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Explain effects of neurotransmission on human behaviour: synaptic transmission

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Introduction

6. Explain effects of neurotransmission on human behaviour: synaptic transmission Neurons are nerve cells, which send electrochemical signals through their axons to other neurons to produce thoughts, feelings and actions. However, there is a narrow gap between every neuron called the synapse, which cannot be crossed by the signals produced by these neurons. This is when neurotransmitters are used. Neurotransmitters are the chemicals which allow the transmission of signals from one neuron to the next across synapses. 1 Neurotransmitters are usually stored in terminal buttons in neurons. When electrochemical signals go through the axon of the cell, the necessary neurotransmitters will be released. Once these neurotransmitters cross the synapse, these neurotransmitters fit into receptors on the post-synaptic membrane, which is the membrane of the neuron following the synapse. Once the message is passed on, the neurotransmitters are either broken down or reabsorbed. ...read more.

Middle

The rats were then made to go through the maze and the number of wrong turns was counted. It was found that that those rats injected with physostigmine made fewer wrong turns than the rest and those injected with scopolamine made the most wrong turns. This experiment demonstrates the significant influence of acetylcholine on memory. This experiment was very cleverly designed. It manipulated the independent variable, the level of acetylcholine in the rats, well through the induction of three states: A high level of acetylcholine (injection of pysostigmine); a normal level of acetylcholine (control group) and a lower level of acetylcholine (injection of scopolamine). These states clearly had an effect on the number of wrong turns taken by these rats. Despite these most significant results, the study had a significant flaw.. This was the overlooking of the ethical considerations of this experiment. The injections of chemicals into the bodies of these rats have the risk of potential harming these rats. ...read more.

Conclusion

Another is the lack of the use of babies who died of unrelated diseases, showing the significance of serotonin in a more clear way. This experiment shows that babies with low serotonin levels have a predisposition to get sudden infant death syndrome. This opens up many areas of research. One is finding a way to increase serotonin levels. Another would be a way to screen babies with low serotonin levels to ensure special care is taken on these babies. These studies show the significance of neurotransmitters in the human body. They are vital to all areas of life as without them, electrical signals cannot be passed across the synapse and hence cannot move from one neuron to another. These studies are only few of the many studies having been done and being done now on the many neurotransmitters of the body. 1 General Psychology. http://webspace.ship.edu/cgboer/genpsyneurotransmitters.html 2 Crane, J. p40 3 Glassman, W.E. p67 4 Crane, J. p 41 5 Szabo, L. Study: Babies' low serotonin levels cause SIDS ?? ?? ?? ?? Zeus ...read more.

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