Lecture Notes for General Biology BI 101 - Nervous System

I Introduction to the Nervous System
	A) Practical Applications - Drugs and Society
		1) Function of Drugs in Different Societies
			a) Medicinal - all societies
			b) Incorporate into religious ceremonies
				1) North American Indians of the SW U. S. - peyote 
					buttons taken by medicine men
				2) Catholicism - wine symbolizes blood of Christ
			c) Drugs and Payment
				1) Moslems - hashish reward for military accomplishments
				2) South American Indians - cocaine for slave workers
	B) Drugs
		1) Action of drugs
			a) mimic action of neurotransmitters
			b) increase production of neurotransmitters
			c) block action of neurotransmitters
	C) Biological Classification of Drugs - based on the effects of the 
			drugs on individual behavior
		1) Stimulants (amphetamines, cocaine, caffeine, nicotine)
		2) Depressants (barbiturates, alcohol, anesthetics, Quaaludes, 
		3) Psychedelics/Hallucinogens (LSD, Mescaline)
		4) Antipsychotics (Lithium)
		5) Analgesics - opiates
		6) Summary Table - drugs, behavioral effects, withdrawal symptoms
		7) Information on common drugs of abuse from National Inst. on Drug Abuse (NIDA)
	D) Drug Treatment - Alcohol model (use drugs to treat drugs)
		1) Naltrexone - blocks action of alcohol
		2) Disulfiram - causes extreme nausea, vomiting
		3) Alcoholics Anonymous - AA Information
		4) Substance Abuse and mental health publications (SAMSHA)
	E) Sleep and Arousal
		1) Alternate around 24 hr. period = circadian rhythm
		2) Due to activities of the RAS (Reticular Activating System)
		3) Overview of sleep
	F) 5 different stages of Sleep
		1) 1 (light sleep, meditation) - 2 - 3 - 4 (bed wetting, sleepwalking), 
			all components of N-REM sleep
		2) REM Sleep = stage 5 of sleep (dream sleep)
		3) Sleep Cycle (50-90 minutes)
			1 - 2 - 3 - 4 - 5 / 2 - 3 - 4 - 5 / 2 - 3 - 4 - 5 (amount of time 
			spent in stage 5 increases throughout the night)
	G) Sleep Disorders 
		General Web links
			Stanford University
			National Sleep Foundation
		1) Narcolepsy - uncontrolled sleeping during the day
			Causes - not well known, associated with a lack of hypocretin (stimulates arousal
			and regulates sleep) and Hert cells (special neurons that secrete hypocretin)
		2) Sleep Apnea - disorder of the respiratory system which 
			results in patient  constantly waking up during the 
			night, but they don't know it, eventually lack of sleep 
			catches up with them at inopportune times during the day
		3) Insomnia - can't get to sleep, physiological and psychological 
			bases, most likely an interaction of the two
	H) Other Phobias, Syndromes and Disorder

II Nervous Systems

A) Fundamental Unit = typical neuron, other nerve cell types
		1) Characteristics
			a) dendrites
			b) cell body
			c) axon
			d) terminal ending with bouton
		2) Property of Excitability
			a) ability to be stimulated
			b) due to electrochemical gradient (+ on the outside,
				- on the inside), resting potential
			c) Na+/K+ pump (Na+ is pumped out, K+ is pumped in
				but in different amounts)
		3) Action potential - transmission of an impulse/signal down neuron due to 
			depolarization (reversal in polarity, outside becomes
			- compared to + inside cell), followed by repolarization
			propagation of action potentia
		4) Schwann Cells, cause a localized depolarization, increases
			speed at which impulse travels down axon
			forms myelin sheath
		5) Communication between neurons - occurs at the synapse
			a) EPSP stimulates second neuron to fire
			b) IPSP inhibits second neuron from firing
			c) role of neurotransmitters
				vesicles contain neurotransmitters, release contents into the synaptic cleft
	B) Nerves- bundles of neurons packed together in connective and fatty
	C) Simple Nervous Systems
		1) Hydra - simple nerve net
		2) Insects and Arthropods - nerve net and ganglia
		3) Vertebrates - central processing unit (brain) plus nerve 
		4) Trend - increasing complexity from simple distribution of 
			nerves to a network controlled by one CPU in the head
			region (cephalization)
			Comparative overview of vertebrate brains
	D) Overview of the Human Nervous system
		1) Central Nervous System = brain and the spinal cord
		2) Brain - Parts
			Hindbrain = medulla and cerebellum
			Midbrain = relay center
			Forebrain = thalamus and hypothalamus
		3) Brain evolution
			simple (fish, amphibians) - complex (humans, whales, 
			small forebrain - large forebrain (cerebral cortex,
				connected by corpus callosum)
		4) Systems in the brain
			RAS - controls sleep and arousal rhythms
			Limbic - associated with emotion and sexual behavior
		5) Spinal cord
			ascending - carry sensory information to brain 
			descending - carry motor messages from the brain
				example of nerve innervation
		6) Peripheral Nervous System (PNS)
			a) Somatic - control over skeletal muscle
			b) Autonomic - control organs of body
				1) Sympathetic - fight/flight reaction
					ganglia right outside spinal cord, 
					NT = epinephrine
				2) Parasympathetic - resting/digesting
					ganglia right outside target organ, NT = Ach
			c) Sensory system - process information from the 
				1) Vision and the eye
					connecting the eye to the brain
				2) Audition and the ear
					a) tympanum = ear drum, listens to sound 
				3) Olfaction = taste and smell
					a) taste buds in tongue

BI 01 Homepage

Saint Anselm College Homepage

Blackboard at Saint Anselm College

Dr. Jay's Homepage


Trademark and Disclaimers

Copyright © 2001 Jay Pitocchelli. All rights reserved. The contents of this page are the intellectual property of Dr. Jay Pitocchelli for distribution to students enrolled in General Biology BI 01 at Saint Anselm College. These pages may not be copied, photocopied, reproduced, translated, or published in any electronic or machine-readable form in whole or in part without prior written approval of Jay Pitocchelli. Students enrolled in General Biology BI 01 at Saint Anselm College have permission to print this material for their lecture notes. The images linked to this web page are the sole property of Addison Wesley/ Benjamin Cummings Publishers™.