How do neurons use electrochemical signals to communicate and adapt? Flashcards Preview

Physiological Psychology > How do neurons use electrochemical signals to communicate and adapt? > Flashcards

Flashcards in How do neurons use electrochemical signals to communicate and adapt? Deck (43):
1

synaptic vesicle

Organelle consisting of a membrane structure that encloses a quantum of neurotransmitter.

2

acetylcholine (ACh)

First neurotransmitter discovered in the peripheral and central nervous systems; activates skeletal muscles in the somatic nervous system and may either excite or inhibit internal organs in the autonomic system.

3

nitric oxide (NO)

Gas that acts as a chemical neurotransmitter-for example, to dilate blood vessels, aid digestion, and activate cellular metabolism.

4

habituation

Learning behavior in which a response to a stimulus weakens with repeated stimulus presentations.

4

ionotropic receptor

Embedded membrane protein that acts as (1) a binding site for a neurotransmitter and (2) a pore that regulates ion flow to directly and rapidly change membrane voltage.

4

presynaptic membrane

Membrane on the transmitter-output side of a synapse (axon terminal).

5

major depression

Mood disorder characterized by prolonged feelings of worthlessness and guilt, the disruption of normal eating habits, sleep disturbances, a general slowing of behavior, and frequent thoughts of suicide.

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gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA)

Amino acid neurotransmitter that inhibits neurons.

6

synaptic cleft

Gap that separates the presynaptic membrane from the postsynaptic membrane.

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histamine (H)

Neurotransmitter that controls arousal and waking; can cause the constriction of smooth muscles and so, when activated in allergic reactions, contributes to asthma, a constriction of the airways.

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carbon monoxide (CO)

Gas that acts as a neurotransmitter in the activation of cellular metabolism.

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learning

Relatively permanent change in behavior that results from experience.

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metabotropic receptor

Embedded membrane protein, with a binding site for a neurotransmitter but no pore, linked to a G protein that can affect other receptors or act with second messengers to affect other cellular processes.

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transporter

Protein molecule that pumps substances across a membrane.

12

rate-limiting factor

Any enzyme that is in limited supply, thus restricting the pace at which a chemical can be synthesized.

13

schizophrenia

Behavioral disorder characterized by delusions, hallucinations, disorganized speech, blunted emotion, agitation or immobility, and a host of associated symptoms.

14

Parkinson's disease

Disorder of the motor system correlated with a loss of dopamine in the brain and characterized by tremors, muscular rigidity, and reduction in voluntary movement.

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cholinergic neuron

Neuron that uses acetylcholine as its main neurotransmitter. The term cholinergic applies to any neuron that uses ACh as its main transmitter.

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G protein

Guanyl-nucleotide-binding protein coupled to a metabotropic receptor that, when activated, binds to other proteins.

19

gap junction (electrical synapse)

Fused prejunction and postjunction cell membrane in which connected ion channels form a pore that allows ions to pass directly from one neuron to the next.

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small-molecule transmitter

Quick-acting neurotransmitter synthesized in the axon terminal from products derived from the diet.

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autoreceptor

"Self-receptor" in a neural membrane that responds to the transmitter released by the neuron.

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postsynaptic membrane

Membrane on the transmitter-input side of a synapse (dendritic spine).

22

serotonin (5-HT)

Amine neurotransmitter that plays a role in regulating mood and aggression, appetite and arousal, the perception of pain, and respiration.

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neurotransmitter

Chemical released by a neuron onto a target with an excitatory or inhibitory effect.

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sensitization

Learning behavior in which the response to a stimulus strengthens with repeated presentations of that stimulus because the stimulus is novel or because the stimulus is stronger than normal-for example, after habituation has occurred.

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neuropeptide

Multifunctional chain of amino acids that acts as a neurotransmitter; synthesized from mRNA on instructions from the cell's DNA. Peptide neurotransmitters can act as hormones and may contribute to learning.

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transmitter-activated receptor

Protein that has a binding site for a specific neurotransmitter and is embedded in the membrane of a cell.

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dopamine (DA)

Amine neurotransmitter that plays a role in coordinating movement, in attention and learning, and in behaviors that are reinforcing.

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storage granule

Membranous compartment that holds several vesicles containing a neurotransmitter.

30

posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD)

Syndrome characterized by physiological arousal symptoms related to recurring memories and dreams related to a traumatic event for months or years after the event.

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mania

Disordered mental state of extreme excitement.

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reuptake

Deactivation of a neurotransmitter when membrane transporter proteins bring the transmitter back into the presynaptic axon terminal for subsequent reuse.

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norepinephrine (NE, or noradrenaline)

Neurotransmitter found in the brain and in the sympathetic division of the autonomic nervous system; accelerates heart rate in mammals.

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glutamate (Glu)

Amino acid neurotransmitter that excites neurons.

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quantum (pl. quanta)

Amount of neurotransmitter, equivalent to the contents of a single synaptic vesicle, that produces a just observable change in postsynaptic electric potential.

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activating system

Neural pathways that coordinate brain activity through a single neurotransmitter; cell bodies are located in a nucleus in the brainstem and axons are distributed through a wide region of the brain.

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second messenger

Chemical that carries a message to initiate a biochemical process when activated by a neurotransmitter (the first messenger).

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Alzheimer's disease

Degenerative brain disorder related to aging that first appears as progressive memory loss and later develops into generalized dementia.

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chemical synapse

Junction at which messenger molecules are released when stimulated by an action potential.

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epinephrine (EP, or adrenaline)

Chemical messenger that acts as a hormone to mobilize the body for fight or flight during times of stress and as a neurotransmitter in the central nervous system.

42

obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD)

Behavior disorder characterized by compulsively repeated acts (such as hand washing) and repetitive, often unpleasant, thoughts (obsessions).

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noradrenergic neuron

From adrenaline, Latin for 'epinephrine'; a neuron containing norepinephrine.