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Psychology 3325 Lecture Notes - Latrodectus, Neurotransmitter Receptor, Axon Terminal

Course Code
Psychology 3325
John Usher

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Stimulating or Inhibiting Release of Transmitter Substances
some drugs stimulate terminal button to release transmitter substance continuously when
axon isnt firing or can inhibit release of ts when axon is firing
effects of drugs more or less specific to one ts
venom of black widow spider releases acetycholine severe cramps, may survive
botulism toxin prevents release of acetylcholine paralysis and suffocates
Stimulating or Blocking Postsynaptic Receptor Molecules
some drugs duplicate effects of ts by directly stimulating particular kind of receptor molecule
eg. nicotine stimulates acetycholine receptors low does = pleasureable effect, high dose
= convulsions and death
some drugs block receptor molecules making them inaccessible to ts
eg. curare disovered in Samerica blocks acetylcholine receptors
antipsychotic drugs
Inhibiting Reuptake
some drugs inhibit reuptake so that molecules of ts continue to stimulate postsynaptic
receptor molecules for long time
eg. cocaine and amphetamine inhibits reuptake of ts including dopamine
Drugs that cause sedation
depress behaviour causing sedation, relaxation, or loss of consiousness
barbitautes drug that causes sedation; one of several derivatives of barbituric acid
calming effect in low doses but cause coma and death in just a little more
antianxiety drugs tranquilizer that reduces anxiety; chlordiazepoxide (Librium) and
diazepam (Valium)
benzodiazepines class of drugs having anxiolytic (tranquilizing) effects; Librium and
stimulate some sort of neuromodulator receptors located on neurons in various parts of
brain including amygdala
ethyl alcohol most common depressant
interferes with glutamate by blocking NMDA receptors
Suzdak discovered drug that reverses effects of alcohol intoxication by blocking
neuromodulator receptors
Drugs that cause excitation
amphetamine and cocaine
increase activity of dopamine-secreting neurons (reinforcing stimuli)
induce psychotic symptoms if taking in large doses for a few days
opiate drugs have excitatory and inhbitory effects on behaviour
inhibitory effects include analgesia (reduced sensitivity to pain), hypothermia (lowering
of body temperature) and sedation
pain reduction accomplished by neurons in midbrain
hypothermia by neurons in hypothalamus
sedation by neurons in medulla
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