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Neural Communication

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Emily Rochford

on 3 January 2017

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Transcript of Neural Communication


Biological Psychology
Starting from the smaller parts and building our way up -->

What is a neuron?
Along the neuron= electrical; this is called an
action potential
How are messages transmitted?
In the early 1800's Franz Gall introduced phrenology. Theory claimed that bumps on the skull revealed mental abilities and traits.
Neurons process and transmit information throughout our body.
Dendrite= bushy fibers that receive information
Axon= messages pass to other neurons, muscles or glands; exiting through terminal buttons
Parts of Neuron
Myelin sheath= insulates axons; helps speed up impulses
Evidence shows that people who suffer from multiple sclerosis do not have adequate insulation from the myelin sheath. As the sheath degenerates, the communication between neurons, muscles and glands slows. Can lead to sensory impairments, coordination difficulties and control of bodily functions.
Between two neurons= chemical; this is called
synaptic transmission

First Things First
a neural impulse; a brief electrical charge that travels down an axon. This is generated by the movement of positively charged atoms in and out of channels in the axon's membrane.
* fluid interior of a resting axon has negatively charged ions
* fluid outside axon membrane has positively charged ions
Resting potential
Axon's surface is selectively permeable,
picky about what it let's in!
Action Potential Continued
Depolarization= neuron fires from stimulation, gates open, positively charged sodium ions rush in
Refractory period= neuron pumps positive ions back out
causes domino effect, further action potential along the axon
Action Potential is Dependent Upon...
threshold= level of stimulation required to trigger neural impulse
a net flow of sodium ions into the cell causes rapid change in potential across the membrane
Neurons either fire or they don't;
it is an all-or-none response!
So you may ask...

What happens when the action potential reaches the axon terminal?
The Basic Components
of a Synapse
= the junction between axon end of sending neuron and dendrite or cell body of receiving neuron

synaptic gap/cleft
= space between sending and receiving neuron

= chemical messengers; released by sending neuron, travels across synapse and bind to receptor sites of receiving neuron (stored in vesicles)
The Chemical Messengers
Excitatory neurotransmitters=
bring the dendrite closer to threshold by allowing positive ions to rush in.

* increase in positive charge in cell = excitatory!
more likely to fire action potential

Inhibitory neurotransmitters=
take the dendrite further away from threshold by allowing negative ions to rush in
* decrease in positive charge=more negative= inhibitory!
Acting like a key, the neurotransmitter unlocks
small channels of receiving site allowing ions to enter
receiving neuron
Reuptake= when excess neurotransmitters are reabsorbed by sending neuron

Types of
ACh (acetycholine)= works on neurons involved in muscle action, learning and memory .
lack of ACh associated with Alzheimer's

Dopamine= influences movement, learning, attention and emotion
lack of can lead to Parkinson's
excess associated with schizophrenia

Serotonin= mood, hunger, sleep, arousal
lack of can lead to depression

Norepinephrine= helps control alertness and arousal

Gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA)= serves inhibitory functions and is sometimes implicated in eating and sleeping disorders.
Agonists vs. Antagonists
agonists and antagonists act on the neurotransmitters
= any substance that mimics or has a similar effect to a neurotransmitter (excite;
transmitter, drugs, hormone)
= any substance that inhibits the
effect of a neurotransmitter (inhibit; drugs, poisons)
A neuron is a nerve cell; the basic building block of the nervous system.
A branch of psychology concerned with the links between biology and behavior. Also can be known as behavioral neuroscience, neuropsychology, behavior genetics, physiological psychology or biopsychology.
The chemistry-to-electricity process involves the exchange of electrically charged atoms, called ions.
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