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Feb/11/16 Notes (The Brain, Neurons, etc.)

by: Laura Dominguez

Feb/11/16 Notes (The Brain, Neurons, etc.) PSY

Marketplace > La Salle University > Psychlogy > PSY > Feb 11 16 Notes The Brain Neurons etc
Laura Dominguez
La Salle
GPA 3.8
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These notes cover everything the professor talked about in addition to what was on the powerpoints.
Class Notes
psych, La Salle, psych 155





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This 3 page Class Notes was uploaded by Laura Dominguez on Monday February 8, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to PSY at La Salle University taught by in Winter 2016. Since its upload, it has received 26 views. For similar materials see INTRO TO PSYCH in Psychlogy at La Salle University.

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Date Created: 02/08/16
The Brain Cells of nervous system Neurons – Nerve cells  Brain has 100 billion  Synthesize brain chemicals   Enable neural transmission Glial cells: they serve some supporting role for the neuron  Important in degenerative conditions  Their function is vital for normal, healthy processes  Involved in certain types of muscular dystrophy Neural Communication/structure of neuron  Dendrites: reception end. “branches” can proliferate. Complex intro­ neural connections largely have to do with these. o Suggest that brain has evolved enough to permit adaptation. o Skill development. o They receive information from other neurons  Cell Body: contains DNA of the cell. Synthesize brain chemicals  called neurotransmitters.  o Can receive info using neurotransmitters that it itself does not  manufacture.  Axon: transmits information  Terminal buds: where information is stored. When we say that a neuron is “activated” this means it is being moved from a state of rest to a state of movement. In between the “sending neuron” and “receiving neuron” there is a microscopic gap called the synaptic gap, or  cleft.  Each neurotransmitter has particular substance which fits specific  neuron.  Dendrites Cell body Axon  Axon terminal Synapse (receive) (collates  (relays)  (releases  (communicate incoming  neurotransmitters s between  signals) ) neurons) Molecular structure is exact match, so no two neurotransmitters can occupy the same space. In order for neuron to “fire” there is a threshold of excitability that must be  reached and/or exceeded. It depends on the amount of stimulation.   Letting positive ions enter neuron makes it more prone to an “action  potential”, this is called Depolarization. “Over­firing” in the brain: results in death, seizure, migraines, etc.  When negative ions enter the neuron and make it less prone to firing  an action potential, this is called Hyperpolarization. Some areas in the brain where particular neurotransmitters are, are  designed to exert inhibitory messages. Neuron fires = transmitter gets released into synapse, action occurs.  The Refractory Period is the brief period during which a neuron  cannot fire (because it is receiving the message of whether the  previous neuron was enough or not) aka “reloading period,” matter of  milliseconds. When the neuron is transmitted, there is excess that stays floating around  in the synapse. So there are enzymes that exist solely to break down  leftovers.  Re­uptake is the “taking­back” of excess neurotransmitter in the synapse.  In order to restore balance in neurochemistry, sometimes drugs need to be  used. Morphine, for instance, acts like a man­made version of endorphins.   The drugs that increase activity are called Agonists. They mimic the  activation as the neurotransmitter itself.   Drugs that block neurotransmitter are called antagonists. They go  against the normal activity of the neurotransmitter. Re­uptake Inhibitors Antidepressants like Prozac inhibit re­uptake of neurochemicals like  serotonin in the brain. There are pathways in the brain where serotonin travels, this is linked to  mood regulation.  Same with dopamine (which causes excess in activity, resulting in diseases such as schizophrenia), in conditions like Parkinson’s, brain becomes less  and less able to produce dopamine.  Drugs that are given to people who suffer of Parkinson’s reduce symptoms, increase creation of dopamine to allow normal amount of activity.  Some neurotransmitters and their functions Acetylcholine: muscle action, learning, memory Norepinephrine: alertness, arousal Dopamine: movement, learning, attention, emotion Serotonin: affects mood, hunger, sleep, arousal GABA (gamma­aminobutyric acid): major inhibitory neurotransmitter Glutamate: major excitatory neurotransmitter; involved in memory The neurotransmitter carries message and transmits neuron, whereas the neuron manufactures brain chemicals (called neurotransmitters, which are released when they become activated). The human brain has a lot of “open brain space” which makes us, humans,  capable to develop more complex skills than other species. 


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