Neurotransmitters and Behavior
A neuron works in a very simple way. Each one consists of a cell body and its branching fibers, the dendrites receive information and then moves that information towards the cell body. From there the cell bodies axon moves that information through branches to other neurons or even a muscle or a gland. A neurotransmitter is a release of chemical messengers, this happens when an action potential reaches the end of the axon. Neurons and neurotransmitters influence many thing in our body especially our behaviors, but can also be affected by drugs and diseases.
There are around 45 neurotransmitters in our body, they can excite or inhibit other neuron or nerve cells. Some of the common transmitters are dopamine, serotonin, acetylcholine, and norepinephrine. Each one of these can indirectly or directly influence nerve cells in a specific part of the brain thus influencing behaviors. Dopamine is important because it influences attention and emotion, so if our body doesn’t have it our emotions can be messed with. An oversupply of this can cause schizophrenia. Serotonin affects our sleep, arousal, and hunger. An undersupply of this can cause depression and some anti-depressants raise serotonin levels. Norepinephrine helps control arousal and alertness and if it is undersupplied can cause depression. Acetylcholine enables muscle action, and memory. With Alzheimer’s the body doesn’t create as much as it needs. Neurotransmitters both influence our body for the good and bad, but it’s when we use drugs or other chemicals is when it gets dangerous.
With these neurotransmitters there are ways to influence what they do and how much our body uses them, and also artificial ways to make our body think we are using them. The easiest way is with drugs, our body creates its own natural opiates. With that being said some drugs will take place for our natural opiates forcing the brain into thinking that it doesn’t need to create them for a short time....