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PSYC 1010 Study Guide - Autonomic Nervous System, Sympathetic Nervous System, Ct Scan

5 pages36 viewsFall 2012

Course Code
PSYC 1010
Doug Mc Cann

of 5
Oct/6/2003 CHANAPS
Notes From Reading
I. Communication in the Nervous System
A. Nervous Tissue: The Basic Hardware
1. 2 Major Categories for Cells in Nervous System
a. Glia – cells found throughout the nervous system that provide structural
support and insulations for neurons. Help maintain the chemical
environment of the neurons
b. Nuerons- the individual cells in the nervous sytem that receive,
integrate, and transmit info. Permit communication (mostly within other
neurons) – only sensory organs revieve signals from outside the nervous
2. Parts of a Neuron:
a. Soma (cell body) – contains the nucleus and muc of the chemical
machinery common to most cells.
b. Rest of neuron dedicated to handling info.
c. Dendrites – parts of the neuron that are speacialized to receive info.
d. Axon – info travels from dendrites to axon, which are the long thin fiber
that transmit signals away from the soma to other neurons or muscles
and glands.
e. Myelin sheath – many axons wrapped in cells with a high concentration
of myelin. Insulating material, from glial cells, that encases some
neurons. Speeds up transmissiono of info.
i. Multiple Scleroris due to deterioration of myelin sheath.
f. Terminal buttons – small knobs that secrete chemicals called
neurotransmitters. At end of axons in clusters.
g. Synapse – point at which neurons connect. Junction where info is
transmitted from one neuron to another.
B. The Neural Impulse: Using Energy to Send Information
1. The Nueron at Rest: A Tiny Battery
a. Neural impulse is a complex electrochemical raction.
b. The resting potential of a neuron is it’s stable, negative charge when the
cell is inactive. (Potential Energy of a Nueron).
2. The Action Potential – brief shift in a nueron’s electrical charge that travels
along an axon.
a. Absolure Refractory Period – the minimum length of time after an action
potential during which another action potential can not begin (down
3. The All or None Law
a. Either the neuron fires or it doesn’t, and its action potentials are always
the same. i.e. weaker stimuli don’t produce smaller action potentials.
b. However, they can change the rate of action potentials. A stronger
stimulus will make for more rapid action potentials in a shorter period of
C. The Synapse: Where Nuerons Meet
1. Sending Messages: Chemicals as Couriers
a. Synaptic Cleft – a microscopic gap between the terminal button of one
neuron and the cell membrane of another neuron.
Oct/6/2003 CHANAPS
Notes From Reading
b. Presynaptic Neuron – sends the signal, postsynaptic neuron receives the
c. Neurotransmitters – chemicals that transmit info from one neuron to
2. Receiving Signals: Postsynaptic Potentials
a. Postsynaptic Potential (PSP) – a voltage change at a receptor site on a
postsynaptic cell membrane.
i. Graded – vary in size and increase/decrease the possibility of a
neural impulse in the receiving cell in proportion to the amount of
voltage change.
b. 2 Types of Signals:
i. Excitatory PSP is a positive voltage change that increases the
likelihood that postsynaptic neuron will fire action potentials.
ii. Inhibitory PSP negative voltage change that decreases the likelihood
that the postsynaptic neuron will fire action potentials.
c. Reuptake – process in which neurotransmitters are sponged up from the
synaptic cleft by the presynaptic membrane.
3. Integrating Signals: A Balancing Act
a. State of a Neuron is the weighted balance between excitatory and
inhibitory PSP’s.
D. Neurotransmitters and Behavior
Good Table 3.1 – Common Nuerotransmitters and Their functions
1. Acetylcholine (ACh)
a. Only transmitter between motor neurons and voluntary muscles.
b. Contribute to attention, arousal, memory.
c. Agonist – chemical that mimics the action of a neurotransmitter –
PRODUCE PSP after binding to receptor sites (i.e. Nicotine).
d. Antagonist – opposes the action of a neurotransmitter. Bind to receptor
sites but DO NOT PRODUCE PSP, but instead block action of normal
2. Monoamines – regulate everday behavior such as voluntary movements
(Parkinson Disease).
a. Includes 3 nuerotransmitters – dopamine (DA), norepinephrine, and
b. Serotonin releasing neurons appear to play a role in regulation of sleep
and wakefulness. may control aggressive behavior in animals.
c. Abnormal levels of monoamines has been linked to psych disorders –
depression from lower levels.
d. Abnormalties in activity linked to schizophrenia
3. Endorphins – family of internally produced chemicals that resemble opiates
(morphine, opium) in structure and effect
II. Organization of the Nervous System
A. The Peripheral Nervous System
Those nerves that lie outside the brain and spinal cord.
1. Nerves are bundles of neron fibbers (axons) that are routed together in the
peripheral nervous system.
Oct/6/2003 CHANAPS
Notes From Reading
2. Somatic Nervous System – nerves that connecet to voluntary skeletal muscles
and to sensory receptors. (skin, muscles, joints
a. Afferent Nerve fibers are axons that carry info INWARD to the central
nervous system from the periphery of the body.
b. Efferent Nerve Fibers – axons that carry info OUTWARD from the
central nervous system to the periphery of the body.
3. Autonomic Nervous System – nerves that connect to the heart, blood vessels,
smooth muscles and glands.
a. Separate, yet ultimately guided by the Central Nervous System.
b. Controls automatic, involuntary functions that people don’t normally
think about, i.e. heart rate, blinking, digestion
c. Fight or Flight Response – result of autonomic system.
d. Presperiration, increased heart rate when you feel threatened.
e. 2 Divisions – sympathetic division – branch of the autonomous nervous
system that mobilizes the body’s rescources for emergencies.
f. Parasympathetic division – branch of autonomic nervous system that
generally conserves bodily rescources
B. The Central Nervous System
1. Consists of brain and spinal cord. Protected by the meninges (meningitis).
2. Ceribrospinal fluid – nourishes the brain and provides a protective cushion for
3. Blood-brain barrier – a semipermeable membrane like mechanism that stops
some chemicals from passing between the bloodstream and the brain.
4. Spinal Cord – connects the brain to the rest of the body through the peripheral
nervous system. i.e. extension of the brain.
5. The Brain – most important part of the central nervous system.
III. Looking Inside the Brain: Research Methods
A. Electrical Recordings
1. Electroencephalograph (EEG) – device used to monitor the electrical activity
of the brain over time by means of recording electrodes attached to the surface of
the scalp. Tool used frequently to record brain readings
2. EEG recordings are translated into line tracings, aka brain waves.
3. Used in the clinical diagnosis of brain damage and neurological disorders.
4. used to identify patterns of brian activity that occur when participants engage
in a specific behavior.
B. Lesioning
1. Can’t control where damage occurs. Also plethora of variables in the person’s
2. Lesioning – destroying a part of the brain. Usually done throuogh passing a
high frequency current into an area to burn tissue and disable structure.
C. Electrical Stimulation of the Brain
1. Sending a wek electric current into a brain structure to stimulate it.
2. Mostly occurs with animals
D. Brain imaging Procedure

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