Addiction and neural ageing
Addiction and neural ageing

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Glossary for SD805_2
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biological evolution

The gradual changes to the structures and functions of living things which have been occurring from the moment that the earliest life forms appeared on Earth, perhaps 3500–4000 million years ago.


The study of living organisms, their body structures and functions, and their interrelationships in natural environments.

biopsychosocial world

A conglomerate term which seeks to encompass all the influences on individuals and groups from their biological and psychological functioning and social interactions.


A form of vision in which brain-damaged subjects can show evidence of some level of perception (e.g. an ability to point correctly at targets) even though they are unconscious of any such visual stimuli.


A lower than normal heart rate.

brown adipose tissue (BAT)

Specialised form of adipose tissue which is present in newborn babies. The fat cells in BAT contain large numbers of mitochondria and are well supplied with blood. BAT is responsible for non-shivering thermogenesis.



A chemical agent that causes cancer.

cardiac arrhythmia

A disturbance to the normal beating of the heart.

cardiac muscle

The specialised muscle, found only in the heart, that is responsible for the regular contraction and relaxation of the heart (heart beat). It is under the control of the autonomic nervous system.

cardiovascular shock

A term used to describe insufficient blood flow to the tissues, such that tissue damage occurs.

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