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Biology and Behavior. Mod #3 Neural and Hormonal Systems. 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. History of Mind. Phrenology. Bettman/ Corbis.

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biology and behavior
Biology and Behavior

Mod #3

Neural and Hormonal Systems

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.History of Mind


Bettman/ Corbis


A nerve cell, or a neuron, consists of many different parts.

neurons the cells of the nervous system
Neurons: The cells of the nervous system

Communicative cells:

1. Sensory Neurons: receive signals from outside nervous system

2. Motor Neurons: transmit signals to muscles

3. Interneurons: communicate with each other

the nervous system two systems
The Nervous System: Two Systems
  • The Peripheral Nervous System
    • Somatic – voluntary control of muscles
    • Autonomic – involuntary control of glands and muscles of our internal organs (heartbeat, digestion, etc.)
  • The Central Nervous System – the brain and the spinal cord
    • Thinking, feeling, and acting
    • Neural networks of billions of neurons
    • Makes us unique human beings

A single nerve cell has a central cell body, branching threads

called dentrites, and a long wirelike axon. The dendrites carry

the signal toward the cell body, while the axon carries it away.




Cell Body


A bundle of neurons is a nerve. Nerves are the body’s wiring. Nerves branch out from the brain and spinal cord to eyes, ears, stomach, skin, bones, and teeth. The tickest nerves look like

pieces of white rope.

neuron communication
Neuron Communication

Click below to see how a neuron works:

how neurons communicate
How Neurons Communicate
  • Axon terminals release neurotransmitter
  • Neurotransmitter enters synaptic gap
  • Neurotransmitter binds to receptors that it fits
  • Reuptake: surplus reabsorbed
action potential
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.

sights and sounds of a neuron
Sights and Sounds of a Neuron

This is how the electrical activity in an activated neuron looks and sounds!


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.

I can’t take it any-

more. I’ve reached

my threshold!!!


The Spinal Cord

31 pair of spinal nerves

33 vertebre bones

thousands of neurons -

sensory and motor

  • More than 40 known types
  • Each neurotransmitter has a unique effect.
  • Neurotransmitters are affected (changed) by:
    • Neural diseases
    • Drugs
neurotransmitters what they do
Neurotransmitters: What they do
  • Acetylcholine:learning, memory, muscle movement Not enough = Alzheimer’s
  • Serotonin:mood and food intake, arousal

Not enough = depression

  • Dopamine:movement and to frontal lobe activity – Too much (excess receptor activity) =Schizophrenia;

Not enough = Parkinson’s disease

  • Norepinephrine:alertness & wakefulness – Not enough = depression
neurotransmitters what they do1
Neurotransmitters: What they do
  • Endorphins: regulate firing of pain neurons
  • GABA: inhibits neurotransmission

Not enough = seizures, tremors, insomnia

  • Glutamate: excitatory, helps memory – ly Too much over-stimulates brain = seizures, migraines

(why some people avoid MSG)

the psycho pharmacologist
The Psycho Pharmacologist?

Just for fun!


Marijuana and schizophrenia - article

  • Many drugs influence synaptic transmission
  • Drugs can be:
    • agonistic (excite)
    • antagonistic (inhibit)
agonistic excite drugs
Agonistic (excite) Drugs
  • Increase release of neurotransmitter, or
  • Activate receptors, imitate neurotransmitter,


  • Inhibit reuptake of neurotransmitter
examples of agonistic exciting or stimulating drugs
Examples of Agonistic: Exciting or Stimulating Drugs
  • Caffeine (glutamate)
  • Amphetamines, cocaine, Ritalin (dopamine)
  • Valium, alcohol (GABA)
  • Prozac (serotonin)
  • Morphine, heroin (endorphins)
antagonistic inhibiting drugs
Antagonistic (inhibiting) Drugs
  • Interfere with release of neurotransmitter


  • Occupy and block neurotransmitter sites

Antagonistic drugs

examples of antagonistic inhibiting drugs
Examples of antagonistic(inhibiting) drugs
  • Curare (acetylcholine)
  • Botulism toxin (acetylcholine)
sites for neurons
Sites for Neurons

How Neurons Work:|02010|&ns=23

How Neurons Are Affected by:

1. Cocaine:

2. Antidepressants:

3. Other Drugs:

more sites for neurons
More Sites for Neurons



the nerves
The Nerves

Nerves consist of neural “cables” containing many axons. They are part of the peripheral nervous system and connect muscles, glands, and sense organs to the central nervous system.

autonomic nervous system ans
Autonomic Nervous System (ANS)

Sympathetic Nervous System: Division of the ANS that arouses the body, mobilizing its energy in stressful situations.

Parasympathetic Nervous System: Division of the ANS that calms the body, conserving its energy.

autonomic nervous system ans1
Autonomic Nervous System (ANS)

Sympathetic NS “Arouses”


Parasympathetic NS “Calms”

(rest and digest)

central nervous system
Central Nervous System

The Brain and Neural Networks

Interconnected neurons form networks in the brain. Theses networks are complex and modify with growth and experience.

Complex Neural Network

central nervous system1
Central Nervous System

The Spinal Cord and Reflexes

Simple Reflex

the endocrine system
The Endocrine System

The Endocrine Systemisthe body’s “slow” chemical communication system. Communication is carried out by hormones synthesized by a set of glands.


Hormonesare chemicals synthesized by the endocrine glands that are secreted in the bloodstream. Hormones affect the brain and many other tissues of the body.

Epinephrine (adrenaline) increases heart rate, blood pressure, blood sugar, and feelings of excitement during emergency situations.

pituitary gland
Pituitary Gland

Is called the “master gland.” The anterior pituitary lobe releases hormones that regulate other glands. The posterior lobe regulates water and salt balance.

You probably want to know about Oxytocin!

Recent studies have begun to investigate oxytocin'srole

in various behaviors, including orgasm, social recognition,

pair bonding, anxiety, trust, love, and maternal behaviors.

thyroid parathyroid glands
Thyroid & Parathyroid Glands

Regulate metabolic and calcium rate.

adrenal glands
Adrenal Glands

Adrenal glands consist of the adrenal medulla and the cortex. The medulla secretes hormones (epinephrine and norepinephrine) during stressful and emotional situations, while the adrenal cortex regulates salt and carbohydrate metabolism.


Sex glands are located in different places in men and women. They regulate bodily development and maintain reproductive organs in adults.

how does neurology relate to magic
How Does Neurology Relate to Magic?
  • Watch this film and see how magicians can trick us.
awakening film
Awakening Film

Go to the site above to see what happens when the neurons do not communicate effectively.

This is the trailer of a film about how one doctor experimented with L-dopa to treat Parkinson’s disease.

His new treatment was able to break the blood-brain barrier and awaken people who had literally been asleep for 30 years!

You can rent the film to see the whole story.