Of neurotransmitter systems and learning

This week’s lecture covered chapter 6 from the book, which discussed neurotransmitter systems.

There are more than 100 different neurotransmitters with approximately 10 doing most of the work (very relatable in classroom and workplace contexts!).

In order to be accepted as a neurotransmitter, the molecule needs to be synthesized and stored in the presynaptic neuron, released from the presynaptic axon terminal following stimulation, and produce a response in the post-synaptic cell. We learned about different pumps and second messengers.

It is funny how the book takes everything slowly, tries to give every single detail, and goes on about one specific subject for quite a while, but in the end, it seems like it doesn’t succeed in its core task very well: when it is quiz time, the actually important details are so hidden in the abundance of text, that it is difficult to dig them up from one’s memory. There’s a huge contrast between the rhythm of the book and the quizzes and it’s a shame the quiz is before the lecture, where everything starts to make sense.

Nevertheless, the quizzes have turned out to be a great learning opportunity and the lectures have been very clear and straightforward in the places the textbook is not.

We also had to turn in our Exercise 1 this week. These tasks gave a lot of reflecting opportunities. Once again I found that the book oftentimes fails to answer these clear questions asked from us. So, I am glad for the lectures, exercises, and quizzes.

We were sorry this week that Marko got sick and we didn’t get an actual offline exercise class. We hope you get better soon!