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basic unit of the brain


what does a neuron do

depolarizes or does not depolarize a charge


the slender projection of a neuron


space between neurons

what causes the release of a neurotransmitter (chemical)



receiving part of a neuron

what happens when neurotransmitters enter the synapse

stimulate receptor sites at the dendrite

are there specific receptor sites for neurotransmitters


what changes the rate of firing in a cell

response to neurotransmitters

what influences content of synapsis (so it influences receptors on dendrites)

1. rate of release 2. rate of breakdown in synapse 3. rate if re-uptake 4. responsiveness of receptors

t or f: receptor sites on dendrites can stimulate or inhibit the firing of the receiving cell


describe the organization of neurons

form into networks (circuits) with dynamically interact with other networks (circuits)

how many synapses

billions or trillions

inputs come from

5 senses and receptor nerves (including blood pressure and glucose)

outputs go to

glands and muscles (3 types smooth/involuntary, cardiac, skeletal)

receptor sites: 4 points to know

1. have a lock, key structure 2. can be hijacked by other substances 3. inhibited or potentiated by other substances 4. number and activity can change in response to neurotransmitters

how are networks/circuits strengthened or weakened

development of new axons and dendrites

in medication changes which is more powerful: change in network or change in neurotransmitters

a change in network structure

why psych meds have a slow rate of effect

takes time for the body to reorganize the structure/network

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