Chapter Two Neuroscience, Genetics, and Behavior I. Neural Transmission Neurons 1. Definition: basic cell making up nervous system 2. Parts: a. Dendrites- bushy fibers that receive information b. Axon- fibers that pass message along to other neurons, muscles or glands. c. Myelin Sheath- fatty tissue insulates axon to speed info. d. Axon terminals- form junctions with other cells Figure 2.2 A motor neuron 3. Speed: 2 mph- 200 or more mph 4. Action Potential: Brief electrical charge that travels down the axon (the actual firing of a neuron) Figure 2.3 Action potential Resting potential- when a neuron is not firing and has a positive outside/negative inside state(charged and ready to fire) Refractory period-when a neuron recharges (can’t fire during this time) 5. Excitatory: like pushing the accelerator 6. Inhibitory: like pushing the brakes 7. All or nothing response: either fires or doesn’t B. How Neurons Communicate 1. Synapse: A gap between an axon terminal and the next dendrite. (less than a millionth of an inch wide) 2. Neurotransmitters: Chemical messengers sent within 1/10,000th of a second. C. How Neurotransmitters Influence us 1. Acetylcholine (Ach): Enables muscle action, learning, and memory 2. Endorphins: natural painkillers in our bodies. -Released in response to pain & vigorous exercise I wanna grove but I can’t move Cause that Ach is gone My memory is lost and I’m paying the cost I’m surprised I can write this song I wanna learn, it’s just not my turn With my Ach being gone But I’ll find that neurotransmitter ‘Cause its making me bitter With that Ach being gone. Table 2.1 Myers: Psychology, 3. Effects of Drugs: - Agonists excite: may mimic neurotransmitter effects Antagonists inhibit: inhibits a neurotransmitter’s release - Antagonists inhibit: inhibits a neurotransmitter’s release a. Botulin: paralysis by blocking ACh Figure 2.7 The functional divisions of the human nervous system 4. Nerves: “cables” containing many axons. 5. Sensory Neurons: send info from the body’s tissues & sensory organs inward to the CNS. 6. Motor neurons: sends outgoing info from CNS to muscles and glands 7. Interneurons: CNS’s internal communication between sensory inputs and motor outputs. B. Lower Level Brain Structures 1. Brain Stem a. Definition: oldest & innermost region, begins where the spinal cord enters the skull. b. Medulla: where the brainstem swells, controls heartbeat & breathing c. Reticular formation: fingerlike projections extending from brainstem into brain-keeps us alert 2. Thalamus a. Definition and f(x): ”sensory switchboard”, receives info from all the senses (except smell) and routes it where it can be processed. 3. Cerebellum a. Definition and f(x): “little brain”, coordinates voluntary movement, walking, & balance. 4. Limbic System a. Definition and f(x): controls emotion 5. Amygdala a. Definition and f(x): a part of the limbic system, influences aggression and fear 6. Hypothalamus a. Definition and f(x): regulates hunger, thirst, and sex drive C. Cerebral Cortex: covers cerebral hemispheres 1. Structure a. Frontal lobe: Problem solving, attention, judgment, reflection, coordination of movement, morality b. Parietal: Sense of touch. c. Occipital: Vision d. Temporal: hearing 2. Functions a. motor strip: controls movement of toes, ankle, knees, hip, trunk, arms, wrist, fingers, thumb, neck, brow, eye, face, lips, jaw, tongue, swallowing. b. Sensory strip: controls the sensation of touch of the things listed above as well as teeth, gums, & genitals. c. Association functions: enable us to judge, plan, and process new memories. d. Language: involves several coordinated areas of the brain - Broca’s area: involved in forming words (left frontal lobe) - Wernicke’s area: helps understand words (left temporal lobe) D. Hemispheres 1. Parts a. Corpus Callosum: fibers that connect the left and right hemispheres together. 2. Functions of each hemisphere: left= more logical, verbal right= more abstract & creative thinks in pictures spinning dancer 3. Split Brain Experiments: HE-ART experiment, Spoon experiment The Endocrine System Endocrine System: consists of glands that secrete hormones. Pituitary Gland: Pea sized “master gland” Growth: regulates the growth of muscles, bones, and other glands. Prolactin: stimulates milk production in women Oxytocin: stimulates labor in women Thyroid Gland Produces thyroxin: affects the body’s metabolism Adrenal Glands: located above the kidneys Cortical steroids: increase resistance to stress & promote muscle development Causes liver to release stored sugar, making energy available for emergencies Adrenaline & noradrenalin: helps to cope with stressful situations Testes & Ovaries: produces testosterone, estrogen, and progesterone Testosterone: Male sex hormone, but found in females in small amounts A. After 1st 8 weeks of development: influences the sex of a child B. Adolescence: aids in muscle & bone growth, primary & secondary sex characteristics. (Reproduction/body hair) Estrogen & Progesterone: female sex hormone, but found in males in small amounts A. Estrogen: primary and secondary sex characteristic (body hair & breast development) B. Progesterone: stimulates growth of female reproductive organs & helps prepare the body for pregnancy C. Estrogen & Progesterone: regulate menstrual cycle Higher levels of estrogen seem to be connected with optimal cognitive functioning & feeling of well-being among women. Functional Organization of the Nervous System A. Basic Info 1. Nervous system: 2. Central Nervous System (CNS): brain and spinal cord. 3. Peripheral Nervous System (PNS): all other nerves Two Divisions: 1) Somatic: voluntary. (activated by touch, pain, temp changes, etc) 2) Autonomic: Regulates the bodies vital functions (heartbeat, breathing, digestion, & blood pressure) Autonomic divides into two 1) Sympathetic: Activated during action (“fight or flight”) 2) Parasympathetic: restores the body’s reserves of energy after an action has occurred. (heart rate & blood pressure normalized, breathing is slowed, digestion returns to normal) Genetics A. Terms 1. Chromosomes: normal humans have 46, 23 given from each parent 2. DNA: Chromosomes make up DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid) 3. Genes: makes up your DNA, “instructions” B. Evolutionary Psychology 1. Basic Ideas: we are inheritors of prehistoric genetics C. Individual Differences and Heredity 1. Twin Studies: Nature vs. Nurture 2. Heredity: What you inherit from your biological family Neuroanatomy A. Physiological Techniques 1. Clinical Observations: observing how injuries/disease affect the brain and its functions. 2. Manipulating the Brain: Electrically, chemically, or magnetically stimulate various parts of the brain and note the effects. a. Lesion: destroying specific parts of the brain to study its effects. 3. Recording the Brain’s Electrical Activity a. electroencephalogram (EEG): shows a person’s brain waves during certain stimuli. 4. Brain Imaging Techniques a. Computed tomography (CT): takes X-ray photos to show brain damage. b. Positron emission tomography (PET): shows which part of the brain is active by showing the consumption of sugar glucose. c. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI): gives a detailed picture of the brain’s soft tissue.