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19 terms

The Neuron & Neurotransmitters

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neuron
a cell that conducts electrochemical signals; the basic unit of the nervous system
cell body
the part of the neuron that keeps it alive and determines whether it will fire
axon
a neuron's extending fiber that conducts impulses away from the cell body and transmits them to other neurons or to muscle or gland cells
dendrites
a neuron's branches that receive information from other neurons and transmit it toward the cell body
synapse
the site where transmission of a nerve impulse from one nerve cell to another occurs; it includes the axon terminal, the synaptic cleft, and receptor sites in the membrane of the receiving cell
glia
cells that support, nurture, and insulate neurons, remove debris when neurons die, and modify neuronal functioning
neurotransmitter
a chemical substance that is released by a transmitting neuron at the synapse and that alters the activity of a receiving neuron
excitatory
a voltage shift in a positive direction; stimulates the neuron
inhibitory
a voltage shift in a negative direction; inhibits the neuron
acetylcholine
affects neurons involved in muscle action, cognitive functioning, memory, and emotion
endorphins
chemical substances in the nervous system that are involved in pain reduction, pleasure, and memory
dopamine
affects neurons involved in voluntary movement, learning, memory, emotion, and possibly, response to novelty
serotonin
affects neurons involved in sleep, appetite, sensory perception, temperature regulation, pain suppression, and mood
norepinephrine
affects neurons involved in increased heart rate and slowing of intestinal activity due to stress, and neurons involved in learning, memory, dreaming, waking from sleep, and emotion
Alzheimer's disease
a disorder that has been linked to abnormally low levels of acetylcholine in the brain
Schizophrenia
a disorder that has been linked to abnormally high levels of dopamine in the brain
Parkinson's disease
a disorder that has been linked to abnormally low levels of dopamine in the brain
depression
a condition that has been linked to abnormally high or low levels of serotonin in the brain
sleep disorders
conditions that have been linked to abnormally high or low levels of serotonin in the brain