DSE212 Key Terms 4

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  1. Neurotransmitter(s)
    • Chemical messengers that communicate between neurons
    • Synapse = gap between neurons· Neurotransmitters stored in terminal of pre-synaptic neuron, released into synapse when an action potential reaches end of the neuron
    • Taken up by receptors in post-synaptic neuron
    • Neurotransmitters trigger excitation or inhibition in the post-synaptic neuron
    • Neurons characterised by type of neurotransmitter they store (e.g. seratonergic neurons, dopaminergic neurons)

    • Importance
    • Malfunctions of certain neurotransmitters can be linked to depression and mood problems
    • SSRIs block reuptake and treat depression
  2. Phenotype
    • Set of observable characteristics of an individual resulting from the interaction of its genotype with the environment
    • Phenotype can differ greatly between genetically identical individuals as a result of environment
    • No Nature/nurture dichotomy, both have effect

    • Importance
    • Genotype/phenotype distinction important since although there is genetic basis for differences in a population, interaction with the environment needs to be taken into account when investigating development and behaviour.
  3. Genotype
    • Collection of all of an individual's genes, identical in all cells apart from sex cells (gametes)
    • Genes from parent's gametes combine through fertilisation
    • Does not change across lifespan
    • The genotype can be seen as the potential for development into a number of different phenotypes
    • Genotype is not a set of instructions that will inevitably lead to a particular phenotype

    • Importance
    • The basis for evolutionDemonstrates the need to take more than just the biology of an organism into account
  4. Action potential
    • Brief and sudden changes in resting value of electrical voltage in a cell and return to this value
    • Information is coded in terms of frequency of action potentials
    • Motor neurons send information from CNS to the muscles
    • Sensory neurons send information from the site of stimuli to the CNS
    • Action potentials in a pre-synaptic neuron can trigger excitation in a post-synaptic neuron
    • Release of certain neurotransmitters potentials can trigger inhibition in a post-synaptic neuron (the suppression of activity)

    • Importance
    • Important role in our understanding of the nervous system
  5. Brain lesions
    Any sort of damage to the brain, whether by accident (e.g. physical accident or bodily failure such as stroke) or intent (e.g. surgery, experiment, assault)

    • Importance
    • Important as source of information about how brain functions
    • Changes in behaviour after damage of an area can suggest contribution of that area to normal function. This should be used with caution as damage is rarely uniform and each case tends to be unique
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DSE212 Key Terms 4
2012-06-09 18:49:37
DSE212 Key Terms

DSE212 Key Terms 4
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