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Evolution, genes and brain.docx

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PSYC 100
Russell Day

Neural Mechanisms of mind and behavior Neurons: basic building blocks of nervous system Made of: cell body (soma), dendrites, axon Cell body (soma): contain biochemical structures for life of neuron and genetic info Dendrite: signal receivers Glial cells: support and protect neurons from toxins Myelin Sheath: white fatty insulation layer derive from glial cells during development. Node of Ranvier: Areas of thin or no myelin sheath Neuron Nerve activation process: - At rest, neuron has resting potential (-70mV), due to the balance of + and - chemical ions inside and outside the neuron. Neuron at rest is in a state of polarization - When stimulated, neuron reverses resting potential, causes action potential (40mV) Action potential: Sodium channels open, neuron become + quickly, releases positive potassium to balance, then undergoes an absolute refractory period where neuron is at a recovery phase and no pulse can be sent. Shift from negative to positive voltage is called depolarization Inside neuron: K+ ions, -protein Outside Neuron: Na+ ions, Cl- ions All or Nothing Law: action potentials occur at a uniform and maximum intensity or do not occur at all This pulse must reach -50mV to trigger action potential. (Action potential threshold) Graded potential: changes don’t reach -50mV threshold Neuron Communication: Synaptic Transmission Synaptic Space: Tiny gap between axon terminal and next neuron Nervous System Parts: Peripheral Nervous System: all neural structure outside brain and spinal cord Somatic Nervous System: control voluntary muscles Autonomic Nervo
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