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Chapter 2 - Neuroscience and Behavior Neural Communication...

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1 1 Neuroscience and Behavior Chapter 2 2 Neuroscience and Behavior Neural Communication ! Neurons ! How Neurons Communicate ! How Neurotransmitters Influence Us The Nervous System ! The Peripheral Nervous System ! The Central Nervous System 3 Neuroscience and Behavior The Endocrine System The Brain ! Older Brain Structures ! The Cerebral Cortex ! Our Divided Brain ! Studying Hemispheric Differences in the Intact Brain 4 History of Mind In 1800, Franz Gall suggested that bumps of the skull represented mental abilities. His theory, though incorrect, nevertheless proposed that different mental abilities were modular. Phrenology
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2 5 Threshold Threshold: Each neuron receives excitatory and inhibitory signals from many neurons. When the excitatory signals minus the inhibitory signals exceed a minimum intensity (threshold) the neuron fires an action potential. 6 Action Potential A neural impulse. A brief electrical charge that travels down an axon and is generated by the movement of positively charged atoms in and out of channels in the axon’s membrane. 7 Action Potential Properties All-or-None Response: A strong stimulus can trigger more neurons to fire, and to fire more often, but it does not affect the action potential’s strength or speed. Intensity of an action potential remains the same throughout the length of the axon. 8 Synapse Synapse [SIN-aps] a junction between the axon tip of the sending neuron and the dendrite or cell body of the receiving neuron. This tiny gap is called the synaptic gap or cleft.
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3 9 Neurotransmitters Neurotransmitters (chemicals) released from the sending neuron travel across the synapse and bind to receptor sites on the receiving neuron, thereby influencing it to generate an action potential. 10 Lock & Key Mechanism Neurotransmitters bind to the receptors of the receiving neuron in a key-lock mechanism. 11 Reuptake Neurotransmitters in the synapse are reabsorbed into the sending neurons through the process of reuptake. This process applies the brakes on neurotransmitter action.
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