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Biopsychology. The Biological Basis of Behavior. Neurons: Structure. Dendrites Cell Body Axon Myelin Sheath Nodes of Ranvier Terminal Buttons. p. 45. Normally Functioning Nerves. The Synapse. Synaptic Vesicles Synaptic Cleft Receptor Sites Presynaptic membrane Postsynaptic membrane

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The Biological Basis of Behavior

Neurons structure
Neurons: Structure

  • Dendrites

  • Cell Body

  • Axon

  • Myelin Sheath

  • Nodes of Ranvier

  • Terminal Buttons

p. 45

The synapse
The Synapse

  • Synaptic Vesicles

  • Synaptic Cleft

  • Receptor Sites

  • Presynaptic membrane

  • Postsynaptic membrane

  • Neurotransmitters

p. 47


  • Resting Potential (-70 millivolts)

  • Threshold ( greater than -70 mv)

  • Action Potential ( positive)

  • Hyperpolerization (less than –70 mv)

  • Resting Potential (-70 mv)

Action potential



Resting Potential

Action Potential

All or None Response


Effects of neurotransmitters
Effects of Neurotransmitters

  • Excitatory

  • Inhibitory

Types of neurotransmitters
Types of Neurotransmitters

  • Acetylcholine: ACh

  • Norephinephrine: NE

  • Dopamine: DA

  • Serotonin: 5-HT

  • Gamma-amino-butyric acid: GABA

Acetylcholine ach
Acetylcholine (ACh):

  • found through out the central nervous system, autonomic nervous system, and all neuromuscular junctions.

  • Excitatory

  • Involved in muscle action, attention, learning, and memory

  • Too much: spasms

  • Too little: paralysis

Norephinephrine ne
Norephinephrine: NE

  • Synonymous with Adrenalin

  • Found in ANS

  • Excitatory

  • Responsible for getting “pumped up”

    • Fight or Flight Response

  • Eating behavior

    • Carbo-craving

Dopamine da
Dopamine: DA

  • Reward system

  • Produced by neurons located in a region of the brain called the substantia nigra.

  • Involved in pleasure, movement, attention, and learning.

  • Degeneration of dopamine-producing neurons has been linked with Parkinson’s Disease. Too much dopamine is implicated in schizophrenia and Tourette’s .

Serotonin 5 ht
Serotonin: 5-HT

  • Found in the brain and spinal cord.

  • Inhibitory

  • Plays a role in the regulation of mood and is control of eating, sleep and arousal. Has also been implicated in the regulation of pain and dreaming.

  • Destroyed by MAO

  • SSRI’s (Prozac, Zoloft)

Gamma amino butyric acid gaba
Gamma-amino-butyric acid: GABA

  • Found through out the brain and spinal cord, in very high concentrations compared to other Neurotransmitters.

  • Inhibitory

  • Is the major inhibitory neurotransmitter in the brain. Abnormal levels of GABA have been linked to eating and sleeping disorders.

Nervous system
Nervous System




  • Central

    Brain & Spinal Cord

  • Peripheral










p. 51

Autonomic nervous system


Fight or Flight


Maintenance & Refuel

Autonomic Nervous System

  • Eyes open Wide

  • Mouth Goes Dry

  • Hr Increase

  • Start to Sweat

  • Eyes constrict

  • Mouth Waters

  • Digestion

  • Blood away from muscles

The endocrine system the brain stem

What is the difference between a neurotransmitter and a hormone?

Where are the seats of consciousness?

The Endocrine System The Brain Stem

Motivation emotion in the brain
Motivation & Emotion in the Brain

  • Hypothalamus

  • Limbic System

  • Thalamus


  • Parietal Lobe

  • Temporal Lobe

  • Occipital Lobe

  • Frontal Lobe

Brain lateralization

Left Hemisphere

Right side of the body


Wernike & Broca

Right Hemisphere

Left side of the body


Math & Spatial tasks

Nonverbal - Emotion

Brain Lateralization

Q what is the cause of ambidexterity
Q: What is the cause of ambidexterity?

A:Handedness (the preference to use one hand over the other) is species-specific. In humans, about 90% prefer to use their right hand. What does this mean? Recall that the human brain is divided into a right and a left hemisphere. Typically, the left hemisphere in humans is dominant. We're not really sure why the left rather than the right (or both) becomes dominant, but probably it reflects the early fetal environment, particularly hormonal factors. Since the left hemisphere controls the right side of the body, people with left hemisphere dominance will be right-handed. For left-handers and for those who are ambidextrous (can use both hands with the same level of skill), the right hemisphere tends to be dominant. Interestingly, language, which typically is the province of the dominant hemisphere, is equally likely to reside in either the left or right hemisphere for non-right-handed people. Those who are left-handed or ambidextrous also tend to have a thicker corpus callosum (the bundle of fibers joining the two hemispheres).


  • Structure and Function

  • Gene therapy

  • Nature vs. Nurture