HW 7 - 1. How does Ritalin work in the brain? Is the...

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1. How does Ritalin work in the brain? Is the mechanism the same as the amphetamines, and how is it the same or different? What did studies of soldiers taking amphetamines during World War II find about the effectiveness of these drugs--were the benefits real or merely perceived? Ritalin is a “turbocharger” for the brain because it increases cognitive performance in areas such as enhancing memory, increasing alertness and attention, and improving the clarity in thinking while working under stressful situations. It works by increasing the activity in the central nervous system. More specifically, it increases the levels of dopamine released into the brain, which is a natural stimulant. It also helps to suppress the activity of neurons not associated with task performance, therefore allowing the needed neurons to transmit a clearer signal. Ritalin is different than amphetamines in that amphetamines elevate one’s mood, which might not have anything to do with enhancing task performance necessarily. Methylphenidates like Ritalin are
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This note was uploaded on 09/28/2011 for the course BILD 10 taught by Professor Banks during the Winter '08 term at UCSD.

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