Week 8

This week, after couple week’s ‘break’ (which included an exam week and a lot of reading and repeating first period’s things ), we returned to lectures. In addition to the lecture, this week there was also a virtual excursion. Excursions are always a nice change and this is how it was also this week 🙂

This week’s theme was Chemical Control of the Brain and Behavior. In this week we learned more about hypothalamus, autonomic nervous system and diffuse modulatory systems of the brain. In this week’s group meeting our biggest topics were text book’s two ‘special interest’ boxes. First box was about stress and brain. We were little bit horrified because even we knew that stress affects a lot of our body, it was a surprise how much and which way it’s affecting on brain. That box said that stress increase the cortisol level and that will lead to that neurons admit more calcium ions through ion channels. In the book there is no sure mechanism which cause this and that was something we discussed because it would be nice to know the reason. Also we thought about how it is possible to recover after long chronic stress. If there is that many ways how stress affects, would there always be some effect?

Other thing we discussed a lot was the second box. The title of this box was You Eat What You Are. I’m pretty sure that everyone has heard that phrase at least once. But when thinking and reading about this, it was a shock to realize that food also affects the brain. It was already clear to us that it affects on many different organs but somehow still it is hard to understand how much it affects.