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Behaviours and the Brain

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Queen's University
PSYC 100
Ingrid Johnsrude

Behaviours  Nerves carry both incoming and outgoing information  Sense organs detect changes in the environment and send signals through the nerves to the central nervous system  Brain sends signals though the nerves to the muscles (causing behaviours)  Glands produce adjustments in internal physiological processes Neurons  Nerve cells, elements of the nervous system that bring sensory information to the brain  Store memories  Reach decisions  Control activity of muscles  Process information and communicate information to other neurons Glial cells  A cell of central nervous system that provides support for neurons and supplies them with some essential chemicals  Some forms of Glial cells form long fibers that guide developing neurons from their place of birth to their final resting place  Other types of glia manufacture chemicals that neurons need to perform their tasks and absorb chemicals that might impair neurons functioning Dendrites – tree like growths attached to the body of a nerve cell, receives messages from other neurons Dendritic spine – a small bud on the surface of a neurons dendrite Soma – (cell body) largest part of the neuron and contains the mechanisms that control the metabolism and maintenance of the cell Axon – a long thin part of the neuron attached to the soma, divides into a few or many branches, ending in terminal buttons Terminal buttons  Located at the end of “twigs” that branch of from their ends  Rest against dendrites, Dendritic spines, the soma, or the axon of a another neuron  Secrete neurotransmitter Neurotransmitter  Causes postsynaptic neuron to be excited or inhibited  Affects the activity of the other cells with how the neuron communicates Myelin sheath  The insulting material that encases most large axons  Function of myelin is to insulate axons from the one another, prevent the scrambling of messages  Increases the speed of action potential Ion – a positively or negatively charged particle, produced when many substances dissolve in water Action potential- an abrupt, short lived reversal in the electrical charge of an axon - releases a neurotransmitter ion- positively or negatively charged particle ion channel- a special protein molecule located in the membrane of the cell that controls the exit or entry of ions ion transporter- a special protein molecule located in the membrane of a cell that actively transports ions into or out of the cell quantitative information is represented by an axons rate of firing, such as bright lights causing more action potentials, and not speed presynaptic neuron a neuron that sends a message terminal buttons form synapses with and excite or inhibit another neuron postsynaptic neuron a neuron that receives a message (terminal button and postsynaptic neuron don’t touch each other) all or none law – the principle that once an action potential is triggered in an axon, it is propagated, without getting smaller, to the end of the axon sensory neuron  a neuron that detects changes n the external or internal environment and sends information about these changes to the central nervous system motor neuron  a neuron who’s terminal buttons form synapses with muscle fibres  when an action potential travels down its axon, the associated muscle fibres move Excitatory Synapses and Inhibitory Synapses  excitatory synapses  when an axon fires, the terminal button releases a neurotransmitter that excites the postsynaptic neuron with which they form synapses  this effect makes it more likely that the axons of the postsynaptic neurons will fire inhibitory synapses  when they are activated, they lower the likelihood that the axons of the postsynaptic neurons will fire  the rate at which a particular axon fires is determined by the activity of all synapses on the dendrites and soma of the cell.  If excitatory synapses are more active, then the axon will fire at higher rates Synaptic cleft  a fluid filled space between the presynaptic and postsynaptic m
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