Week 7 Chemical control of the brain and behaviour

In this chapter I think there was a topic of a larger scale than what has previously been. The brains way of self-regulating its chemical balances, temperature and etc. is sophisticated and robust, as I’ve come to expect. The analogy of comparing a brain to a computer processor breaks somewhat in my mind, with how complex the brain control system is becoming.

I had previously heard of the division to sympathetic and parasympathetic divisions, but did not really know what it meant. It’s really interesting how there are two distinct sets of neurons connected to the same organs, that kind of have different uses for the organs. Also how there are some pretty well defined states for the human body, in terms of activation levels of different neural pathways.

I think the text in the course book on stress, and how concretely dire the consequences of prolonged stress can be was really useful as a warning. It totally makes sense that there is an overdrive mode in the body, that forgoes many functions that are not short-term necessary in favor of bigger resources for acting in the present. Also makes sense how prolonged use of this mode can be very detrimental to the health of the body.

I have noticed on my own that eating protein based food with carbohydrate based foods feels better than eating either alone. In the book there was an explanation about the combo of carbs with protein resulting in increased relative concentration of tryptophan in the blood, which should result in increased serotonin, explaining the elevated mood.