Neural communication
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Neural Communication. Will Explain Why We FEEL……. Nervous. Strong. Sick. Pain. It all Starts with the Neuron 42-44. What are neurons?. Nerve cells (smallest unit of Nervous System) Billions/Cells do not regenerate but can adapt Conduct impulses that carry signals Types Sensory

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Neural Communication

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Neural communication

Neural Communication

Neural communication

Will Explain Why We FEEL……





It all starts with the neuron 42 44

It all Starts with the Neuron 42-44

What are neurons

What are neurons?

  • Nerve cells (smallest unit of Nervous System)

    • Billions/Cells do not regenerate but can adapt

  • Conduct impulses that carry signals

  • Types

    • Sensory

      • Respond to incoming stimuli

      • Transmit information from senses to brain

    • Motor

      • Relay information from the brain to rest of the body

    • Interneurons

      • Process information between sensory and motor

What are the parts of a neuron

What are the parts of a neuron?

  • Cell Body

    • Life support center

  • Dendrites

    • Receive messages from other cells (INPUT)

  • Axons

    • Passes messages away from the cell body to other neurons (OUTPUT)

  • Myelin Sheath

    • covers the axons and helps speed neural impulses

  • Terminal Branches

    • Ends of axons; contain neurotransmitters

  • Synaptic Gap

    • Space between terminal branches and dendrites

Neural communication

Neuron: Internally: message electrical. Externally: message chemical

How are messages sent

How are messages sent?

Neurons do NOT touch each other – space b/w = synapse

How are messages sent1

How are messages sent?

  • Neuron fires (action potential) through the synapses b/w neurons

  • In the form of a neurotransmitter

  • Process is electrochemical

The all or none response

The All-or None Response

  • The idea that either the neuron fires or it doesn’t- no part way firing.

  • Like a gun

Steps of action potential

Steps of Action Potential

  • Electrically charged atoms that stimulate neuron = ions

  • Interior of resting neuron = negative ions

  • Exterior of resting neuron = positive ions

  • Start of action potential comes from depolarization = positive ions let in

Steps of an action potential

Steps of an Action Potential

  • Ions enter the receiving neuron = exciting or inhibiting

    • Excitatory signals = pushing neuron’s accelerator

    • Inhibitory signals = pushing neuron’s brake

  • Threshold = Excitatory minus Inhibitory signals. If more excitatory, neuron will “fire”

    • toilet flush analogy

How are messages sent refresh

How are messages sent? Refresh

  • Depolarization

    • Semipermeable cell membrane lets positively charged ions in.

  • Action Potential

    • If excitatory signals minus inhibitory signals exceed threshold

    • “all-or-none” response: neurons either fire or don’t

  • Release of Neurotransmitter

    • Cross synaptic gap and bind to receptors on receiving neuron

  • Refractory Period

    • Positively charged ions are pumped back outside; then neuron can fire again.

Transition slide


How do neurotransmitters influence us p 44 47

How do neurotransmitters influence us? P. 44-47

Chemical messengers released by terminal buttons through the synapse (over 60, you need to know 4).

  • Particular neurotransmitters have particular effects on behavior and emotions

  • Particular brain pathways use particular neurotransmitters

  • Examples:

    • Acetylcholine and memory

    • Dopamine and mobility

    • Serotonin and depression

    • Endorphins and pain

Acetylcholine memory

Acetylcholine & Memory

  • Its function is motor movement and memory.

  • Lack of is linked to Alzheimer’s

  • When it’s released, muscles contract

Botulin blocks transmission of

Ach = paralysis

Dopamine mobility

Dopamine & mobility

  • Its function is motor movement and alertness.

Lack of dopamine (death of nerve cells) is associated with Parkinson’s disease.

Overabundance is associated with schizophrenia.

Serotonin depression

Serotonin & depression

  • Function deals with mood control.

Lack of serotonin has been linked to depression.

Endorphins pain

Endorphins & Pain

  • Function - deals with pain control.

  • Natural opiates “runners high”

  • Response to pain & vigorous exercise

We become addicted to endorphin causing feelings.

How do drugs influence neurotransmitters

How do drugs influence neurotransmitters?

  • 1. Block reuptake

    • … of neurotransmitter at pre-synaptic neuron  overabundance 0f neurotransmitter

    • Examples: Prozac = serotonin, cocaine = dopamine

  • 2. Mimic neurotransmitters- similar enough to occupy receptor site

    • Called agonists

    • morphine mimics endorphins

    • THC (in marijuana) & nicotine mimic dopamine

  • 3. Block receptor site – not similar enough to stimulate the receptor

    • Called Antagonist

    • Prevent neurotransmitter message from being relayed

    • Example: curare poison, Ach (no muscle contraction)

    • Essentially stop producing own natural opiates/endorphins

    • Always need a fix, dependency, more, unpleasant feelings

Neural communication

Agonists and Antagonists

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