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Chapter 3

Psy100, Chapter3

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Dan Dolderman

PSY100Chapter 3Nervous SystemThe NeuronThe neuron is the basic unit of the nervous system excitable by electrical impulses and specializes in communicating using chemical signals to other neurons It serves three function reception conduction and transmission To relay message the chemical signals is first detected by the branchlike extension of the neuron near the cell body called the dendrites Then the relied information is collected and integrated in the cell body soma Like other cells the cell body is where the nucleus with all its genetic material is stored The information is then transmitted along a long narrow outgrowth called the axon as an electrical impulse The axon is wrap in a fatty material made up of glial cells called myelin sheath that insulates the axon and allows for the rapid movement of electrical impulses The gap between segments of myelin sheath are called nodes of Ranvier which allows for even faster transmission as it allows the impulse to skip along the axon Lastly the message ends at the small nodules at the ends of the axons or at the terminal buttons According to the impulse the terminal buttons release chemical signals to the synapse the site for chemical communication between neurons to be relay by another neuronReflex Arc Sensory neurons detect information from the physical worldThey are also called afferent neuron as they relay the information received from the receptor in skin to the central nervous system or the spinal cord Motor neurons or efferent neurons direct muscles to contract or relax thereby producing movement Somatosensory refers to the nerves that provide information from muscle and experience intrabody sensation Interneurons resides in the central nervous system They communicate only with other neurons typically within a specific brain region In a reflex arc the spinal cord would receive signal from the afferent neuron and then expel responsive signal to the efferent neuron thus conducting control over muscles glands and internal organs movement Action Potential Action Potential neuronal firing is the neural impulse that passes along the axon and subsequently causes the release of chemicals from the terminal buttons Resting Membrane Potential refers to the electrical charge of a neuron when it is not active At resting potential the selectively permeable axon is negatively charged at 70mV This polarization between the membrane is what fuels the electrical energy necessary to power the action potential
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