Week 7 thoughts
This week’s lecture and chapter were about Chemical Control of the Brain and Behavior covering the functions of secretory hypothalamus, autonomic nervous system (ANS) and diffuse modulatory systems of the brain. The thing in common for these systems is that they use also other than point to point activation, these other communication mechanisms such as diffuse modularity system, or releasing hormones to bloodstream enable the activation of numerous targets at the same time.
It was an interesting subject as the effect of these systems are wide spread and affect our daily lives. For example the sympathetic and parasympathetic divisions are states that can be recognized from one own behavior. Also the effect of drugs that interact with norepinephrine or epinephrine was interesting but also quite intuitive.
I have also listened several episodes of Huberman lab podcast (big recommendation) and it was fun to notice that now we are covering the same systems in brain that he talks about. For example how hypothalamus regulates our body temperature in process called homeostasis. Effects of this system are widely discussed in the podcast and also most of the hormones of this chapter have been mentioned in the podcast.
The last part discussing the principals of drugs such as LSD and cocaine integrated the subjects of previous chapters, such as the uptake mechanisms of synaptic cleft. This somehow motivated why we have spent so much time studying small details.