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Updated: Monday, April 12, 1999 10:50:00 AM

Intro to Psych Perspectives History & People
 Epistemology Bettelheim's Autism Scientific Method & Experiments
Experimental Termonology Neurotransmitters Neurotransmission
Anatomy of the Brain Split Brain Brain Imaging
Neural Plasticity Auditory System Visual System

Section 1: Neurotransmitters

Be able to destinguish between:
        Agonist – increases the activity of a neurotransmitter
        Antagonist – Decreases the activity of a neurotransmitter
   Many drugs are agonists/antagonists

Example: an antagonist of Acetylcholine would block Acetylcholine
     Applicable example:Curare,(an Acetylcholine antagonist) blocks Acetylcholine transmission
     Natives would use to curare as the tip on poison darts to hunt animals.  The curare would kill the animal bye paralyzing the diaphragm preventing the animal from breathing


Conversions - VERY IMPORTANT!



Conversions: Not Applicable (too complex)

  • Relieves Pain
  • Responsible for "Joggers High"
    Develops about 12 minutes before the endorphins are released
  • Related to Opium
  • Related to heroin
    Released by body in stressful/painful situations

Conversions:  (Note: Vitamin B5 makes up part of Acetyl CoA)
Acetyl CoA+ Choline  Acetylcholine

  • Important in memory
  • Primary Neurotransmitter in the hippocampus
  • Transmitter at the neuromuscular junction
  • Curare (a dart poison) blocks Acetylcholine
  • May aid in Memory storage
  • Nootropic Drugs – drugs that increase learning and memory (are often acetylcholine agonists)

  Phenylalanine  Tyrosine  L-dopa  Dopamine

  • Too little in Parkinson Disease and Tardive Dyskinesia
  • Cocaine is a dopamine agonist
  • L-dopa – is administered to patients with Parkinson’s disease, L-dopa is very easily converted to dopamine.

  Phenylalanine  Tyrosine  L-dopa  Dopamine  Norepinephrine

  • Increases Alertness
  • There is too little in depression

  Tryptophan Serotonin

  • Controls sleep onset
  • There is too little in depression
  • Affected by the prescription drugs Prozac and Zoloft – these are Serotonin agonists – allowing for Serotonin to work better.
  • Also involved in our response to stress… more Serotonin higher ability to deal with stress.
GABA (Gama Amino Buteric Acid)

Conversions: Not Applicable (too complex)

  • Acts as a tranquilizer (generally inhibitory)
  • GABA is available as a free form amino-acid
  • Valerian Root is a GABA agonist
  • Prescription tranquilizers are GABA agonists as well (eg. Benzodiazapines)





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