This week, our topic was neurotransmitters and how different chemicals can mimic these transmitters. As usual our weeks started with a lecture and quiz. On Tuesday we had a exercise 3 were the topic was about the vision and senses.
This week’s topic was interesting. Neurotransmitters are the key factors to determine what kind of functions does a neuron have. In my studies, we study how these neurotransmitters are produced and what compounds could mimic them. From my previous studies, I have learned that some psychedelic drugs have the ability to mimic these neurotransmitters and inhibit their normal functions. This abnormal functioning of the neuron are considered to be main reason to have hallucinations when using these drug recreation use. It was also interesting to know, what compounds are considered as a neurotransmitters. Would there be a possibility that we could produce synthetic neurotransmitters by following the rules then?
Quiz was really easy but I would think that the reason might be that I had more time to read for the quiz and the context was much easier to understand.
I think, it was weird that we had a exercise that was related last week. But it was a good reminder of the last topics and gave a better understanding of senses.
The complexity of the brain is increasing as the course progresses. Neurotransmitters are a new layer of complexity to inhibit or excite neurons. This chemical layer of neurotransmitters can cause cascades, have fast and slow long term changes both divergent and convergent.
Additionally, the part about how chemical compounds can mimic our natural neurotransmitters is interesting for obvious reasons since we humans partake in them so much. Overall, the delicacy of this system is amazing because how well it work while being fragile – like how deriving the brain of blood flow (oxygen) for just a few minutes already causes neurons to die.
I think this chapter humbled me further in how much there is to understand about the workings of the brain. It is not only a complex network of electrical synapses – there seems to be equally complex network of chemical causes and effects that are continually at work.