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Lecture 4

PSYCH 9A Lecture Notes - Lecture 4: Saltatory Conduction, Somatic Nervous System, Resting Potential


Department
Psychology
Course Code
PSYCH 9A
Professor
Thomas Michael D' Zmura
Lecture
4

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Thursday, January 25, 2018
Biology and Behavior
The Organism as a Machine
Descartes: energy from the outside is reflected by the nervous system back to an
organism’s muscles (reflex)
stimulus excites a sense organ —> transmits excitation to the brain —> relays
excitation does to a muscle or gland —> produces action
Descartes: ability to choose different actions in response to stimulus depends on
activity of soul
Modern neuroscience research seeks more mechanistic accounts
Building Blocks
Neurons: basic unit of communication in nervous system
Dendrites - branchlike extensions of neuron that detect info from other neurons
Cell body (soma) - site in neuron where info from other neurons is collected and
integrated
Axon (cable) - info is transmitted to other neurons
Axon terminal/terminal bouton: ends of axons; release chemical signals from
neuron into synapse
Synapse: gap between axon of sending neuron and dendrites of receiving neuron;
site at which chemical communication occurs btwn neurons
NS (nervous system) have on the order of 100 billion neurons
Many kinds of neurons
Sensory Neurons - help with sensing
Motoneurons - help with movement
Interneurons - help interpret sensory neuron into motoneurons
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