Addiction and neural ageing
Addiction and neural ageing

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Glossary for SD805_2
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basal metabolic rate (BMR)

The metabolic rate of an individual who has not eaten for 12 hours, and is at rest and at a comfortable temperature.


(in nucleotide) Nitrogen-containing, ring-shaped molecules in DNA and RNA. There are four different bases in a nucleic acid: two with a double-ring structure, called adenine (A) and guanine (G); and three with a single-ring structure, cytosine (C) and either thymine (T), in DNA, or uracil (U), in RNA. It is the sequence of bases which determines the information content of the molecule.


A school of psychology which advocated that only observable behaviour should form the data for a science of psychology.


The process by which stable chemicals, for example some pesticides, become increasingly concentrated in the tissues of animals as a consequence of their place in a food chain.


A broad term that includes the whole array of life forms and their component levels of organisation, from genes to ecosystems.

biological determinism

The view that every characteristic of an organism’s structure and functioning, including mental and emotional states in humans, is determined by the genes that an individual has inherited.

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.

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