Cell Bio 2 Exam 2 L21: Neural Plasticity Intro

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  1. Describe the phases of neuronal development
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    • genesis of neurons: time and place of birth dictates indentity

    outgrowth of axons and dendrites: pioneering with guidance cues

    refinement of synaptic connections: strengthening connections
  2. Describe the structure of a neuron.
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    axon hillock: checkpoint where inputs converge and an action potential either fires or doesn't

    inputs are received at the cell body and the dendrites

    the axon terminal connects to the downstream target
  3. Dendritic spines
    • <1 um long
    • synapse with neighboring axons
  4. axonal growth cone
    • looks like a club
    • "...like a club or a battering ram...allowing to circumvent obstacles...[to reach] its destination..."
  5. What are the synaptic structure and molecular components?
    presynapse: synaptic signal originates here

    synaptic vesicles: hold neutrotransmitter, releases the neurotransmitters when there's an action potential, allows communication 

    post synaptic density: area of specialization

    post synapse: recieves synaptic output

    • excitatory transmitter: glutamate
    • inhibitory transmitter: GABA
    • glutamate receptors: AMPA and NMDA
  6. define afferent and efferent
    • afferent: away from target
    • efferent: toward target
  7. define contralateral and ipsilateral
    • contralateral: target opposite of midline
    • ipsilateral: target on same side as midline
  8. What is the fundamental task of a neuron?
    to receive, integrate, and transmit electrochemical signals

    action potential: traveling wave of electrical excitation
  9. What is resting membrane potential?

    What is threshold potential?
    -70 mV

    -55 mV
  10. Describe patch clamping and its uses
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    • patch clamping may be used to study a particular ion channel or the total membrane potential in a cell
  11. define plasticity
    the ability of neuronal synapses to modulate the strength and/or presence of synaptic communication
  12. Define long term potentiation and long term depression.
    both occur over periods of time > 1 hour

    long term potentiation: sustained facilitation of  the connection between two neurons

    long term depression: sustained decrease in the electrical connection between two neurons
  13. explain ocular dominance columns
    one eye is injected with a dye (a radiolabel tracer) - the dye is taken up by neurons of the primary visual cortex

    interdigitated regions from opposite eyes

    columns begin diffuse - refinement sharpens definition
  14. explain monocular deprivation
    common experimental technique - equivalent to wearing an eye patch

    deprive one eye of light

    light bands = non deprive eye

    reveals competition - deprived eye (dark bands) shrink, dominance of non-deprived eye
  15. strabismus
    occurs when the gaze of the eyes is not in register - therefore each eye sees a different image

    experimentally accomplished by making the ocular muscles of one eye ineffective

    • reveals refinement based on activity synchronization
    • -neurons link with high selectivity to areas served by the controlled eye
    • -column interfaces do not correspond to the same region
    • -columns are wider more clearly defined
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Cell Bio 2 Exam 2 L21: Neural Plasticity Intro


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