19 terms

PSY 492 - Perception - Biological Psychology - Chapter 3 - Drugs and the synapse - Exam 2

Drugs and the synapse
Antagonistic drugs
Block the effects of neurotransmitters
Agonist drugs
Mimic or increase the effects of neurotransmitters
Drugs work by doing one more of the following to neurotransmitters:
1. Increasing the synthesis
2. Causing vesicles to leak
3. Increasing release
4. Decreasing reuptake
5. Blocking the breakdown into inactive chemical
6. Directly stimulating or block postsynaptic receptors
A drug has an _____ for a particular type of receptor if it binds to that receptor

- Can vary from strong to weak
The _____ of the drug is its tendency to activate the receptor
Affinity & efficacy
Drugs can have a high affinity but low efficacy
Nucleus accumbens
Almost all abused drugs stimulate dopamine release in the _____ _____

- small subcortical area rich in dopamine receptors

- an area responsible for feelings of pleasure
Stimulant drugs
Increase excitement, alertness, motor activity and elevate mood
Stimulate dopamine synapses by increasing the release of dopamine from the presynaptic terminal
Blocks the reuptake of dopamine, norepinephrine, and serotonin
Methylphenidate (Ritalin)
Blocks the reuptake of dopamine but in a more gradual and more controlled rate (often prescribed for people with ADD)
- Increases the release of dopamine at low doses that account for its stimulant properties
- Increases the release of serotonin at higher doses accounting for its hallucinogenic properties
- May contribute to higher incidences of anxiety and depression as well as memory loss and other cognitive deficits
Active ingredient in tobacco
Nicotinic receptor
Found in the central nervous system, the nerve-muscle junction of skeletal muscles and in the nucleus accumbens. They are also abundant in the nucleus accumbens and facilitate dopamine release
Opiate drugs
- Drugs that are derived from the opium poppy
- Decrease sensitivity to pain and increase relaxation
- Ex: morphine, heroin, methadone
- The brain produces peptides called _____
- Inhibiting GABA indirectly releases dopamine
- Attach to the same receptors to which opiates attach
Tetrahydrocannabino (THC)
- Active ingredient in marijuana
- Attaches to cannabin receptors throughout the brain but especially in the cerebral cortex, cerebellum, basal ganglia, and hippocampus
Anandamide & 2AG
Endogenous chemicals that attach to the canniban receptors
Hallucinogenic drugs
- Cause distorted perception

- stimulate resemble serotonin type 2A receptors at inappropriate times for longer duration than usual thus causing their subjective effect