Write a 2-3 page, double-spaced paper that examines the basis of the central nervous system including nerve cells, events at the synapse, the blood-brain barrier, how certain drugs affect behavior, and ethical issues with animal research.

Answer the following questions:

  1. Study the structure of the blood-brain barrier and discuss why it is important. How do drugs such as heroin and cocaine pass through this barrier and why does heroin have a faster effect on the brain? What effects do these drugs have on neurons, specifically at the synapse, and how does this influence behavior? [MO1.6]
  1. Summarize in detail what is happening in the image, starting with the action potential in the presynaptic neuron, through the release of neurotransmitters, the inhibition or excitatory response of the postsynaptic neuron, and the reuptake of neurotransmitters. [MO1.5] PSY-374_Mods1.png
  1. Discuss action potential and the all-or-none law. Compare the function and process of the refractory period, including the relative and absolute refractory periods. [MO1.4]

The glia cell (neuroglia) in the nervous system derived its name from the Greek name for “glue.” This term was given by early investigators who thought the main function of the cell was to hold neurons together. Given that glia have been shown to have several more functions in the nervous system, the original name of “glue” seems unfitting. What would be a better description for glia, given what we now know about them? Explain. Be sure to support your response with evidence from the text. [MO1.3]

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