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Chapter 2

PSY270 Chapter Two Notes.docx

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Christine Burton

PSY270 Chapter Two Notes - Cognitive neuroscience is the study of physiological basis of cognition - Neurons are the building blocks and transmission lines of the nervous system - Neuron Doctrine is the idea that individual cells transmit signals in the nervous system and that these cells are not continuous with other cells as proposed by nerve net theory - The cell body contains mechanisms to keep the cell alive - Dendrites branch out from the cell body to receive signals from other neurons, and the axon or nerve fiber transmits signals to other neurons - The neuron has a receiving end and a transmitting end - Ramon y Cajal theories about neurons: 1. In addition to neurons in the brain, there are also neurons that pick up information from the environment such as the neurons in the skin, eye, and ear. These neurons, called receptors are similar to brain neurons in that they have a cell body and axon, but they have specialized receptors that pick up information from the environment. 2. For all neurons there is a small gap between the end of the neuron’s axon and the dendrites or cell body of another neuron, this gap is called a synapse. 3. Neurons are not connected indiscriminately to other neurons, but form connections only to specific neurons. - Usually many neurons are connected together to form neural circuits - Edgar Adrian was able to record electrical signals from single sensory neurons using microelectrodes, which are small shafts of hollow glass filled with conductive salt solution that can pick up electrical signals at the electrode tip and conduct these signals back to a recording device. - The electrode is lowered into tissue until the tip of the electrode is positioned near a neuron; the recording electrode is connected to a recording device and to another electrode called the reference electrode which is located outside of the tissue. - Key is to measure the difference in charge between the recording and reference electrodes, which is displayed on an oscilloscope, showing the difference in charge by the vertical position of a small dot on the screen that creates a line as it moves across the screen. - Nerve impulses and action potentials deflect the dot up (if positive) and then back down (if negative). - Adrian found that action potential travels all the way down the axon without changing its size. - When signals reach the end of an axon a chemical called a neurotransmitter is released that makes it possible for the signal to be transmitted across the synaptic gap that separates the end of the axon f
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