NEUROSCIENCE: WEEKS 1-3

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1

action potential

event in which ions move down the axon rapidly, allowing neurons to transmit messages quickly and efficiently

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anions

negatively charged ions

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cations

positively charged ions

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intracellular

inside of the cell

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extracellular

outside of the cell

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cell membrane

separates the interior from the exterior of the cell

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phospholipid bilayer

what the semipermeable cell membrane is composed of

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ion channels

allows ions to move in and out of the cell, made of specialized proteins

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resting potential

neuron’s voltage at rest; around -70 mV

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membrane potential

the difference in charge between the inside and outside of the cell; the voltage along the membrane

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diffusion

causes ions to go from an area of higher concentration to an area of lower concentration along a concentration gradient

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electrostatic pressure

causes ions to flow towards oppositely charged areas

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axon initial segment

location of most ion channels that let ions in

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threshold

the minimum membrane potential needed to trigger an action potential

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depolarization

increase in neuron’s membrane potential, excitatory inputs, neuron becomes more positive

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hyperpolarization

decrease in neuron’s membrane potential, inhibitory inputs, neuron becomes more negative

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frequency

a bigger charge will increase the _______ of an action potential

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potassium leak channels

channels that are always open to K+, can enter based on diffusion and electrostatic pressure

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voltage gated sodium channels

channels that let Na+ in when the neuron reaches a certain voltage

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voltage gated potassium channels

channels that let K+ out when the neuron reaches a certain voltage

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sodium/potassium pump

channels that pump out 3 sodium and bring in 2 potassium to bring the neuron back to the resting membrane potential

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resting potential

stage of the action potential where the neuron is at rest and at resting membrane potential

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sub-threshold depolarization

stage of the action potential where there are jumps in the membrane potential below the threshold line

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depolarization

stage of the action potential where the threshold is crossed and the membrane potential spikes (+40 mV), becomes more permeable to Na+

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absolute refractory

stage of the action potential where the membrane potential has reached is peak; VG Na+ channels are INACTIVATED (NO MORE ACTION POTENTIAL) and VG K+ channels open

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relative refractory

stage of the action potential where the membrane potential is back below the resting potential and there is a relative chance of another action potential

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return to rest

stage of the action potential where the Na+/K+ pump transports sodium out and potassium in, original resting membrane potential is restored

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multiple sclerosis

Disease where immune system attacks myelin sheath and causes communication problems between the brain and the rest of the body

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input zone

First segment of the neuron; dendrites and soma

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integration zone

Second segment of the neuron; axon initial segment

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conduction zone

Third segment of the neuron; axon, myelin sheath, nodes of ranvier

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output zone

Fourth and final segment of the neuron; axon collaterals, axon terminals

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neurotransmitters

These are released once an action potential reaches the axon terminal

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synaptic cleft

Where do neurotransmitters go after leaving the presynaptic neuron?

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post-synaptic

Dendrites are what kind of cell?

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pre-synaptic

Axon terminals are what kind of cell?

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Multipolar neurons

Most common type of neuron, collects most information, one axon, many dendrites

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Pseudo-unipolar neurons

Neurons that send touch information to spinal cord, two processes; one brings information to cell body, one brings information away

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Bipolar neurons

Sensory neurons fond in olfactory epithelium, eye retina, ganglia of vestibulocochlear nerve, two distinct processes from cell body, one dendritic process, one axon

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Sensory/afferent neurons

Neurons that carry information from PNS and sensory receptors to CNS

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Motor/efferent neurons

Carries information from the CNS to the motor organs (muscles)

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Relay interneurons

Neurons with long axons to convey signals to far away targets, one region to another

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Local interneurons

Neurons with short axons that convey signals to nearby neurons in local circuits

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Longitudinal fissure

Gap between the two hemispheres of the cerebrum

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Transverse fissure

Gap between the cerebrum and cerebellum

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Optic chiasma

Place where the two optic nerves cross

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Infundibulum

Place where pituitary gland is attached; behind optic chiasma

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Superior colliculus

Important for visual pathway; orientation with eye movements

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Pineal gland

Sleep and wake cycles (Circadian rhythm)

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glial cell

Provides support and protection to the neurons, maintains homeostasis, cleans up debris, and forms myelin

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astrocyte

Type of glial cell; provides mechanical and metabolic support for neurons

  • Forms barrier along capillaries

  • Regulates blood flow

  • Transfers mitochondria to neurons

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microglia

Type of glial cell; immune cell, protective, cleans up debris

  • Most prominent immune cells of the CNS

    • Surrounds and breaks down any debris after brain damage

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ependymal cells

Type of glial cell; forms inner lining of ventricles, facilitates production of CSF

  • CSF homeostasis

  • Brain metabolism0

  • Clearance of waste from the brain

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satellite cells

Type of glial cell; protects neurons and ganglia in the PNS

  • Muscle-resident stem cells for tissue repair

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oligodendrocytes

Type of glial cell; forms myelin sheath around multiple axons in the CNS

  • Myelinates 30-40 axons with its ‘arms’

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Schwann/neurilemma cells

Type of glial cell; forms the myelin sheath around PNS

  • 1 myelin segment on 1 axon

  • Development, maintenance, function, and regeneration of peripheral nerves

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Substantia Nigra

Midbrain region that produces dopamine with DOPAMINERGIC NEURONS, loss leads to Parkinson's disease

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Lewy Body

Abnormal protein deposits associated with Parkinson's disease

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Limbic System

Brain structures involved in learning, memory, cognitive functions, emotional regulation, and sense of smell

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Hippocampus

Part of limbic system, involved in long-term memory

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Cingulate Gyrus

Part of limbic system, contributes to emotional processing, pain perception, processing speed, memory, and attention

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Fornix

Primary EFFERENT white matter tract that carries information away from the hippocampus

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Mammillary Bodies

Part of limbic system, important for memory and sense of direction

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Amygdala

Part of limbic system, involved in processing fearful and threatening stimuli

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Cerebrum

Largest part of the brain, involved in higher cognitive functions

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Cerebellum

Coordinates muscular control and balance, located at the back of the brain

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Brain Stem

Controls automatic functions like breathing and heart rate

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Midbrain

Part of brain stem involved in sensory/motor functions and reflexes

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Pons

Part of brain stem involved in movement and cranial nerve functions

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Medulla Oblongata

Part of brain stem involved in autonomic functions like heartbeat and breathing

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Neurons

Specialized cells that transmit information in the nervous system

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Dendrites

Branch-like structures that receive information from neighboring neurons

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Soma

Cell body of a neuron, contains important cellular components

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Axon Initial Segment

Section of neuron where threshold responding occurs

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Myelin Sheath

Insulative material that covers axons, increases transmission efficiency/effectiveness, prevents leak channels and leakage of ions

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Nodes of Ranvier

Gaps between myelin sheath where action potentials regenerate

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Saltatory Conduction

Rapid jumping of action potential along myelinated axons

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Lateral Ventricle

Largest of four fluid-filled cavities in the brain, holds CSF

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Cerebrospinal Fluid

Fluid produced in choroid plexus, fills cerebral ventricles

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Schizophrenia

Mental disorder characterized by enlarged ventricles

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Gray Matter

Thalamus and Hypothalamus; involved in sensory integration and homeostasis

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Thalamus

Central hub for sensory pathways, relays sensory information

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Hypothalamus

Subcortical structure involved in homeostasis and hormone regulation

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Basal Ganglia

Group of forebrain nuclei involved in reward circuitry and motor control

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Caudate Nucleus

Part of basal ganglia, important for movement and goal-directed behavior

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Globus Pallidus

Part of basal ganglia, controls conscious and proprioceptive movements, INHIBITORY

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GABA

Inhibitory neurotransmitter, dysfunction can lead to movement disorders and mood/depression

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Gall

believed in discrete view of the brain, specific brain structures for specific functions

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Flourens

believed in holistic view of the brain, all structures required for all mental processes

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Broca and Wernicke

shifted back to discrete view, discovery of brain regions

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Trepanation

(Prehistoric - 1600s); circular piece of bone is drilled from the skull

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Frontal Lobotomy

(1800s - 1960s); severing connections in the prefrontal cortex

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Anterograde Amnesia

type of memory loss; inability to form new memories

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Ramon y Cajal

neuron doctrine, produced anatomically precise drawings of neurons

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Brodmann

studied cerebral cortex, demarcated the brain

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Neuroimaging tools

MRI, X-Rays, PET imaging

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Optogenetics

injecting a virus for light-activated ion channels to transiently see brain activity

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Dorsal

superior/top

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Ventral

inferior/bottom

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Rostral

towards the nose

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