Addiction and neural ageing
Addiction and neural ageing

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Glossary for SD805_2
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developmental psychology

A branch of psychology that sees human development as progressing in qualitative leaps or stages. This branch of psychology has mainly been concerned with childhood development but authors such as Eric Erickson have extended the analysis to the whole of the lifespan.

diabetes mellitus (types I and II)

Clinical condition in which either insulin is absent (type I, insulindependent) or in which insulin responsiveness is lost (type II, non-insulin-dependent). Characterized by the copious production of sweet urine.

dichotic listening

Listening to two different inputs simultaneously. This is a paradigm used very often to study attention where subjects listen to a series of two different things at the same time. Subjects are subsequently asked to repeat words previously presented.

differential gene expression

The expression of different sets of genes in different types of cell or at different stages of a cell’s life cycle.


Term describing cells that have become specialised into particular types.


The passive (i.e. non-energy-requiring) movement of a substance from a region where it is at a high concentration to a region where it is at a lower concentration.


A two-ring sugar, e.g. sucrose, lactose.


The ability to distinguish between two stimuli. It is measured by rewarding a response in the presence of one stimulus but not in the presence of the other and seeing whether behaviour shows a discrimination.

discriminative stimulus

A stimulus that is paired with either reward (i.e. reinforcer) availability (+) or its lack (−). An animal’s operant behaviour can be brought under the control of a discriminative stimulus such that it responds only in the presence of the reinforcer. In other words, discrimination training involves the association of a discriminative stimulus with a reinforcer.

disengagement theory

This theory suggests that older people voluntarily withdraw from society in preparation for death, and in order that society can continue to function.

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