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chapter two book summary

chapter two book summary - Chapter 2 Neuroscience and...

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Chapter 2: Neuroscience and Biological Foundations Chapter Summary I. NEURAL BASES OF BEHAVIOR A. What Is a Neuron? – The brain and the nervous system consists of as many as one trillion special cells called neurons that communicate information by sending and receiving signals to other neurons. Glial cells provide structural and support for the neurons. The main parts of the neuron are the dendrites, the soma, or cell body, and the axon (Figure 2.1). The dendrites are small branching structures attached to the soma that receive information from other neurons and transmit the information received to the soma (cell body). The soma determines whether to transmit information on to the axon. The axon is a part of the neuron that is specialized for carrying information away from the cell body toward other neurons or to muscles and glands. Axons may be covered with an insulating substance called myelin. B. How Do Neurons Communicate? – When messages are received by the dendrites and cell body they are passed along the axon in the form of an electrical impulse, called an action potential. When no information is being conducted by the axon, it is said to be at its resting potential or to be polarized. The action potential either fires completely or not at all or is referred to as the all-or-none law . Information is transferred from one neuron to another at the synapse, the juncture between neurons via chemicals called neurotransmitters. When the action potential reaches the knoblike terminals at the end of the axon, neurotransmitters are released into the synapse. The neurotransmitters can be excitatory or inhibitory. Applying Psychology to Everyday Life: How Neurotransmitters and Hormones Affect – The roles of neurotransmitters, endorphins, and hormones are explored. Neurotransmitters regulate glands and muscles, promote sleep, affect learning, memory, motivation, emotions, and psychological disorders, such as, Parkinson’s disease, schizophrenia, depression, and Alzheimer’s disease. Table 2.1 lists several neurotransmitters and their effects. Chemical substances act at the synapse by replacing, decreasing, or enhancing the amount of neurotransmitter .
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