PSC Ch. 3
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branching extensions that detect information from neighboring neurons
extended projection from the cell body that transmits information from cell body to terminal buttons
point of release for chemical signals being sent from the neuron into the synapse
Point of chemical communication between neurons
Small gap between two neurons
fatty lining around axons
How does myelin affect the speed of info transmission?
increases speed of information transmission down an axon
Nodes of Ranvier
small gaps between sections of myelin where action potentials are transmitted
Neural impulse sent down an axon that results in the release of chemicals from the terminal buttons
What are the steps of action potential?
- Resting potential
- Action potential
- 1. Sodium channels open
- 2. Potassium channels open
- 3. Sodium channels close
- 4. Potassium channels close
- 5. Hyperpolarization
- Resting potential
What happens when neuron is hyperpolarized?
Refractory period – neuron cannot fire
- Neuron is polarized
- Slightly more negatively charged inside the neuron than outside
Chemicals released from the terminal button of the presynaptic neuron to signal the postsynaptic neuron
What is the primary excitatory neurotransmitter?
increase action of the postsynaptic neuron
What is the primary inhibitory neurotransmitter?
decrease action of the postsynaptic neuron
What is the 1st step for neurotransmitters to get released from a neuron?
1. Neurotransmitter production in the axon
What is the 2nd step for neurotransmitters to get released from a neuron?
2. Once produced, neurotransmitter is stored in vesicles
What is the 3rd step for neurotransmitters to get released from a neuron?
3. Vesicles attach to presynaptic membrane
They open and release stored neurotransmitters into the synaptic cleft
Result of action potential
What is the 4th step for neurotransmitters to get released from a neuron?
4. Neurotransmitter binds to receptors on postsynaptic membrane
What is the 5th step for neurotransmitters to get released from a neuron?
- 5. Unbound neurotransmitter activity is stopped by one of 3 methods
- 3.) Autoreception
- After release from the vesicles at the terminal button
- any neurotransmitter that does not bind to a postsynaptic receptor
- is taken back up by the presynaptic terminal button
After release from the vesicles at the terminal button
any neurotransmitter that does not bind to a postsynaptic receptor
is broken down in the synapse by specific enzymes
Released neurotransmitters bind to receptors on the presynaptic neuron
Motor control of muscles
Learning and memory
what happens if there's a dysfunction in ACh?
Paralysis – botulism blocks ACh release, inhibits muscle movement
- Violent muscle contractions – black widow spider venom
- causes a flood of ACh to be released, causing too much muscle contraction
Over-release leads to ACh depletion, paralysis
Temporary amnesia – occurs if ACh release is blocked
Motor control of voluntary movement
Reward and motivation
What happens if there's a dysfunction in DA?
Parkinson’s – too little DA production
Schizophrenic-like symptoms – too much DA production
- Sleep and attentiveness
What happens if there's a dysfunction in serotonin?
Depression – an underproduction of 5-HT is related to depressive disorders
Alertness and vigilance
What happens if there's a dysfunction in norepinephrine?
Depressive mood – underproduction of NE can depress moods
GABA (gamma-aminobutyric acid)
Primary inhibitory neurotransmitter
What happens if there's a dysfunction in GABA?
Seizures – potentially linked to underproduction of GABA
Tremors – underproduction decreases muscle control
Primary excitatory neurotransmitter
What happens if there's a dysfunction in Glu?
Migraines – potentially linked to overproduction of Glu
Seizures – potentially linked to overproduction of Glu
What parts does the brain stem have?
What are the brain stem's basic functions?
Includes the medulla, pons & midbrain
- Important for regulating basic functions
- Heart rate
What does the cerebellum do?
Coordinated movement & balance
Contains lobes similar to the cortex
Each control different functions related to motor behavior
What are the 6 subcortical structures in brain?
- Basal ganglia
- Nucleus accumbens
subcortical structure: hypothalamus
Major regulatory structure
- Motivated behaviors
- Sexual behavior
Endocrine system control
subcortical structure: thalamus
Relay center for sensory information
subcortical structure: hippocampus
May be subject to plasticity (the brain's natural ability to change)
subcortical structure: amygdala
Emotional association learning
subcortical structure: basal ganglia
Planned movement production
DA production here controls fluid movement
subcortical structure: nucleus accumbens
DA neurons here are activated during pleasurable experiences
Outermost layer of the brain
Responsible for sensory integration, thought production complex behavior
What is the function of the frontal lobe cortex?
Higher-order processing & planning
What is the function of the the parietal lobe?
Conceptualizing spatial layouts
What is the function of the temporal lobe?
Auditory information processing
Specialized visual processing area
What is the function of the occipital lobe?
Visual information processing
When would your sympathetic nervous system be activated?
Activation prepares the body for some required action
Non-vital systems deactivated
When would your Parasympathetic nervous system be activated?
Activation returns the body to a resting state
Released from terminal buttons
Travel short distances
Act very quickly
Released from endocrine glands
Travel throughout the body
In endocrine system, how does hormone behave?
its chemicals released into the bloodstream from endocrine glands that act on a target tissue
Hormones bind to receptors on the target tissue and influence its actions
In endocrine system, what does the hypothalamus do?
Produces hormones in response to a wide range of stimuli
- social behavior
- sexual behavior
- physical growth
In endocrine system, what does the Pituitary do? and what does it have?
Release point for hormones from CNS to periphery
- oxytoxin- uterine contractions
- mother&infants bond
- romantic relationship
- Vasopressin – water balance
- social bonds
- chronic stress regulation
In endocrine system, what does the thyroid do?
In endocrine system, what does the adrenal do?
increase blood sugar level
speed up break down of proteins
have anti-inflammatory effects
epinephrine & norepinephrine
fight or flight response
In endocrine system, what does the pancreas do?
regulates glucose levels
In endocrine system, what does the gonads do?
- androgens (testes)
- estrogens (ovaries)
Development of reproductive organs (prenatal)
Secondary sex characteristics
Adult sexual behavior
the genetic make-up of an organism
determined at fertilization
due to genotype and the environment
What is a dominant gene?
Gene is expressed if it is present
What is a recessive gene?
Gene is expressed only if it is present with another recessive gene
How did the work by Wiesel and Hubel w/ artificial loss of vision contribute to our understanding of critical periods in development?
- Critical period
- Plasticity occurs only inside a defined developmental period.
- Experiences outside this period do not result in plasticity.
A trait is determined by multiple genes, as well as by environmental influences
intentional cell death
may be pruning of unused neural networks to make brain work efficiently
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