Biopsychology: Endocrine system

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  • Biopsychology: The Endocrine System.
    • Key features of the endocrine system.
      • Works alongside nervous system to control vital functions in body through hormones.
      • Slower than nervous system but has widespread and powerful effects.
    • Glands.
      • Organs in body producing hormones.
        • Pituitary gland, located in brain.
          • 'Master gland' as controls release of hormones from all other endocrine glands.
    • Hormones.
      • Secreted in bloodstream and affect any cell in body that has receptor for that hormone.
      • Thyroxine produced by thyroid gland affects heart's cell and cells throughout body increasing metabolism, affecting growth rates.
    • Endocrine system and autonomic nervous system work together e.g. fight or flight response.
      • Often endocrine system and autonomic nervous system work in parallel e.g. during a stressful event.
        • 1. When stressor percieved, hypothalamus triggers activity in sympathetic branch of autonomic nervous system.
        • 2. Autonomic nervous syetem changes from its normal resting rate (parasympathetic state) to the physiologically aroused sympathetic state.
        • 3. Stress hormone adrenaline released from adrenal medulla into bloodstream.
        • 4. Adrenaline triggers physiological changes in target organs e.g. increased heart rate.
        • 5. Once threat has passed, parasympathetic nervous system returns body to resting state.
          • Acts as a 'brake' and reduces activity of body that were increased by actions of sympathetic branch.


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