New User Special Price Expires in

Let's log you in.

Sign in with Facebook


Don't have a StudySoup account? Create one here!


Create a StudySoup account

Be part of our community, it's free to join!

Sign up with Facebook


Create your account
By creating an account you agree to StudySoup's terms and conditions and privacy policy

Already have a StudySoup account? Login here

LS15 - Week 9 notes

by: AK315

LS15 - Week 9 notes Life Science 15

GPA 3.8

Preview These Notes for FREE

Get a free preview of these Notes, just enter your email below.

Unlock Preview
Unlock Preview

Preview these materials now for free

Why put in your email? Get access to more of this material and other relevant free materials for your school

View Preview

About this Document

Covers Week 9 of LS15
Life: Concepts and Issues
Professor Phelan
Class Notes
25 ?




Popular in Life: Concepts and Issues

Popular in Biology

This 5 page Class Notes was uploaded by AK315 on Thursday March 10, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to Life Science 15 at University of California - Los Angeles taught by Professor Phelan in Winter 2016. Since its upload, it has received 24 views. For similar materials see Life: Concepts and Issues in Biology at University of California - Los Angeles.

Similar to Life Science 15 at UCLA


Reviews for LS15 - Week 9 notes


Report this Material


What is Karma?


Karma is the currency of StudySoup.

You can buy or earn more Karma at anytime and redeem it for class notes, study guides, flashcards, and more!

Date Created: 03/10/16
Week 9 The synapse • Action Potential comes down Axon • Calcium channels open (calcium that is at higher potential outside rushes in to the lower potential area inside) • Neurotransmitter dumped in synapse • NT diffuses across synapse • Binds to receptors • Causing Na+ influx and depolarization • At the synapse, an action potential is converted to a chemical signal releasing NT to stimulate tissue or another neuron The pleasure centers • There are pleasure centers in animal brains • In 1954, James Olds put electrodes to the mesolimbic area of bats brains and found that rats loved the sensation and would self-stimulate till the point of death from starvation (more than 700 times per hour!) • What good does it do an animal to have a set of neurons that makes them feel real good? • Which behaviors are tied to human pleasure centers? Why? ◦ Sex = pleasure. It maximizes reproductive success, although we don’t partake in sex with the expectation of maximizing reproductive success ◦ Adrenaline-filled activities; Bungee jumping etc. • What is going on in pleasure centers? ◦ Neuron is stimulated (in response to your behavior) ◦ dopamine is released into the synapse ◦ receptors on adjacent cell binds dopamine and fire ◦ happiness occurs Drugs • Cocaine ◦ Cocaine binds to re-uptake receptors. Blocks them. ◦ Dopamine remains in synapse. ◦ Pleasure is intensified ◦ The message ‘something good is going on’ is not going to stop
 • Our brains are built with pleasure centers. Stimulating them is so pleasurable, we want to behave in ways that repeat and maximize that stimulation.
 • Serotonin ◦ This is another neurotransmitter ◦ It’s usually inhibitory ◦ Affects appetite, sleep, anxiety and mood. ◦ Makes you content and satiated ◦ What if you block serotonin re-uptake transported protein? ▪ No more depression ▪ Prozac, Zoloft, Paxil etc. help prevent the re-uptake of serotonin and are used as anti-depressants. ▪ Wellbutrin, however, blocks the re-uptake of dopamine
 • How can a drug make us feel less tired and more alert? ◦ Caffeine ◦ Adenosine is a chemical produced as a by-product of cellular metabolism. It is like ‘cellular exhaust’. ◦ Over the course of a day, adenosine builds up n brain synapses, ◦ When adenosine receptors are filled, the ion channels open and the cell becomes less likely to fire. ◦ Adenosine is like a brake to brain activity (And when you sleep, it is re- absorbed) ◦ When you sleep, adenosine gets taken away and you feel refreshed. Then throughout the day it builds up and shuts down your cells so you feel sleepy. ◦ Caffeine masquerades as adenosine but doesn’t make a neuron less likely to fire! ◦ Additional caffeine effects; ▪ Athletic endurance- 19.5% more endurance with caffeine consumption, 1 hour before bike race ▪ Learning - increased performance in maze learning by rats given caffeine. ◦ By interfering with normal neuron functioning, drugs can change the way we feel and function (for better or worse) ◦ There is no evidence of negative consequences of caffeine long term.
 • Why use Botox and how does it work? ◦ It gets into the terminal button at neuron/muscles synapses ◦ It degrades several proteins required for fusion of vesicles with the terminal button membrane ◦ this prevents the release of acetylcholine (neurotransmitter) ◦ And if this neurotransmitter doesn’t release, then the muscles that is meant to be contracted, does NOT contract! (it paralyzes the muscles) ◦ So basically, Botox prevents the muscle contraction
 ◦ LSD: Mimics serotonin ◦ Ecstasy: Increases serotonin production and blocks serotonin re-uptake ◦ Permanently damages serotonin producing cells in cerebral cortex (used in learning) and the hippocampus (used for memory) ◦ Crystal meth - stimulates dopamine and serotonin release ◦ Oxycontin - mimics an opium-like neurotransmitter in pain neurons, blocking their function.
 • By interfering with normal neuronal operation, drugs can alter how we look/feel/function Alcohol • Alcohol is a molecular everyman ◦ Alcohol reduces anxiety ▪ GABA is an inhibitory neurotransmitter. When GABA docks, cells won’t fire. So releasing it calms you down. Alcohol mimics GABA and thus enhances its efficiency ◦ Alcohol produces stimulated energized feelings ▪ Alcohol increases dopamine. Dopamine makes us happy ◦ It blocks pain ▪ Alcohol stimulates endorphins release. Endorphins block pain signals ◦ It reduces depression ▪ Alcohol stimulates serotonin receptor activity. Serotonin makes us more content. ◦ Alcohol slows you down ▪ Glutamate is a NT. Alcohol blocks Glutamate receptors: slow/ slurred speech + reaction times are slowed down
 • Alcohol has multiple physiological effects because it mimics activity at numerous different synapses
 • How do our bodies process alcohol ◦ Ethanol - our body produces alcohol dehydrogenase (ACD) that binds to this, breaking ethanol down to ….. ◦ Acetaldehyde - our body produces aldehyde dehydrogenase (ALD) that binds to this, breaking acetaldehyde to ….. ◦ Acetic acid 
 • Asians and alcohol = Asian glow (they turn red) ◦ 50% produce an inactive form of aldehyde dehydrogenase (this is coded for by our genes) ◦ Acetaldehyde levels increase (and because the aldehyde dehydrogenase isn’t working and breaking the acetaldehyde down). This build up causes consequences which are: ▪ Rapid pulse ▪ Sweating ▪ skin flushing ▪ nausea ◦ 2 versions; fast flushing (2 defective ALD genes) and slow flushing (1 defective and 1 active ALD Gene) meaning that the slow flushers can handle the drinks slowly but if they take it fast then they’re gonna have problems ◦ In fact, interestingly, it can be considered beneficial that having a defective ALD Gene makes alcohol more unpleasant for you thus lowering your risk of alcoholism
 • Many genetic diseases - or beneficial conditions - are the result of a non- functioning metabolic pathway • How might you make a drug that helps treat alcoholism? ◦ Antabuse - blocks the action of ALD. It has kind of a low success rate though because since the Antabuse pill needs to be taken everyday, alcoholics can just choose not to take the pill. ◦ Aspirin - blocks ACD which means ethanol build up occurs causing you to get drunk faster
 • Humans are polymorphic for the dopamine receptor gene ◦ Long version of gene - more responsive receptor ◦ Short version of gene - less responsive receptor ◦ World-wide 20% carry at least 1 copy of the long version gene ◦ They did a study of risk taking with the Dopamine receptor gene and to some extent it was found that individuals with the long gene did more risk-taking things for kicks compared to people with short gene. ◦ Basically, although there are problems with the study itself, it is quite consistent with other studies and it basically tells us how genes tend to affect personality traits
 • Risk-taking stimulates the brains pleasure centers - some brains experience more pleasure than others
 • Some interesting predictors of risk-taking ◦ Spicy food preference ◦ Alcohol use/abuse ◦ Sexual novelty seeking ◦ Smoking ◦ Drug use ◦ ADHD


Buy Material

Are you sure you want to buy this material for

25 Karma

Buy Material

BOOM! Enjoy Your Free Notes!

We've added these Notes to your profile, click here to view them now.


You're already Subscribed!

Looks like you've already subscribed to StudySoup, you won't need to purchase another subscription to get this material. To access this material simply click 'View Full Document'

Why people love StudySoup

Steve Martinelli UC Los Angeles

"There's no way I would have passed my Organic Chemistry class this semester without the notes and study guides I got from StudySoup."

Amaris Trozzo George Washington University

"I made $350 in just two days after posting my first study guide."

Steve Martinelli UC Los Angeles

"There's no way I would have passed my Organic Chemistry class this semester without the notes and study guides I got from StudySoup."

Parker Thompson 500 Startups

"It's a great way for students to improve their educational experience and it seemed like a product that everybody wants, so all the people participating are winning."

Become an Elite Notetaker and start selling your notes online!

Refund Policy


All subscriptions to StudySoup are paid in full at the time of subscribing. To change your credit card information or to cancel your subscription, go to "Edit Settings". All credit card information will be available there. If you should decide to cancel your subscription, it will continue to be valid until the next payment period, as all payments for the current period were made in advance. For special circumstances, please email


StudySoup has more than 1 million course-specific study resources to help students study smarter. If you’re having trouble finding what you’re looking for, our customer support team can help you find what you need! Feel free to contact them here:

Recurring Subscriptions: If you have canceled your recurring subscription on the day of renewal and have not downloaded any documents, you may request a refund by submitting an email to

Satisfaction Guarantee: If you’re not satisfied with your subscription, you can contact us for further help. Contact must be made within 3 business days of your subscription purchase and your refund request will be subject for review.

Please Note: Refunds can never be provided more than 30 days after the initial purchase date regardless of your activity on the site.