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Flashcards in Biopsychology Deck (69)
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1

Nervous system

Complex network of nerve cells that carry messages to and from the brain and spinal cord to the different parts of the body

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Central Nervous system

Receives info and processes it to bring about responses
Controls behaviour and the regulation of the body’s physiological processes

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Spinal cord

Collection of nerves collected to the brain - relay signals from brain to body

4

Peripheral Nervous System

All nerves outside the CNS

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Automatic nervous system

Actions without conscious control e.g. heart beating, digestion
This is necessary as these vital bodily functions would not work as efficiently if we had to think about them

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Somatic Nervous System

Receives signals from CNS directly muscles to act
Made up of 12 pairs of cranial nerves and 31 pairs of spinal nerves

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Sympathetic nervous system

‘Fight or flight’
Adrenaline released
Heart rate increases
Blood pressure increases
Pupils dilate
Digestion halted
Inhibits saliva production

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Parasympathetic Nervous system

‘Rest and digest’ - involved with energy conservation
Heart rate slows
Digestion increases
Constricts pupils
Stimulates saliva production
Decreases breathing rate

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Neurons

Specialised cells that carry electrical impulses to and from the CNS

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What does action potential create

An electrical signal travelling down the axon of a neuron

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What is the CNS made up of

Brain
Spinal cord

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What is the PNS divided into

Somatic nervous system
Automatic Nervous system

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What’s the ANS divided into

Parasympathetic Nervous system
Sympathetic nervous system

14

Sensory neurons

Carry nerve impulses from sensory receptors (PNS) to the spinal cord and brain (CNS) in the form of neural impulses
Some of these neurons only take info to the spinal cord

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Relay neurons

Transfer impulses from the sensory to the motor neurons
These neurons all lie within the brain or spinal cord

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Motor neurons

Originate in CNS and project their axons outside CNS
Deliver impulses from the CNS to the PNS
Form synapses with muscles to control contraction
When they are excited they cause contraction, when inhibited cause muscle relaxation

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Cell body (soma)

Contains nucleus
Controls neuron

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Dendrites

Receive signals from other neurons

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Axon

Long thin extension of cytoplasm where the action potential travels down

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Myelin sheath

Insulates axon (fatty layer)
Speeds up electrical impulse

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Nodes of Ranvier

Section of axon without myelin sheath
Impulse jumps along the nodes

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Terminal button

End of neuron forms synapses with other neurons or an effector

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When does an action potential occur

When a neuron is activated by a stimulus, the inside of the cell becomes positively charged for a split second, causing an action potential to occur

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Synaptic transmission

Action potential arrives at the end of pre-synaptic neuron
Neurotransmitter in vesicles is released into synapse
Neurotransmitter diffuses across synapse
Neurotransmitter binds to specific receptors on the post synaptic neuron
A post synaptic potential is generated
Neurotransmitter is removed from synapse by enzymes or is taken back to be reused

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Types of neurotransmitters

Excitatory or inhibitory
These generate either excitatory post synaptic potential (EPSPs) or IPSPs

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What will a post-synaptic neuron often receive

Several presynaptic inputs. EPSPs increase the likelihood of the neuron firing an action potential, IPSPs decreases the likelihood

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Types of summation

Spatial
Temporal

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Spatial summation

Multiple pre-synaptic neuron firing
High conc. of neurotransmitter in synapse
Strong EPSP in post-synaptic neuron

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Temporal summation

One pre-synaptic neuron with lots of action potential travelling down it

30

Examples of excitatory neurotransmitter

Acetylcholine
Noradrenaline