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1. a basic function of self-care that includes maintaining one’s body, hair, clothes, and general appearance. This includes such activities as bathing, shaving, toothbrushing and flossing, hair brushing and styling, nail trimming, and applying cosmetics. Reacquiring grooming skills that have been lost or compromised due to mental or physical impairment is a central aspect of many rehabilitation programs.

2. behavior in which a nonhuman animal picks through its own or another animal’s hair, fur, or feathers. Whereas the main function of self-grooming is hygienic (i.e., to remove dirt and parasites), grooming of other members of an animal’s group may serve both hygienic and social functions. See allogrooming.

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Psychology term of the day

May 26th 2024

GABAA receptor

GABAA receptor

one of the two main types of receptor protein that bind the neurotransmitter gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA), the other being the GABAB receptorgabab-receptor. It is located at most synapses of most neurons that use GABA as a neurotransmitter. The predominant inhibitory receptor in the central nervous system, it functions as a chloride channel (see ion channel). GABA agonists, such as the barbiturates and benzodiazepines, enhance the binding of GABA to GABAA receptors, allowing for increased conductance of chloride through the ion channel and thereby hyperpolarizing the neuron and inhibiting its activity. GABA antagonists, such as bicuculline and picrotoxin, block the inhibitory effects of GABA at this receptor. Many other substances, including alcohol (ethanol), are thought to exert at least part of their effect via interaction at the GABAA receptor.