Associate Level Material
Brain Response of Behavior
Note: Parts II and III follow below, complete all three.
Write a 350- to 700-word response to the following: Explain the communication process of neurons in the brain. List some common neurotransmitters and describe their effect on behavior.
Through an electrochemical process, the communication of neurons takes place. Neurons processes all the information in the human body. Neurons are responsible for the transmission of communication in the brain and several parts of the nervous system. Sensory receptors interact with stimuli such as sound, light, pain and temperature which transform into a code ...view middle of the document...
Neurotransmitters are considered as chemical messengers that allow communication between different brain cells. Neurotransmitters can affect emotions, appetite, mood, sleep, anxiety, temperature, heart rate, fear, aggression and many more psychological and physical occurrences. Scientists have identified three major categories of neurotransmitters in the human brain. Biogenic amine neurotransmitters, Peptide neurotransmitters, and Amino acid neurotransmitters are the three main categories of neurotransmitters.
There are six main biogenic amine neurotransmitters, Serotonin which is the chemical messenger that plays a role in modulating anxiety, mood, sleep, appetite and sexuality. Norepinephrine influences sleep and alertness, it is also believed to be correlated to the fight or flight stress response. Epinephrine is usually thought of as a stress hormone managed by the adrenal system, but it also acts as a neurotransmitter in the brain. Dopamine influences body movement and is also believed to be involved in motivation, reward, reinforcement and addictive behaviors. Many theories of psychosis suggest that dopamine plays a role in psychotic symptoms. Histamine is thought to influence arousal, attention and learning. It is also released in response to an allergic reaction. Antihistamines, which are commonly used to treat allergies, have common side effects of sedation, weight gain and low blood pressure. Acetylcholine is believed to be associated with muscle activation, learning, and memory. Alzheimer’s type dementia has been linked to acetylcholine function.
Peptide neurotransmitters are believed to be associated with mediation of the perception of pain, stimulation of the appetite, regulation of mood and other multiple functions. Abnormalities in peptide neurotransmitters have been associated with the development of schizophrenia, eating disorders, Huntington’s disease and Alzheimer’s disease. Cholecystokinin (CCK), it is believed that CCK increases relaxation inducing GABA while decreasing dopamine. Studies have linked CCK with anxiety and panic attacks in people with panic disorder.
Amino acid neurotransmitters are viewed by some experts as the main players in the neurotransmission process. Gamma-aminobutyric acid and glutamate are the two major amino acid neurotransmitters. Gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) is a major inhibitory neurotransmitter that acts through a negative feedback system to block the transmission of a signal from one cell to another. It is important for balancing the excitation in the brain. Benzodiazepines (anti-anxiety drugs) work on the GABA receptors of the brain, inducing a state of relaxation. Glutamate is an excitatory neurotransmitter and is the most abundant chemical messenger in the brain. It is believed to be involved in learning and memory. Certain diseases (such as Alzheimer’s disease) or brain injury (such as stroke) can cause too much glutamate to accumulate. This can set...