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Chapter 3

PSY100H1 Chapter Notes - Chapter 3: Acetylcholine, Peripheral Nervous System

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CHAPTER 3 – Genetic and Biological Foundations
a. autoreceptors monitor how much neurotransmitter has been released into synapse
b. when excess detected, autoreceptors signal the neuron to stop releasing the
All three methods regulate activity of neurotransmitters in synaptic cleft.
How do neurotransmitters (NT) influence emotion thought and behaviour?
- All neurotransmitters act to enhance or inhibit action potentials, by depolarizing or hyperpolarizing
postsynaptic cell membranes
- Many substances, such as drugs and toxins, can alter the action of neurotransmitters in several
Drugs and toxins can
- alter how the NT is synthesized
- raise or lower the amount of NT released from terminal buttons
-can change the way the NT is deactivated in synaptic cleft by blocking reuptake or preventing
enzyme deactivation
odrugs that enhance action of a specific NT are agonists
odrugs that inhibit action of a specific NT are antagonists
NTs effects are not a property of the chemicals themselves, but rather a function of the
receptors to which they bind! Same NT can be excitatory or inhibitory or produce radically different
effects based on the properties of the receptor.
Four categories of NT: acetylcholine, monoamines, amino acids, and peptides. Pg 98 table
Acetylcholine affects motor control and mental processes
Acetylcholine (Ach)
-the neurotransmitter responsible for motor control at the junction between nerves and muscles,
also involved in mental processes such as learning, memory, sleeping and dreaming
- binds with receptors on muscle cells, relax or contract
-Ach excites skeletal muscles and inhibits heart muscles
- ACh antagonists cause temporary amnesia
oAlzheimer’s disease associated with diminished ACh functioning
oToxics that mimic ACh can bind to receptors and cause temporary paralysis
- nicotine
oexcites ACh receptors
oincrease attention, improve problem solving, and facilitate memory
oactivation of ACh neurons has affect on state of sleep associated with dreams
Monoamines are involved in affect, arousal, and motivation
- a group of NT synthesized from a single amino acid that are involved in a variety of psychological
- synthesized from single amino acids
- regulate states of arousal and affect (feelings) and to motivate behavior
-MAO (monoamine oxidase)is enzyme that interrupts activity of all monoamines
FOUR types of monoamines neurotransmitters: epinephrine, norepinephrine, serotonin, dopamine
- found primarily in the body (small amounts in brain), which causes a burst of energy after an
exciting event
- initially called adrenaline, basis for “adrenaline rush”
- involved in states of arousal and vigilance (alertness)
-useful for fine-tuning clarity of attention, heightened sensitivity to what’s going on around you
-inhibits responsiveness to weak synaptic inputs and strengthens or maintains responsive to strong
synaptic inputs
- emotional states, impulse control and dreaming
-Low levels: sad and anxious, food cravings, aggression
oDrugs block reuptake of serotonin treat depression, OCD, eating disorders, obesity
-LSD structure similar
-Enters brain and binds with serotonin receptors
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