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September 7 - September 7 2010 The Building Blocks of the...

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September 7, 2010 The Building Blocks of the Brain and Nervous System Neurons – basis of all communication that goes on in our heads Central Nervous System – Brain and spinal cord Peripheral Nervous system Somatic nervous system- under our control (going to skeleton/muscles) Autonomic Nervous System – out of our control Sympathetic Nervous System (activation, fight or flight response) Parasympathetic Nervous System (relaxation, vegetative state) Neurotransmitters – firing of previous nerve cell releases neurotransmitters into synaptic cleft, where it is transmitted to another neuron. Important neurotransmitters Epinephrine – norepinephrine (adrenaline and noradrenaline) Associated with increase in heart rate, blood pressure, breathing, fight or flight Linked to depression Dopamine Works primarily in the brain Feeling of happiness, sexual arousal High levels – Schizophrenia Low levels – Parkinson’s Serotonin
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