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Lecture 4

PSY 2301 Lecture Notes - Lecture 4: Dendritic Spine, Central Nervous System, Neuroglia

Course Code
PSY 2301
Andra Smith

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What are the Unites of Nervous System Function?
Cells of the Nervous System?
Internal Structure of a Cell?
Genes, Cells and Behavior?
Cells of the Nervous System
Debate in the Early 1900s
o The nervous system is composed of a network of
interconnected fibers: a nerve net
o Nervous system is made of discrete cells
o Neuron Hypothesis
Neurons are the unit of brain function
Three Basic Subdivions
Gather information from other neurons
Cell Body or Soma
Core region; contains the nucleus
Integrates the information
Carries information to be passed on to other cells
Functional units
Enable us to receive information, process it, and act
Glial Cells (“glue”)
Help neurons
Multiple Functions; provide:
Structural Support, nutrients, and protection
Most behaviors are produced by groups of hundreds or thousands of
Neurons continuously change their shape
Grow and shrink
Most of your neurons are with you for life and are never replaced
Basic Structure and Function
Dendritic Spines
Protrusion from a dendrite that greatly increases its surface are and
is the usual point of contact with axons
Axon Hillock
Juncture of soma and axon where the action potential begins
Axon Collaterals
Branch of an axon
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Branch of an axon collateral
End Foot
Knob at the tip of an axon that conveys information to other
neurons; also called a terminal button
Gap between one neuron and another neuron
Usually between an end foot of the axon of one neuron and a
dendritic spine of another neuron
Information Flow in a Neuron
Dendrite Cell Body Axon End Foot
Different Types
Sensory Neurons
Bring information to the central nervous system
Associate sensory and motor activity within the central nervous
Motor Neurons
Send signals from the brain and spinal cord to muscles
Neural Connections
The appearance of each neuron tells us something about the connections
that is must make
In general, neurons with large cell bodies have extensions that are very
long; neurons with small cell bodies have short extensions
Excitation and Inhibition
“Language” or neurons
Each neuron receives thousands of excitatory and inhibitory signals every
Neurons “sum” these signals and respond accordingly: They become
active or not
From the simple yes-no language of neurons emerges enormous
possibilities for behavior
Glial Cell
Ependymal Cells
Small, ovoid; found in the walls of the ventricles
Make and secrete cerebrospinal fluid (CSF)
Build-up of pressure in the brain and swelling of the bead caused if
the flow of the CSF is blocked
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