Week 5: Starting to get into the interesting stuff

This week’s lecture handled neurotransmitters and their systems. There are many different neurotransmitters in the nervous system, glutamate being the most common excitatory and GABA inhibitory neurotransmitter. Acetylcholine is also one important neurotransmitter, and cholinergic receptors are nicotinic and muscarinic receptors.

This week we completed the exercise 2. It was tedious work, but we think we learned  something new. We definitely did not master the structure of the brain and their names, but the exercise was an introduction to the subject. The exercise was repetition after repetition and we think it proved effective in learning the names of the brain structures. Sometimes the learning was a bit hard, because we did not know what was the function of certain part of the brain. Afterwards, when we read the chapter 15, we noticed that some of the brain parts where already familiar to us!

Chapter 15 consisted of three neurological systems that control the body via chemicals and electrical signals. The systems were called secretory hypothalamus, the ANS and the diffuse modulatory system. The first two were already familiar to us from high school, but we hadn’t heard of the last.

We were wondering, why are chemical synapses so much more common than electrical synapses? Aren’t electrical synapses faster and thus much more efficient? We also wondered, why living beings evolved in a way that so many different neurotransmitters are used in the nervous system.

  • Joonas & Atte

Posted by Joonas Laitinen

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