Biological Psychology

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How do neurons work?

The body is made up of billions of cells organized into tissues and systems. The cells that make up the nervous system are called neurons. The biochemical structure of the neurons allows them to conduct electrical activity known as action potentials. Impulses begin on the dendrites and then travel across the cell body and along the axon. All aspects of human behaviour, memory, perception, emotion and personality are coded by patterns of nerve impulses in different parts of the neuron system. Neurotransmitter is a substance released from the end of a neuron into the synapse, causing the adjacent neuron to be excited or inhibited. The synapse is the gap between neurons

How important are neurons?

Neurons are very important as they control all aspects of human behaviour. Nerves are not physically attached, so when a nerve impulse reaches the end of a nerve it must send the impulse. The nerve impulse cannot jump from one neuron to another so it is transmitted across a synaptic cleft chemically. Without neurons this would not take place and then feelings and other things would not be felt

What is the sympathomedullary pathway?

When an animal is exposed to an acute stressor, the sympathetic nervous system or SNS is activated, preparing the body for fight or flight. A key part of this response is the sympathetic adrenal medullary system or SAM, together the SNS and SAM make up the sympathomedullary pathway. Neurons


Steve Newey


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