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