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1)The two principle types of postsynaptic receptors are ionotropic andmetabotropic. Compare and contrast these two types of receptors withrespect to A) movement of ions through the membrane B) possibleeffect on the generation of an action potential C) time course ofaction and D) possibility for long term effects. Last, provide somespecific examples of ionotropic or metabotropic receptors as well asthe transmitters that affect these receptors.

Forthe normal functioning of the body, ions are transferred from onebody part to the other by ion paths. These ion paths are opened whenions are in transmission and closed when there is no iontransmission. The receptor molecules are responsible for unlock ofthese ion paths. Ion paths are maneuvered by the ion tropic receptorsone to one, while ion pathways unlock for ions to transverse due tohurdle via the transmitter ( Brown, A. G, 2001). On the other hand,metabolic receptors identify synaptic transmitter although they don’tmanourvour the ion pathways, but they ignite molecules by the name Gproteins. The quick invasion by the sodium ions makes the plasma’spolarity to turn around.


Potentialsare produced by a category of voltage-gated ion pathways found in acell’s plasma membrane. The pathways are closed if the membranepotential is around the resting potential of a cell by the iontropic, then they swiftly unlock when the membrane potential raise toa specific threshold amount. The pathways unlock giving way tomovement of sodium ions that in turn alters the electrochemical level( Hasenfuss et al,2000). The raise in electrochemical in turnelevates membrane potential. A raise in action potential later makeselectric current flow through the cell membrane.

Thesesubdivisions of postsynaptic receptors have different speeds offunction that vary from milliseconds to days, where the ionotropicreceptors have a high speed that takes it milliseconds to producefaster postsynaptic effects while the metabotropic receptors takesminutes and at times days to move and thus it produces sluggishresponses. This slow movement portrays the verity that many proteinsrequire to connect to one another in a sequence to achieve lastphysiological responses.

2)Describethe concept of synaptic homeostasis. In your description be sure toinclude how synaptic homeostasis relates to inhibition andexcitation. Then, discuss how the idea of synaptic homeostasis hasbeen applied to theories of drug tolerance and addiction. In yourdiscussion focus on the changes at the synapse that are thought tohappen during chronic drug use.

Homeostasis:observance of a continuous internal environment and takes placewithin the whole body.

Synaptichomeostasis:asignal that prevents the nervous system from descending to chaoswhich provides a path for neurons and circuits to maintain a stablefunction in the body.

Theconcept of homeostasis was pioneered by two scientists: ClaudeBernard(1813-1978)and WalterCannon.They took part in composition, Bernard is responsible for givingdefinition to milieuinterieurwhile homeostasis was defined by Cannon.

Sleephomeostasis:A process S, the homeostatic process, increases as a functionexponential when one is sleeping. Wave activity is slow in non-Remsleep (The term sleep is branched into speedy eye movement non-REMsleep and REM sleep.) the non-REM sleep points for the decline ofprocess S(Parmeggiani, 2011).

Homeostaticcontrol of the excitation – inhibition balance

Inthe brain the homeostatic regulation is attained through synapticstrength control through inhabitation in cortial circuit andexcitatory interactions. The global conductance decomposition changesit components of excitatory and inhibitory to permit balance ofinhibition –excitation measurement. Afferent inputs in thestimulated layer results to conductance alteration composed of 80%inhibition and 20% excitation. Altering synaptic strength network ofcortial through the use of high or low frequency stimulation protocolwas looked into in order to interfere with the balance.

Drugtolerance and addiction in synaptic homeostasis

Addictionto drugs is a complex state of obsessive use of drugs that leads todevastating social and physical consequences. Tolerance to drugs is atype of addiction known as endophenotype which is measurable and alsoeasy to detect using animal models. The adaptive theory which is acounter theory claims that dependence on drugs postulate homeostaticadaptation which yield to tolerance and sums up to dependencesymptoms, additionally the nervous system makes a reduction of theneural depressants.

3)The brain uses a variety of chemicals to communicate between neurons.In class we divided them into 3 separate categories. List thecategories and then give an example of each type. Then, describe howthey differ in terms of A) the distribution in the brain of the cellbodies that make them B) typical type of receptor they activate and,C ) whether they are typically co-transmitted or not.

Aneuronis a particular impulse-conducting cell that is the efficient elementof the nervous system, consisting of the unit body and its processes,the axon and dendrites.

Aneuron is also identified as a nerve cell, is an electrically nervouscell that processes and transmits information through electrical andchemical signals. They are categorized into three, which include

Sensoryneurons:it sends information from sensory receptors, for example in skin,ears, tongue and eyes towards the mid nervous system (Kandel, 2008).

Motorneurons:sends information away from the mid nervous system to muscles andglands.

Interneurons:sends information between motor neurons and sensory neurons. Mostinterneurons are sited in the central nervous system.

Howdo neurons differ in terms of the distribution in the brain of thecell bodies that make them?

Neuronsare the cells that carry out all of the message and processing insidethe brain. The sensory neuron inward bound the brain from theperipheral nervous system transfer information about the state of thebody and its environs.

Themajority of the neurons in the brain’s gray substance areinterneurons, which are accountable for intergrading and processinginformation delivered to the brain by sensory neurons (Haines &ampArd, 2013). The interneuron transfers signals to motor neurons, whichtransmit signals to muscles and glands.

Neurotransmitterreceptors are categorized into two: Ligand gatedion channel and G-protein –coupled.The ligand-gated ion channel receptors are proteins dedicated forrapid transduction of the neurotransmitter chemical signal straightinto an electrical response.

TheG-protein-coupled receptors are proteins generalized for binding theneurotransmitter molecule and then producing intracellularbiochemical reactions that can powers a diversity of cellarfunctions. They attach directly to small intracellur proteins calledG-protein.

Neuronscan be freed from a solitary nerve terminal, including neuropeptidesand the small neurotransmitters molecule and performing asneurotransmitters, they can act as co-transmitters. Asco-transmitters, they can activate specific pre or postsynapticreceptors to change the receptiveness of the neuronal membrane.

4)There are many different drugs that affect chemical neurotransmissionin the brain. For each case, first indicate whether the followingdrugs would increase, or decrease neurotransmission across a synapse.Then, pick a neuron type (sensory or motor) and describe what thebehavioral result would be after administration of the drug (i.e.what would the person feel or do?). Naturally, some behavioralanswers may be similar.a.a chemical that is an antagonistto voltage gated sodium channels at the axon hillockb.achemical that prevents the breakdown of Acetylcholine in the synapticcleft.c.a chemical that prevents the reuptake of serotonin fromthe synaptic cleftd.a chemical that increases the efficiency ofinhibitory receptors on the post-synaptic membrane.e.A chemicalthat opens voltage gated Ca++ channels on the axon terminal. f.Achemical that is an agonist of the AMPA receptor (AMPA receptors areligand gated receptors that allow for Na+ to pass through).

Adrugis any substance or medicine that has a physiological effect whentaken or rather ingested in the body.

Ora drug is a chemical matter used in the healing, prevention, cure, ordiagnosis of illness or used to otherwise improve bodily or mentalwell-being(Webster, 2001).

Orany substance recognized in the official pharmacopoeia or formularyof the nation.

Undereach though, nightmare or act lays an extraordinary substance dance.Molecules change all through the brain. Man-made and freed by themultiple neurons a person’s brain have, the neurons are essentialfor human survival. However, to labor efficiently the mind,neurotransmitters needs a dock for porting in a receptor. We focus onthe main neurotransimitter that holds the small numbers of drugs,chemicals and receptor.

Glutamate:brain’s ‘on switch’. It is an excitatory neurotransmitter’,the molecule perform attractive match on the tin-wherever it locatesa receptor it can port with, thus, causing the neuron acting as hostto became thrilled. A thrilled nerve can be defined as a nerve thatis likely to ignite and thus lead to letting loose the hold and onlyone type of its making mixes of neurotransmitter. The Glutamatereceptors as a diversity group can be split into two chief families.The reason as to why Ionotropic receptors are referred to using thisterm is because their structure direct ions to move when theglutamate connects to them. Example of Ionotropic glumate receptorsinclude: kainite, NMDA (the similar receptor ketamate blocks), astimulant sourced from the seaweed and AMPA. Metabotropic glutamatereceptors execute a little more indirectly. Changes occurs when,glumate is cropped up in foods whichever alone (it tastes savoury),or in its flavor enhancing creation of monosodium glumate,(MSG).

Serotoninthisis removed the cells of the guts and its functions are numerous inthe body.in the brain serotonin causes an individual to have moodswings and the overall feelings they have about themselves and thesurrounding environment at a particular time. Even though serotoninis tiny single molecule in an individual’s body it is veryessential in human brain.

Acetylcholine:it theaters an significant position in memory and knowledge. Neuronsthat makes neurotransmitter is referred to as cholinergic neuronswhich comes in more than a few parts of the mind when stirred, theneurons free their provisions of neurotransmitter onto coming upneurons. However, to make impact the neurons needs the rightreceptors in such a case, the muscarinic and nicotinic receptors.

5)Transmitters)Tell me about the activating systems of the brain. Be sure to includethe 1) names of the transmitters 2) the nuclei where the cell bodiesare located 3) where those cells are projecting to and 4) whatgeneral functions are assocaietd with each system. You may use achart or table if you like.

TheReticular Activating system

Actionof the cerebral cortex is dependent upon both definite sensorycontribution and non specific activating impulses from the brainstem. The cause of these activating impulses is made by the reticularcreation of the brainstem. The reticular creation comprises a greatdeal of the brainstem central part, recognized as the tegmentum(Webster, 2001).Itnot only contribute to the launch of the cortex, but is essential formaintaining muscle tone of inhalation and heartbeat and modulatesthe sense of pain.

Verymuch associated with the reticular activating system are figures ofbrain stem nuclei that deal out specific neurotransmitters diffuselyto different areas of the brain. These nuclei areraphe nuclei, substantia nigra sub thalamus and the locus ceruleus.

Associationnuclei are well linked with other nuclei in the thalamus, and projectmostly to the association areas of the anterior and parietaliobes.Three of the four are on the mediodorsal nucleus, the lateraldorsal and the lateral posterior nucleus. The fourth associationnucleus, called the pulvinar, seems to task for general integrationof sensory information, with hearing and mental picturepredominating.

Thenon-specific nucleiof the thalamus are the intralaminar nuclei of the reticularactivating structure. The intralaminar neurons scheme cholinergicfibers diffusely to the cerebrum providing generalized creation. Theyalso project to the striatum (putamen and caudate) of the basalganglia. The thalamus reticular nucleus is actually only a thin sheetof inhibitor neurons which are thought to task to gate signals to thecerebrum from the thalamus.

6)Describe the role that calcium ions play in chemical transmission atthe presynaptic terminal. Calciumis an important ion involved in the release of chemical transmitters.Bernard Katz examined the role of calcium ion using the skeletalnerve muscle synapse. Electrodes were placed near the presynapticterminal to bring about an action potential in the terminal. Thepreparation was perfused with a solution free of calcium. Foreffective delivery of calcium, another microelectrode was filled withcalcium. Since calcium ion is positively charged (ca2+) it isdelivered to the vicinity of the synaptic terminal by briefly closinga switch connected to a battery in such a way that the positive endforces produce amounts of calcium out of the electrode. In theabsence of Ca2+ ejection, stimulation of the motor neurone producedno EPSP.

7)The resting potential is a critical concept in understandingneurophysiology. For this question first list the 3 conditions neededto establish an electrical potential across the membrane. Thendescribe the two forces that are acting on the extra andintracellular ions when a neuron is at rest. Last, pick one of thecations involved in generating the resting potential and describe howthese forces are acting on the ion (i.e. where does the ion want togo?).

Restingpotential is an important concept that helps us understand theworking of cells. During the working of the cells there is productionof an electrical potential that moves and transverses the plasmamembrane. For an electrical potential to be produced there needs tobe three conditions which are: sodium and potassium cations, aconcentration gradient and finally a sodium and potassium pump(Noback, 2004). At a time when a neuron is at a break, the sodium andpotassium pump pushes three sodium cations out of the plasma membraneand takes in two potassium cations in the plasma membrane and this inturn creates a positive charge outside the membrane. Interaction ofthe potassium and sodium cations creates a relationship where theamount of sodium cations from the outer to the inner cell dictatesbalance potential for sodium cations, while the meditation of thepotassium cations from the outer parts of the cation to the innerparts dictates the equilibrium potential of potassium cations.

Atsome point, resting membrane potential is dictated by concentrationgradients belonging to sodium and potassium cations interiorly andexteriorly cell, also the diverse permeability belonging to cellmembrane. These two cations creates a charge where the positivecharge is more next to the place which is next to the positivelycharged position while the negative charge is concentrated at theplace next to the positively charged end of the electric dipole thanto the negatively charged end of the dipole. This electric dipolecreates a surrounding that is negatively charged.


Brown,A. G. (2001). Nerve cells and nervous systems: An introduction toneuroscience. London [u.a.: Springer.

Hasenfuss,G., &amp Marbań, E. (2000). Molecular approaches to heart failuretherapy. Darmstadt: Steinkopff.

Haines,D. E., &amp Ard, M. D. (2013). Fundamentalneuroscience for basic and clinical applications.Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier/Saunders.

Greenstein,B., &amp Greenstein, A. (2000). Color atlas of neuroscience:Neuroanatomy and neurophysiology. Stuttgart [etc.: Thieme.

Parmeggiani,P. L. (2011). Systemichomeostasis and poikilostasis in sleep: Is REM sleep a physiologicalparadox?.London: Imperial College Press.

Tang,F. R., &amp Loke, W. K. (2011). Chemical-inducedseizures: Mechanisms, consequences and treatment.Oak Park, Ill.?: Bentham eBooks.

Noback,. (2004). Humannervous system: structure &amp function.Humana Press.

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Webster,R. A. (2001). Neurotransmitters,drugs and brain function.Chichester: Wiley.

Kandel,E. R. (2008). Principlesof neural science.New York: McGraw Hill.

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1)The Size Principle is an important concept in understanding theinteraction between upper motor neurons, lower motor neurons, andmotor units. Describe how the size principle applies to motor unitrecruitment and movement force. In your discussion be sure to definewhat a motor unit is and what the basic types of units are.

Musclefunctions and contracts regularly without fatigue, a process that isfacilitated by ignition of cell bodies that are found in the musclesthat is in the flexors and which helps in functioning of the bodypart. These cell bodies that give rise to muscle movement are knownas motor units. All the fibers in a muscle are ignited either insmall bits giving rise to small movements and at times in bigger bitsgiving rise to a bigger movement and a contraction. Ignition of thesefibers obeys a rule known as the size principle which says that thecell bodies are ignited starting with the tiny ones to the biggerones. Speeds of contraction do vary depending on the fact that theignition of the cell bodies is not simultaneous, and thus the speedmoves from slow to fast in respective of ignition of a small cellbodies to the bigger cell bodies. Successful ignition of these unitsof contraction to acquire a classification of the contractionstrength is referred to as the recruitment of the motor units(Kraemer &amp Fleck, 2007). Depending on the muscle surface area,fibers belonging to a single unit of contraction can be evenlydistributed over a specific area or can be distributed to most partsof the muscle.

Forevery muscle to function, there are a number of the units ofcontraction and fibers which are spread all over the muscle’ssurface area and which are connected with fibers of the neighboringunits of contraction. There are the classifications of the units ofcontraction that falls in three categories: slow oxidative, fastoxidative and fast glycol tic where the fast oxidative unit functionsfive times faster than the slow oxidative and the glycol ticfunctions ten times faster than the slow oxidative unit.

2)Use the concept of a motor neuron pool to explain why someone mighthave weakness and lack of coordination in a muscle after injury butthen eventually regain some strength and dexterity after therapy. Besure to include a discussion of LMN distribution in the SC (a diagrammay help) and where you think synapses might be changing.


Motorneuron pool is a compilation of motor neuron which supplies thesingle skeletal muscle with nerves. The motor neuron function is toshorten and generate tension within the muscles. The motor neuron arepositioned in central nervous system, their axon projects outside CNSthus, controlling muscles directly or indirectly (Swanson, 2012). Themotor neurons are responsible for carrying impulse to the musclesfrom the spinal cord instructing the muscles to make movement.

Themotor neurons receive pulses that affect the muscle they send animpulse to. The characteristics of a single motor neuron are comparedto those of contraction of the muscle fiber it supplies impulses to,the motor neurons get two types of synaptic impulses, that is theexcitatory and inhibitory impulse which alters membrane possibilitystraight and neuromodulatory impulse which changes the property ofinhibitory impulse on membrane possibilities.

TheSize Principle states that the motor neurons are recruited in achronology where the low force motor units are in a dynamic way inorder. Interconnections made of spinal interneuron enhance movementand circular locomotion order by dispersing synaptic function betweendiverse motor neuron pools.

Asynapse is an arrangement which allows neurons to transport anelectrical report and neurons move to others across a synapse.Depolarization and action potential are facilitated by flow ofpositive ions through the sodium channels that are neuroreceptor. Forhyperpolarisation and making of action potential less likely, neuroreceptors which are neuroreceptor chloride in nature are opened whileother synapses include non channel synapses, neuromuscular junctionsand electrical synapses.

3)Use the pain gate theory of pain modulation to describe why peoplerub their shin after they bump it against something hard. A diagrammay be useful here.


Painis perceived as the repulsive sense that is brought about by extremedestructive stimuli connected with definite or probable tissue spoil.Pain must be controlled on sense to avoid tissue damage and thus thepain is controlled, in which the sensing is not through ignition ofpain receptor neurons, but it is because the acuity is controlled bycontact among diverse neurons. The theory of pain control says thatthe movement of the unpleasant feeling to stabilization in the courseof the peripheral nerve by inherent neurons is done by the brains(DeLisa, et al, 2004). It says that the un-painful impulses lock thepaths of the hurting impulses and thus resulting to reduction of painsense. When one rubs his or her shin on a rough surface, collateralsbelonging to the bigger sensory fibers which transmit coetaneoussensory impulses ignites the inhibitory interneuron with whichregulate the ache movement information transmitted by the painfibers, while the non-noxious impulses reduces the soreness, thesensory impulses blocks the path of the sore impulses.

Afterone rubs his or her chin on a rough surface, at the spinal cordstage, the lesser painful stimulus will generate presynaptic reserveto the dorsal root nociceptors filament which generally synapse ontop of the nociceptors spinal neurons that have the T shape,therefore, this presynaptic inhibition closes the path for thenoxious information that may be heading to the CNS (Sharan, et al,2013). After therapy, there is production and usage of transcutaneouselectrical nerve stimulation so that the pain can reduce, where thetranscutaneous electrical nerve stimulation gives two diverse currentfrequencies that are lower than the ache threshold which can be takenby a suffering person.

4)Brainstem tracts: First, Identify the UMN traccts that originate inthe brainstem. Give the basic pathway and function for each. Then,explain the difference between a feedforward and a feedbackmechanism. Last, explain which tracts use the different types offeedback and in what types of situations each type of mechanism wouldbe more useful?


Informationtravels from the brain to other parts by a combination of neuronsthat are the upper motor neurons and the lower motor neurons. Theupper motor neurons receive the information first and through wayssuch as the corticonuclear, corticospinal and rubrospinal tracts theinformation is able to be sent to the spinal cord by aid of the motorneurons ( Alberstone, et al, 2009). The corticonuclear tracts havethat name as they merge the cerebral cortex and the cranial nervenuclei. It is through this passageway that the upper motor neuronsoriginating from the cortex move down and synapse the alpha motorneurons of brainstem. Likewise, upper motor neurons belonging to thecerebral cortex are in straight control of the alpha motor neuronsbelonging to the spinal cord through the lateral and ventralcorticospinal tracts.

Sensoryimpulses moving towards the alpha motor neuron originates frominterneuron, which are many neurons in the spinal cord. Sensoryimpulses moving to the alpha motor neurons comes from the Golgitendon organs, muscle spindles, mechanoreceptors, thermal receptorsplus several sensory neurons.

Ourbodies normally gives two responses that are the feedback and thefeed forward mechanism where feedback mechanism is the occasions thattake place in our bodies when a homeostasis action takes place whilethe feed forward mechanism is a structure which responds to changesin the surrounding and have the advantage of controlling greatturbulence in a person’s productivity ( Sherwood, et al, 2013). Therubrospinal tracts and the corticospinal tract are used by the feedforward while the cortical nuclear and the cortical spinal tracts areused by the feedback mechanism. The feedback mechanism is used tocontrol homeostasis and the feed forward mechanism is used toregulate the body due to environmental changes.

5)Usediagrams and illustrate the pain and touch pathways. Start at thestimulus and end in the brain. Then, compare and contrast thesesystems in at the functional and anatomical levels.


Whenpain is induced in the body, the part that is affected is withdrawnat once unwillingly. This is enhanced by some nociceptive which arevery different from the non-painful temperature and touch pathways(Holdcroft, et al, 2005). For the information to reach the brain, ittakes two diverse ways of which the two ways originates from theaffected part to the brain’s somatosensory cortex (Franzén,O.1996). These two ways have three neurons which transmits theinformation from one to the other, and these two paths vary at thepoint they pass the spinal cord, that is because the neural pathwaysemanating from the left hand side of the body ends in the rightsection of the brain while those from the right hand of the body endsin the left side of the brain.

Whentouch or pain is indulged to a body part, the information is sent tothe spinal cord. The spinal cord has three neurons which form astring that sprint from the left of the spinal cord to the right andfrom the right of the spinal cord to the left. The neuron that isforemost in this string and is always T-shaped and situated in thespinal ganglion, normally has two subdivisions one moving to theorgan that is supplied by the spinal nerve, whereas the supplementarysubdivision moves to the dorsal root of the spinal cord as it iscontroversial to a ventral root that is a motor region ( Byrnen etal, 2009) . The path accountable for touch is lemniscal pathway. Theforemost axon sprint the length of the dorsal root of spinal nerve tothe dorsal column of the spinal cord. This nerve stays on the bodyside it supplies up to when it links to the second neuron which issituated in the medulla. Axon of the neuron passes the midline veryfast and moves upwards using the medial lemniscus to the ventralpostero-lateral nucleus in the thalamus, from here it joins the thirdneuron.


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