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Chapter 2

PSYC 100 Chapter Notes - Chapter 2: Melatonin, Motor System, Cortisol

Course Code
PSYC 100

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Ch 2 Psychology Notes
Nervous System- Network of cells that carry information to and from all parts of the body
Neuroscience- The field of study that deals with the structure of the brain and components of the
nervous system
“The brain is composed of neurons and glial cells”
Glial Cells:
Provide physical and metabolic support to neurons
Communicate with other cells, influence info processing
Some types even have stem cell-like properties!
Produce Myelin to coat axons
Clean up waste products/ dead neurons
^ Two types: Oligodendrocytes and Schwann Cells
Oligodendrocytes- Produce myelin in the CENTRAL nervous system
Schwann Cells- Produce myelin in the PERIPHERAL nervous system
Myelin- insulates axons and speeds up transmission of neural message
Specialized cells in the nervous system, send and receive messages WITHIN THAT SYSTEM
Are affected by neurotransmitters (these are chemicals that have effects on neurons)
Have an electrical charge at rest (resting potential)
^This is made possible by inside vs. outside balance of neurons, the inside is NEGATIVELY CHARGED
-Action potential can result when electrical charge changes -> Cell fires and inside becomes
^The cell firing is “all or none”(fires completely, or not at all) it is dependent on excitatory vs.
inhibitory messages received by the cell.
Specialized components include: Dendrites, soma, axon
Soma- Cell body responsible for maintaining the life of the cell
Dendrites- Branchlike structures that receive messages from other neurons
Axon- Tubelike structure that carries neural message to other cells (terminals are branches on the end)
Neurotransmitter chain = Axon terminals -> released into synaptic space
Synapse- Gap that separates one neuron from the next
The Nervous System
-Central Nervous System = Brain + Spinal Cord

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Brain- Interprets/stores info; sends orders to muscles, glands, and organs
Spinal Cord- Pathway that connects brain to peripheral nervous system
-Helps control pain response
-Spinal cord reflexes involve: sensory neurons, interneurons, motor neurons
-Peripheral Nervous system (info transmission from central system) = Autonomic + Somatic systems
Autonomic nervous system
-Regulates glands, internal organs, blood vessels, pupil dilation, digestion, and blood pressure
-Parasympathetic Division: Maintains body functions under ordinary conditions, energy
conserving; “Eat Drink Rest”
-Sympathetic Division: Prepares body to react/expend energy in times of stress; “Fight or Flight”
Somatic Nervous system
-Carries sensory info, controls movement of skeletal muscles
-Sensory system (afferent): Carries messages from senses -> CNS
-Motor system (efferent): Carries messages from CNS -> muscles and glands
*It goes without saying, but the brain is the true “core” of the nervous system
Endocrine Glands
Glands are organs in the body that secrete chemicals; some affect functioning of the body but not
behavior; others have widespread influence on the body AND behavior
Endocrine glands secrete chemicals known as hormones into the bloodstream, affecting behavior and
emotions by influencing either brain activity and/or controlling muscles and organs.
The endocrine glands include…
Pituitary Gland
-Secretes human growth hormone, known as the “master gland”
Pineal Gland
-Secretes Melatonin
Thyroid Gland
-Regulates Metabolism
-Controls the level of sugar in the blood
-Sex glands
-Secrete hormones that regulate sexual development and reproduction
Adrenal Glands
-Located at the top of each kidney
-Secrete 30+ hormones
-Responsible for: regulating salt intake, dealing with stress, sexual changes that occur during
The Body and Stress
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