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Psychology 1000 Lecture Notes - Phineas Gage, Acetylcholine, Paroxetine

Course Code
PSYCH 1000

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Chapter 3: Biological Foundations of Behaviour
- A spike was propelled through the face and head of Phineas Gage
- His physical health was good, and he recovered
- The equilibrium between his intellectual faculties and animal propensities had been destroyed.
- People said he was ‘no longer Gage’
The Neural Bases of Behaviour
- Specialized nerve cells that are linked together in circuits
- At birth, brain contains 100 billion
- Has 3 main parts
o Cell body soma contains biochemical structures to keep neuron alive and its nucleus
carries genetic info that determines cell development and function
o Dendrites emerge from cell body, branch-like fibres, receiving units that collect info
from other neurons
o Axon extends from cell body, conducts electrical impulses away from cell body to
other neurons, muscles, or glands
- Supported by Glial cells surround neurons and hold them in place, make nutrient chemicals,
form the myelin sheath around some axons, and absorb toxins & waste materials
- Blood-brain barrier prevents many substances and toxins from entering the brain
Nerve Conduction: An Electrochemical Process
- Neurons: generate electricity and release chemicals, surrounded by cell membrane, surrounded
by a salty liquid environment (positively charged) inside is negatively charged
- Resting potential - -70mV (polarized)
Action Potential:
- Action Potential: nerve impulse a sudden reversal in the neuron’s membrane voltage (moves
from -70mV to +40mV)
- Shifting from negative to positive = depolarization
- When dendrites or cell body of a neuron are stimulated by axons from other neurons, small shifs
occur in cell membrane’s electrical potential
- Graded potentials: proportional to the amount of incoming stimulation ( not strong: partially
depolarized, but not enough to generate action potential)
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