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    Functions of Neurons and Neurotransmitters

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    1. Describe neurotransmitters in terms of what they are, their general function within the body, and their impact on behavior.

    2. Discuss the connection between neurons and neurotransmitters.

    3. Pick two neurotransmitters and discuss their general functions in our bodies. Also discuss each neurotransmitter's connection with disease or disorders. Does a neurotransmitter problem cause the disease, or does the disease cause a neurotransmitter problem? In other words, what might be the relationship between transmitter function or effectiveness and a particular disease or disorder?

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    Solution Preview

    Neurotransmitters are chemicals produced by the body that control how signals are transmitted between neurons in the brain and the rest of the body. Neurotransmitters have many different functions but fall into two general categories: excitatory and inhibitory. Excitatory neurotransmitters either cause a signal to be sent from one neuron to another, or they may increase the strength or the frequency of the signal. Inhibitory neurotransmitters either prevent a neuron from sending a signal or decrease the strength or frequency of the signal. Neurotransmitters are active everywhere in the body at all nerve junctions, and control everything from body temperature to muscle movement, anger responses to sleep rhythms, memory to digestion. Neurotransmitters directly affect behavior because their action in the brain triggers memories, emotions, and perceptions of pleasure and pain. They also carry signals from our sensory organs to the brain and carry responses back to the body, determining how we will react to the environment around us.

    Neurotransmitters are formed inside of neurons, and when the neuron fires, the neurotransmitter is released into the synapse between neurons and picked up by receptors on the other neuron, which is either excited or inhibited by this signal. To clear out the synapse and make sure both neurons are ready for the next ...

    Solution Summary

    Explains the functions of neurotransmitters in general, excitatory and inhibitory types, and different modes of action. Also specifically discusses the neurotransmitters acetylcholine and dopamine as examples. 824 words.