Importance Of Neurons In The Central Nervous System

Submitted By c2mul12
Words: 960
Pages: 4

With this assignment I am going to talk about what we know of neurons within our nervous system and how they contribute to help us understand human behaviour. The first part of this assignment will describe how neurons in the central nervous system communicate with other neurons. In the second and final part I would like to discuss how neurons have helped us to understand human behaviour. I will do this with the help of examples from the textbook.
I would like to start with describing the biological process of how neurons work. Neurons come in different shapes and sizes and can be found all over the human body. Groups of neurons combine to form what is known as the neural system. The neural systems role within the body can help identify a particular behaviour such as the motivation to seek food (Toates, 2007)
The communication process starts with activation of neurons to perform the function of processing and carrying information. It is within the central nervous system which is made up of the spinal cord and the brain where the most activity takes place. The neurons that are found elsewhere within the body form the peripheral nervous system.
As we go through our daily lives interacting with the outside world, it is the neurons in the body which are stimulated by touch. This neuron is termed as sensory neurons which are responsible for detecting events such as touch or tissue damage and carrying that message to the central nervous system or more specifically to the spinal cord. This neuron is stimulated via the detector in the neuron which then sets up an electrical activity along the extension of the neuron called the process. The electrical activity that suddenly and dramatically activates the idol neuron is known as an action potential. It is this action potential that transmits the message from one neuron to the next. The message goes through maybe three or four neurons to finally reach the spinal cord. The existence of an action potential in the neuron coming from the spinal cord also known as the motor neuron excites the muscle to contract the limb from the offending object resulting in a reflex action being performed. As the neuron is active a chemical called a neurotransmitter is released from the presynaptic neuron influencing the receptors for this chemical located on the surface of the neighbouring neuron or as otherwise known as the postsynaptic neuron. For the message to spread from neuron to neuron there is a gap between these two neighbouring neurons which is known as a synaptic gap. At the synaptic gap the neurotransmitter can cause excitation of the second neuron resulting in an action potential activating a neuron at rest or increasing the activity of an already active neuron. On the other hand if the chemicals that are released from neuron 1 are not compatible with neuron 2 the synapse can stop the action potential from travelling any further resulting in the effect of inhibition.
The Synapse is very important for understanding our mental well-being and illness. The synapse can malfunction resulting in a psychological disorder such as a disturbance of mood which brings me on to the second part of the question of how the central nervous system has helped us to understand the psychological factor of human behaviour. The synapse is a big part of our nervous system and as a result of any changes in the activity within the synapse can affect our mood. Within the biological perspective, the help of the prescribed drug Prozac, human behaviour and mood disorders like depression, can artificially block the reuptake of the serotonin that is released from the specific neuron. So the activity within this neuron determines how humans’ behaviour is portrayed to the outside world and in turn how