Psychology 001 Introduction to Psychology Christopher Gade , PhD Office: 621 Heafey Office hours: F 3-6 and by apt. Email: [email protected] Class WF 7:00-8:30. Neurons and Neurotransmitters. Why do we need to know about this stuff?. - PowerPoint PPT Presentation
Psych 2 Principles of Psychology Christopher Gade Office: 5315
Tolman Hall Office hours: MW 2:00-3:00 Email: [email protected]
Lectures: MWF 3:00-4:00, 100 GPB
Introduction to Psychology
Christopher Gade, PhDOffice: 621 HeafeyOffice hours: F 3-6 and
by apt. Email: [email protected]
Class WF 7:00-8:30
1Neurons and Neurotransmitters
Why do we need to know about this stuff?In order to understand
human behavior, psychologists often look to the brain. In order to
understand the brain, you need to understand the parts that its
made up of, and how those parts work.Car Example
Knowing this will help us understand whats going on (on the
cellular level) when something wrong happens to an individual (e.g.
depression, schizophrenia, etc).Car Example ContinuedThe
NeuronNeurons are nerve cells that receive and transmit information
throughout the body and brain.
The human body has roughly 80-100 billion neurons in it by
Located throughout our body with the majority of them being
located in the brain.
Come in a number of different sizes and are utilized in a number
of different ways.
How Do We Know About this? Answer: Staining
What a Neuron Looks LikeCell body: contains the nucleus of the
cell. Consider this as the brain of the neuron.
Dendrites: widely branching structures that receive
transmissions (via neurotransmitters) from other neurons.
Axon: a single, long, thin, straight fiber which branches near
its tip. Once a neuron is activated, a neural impulse is sent down
this part of the neuron into the terminal branches.
Terminal Branches (AKA terminal buttons): the ends of the axon
that branch out and are responsible for the release of the
neurotransmitter that is needed for the communication with other
The Supporting StaffGlia Cells cells that support neurons
byRemoving wasteInsulating neurons (protection and
Neural CommunicationThe action potential is an all-or-none
signal that is sent along the neuron. It does not fade over time or
When an action potential reaches the axon endings it initiates
the release of neurotransmitters into the synapse.Synapse: the
space between the axons terminal button and the dendrite of the
subsequent neuron.How Does the Action Potential Occur?... Most of
the time.Once enough of the dendrites of a neuron have been
activated by neurotransmitters, a change in the electrical charge
of the neuron begins in the axon hillock.
This charge is then sent down the axon of the cell in order to
tell the terminal branches of that cell to release a
In other words, neurotransmitters are needed for a cell to fire,
so the more synapses in a neuron, the more likely it will fire.
Once a neurotransmitter has been released into the synapse,
three things can occur to them.Activation: the neurotransmitters
can temporarily cling to the dendrites of another neuron, and
influence this neuron based on the type of neurotransmitter that
Reuptake: the axon terminal can eventually suck back the
neurotransmitter that it released (recycling at its best)
Diffusion/Metabolized: the neurotransmitter can be broken down,
washed away, or used up by other cells and enzymes that are located
in the synapse.Dopamine (DA)Important for motor functioning
Parkinsons disease involves selective deterioration of the region
in the brain that produces DAImplicated in reward/positive
emotional sensation, motivationHigh levels of DA are associated
Serotonin (5-HT)Implicated in psychological wellness/mood, SSRIs
are effective treatment for depressionAffects hunger, sleep cycles,
and arousalNeurotransmitter Examples