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Chapter 4

Chapter 4- the Structure and Electrical Activity of Neurons

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Andrew Wade

03/06/2014 03/06/2014 Chapter 4- The structure and Electrical Activity of Neurons Portrait: Single-cell recording Epilepsy- discharges of abnormal electrical activity In the brain interfere with normal movements, thought and consciousness Ultra thin wires inserted in temporal lobe to indicate epileptic discharges by recording electrical activity of neurons through the wires uninsulated tip Each wire could also record act of neurons nearby This single-celled recording technique- reveal how single neurons code info and contribute to conscious behaviour Grandmother cells- we have separate neurons for detecting and representing every object Neurons structure Overview Dendrites- increase cells S.A- further increased by dendritic spines Neuron can have 1-20 dendrites Axon extends out of cell body known as cell hillock Axon may have branches called axon collaterals- emerge at right angles Toward end, axon may divide into smaller branches-teleodendria End of each teleodendrion is a terminal button Synapse- space between where a terminal button sits very close to a dendritic spine of another neuron but doesn’t touch Neuron is both info collecting and info processing device Info processed in cell body 03/06/2014 The cell as a factory Make, ship and export proteins, cells product Proteins form principle components of all cells Cell membrane envelops the cell body, dendrites and spines and the axon and its terminals and forms a boundary around a continuous intracellular compartment Has an impenetrable barrier Nucleus-houses genes and chromo- where proteins are stored and copied When needed, copies are sent to endoplasmic reticulum –where proteins are assembled Finished “products” packed in membrane and addressed in golgi bodies-which then pass them along to the cells transportation network, a system of tubules that carries the packaged proteins to their final destination (help give cell its shape) Microfilaments- make up cells “skeleton”- consist of the cells structural framework Microtubules- contract and aid in the cells movements Mitochondria- cells power plants- supply’s its energy Lysosomes- saclike vesicles that not only transport incoming supplies but move and store wastes- found in old cells than in young The cell membrane: barrier and gatekeeper Neurons and glia- cushioned by extracellular fluid Membrane structure Membrane bilayer regulates movement of substances Regulates concentration of salts and other chemicals Membrane bilayer composed of phospholipid Head (hydrophilic)= phosphorus- has slight positive and slight negative charge▯ attracted to water 03/06/2014 2 tails(hydrophobic) no polar regions= lipid/ fat molecules- H and C atoms how cell membrane functions polar molecules CANT pass through the hydrophobic tails only few small, nonpolar molecules (O2) can pass freely through this layer The Nucleus : blueprints for proteins Amino acids- building blocks of proteins Protein synthesis: the genetic code 1: DNA uncoils to expose a gene 2: one strand of the gene serves as a template from transcribing a molecule of mRNA 3: mRNA leave the nucleus and come sin contact with ribosomes in E.R 4: as ribosomes moves along mRNA, it translates the bases into a specific amino acid chain, which forms the protein can be considered a 2 step process first: sequence of DNA is transcribed into RNA second: mRNA translated into a polypeptide chain (chain of amino acids) transcription- copying process in which one chain of nucleotide bases produces a complementary chain of nucleotide bases these 3 base sequences are called codons amino acids can form 400 different dipeptides 8000, tripeptides and endless number of polypeptides 03/06/2014 Levels of protein structure Primary (amino acid chains Secondary (form pleated sheets or helices) Tertiary (sheets and helices fold to form a protein) Quaternary structure (a number of proteins combine to form a more complex protein) Golgi bodies and microtubules: protein packaging and shipment Exocytosis- discharge from a cell of particles that are too large to diffuse through the wall What do membrane
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