Addiction and neural ageing
Addiction and neural ageing

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Glossary for SD805_2
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short-term memory

Memory where information is only stored for a limited period of time, e.g a phone number.

See also working memory.

skeletal muscle

The muscles that are associated with the skeleton and responsible for changing the position of the body or parts of the body (e.g. legs and arms) in relation to the external environment.

Skinner box

An apparatus in which an animal obtains a reward, usually food or water, for emitting a response. In the case of pigeons, a key is pecked; and for rats, a lever is pressed.

smooth muscle

Type of muscle controlled by the autonomic nervous system and which determines such things as the state of contraction of the gut and the diameter of blood vessels.

social death

A term used to describe patients who are treated by others as if they were not there.

socio-economic groups

Classification of groups in society in terms of social characteristics (e.g. marital status) or economic determinants (e.g. income level).


The study of human interactions and social relationships, their organisation, functions, development and significance.

somatic cell

Any cell of a living organism, except the reproductive cells (gametes).

somatic nervous system

That part of the nervous system that controls the activity of the skeletal muscles of the body.


A peptide hormone synthesised in a distinct region of the brain and released into the capillaries of the brain blood vessels. Somatostatin regulates (inhibits) the secretion of some other hormones (somatotropin, insulin, thyrotropin, glucagon, gastrin and cholecystokinin).

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