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Lecture 1, Part 2 of 2 - Biological Bases of Behaviour

The University of Adelaide, Psychology IA
by

Kaitlin Harkess

on 6 May 2016

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Transcript of Lecture 1, Part 2 of 2 - Biological Bases of Behaviour

Drugs often act on neurotransmitters and alter activity at the synaptic junction

In this way, the drugs can produce changes in behaviour

Examples:
Prozac (enhance serotonin)
Treatments for schizophrenics decrease levels of dopamine
Treatments for Parkinson’s disease increase levels of dopamine
LSD (blocks serotonin)
Drugs
All neurons that produce serotonin found in the brain stem

Implicated in mood & arousal

Hallucinogenic drug LSD acts by suppressing the effects of serotonin neurons
Serotonin
Overview of an action potential
Cells in the nervous systems that process, receive and/or transmit information to other cells in the body

Vary in shape, size, chemical composition & function

10 to 100 billion neurons in the brain

That’s a lot of information!


Neurons
Transmission of information in the brain

Neurons
Action potentials
Synaptic transmission

Neurotransmitters & their role in behaviour
Drugs can modulate activity of neurotransmitters at the synaptic junction

Lecture summary
Endorphins is short for endogenous morphines

Known as neuromodulators

Modulate postsynaptic activity of the neuron

Implicated in control of emotional responses & pain
Endorphins
Arousal, experience of pleasure, and learning

Implicated in mood disturbances & schizophrenia

Schizophrenics have increased levels of dopamine in certain brain regions

Lack of dopamine in the substantia niagra causes Parkinson’s disease
Dopamine
Gamma aminobutyric acid (GABA)

Most common inhibitory neurotransmitter

Very common - found in as many as a 1/3 of synapses

Particularly concentrated in the thalamus, hypothalamus and occipital lobes

Low levels of GABA associated with increased anxiety
GABA
Found in central and peripheral nervous system

Acetylcholine is excitatory at junctions - leading to muscle contraction

Involved in learning and memory

Implicated in Alzheimer’s disease (decreased levels of acetylcholine observed in Alzheimer’s patients)
Acetylcholine
Some neurotransmitters
Neurons never touch - the gap between them is called a synapse

Action potential travels along, pushing synaptic vesicles towards terminal buttons

Synaptic vesicles contain neurotransmitters

Changes in the terminal button leads to the release of neurotransmitters
Synaptic transmission
The Action Potential ‘Travels’ Along the Axon
Overview of an action potential
What is an action potential?
Depends on information arriving at the dendrites

Balance between excitatory and inhibitory signals

With the right excitatory input, an
action potential
is produced and the neuron
“fires”

When do neurons transmit and receive information?
Sensory
neurons carry information toward the central nervous system


Motor neurons
carry information away from the central nervous system


Interneurons
relay sensory information to other interneurons or motor neurons
Classes of Neurons
Information is transmitted along the length of the axon, which end in terminal buttons

Terminal buttons stimulate glands, muscles, or other neurons

Information is transmitted in one direction: from the dendrites through the axon.
Some neurons have a different structure though
A model neuron
Neural activity is the
bases of behaviour

Basic components of neural activity:
Neurons
Action potentials
Synaptic transmission
Neurotransmitters

Neural activity
Neurotransmitters play a key role in synaptic transmission
The action potential ‘travels’ along the axon, but stops at the terminal buttons.
Neurons never touch.
Involves positively charged ions crossing the membrane of a neuron.
Dendrites receive incoming signals

Soma (the cell body) contains the nucleus and the cytoplasm of the cell

Information travels from the dendrites to the soma, which then passes (some) information through the axon
Parts of a neuron
At rest, the inside of a neuron is negatively charged.

During an action potential positive ions cross the membrane and cause the inside of the neuron to become positively charged for a brief moment.
+
But first...
see what parts you can remember and which ones you need to learn
Draw a Neuron!!
Dopamine is implicated in
a) emotional responses and pain

b) mood and arousal

c) mood disturbances & schizophrenia

d) Alzheimer's disease
Which of the following is NOT true when talking about an action potential
a) your cells resting state is negative

b) the maximum intensity threshold for an action potential occurs at +40 mV

c) cells can be continuously excited

d) when stimulated ions flow into and out of the cell reversing the electrical charge
Biological BasEs of Behaviour

Lecture 1 (two Parts)
on Neural Activity

Kaitlin Harkess
And... can you answer a couple 'Dad Jokes' to help your memorisation? (Do not spend long on these!)
An action potential takes the train to uni. What is the name of the train station where it gets off off?

Why should you keep matches away from a neuron?
Full transcript