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Determine whether neurons develop from ectoderm, mesoderm, or endoderm.
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ectoderm (epidermis & nervous system)
Outline the steps of neurulation.
neural plate elongates (day 17-18 after fertilization)
neural plate folds (day 22)
neural tube closes (day 25-27)
neural plate --> neural groove --> neural tube --> neural axis --> brain & spinal cord
Identify the active ingredients in acne medication which can cause birth defects.
isotretinoin (13-cis-retinoic acid)
Identify the direction in which the layers of the cortex develops.
cortex develops inside out
inner cortical layers develop first, then layer outer cortical layers
Acknowledge that neural stem cells have the potential to become neurons and glia (astrocytes & oligodendrocytes).
Distinguish ES cells, somatic stem cells, and iPS cells.
ES cells = embryonic stem cells
totipotent (can give rise to ANY cell type)
somatic stem cells = adult stem cells
pluripotent (can give rise to most but not all cell types)
iPS = induced pluripotent stem cells
derived from differentiated cells that have received treatment to revert back to immature cells that can give rise to multiple cell types
Explain why researchers using neural stem cells to treat Parkinson's disorder should check that grafted cells are not rejected, express dopaminergic markers, and don't have proliferative potential.
if grafted cells are rejected, the body's immune system will destroy the transplanted tissue
dopaminergic markers will be flagged by dopamine neurons
proliferative potential may lead to tumors
Determine whether a treatment was effective for treating Parkinson's disorder by interpreting graphs showing the effect of vehicle vs. treatment conditions on PD score and mobility.
vehicle = flat line; treatment = negative slope
vehicle = flat; treatment = positive slope
Illustrate how a biology core concept is exemplified in experience-dependent plasticity.
the shape of an object relates to its intended function (structure informs function)
ex: a larger brain structure (larger hippocampus) allows for greater capacity (enhanced ability to navigate London's streets)
Recall the structural and functional changes that occur in licensed London taxi cab drivers.
structural change: increased hippocampus
functional change: increased hippocampal activity
Distinguish the brains of licensed London taxi cab drivers from bus drivers.
the hippocampi of bus drivers and failed cabby trainees look like the general public
Describe how the auditory cortex reorganizes when trained to listen to a sound of a particular frequency.
the auditory cortex reorganizes to expand regions that are used more often
Describe how the motor cortex reorganizes when trained with a particular motor task.
larger representation for a body part when those muscles are used more often
specific brain regions expand when we use them more, but brain regions can also shrink when we don't use them
Provide an example of lost brain function due to experience-dependent loss.
when you amputate digit 3, the homunculus in somatosensory cortex loses representation of digit 3
Define synaptic plasticity.
the ability of a synapse to strengthen/weaken over time, depending on its activity or lack thereof
Compare and contrast AMPA receptors and NMDA receptors and draw implications to synaptic plasticity.
open when glutamate binds --> allows cations to flow in
open when glutamate binds & when postsynaptic neuron is already depolarized (needs to dislodge Mg+ plug)
Provide an example from synaptic plasticity studies which distinguishes sufficiency from necessity.
protein synthesis is required for LTP (protein synthesis blockade has lower % of EPSP --> blocking tests for necessity)
Draw a postsynaptic recording which shows synaptic plasticity or long-term potentiation.
synaptic plasticity: enhanced amplitude LTP: looks like logarithmic graph
Describe how number of postsynaptic receptors, dendritic spine volume, and number of synapses change with increased or decreased synaptic transmission.
increased synaptic transmission:
more AMPA receptors
bigger synapses (grows bigger to fit more AMPA receptors)
decreased synaptic transmission:
less AMPA receptors