Explain effects of neurotransmission on human behaviour: synaptic transmission

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  1. 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.  

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.  This process is called reuptake.   

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There are various different types of neurotransmitters in the bran and each of them have their own effect on the human body.  One example of a neurotransmitter is acetylcholine, which has a strong effect on memory and learning processes.  Another is serotonin, which has an effect on sensory perception, sleep and arousal. Dopamine is a neurotransmitter which has a significant effect on motor activity and co-ordination . There is a deficiency of this neurotransmitter in victims of Parkinson’s disease.

The effect of acetylcholine was investigated in an experiment by Martinez and ...

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