Transcript 03 The Chemical Mind.docx - Transcript 3 The Chemical Mind Say it's late at night you're home alone drifting off to sleep just entering that

Transcript 03 The Chemical Mind.docx - Transcript 3 The...

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Transcript 3: The Chemical Mind Say it's late at night, you're home alone drifting off to sleep, just, entering that dream about Fritos, and then suddenly there's a banging at the door! Suddenly you're wide awake and it feels like your heart's going to explode. You jump up ready to run out the back door, possibly grab a Phillips head screwdriver and stab it into the darkness until it sticks into something. Now whether it's a Weeping Angel or your neighbor looking to borrow a can of beans, it doesn't really matter because when you heard that sudden noise your startled brain released an icy typhoon of chemicals. And everything that's now going through your mind, like your urge to flee, your urge to defend yourself, that internal debate about whether Weeping Angels are even real and -woah! Where's the cat? All that? It’s just a result of those chemicals. Our brains and our nervous systems and the substances they produce and are always bathed in are amazingly complex nuanced systems. And even though we're always talking about our mental activities being somehow separate from all the biological stuff going on in our bodies, in reality, the moods, ideas, impulses, that flash through our minds are spurred by our biological condition. As psychologists like to say, "Everything psychological is biological." So one way to understand how your mind works is to look at how the chemistry of your body influences how you think, sense, and feel about the world around you. To do that, we begin at the simplest level, the system with the smallest parts, it's all about the neuron, baby. The Nervous System Neurons or nerve cells are the building blocks that comprise our nervous systems. Neurons share the same basic makeup as our other cells, but they have electrochemical mojo that lets them transmit messages to each other. Your brain alone is made up of billions of neurons and to understand why we think or dream or do anything, you gotta first understand how these little transmitters work. You actually have several different types of neurons in your body, from ones that are less than a millimeter long in your brain to ones that run the whole length of your leg! Yes, you have cells as long as your legs, which is nothing compared to the hundred and fifty feet the nerve cells of some dinosaurs had to be, I'm getting off topic, sorry. No matter how big a nerve is, they all have the same three basic parts: the soma , dendrites , and axon . The soma, or cell body, is basically the neuron's life support; it contains all that necessary cell action like the nucleus, DNA, mitochondria, ribosomes, and such. So, if the soma dies, the whole neuron goes with it. The dendrites, as bushy and branch-like as the trees they're named after, receive messages and gossip from other cells. They're the listeners, whispering what they hear back to the soma. The axon is the
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