Function of a Neurotransmitter

Function of a Neurotransmitter

  • Submitted By: zella31
  • Date Submitted: 02/19/2009 6:18 AM
  • Category: Psychology
  • Words: 427
  • Page: 2
  • Views: 665

1. Briefly explain the function of a neurotransmitter. Within the brain, there are special chemicals called neurotransmitters that carry out many very important functions. Essentially, they help transfer messages throughout structures of the brain's nerve cells. These nerve cells, called neurons, are organized to control specialized activities. Whenever we do anything, react, feel emotions, think, our neurons transmit messages in the form of electrical impulses from one cell to another. Because they move so quickly, our brains can react instantaneously to stimuli such as pain.

2. Dopamine is a neurotransmitter that is involved in control of movement and sensations of pleasure. When someone has Parkinson's disease, the neurons that produce dopamine in the brain slowly degenerate, and that is a major cause of loss of motor skills. Muscles becoming paralyzed- Acetylcholine is a common neurotransmitter, used by the nerves supplying skeletal (voluntary) muscle as a signal to make them contract. In the absence of its release therefore, the muscle does not contract. Depression - Serotonin is responsible for elevating the mood, regulating the appetite as well as serving to control body temperature. Low serotonin levels are believed to be the reason for many cases of mild to moderate depression which can lead to symptoms like anxiety, apathy, fear, feelings of worthlessness, insomnia and fatigue.

3. Explain how your sympathetic nervous system might cause you to perform poorly on a test. Anxiety has been defined as feelings of apprehension and nervousness accompanied by the activation of the Sympathetic Nervous System (S.N.S.) The S.N.S. organizes the body for the "fight-or-flight" response. With the launch of the S.N.S. comes a stream of physiological changes to the body: heart rate increases, blood pressure increases, perspiration increases, and blood is diverted away from the extremities toward the internal organs. The fear causes anxiety which causes reduced...

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