This week’s topic was the chemical control of the brain and behaviour. As usual, the week started with a lecture followed by a quiz.
This week’s topic was a nice follow-up of neurotransmitters week. The quiz itself was much harder than thought to be. I was still able to answer the questions.
It was really interesting to learn how a little organ in our brain can affect so much. Hypothalamus. The homeostasis topic is quite familiar to me. It is an important part when developing drugs and gene technology. Homeostasis act as customs when testing a drug. It will check if the drug does not interfere so much the body and if it does, it will try to balance the body back to its normal status.
The new thing that I learned, was the different areas of the hypothalamus and how they function. I did not know that thirst of water came from the anterior lobe of the pituitary and so-called ”love” comes from the posterior lobe of the pituitary.
Next week will be the exam week, therefore there will no lectures or quiz. I will focus on the exams and at the end of the week I will study for the next topic which will be the auditory system.
The systems of neurotransmitters were the most interesting subject of the course so far. probably because they are topics you hear about outside of neuroscience because of mainstream spread – dopamine and serotonin thus instantly caught my attention.
How all the systems are connected and how much they affect each other was new for me. For example, serotonin receptors modulate the release of other transmitters ranging from GABA to oxycontin.
Basically it is fascinating how a system like serotonin plays a huge role in behavior – controlling cognition, mood, sleep and anxiety to name a few. The combination of chemicals and how they affect us and each other is interesting.
For me the learning process is much easier when the topics covered are something I have head about before – such as dopamine or serotonin in this case. It makes it better when there is some base from which to explore totally new topics, which made this week especially entertaining.