PSYCH101 Lecture Notes - Lecture 2: Peripheral Nervous System, Myelin, Spinal Cord

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2 Aug 2016
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Check my Brain – Alice in Chains
Nervous System and the Brain
Basic principle: there is a lot of specificity, but there is also a lot of redundancy and
adaptability – nothing is just one structure (everything works together)
Neuron
oSame for everything in the nervous system, it operates through electrical
impulses throughout the body
how do they work in the neuron?
oAxon should be long to be in the nervous system
oMyelin sheath – speeds the neural impulses
Multiple sclerosis – myelin sheath is breaking down (can’t control motor
responses)
oThe ions create the electrical flow (positive flow in that change the charge)
The flowing in and out of ions of the outside and inside of the body is the
charge
oThe electrical charge moves from neuron to neuron by:
Axon terminal almost touches the cell body of the next neuron
There is a small gap called the synapse
To get over this gap, you need a neural transmitter (electrical
charge releases a chemical)
To be effected, each neuron is reliant on the other – the neural
transmitter can make it either more or less likely that the neurons
will fire
oNeurotransmitters – focus on how they can make things more or less likely to
fire – they have a general but wide impact on the body (especially the brain)
Dopamine – involved in movement, attention, and emotion
Parkinson’s disease (deficit) – neurons can’t control the muscle
movement as well
Schizophrenia (excess) – part of the reason for the illusions
(activating parts that should not currently be active)
Serotonin – involved in mood, hunger, sleep, and arousal
Depression (deficit) – not always
Norepinephrine – alertness and arousal
Depression (deficit) – again, not always
Acetylcholine – muscle movement, learning, and memory
Alzheimer’s disease (damage to neurons that produce it)
Essential for our muscle movement
Endorphins – pain regulation
Heroine and morphine mimic it
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Crosses the synapse to see if brain will follow up to the brain
When people are off of the drug, they can feel intense pain
because their body can’t produce the same amount of endorphins
oThere is suddenly a large lack of it on the neurotransmitter
Each are very related to specific mental illnesses, but there is overlap
between these systems in terms of the functions they are creating
When a neurotransmitter goes across a synapse, they fit into receptors
on each side
When they fit into the receptor, that is when they activate the
next cell
Some drugs can block the receptor sites and neurotransmitter
(getting in the way) – blocking the site
Some drugs can mimic the effect of the neurotransmitter in the
receptor site (boosting the neurons)
Divisions of the Nervous System
oCentral and peripheral nervous system
oPeripheral
Somatic system – voluntary movement (under control)
Autonomic system – generally not under control
Glands, muscles related to organs
Sympathetic Nervous System
oGetting ready for fight or flight
oExpending energy
oThink about how it effects body
Eg. pupils dilate, heart speeds up, get pump of
adrenalin and sugar, bladder relaxes
Parasympathetic Nervous System
oCalms and relaxes the person
oConserves and stores energy
oThink about how it effects body
Eg. pupil contract, heart slows, break down fats,
bladder contracts
oCentral
Spinal cord and the brain
Nerves are very dense and shorter axons (effect each other more)
Spinal cord carries info and controls some reflexes
Brain does processing (cerebral cortex is so large!!)
Brainstem: controls many basic functions, is at the base of the
brain
oDamage kills you lol
oBreathing, temperature, etc.
oIn the center of the brain (continuation of the spinal cord)
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