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Neural Processing and the Endocrine System

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Joann Sexton

on 27 May 2014

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Transcript of Neural Processing and the Endocrine System

The Endocrine System:
The Central Nervous System:
Neural Processing and the Endocrine System
Types of Neurons
Sensory Neurons
Sensory neurons carry messages from the body's sensory organs and tissues inward to the brain and spinal cord, where the information is processed.
Motor Neurons
Motor neurons carry outgoing information from the brain and spinal cord to the muscles and glands.
Interneurons
Interneurons are located within the brain and spinal cord that communicate internally and intervene between the sensory and motor outputs.
The Central Nervous System (CNS) contains the brain and spinal cord
Nuerons network with nearby neurons with short, fast connections. Learning occurs as these connections are strengthened
Neural Networks
Simple Reflexes:
involes one simple pathway between a single sensory neuron and a single motor neuron
Knee- jerk Response
The reflex pathway goes to the spinal cord and back out. The reflex comes before the person is aware of the pain.
Pain reflex
Information travels to and from the brain by way of the spinal cord. If the spinal cord is severed, all connection from the brain to nerves in the body below would be lost.
Spinal Cord
The endocrine system transmits chemical messages by secreting hormones into the blood stream. It can take several seconds for the hormone to reach the targeted tissue. The effects, however, tend to outlast those of neural messages.
Located above the kidneys, they release epinephine and norepinephrine (the fight-or-flight response).
Adrenal Glands:
Located in the core of the brain, the pituitary gland is a sort of master gland which is controlled by the hypothalamus. It secretes hormones that influence growth. Its secretions also trigger the release of hormones by other glands in the endocrine system.
Pituitary Gland:
Parts of a Neuron
Dendrite Fibers

Each cell has a cell body and branching fibers. The bushy dendrite fibers receive information and conduct it toward the cell body.
Myelin Sheath
The myelin sheath is a layer of fatty tissue that protects and encases the the axons of some neurons and helps speed up their impulses
Axon
After the dendrites conduct information toward the cell body, the axon passes the message along to other neurons or to muscles or glands.
How Neurons Communicate
The meeting point between neurons is called a synapse. The axon terminal of one neuron is separated from the receiving neuron by a synaptic gap. When an action potential reaches the terminals at the end of the axon, it triggers the release of chemical messengers called neurotransmitters. The neurotransmitter crosses the synaptic gap and binds to the receptor site. The neurotransmitter unlocks tiny channels at the receiving site, which allows electrically charged atoms to flow in, which in turn excite or inhibit the receiving neuron's willingness to fire. The sending neuron then reabsorbs the excess neurotransmitters in reuptake.
How Neurotransmitters Influence Us
Certain pathways in the brain may only use one or two neurotransmitters, and certain neurotransmitters may have certain effects on emotions and behavior. The brain produces its own opiates, called endorphins. When the brain is flooded with opiate drugs like heroin and morphine, it may cease producing its own opiates. When the drug is no longer used, the brain may contain no opiates at all. Drugs affect the brain at synapses. Some drugs are agonist molecules, which, like neurotransmitters, bind to its receptor and mimic its effects. Antagonist molecules also bind to their receptor, but block a neurotransmitter's functioning instead of mimicking it.
Pictured above: agonists and antagonists
Pictured above: Examples of neurotransmitters and their functions
Action Potential
Neurons transmit messages when stimulated by signals from our senses or when triggered by chemical signals from neighboring neurons-the impulse that the neuron fires is called the action potential. The action potential is an electrical charge that travels down its axon. The fluid interior of a resting axon has a surplus of negatively charged ions, while the fluid outside the axon membrane has more positively charged ions. This state is called resting potential. Axons are selectively permeable. During action potential, when a neuron fires, the axon opens its gates, and the + charged ions flow through. This depolarizes that portion of the axon, which causes the axon's other channels to open. During the refractory period the neuron pumps the + charged ions back outside. Each neuron receives signals from other neurons that can be either excitatory or inhibitory. If excitatory signals exceed a minimum intensity (the threshold) the combined signals produce an action potential.
The Nervous System
The nervous system, the body's speedy electromagnetic communications network, is divided into two parts: the peripheral nervous system and the central nervous system. The spinal cord and the brain form the central nervous system, which communicates information to the body's sensory receptors, muscles, and glands via the peripheral nervous system Neurons are the building blocks of the nervous system. Peripheral nervous system information travels through axons that are bundled together into electric cables known as nerves
The Peripheral Nervous System
Has two components:
Somatic Nervous System
Enables voluntary control of skeletal muscles
Autonomic Nervous System
Controls glands and the muscles of the internal organs, influencing functions such as glandular activity, heartbeat, and digestion. Serves two basic functions:
The Sympathetic Nervous System
Arouses and expends energy
The Parasympathetic Nervous System
Conserves energy by decreasing the body's heartbeat, lowering blood sugar, ect.
Overview of the Nervous System

Overview of peripheral nervous system
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