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Brain and Behavior - Neuron by Neuron Notes.docx

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Temple University
PSY 1071
Joel Sheffield

Kate Sydnes Psychology as a Natural Science Sec. 3 September 13, 2011 Brain and Behavior: Neuron by Neuron Interesting Facts: - There are about 100 billion neurons in the human brain - Each neuron may connect with 10,000 other neurons o This means if they were all connected, your brain would be 12.5 miles in diameter - People can grow new neurons I. Organization of the Nervous System a. Central nervous system i. Brain 1. Cerebral cortex 2. Cerebellum ii. Spinal cord b. Peripheral nervous system i. Skeletal motor 1. Acts on skeletal muscles ii. Automic 1. Sympathetic nervous system prepares you for action 2. Parasympathetic a. Housekeeping functions (ex: slows heart rate, promotes regeneration and growth) b. Parasympathetic = parachute, aka associated with functions that slow you down II. The Parts of the Neuron a. Three different types i. Sensory neurons 1. Detect information from the physical word, pass it along to the brain ii. Motor Neurons 1. Direct muscles iii. Interneurons 1. Communication only with other neurons, typically within a brain region b. Cell nucleus c. Cell body d. Dendrites e. Axons i. Function: carry/send electrochemical messages ii. Most transmit information to the dendrites or cell bodies of other neurons f. Myelin sheath i. Speed up transmission through the axon g. Axon terminals h. Nerves i. The longest axon typically stretches from your spinal cord to your big toe! ii. Bundles of axons form nerves III. Neuron Communication a. Action potentials i. Information first travels along the axon of a neuron through a chemical reaction called an action potential (def: the excitation that travels along the axon at a constant strength regardless of the distance it must travel) b. All-or-None Law: an action potential either happens or it doesn’t i. This allows the mess
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