PS101, Lec 6 02/05/2013
Neurons have a receiving end (cell body and dendrites) EPSP and IPSP compete there, and a sending
Cause action potential that travels down the axon, and causes the NT to squirt out from presynaptic
terminal into synaptic cleft, flow to postsynaptic membrane to dendrites at the receiving end at the next
cell. Convert chemical energy to electrical energy and vice versa.
NT changes the electrical potential of the receiving cell, if it changes enough, it would send that electrical
potential (action potential) down the cell, causes it to squirt NT (chemical potential) out of the cell.
Learning Golgi, Cajal, and Loewi. Zoom out to macroscopic action of brain.
Brain cells can have very long axons in the middle. Brain can decide which part of the brain (with a specific
function) it will send its message to. Have communication between two sides of the brain through NTs.
Serotonin important for regulating impulses.
Main question: What NTs do in the brain and what effects do drugs and alcohol
have on their functional activity?
I) CT: computerized tomography. Snapshot. Same as CAT scan. Computer maps brain. (topography).
Looks at hills of brain for abnormalities. Low resolution snapshot of brain. Not much different from (xray).
Can find high density material. Most common way to scan body or brain.
II) PET: Rarest diagnostic tool. Snapshot. Not amazing resolution either. Uses tracers. Can trace
glucose and oxygen. Tells you which brain regions are using the most energy (active). Great scan for a
specific kind of disorder for specific regions that are being degenerated. Example, Parkinson’s
Disease, Lou Gehrig’s, Cystic Fibrosis. Highly specific. Can use very little amount of
radioactivity that it’s almost harmless. Or dye the tracer with a color. Fluorescent color.
Advantage: Can trace one single protein.
III) MRI: magnetic resonance imaging. Snapshot. Most widely used if available. Like a fancy high
resolution Xray. Can see both hard and soft stuff. IV) FMR