one another to produce viable and fertile offspring. (debated definition)

SRGAP2

A gene on chromosome 1 that encodes for a protein that plays a role in cortical neuron development. Duplications of this gene are unique only to humans.

Stable Isotope

 Isotopes that do not decay into other elements.  These isotopes, found in biological material, including fossils, and can be used to study paleo-diet and ecology.

Starch

A plant storage molecule in the form of a polysaccharide. Starch is obtained chiefly from cereals, tubers, and potatoes. It is an important constituent of the human diet due to its digestibility, unlike many other polysaccharides, such as plant cellulose, pectins, and xylans (polyxylose).

Stone Age

The prehistoric period during which stone was used to make tools and weapons and is synonymous with the paleolithic. ~3.4 mya - 10 kya.

In African archaeology, stone age chronology is divided into Early Stone Age (ESA): ~2.6 mya to ~300 kya; Middle Stone Age (MSA): ~300 kya to ~50 kya; and Later Stone Age (LSA): ~ 50 kya to ~39 kya.

ESA is characterized by the development of the first African stone tools, such as Oldowan technology used by Australopithecines, and the more advanced Acheulean technology, utilized by Homo erectus.

MSA is characterized by a transition from Acheulean to Levallois technology and the earliest known modern human behavior.

LSA is characterized by microlithic industries and punch-struck blades and fully modern human behavior.

Stress

Effects of disturbances in an individual or system that disrupt adaptive functions; response of a dynamic system to challenges or demands.

Stressors

Events or experiences that typically result in stress on a system.

Structural Variation (Genomics)

The variation in structure of an organism’s chromosomes. It consists of many kinds of variation in the genome of one species, and usually includes microscopic and submicroscopic types, such as deletions, duplications, copy-number variants, insertions, inversions and translocations.

Subcortical Structure

A group of diverse neural formations deep within the brain which include the diencephalon, pituitary gland, limbic structures and the basal ganglia. They are involved in complex activities such as memory, emotion, pleasure and hormone production. They act as information hubs of the nervous system, as they relay and modulate information passing to different areas of the brain.

Subventricular Zone Describes both embryonic and adult neural tissues in the vertebrate nervous system.
Synaesthesia

A condition in which one type of stimulation evokes the sensation of another.

Synonymous/Non-synonymous Mutations

No change to the protein; changes to protein, respectively.

Syntax

The arrangement of words and phrases to create well-formed sentences in a language.

T-maze Test

A parental challenge test. The apparatus is a T-shaped Plexiglas structure that is used to measure whether female rats or mice are willing to protect their infants from potential harm. The maze is novel (new) and therefore fear-inducing to neophobic rodents. Rodents that fail to group pups in the nest within 15 minutes are considered neglectful.

Terror Management Theory

A concept in social psychology that proposes the existence of a basic psychological conflict that results from having a desire to live but realizing death is inevitable.

Theory of Mind (ToM)

The ability to attribute mental beliefs, desires, intentions, and perspectives, etc., to oneself and to others, and to understand that others have beliefs, desires, intentions, and perspectives that are similar or different from one's own.  Related/Overlapping Terms: “Intentionality”, Attribution of Mental States”, “Inter-subjectivity”, “Mind-Reading”, “Perspective taking”, “Other-regarding Impulses”, etc.

Tinbergen's Four Questions

Nikolaas Tinbergen’s 1962 paper “On aims and methods of Ethology,” defined complementary categories for analyzing and explaining animal behavior as proximate (developmental: both ontogenic and mechanistic) and ultimate (evolutionary: both phylogenetic and adaptive).

  • Proximate/Ontogeny: How does the trait develop in individuals?
  • Proximate/Mechanism: How does the trait work?
  • Ultimate/Phylogeny: What is the trait’s evolutionary history?
  • Ultimate/Adaptation: Why does the trait perform better than evolvable alternatives?
Transcription

The first step in gene expression during which the nucleotide sequence of DNA is transcribed into an RNA molecule that can ultimately be translated into protein.

Transcription Factor Proteins

A protein that alters gene expression by binding directly or indirectly to DNA

Transcription Factors

Proteins that bind to specific sequences of DNA called regulatory elements, or other proteins that do so, and directly or indirectly affect the initiation of transcription. The activities of transcription factors determine where and when genes are expressed.

Transcriptional Memory

The idea that following repeated stimulus-induced activation, genes become poised or primed to respond to that stimulus.

Translation

The process by which RNA sequences are translated to amino acid sequences during protein synthesis.

Transposable elements (TE)

Sequences that replicate in a genome by inserting copies of themselves at other loci (a type of “molecular parasite”).

Turnaround Cases

Individuals who show a striking change in direction of the life course; In resilience science, a pathway indicating dramatic improvement in adjustment.

Type 2 Diabetes (Adult On-Set)

A chronic metabolic disorder that affects the way the body processes blood sugar (glucose). It is characterized by high blood sugar, insulin resistance, and relative lack of insulin and primarily occurs as a result of obesity and lack of exercise.

Typhoid fever

A bacterial infection of Salmonella typhi spread through contaminated food, water, or close contact.

Ungulates

Any typically herbivorous and hoofed mammal belonging to a diverse group that includes both perissodactyls (odd-toed ungulates including horses and rhinos) and artiodactyls (even-toed ungulates including cattle, pigs, giraffes, camels, deer, hippos). Recent discoveries indicate cetaceans evolved from early artiodactyls.

Uniparental

Species in which a single parent rears offspring. Over 95% of mammalian species are uniparental with the mother providing sole care.

Upper Paleolithic

The third subdivision of the Paleolithic, or Stone Age, and coincides with behavorial modernity and predates the advent of agriculture. Artefacts include finely crafted stone blades and bone and antler tools, such as harpoons and needles. ~50 kya - 10 kya

Variant

DNA that differs among groups studied.

Variation (Biology)

The differences among the individual of the same species.

Vector

DNA molecule used to direct the replication of a cloned DNA fragment (“insert”) in a host cell.

Ventricular Zone A transient embryonic layer of tissue containing neural stem cells, principally radial glial cells, of the central nervous system of vertebrates.
Vulnerability

Individual or system susceptibility or sensitivity specific to harmful consequences from threats or disturbances; moderator of adversity or risk that results in higher than typical negative effects.

Wild Boy of Aveyron

A French feral child who was captured in 1800 at the estimated age of twelve. A young physician, Jean Marc Gaspard Itard, worked with the boy for five years and gave him his name, Victor. Itard was interested in determining what Victor could learn and devised procedures to teach words and recorded his progress. Based on his work with Victor, Itard broke new ground in the education of the developmentally delayed. Victor is estimated to have been born around 1788 and Itard reported he was a normal child at birth but later he was neglected by his alcoholic parents at an early age, and he left to the wild. Recent commentary by Uta Frith, a German developmental psychologist at the Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience, University College London, postulates that Victor displayed signs of autism.

Williams Syndrome

A genetic condition characterized by medical problems, including cardiovascular disease, developmental delays, and learning challenges.  These often occur side by side with striking verbal abilities, highly social personalities and an affinity for music.  1 in 10,000 people worldwide are affected and occurs equally in males and females and in every culture. Children with Williams syndrome tend to be social, friendly and endearing.

Wolf-Girls of India

Amala (1918-21) and Kamala (1912-1929) were two feral girls from Bengal, India, who were alleged to have been raised by a wolf family. There is much controversy to the veracity of the girls’ wolf story.

Working Memory

The part of short-term memory that is concerned with immediate conscious perceptual and linguistic processing.  It is also important for reasoning and the guidance of decision-making and behavior.

Y-chromosome DNA

In mammals, paternally inherited DNA. The Y-chromosome is one of two sex chromosomes (allosomes), and is the sex-determining chromosome. Absence or presence of the Y-chromosome in the sperm fertilizing the egg determines the sex of the resulting offspring (female or male, respectively).  In humans, the Y-chromosome consists of ~59 million base pairs.  Y-Chromosome DNA is used to make paternal haplogroup (discrete sections of non-recombining dna) lineage inferences.  The Y-chromosome is passed paternally to sons only and it is one of the fastest-evolving (read: mutation rate) parts of the human genome.

Yersinia pestis

The gram-negative bacterium that causes the plague, which takes three main forms: pneumonic, septicemic and bubonic.

Zoobiquity

A species-spanning approach to medicine that recognizes that animals and humans get many of the same diseases, yet physicians and veterinarians rarely consult one another.

Pages