Neuroscience and Behavior

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University of Massachusetts Amherst
Psychology & Brain Sciences

Chapter #3: Neuroscience & Behavior Dendrite – the “in-box” it receives signals from: a) sensory structures (like taste buds) b) b) other neurons Cell body – basic cell functions Axon – the “out-box”: it sends signals to: a) other neurons b) b) effector cells (muscles) Myelin Sheath – a fatty substance that encases the axons of some cells. Increases the speed of transmission. Terminal vesicles (“buttons”) – stores and eventually releases enzymes called neurotransmitters (NT). The NTs are released into the… Synapse – a small space between the acons of one cell and the dendrites of the next cell Receptor sites – locations on the dendrite of the next neuron; NTs bind to receptor sites and the whole process begins anew Neuron Communication Action potential: 1) all neurons have a resting state (-70mv) 2) dendrite is stimulated/positive ions flow into the cell 3) once the threshold is reached (-65mv) action potential is triggered (all-or-nothing) 4) wave moves down the axon 5) waves reaches the terminal vesicles 6) neurotransmitters are released into the synapse 7) NTs bind with receptors on dendrite of next neuron 8)Process starts in the next cell: a. NTs can: excite the next neuron/inhibit the next neuron Refractory period: 1) Brief period when the neuron is unable to fire again Reuptake occurs: express neurotransmitters are taken back for reuse in the axon of the neuron that released them. Axon returns to resting state of -70mv. Neurotransmitters Acetylcholine - movement, learning, memory - Alzheimer‟s patients have too little Endorphins - natures pain reliever - eating chocolate, athletics, stress Serotonin - mood, sleep, hunger, arousal - Prozac increases serotonin levels Dopamine - movement, learning, attention, emotion - too much = Schizophrenia - too little – Parkinson‟s GABA - eating, sleeping - inhibitory, rather than excitatory Drugs – effects on neurotransmitters Drugs can have two effects: 1. Agonists: mimic the action of the neurotransmitter - Binds at neurotransmitter sites (receptor sites) - Blocks reuptake of neurotransmitter (leaving more) - Counteracts enzymes that clean out synapse 2. Antagonists: block the action of the neurot
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