- Luigi Galvani was the first man to reveal the electric nature of the nervous system. He did this by stimulating the legs of lab animals with electric currents in 1791. In 1914 Henry dale furthered the research of neurotransmitters by demonstrating the physiological action of acetylcholine.
Luigi Galvani was a physician and physicist and is known for his work determining the nature of how electric currents travel through the body. He did so by attaching electrodes to a frog’s nerve endings and observing the movements that occurred when electricity was applied. Sir Henry Dale is a London born expert in zoology and physiology. He contributed to the discovery of neurotransmitters and helped determine their purpose within the brain.
These two men helped the doctoral community better understand how the Human brain functions and today the study of how neurotransmitters affect behavior is the basis of biopsychology.
"Luigi Galvani." Famous Scientists. N.p., n.d. Web. 14 Dec. 2014
"Otto Loewi and Henry Dale: The Discovery of Neurotransmitters." - Oxford Scholarship. N.p., n.d. Web. 14 Dec. 2014.
- Plasticity describes how our brains neural pathways are reorganized due to new experiences. Changes in the functionality of our brain occur as we learn new things. As children our brain has up to 15,000 of these connections and when we reach puberty we begin to go through synaptic pruning. Unused and weak connections die off while those used more often are strengthened. When our brains are growing as children the connections grow as well and all start out equal. Overtime we lessen the use of many of the connections and they are eventually ‘pruned’. Due to the larger number of connections in a child’s mind they have more synapses to replace those lost in the case of an accident. The brain can compensate easier.
"Brain Plasticity: What Is It? Learning and Memory." Http://faculty.washington.edu. N.p., n.d. Web.
- Serotonin is an inhibitory neurotransmitter and it has a calming effect on the brain. Dopamine stimulates the brain and Endorphins resemble opium is structure.
Serotonin helps create regular sleep patterns and low levels are associated with depression. It is a mood stabilizing neurotransmitter.
Dopamine controls voluntary body movements and is associated with pleasurable emotions. Alcohol and certain drugs increase the levels of this neurotransmitter.
Endorphins are released when we exercise and reduce pain and stress. Opioid drugs create a similar effect.
Bora, Chandramita. "Neurotransmitters and Their Functions." Buzzle. Buzzle.com, n.d. Web. 14 Dec. 2014.
- This statement suggests that the mind is part of the body but some people would argue that the body is instead an extension of the mind. Dualism is the idea that the mind and body may interact but are somewhat separate entities. Biologists argue that the mind is the brain that the neural transmitters and synapses make up our idea of a ‘mind’. The subject is still highly debated among psychologists.
"Mind Body Debate | Simply Psychology." Mind Body Debate | Simply Psychology. N.p., n.d. Web. 14 Dec. 2014.
- We study the brain to better understand human behavior and mental processes. The brain controls the actions of our entire bodies. Without the use of our brain we are essentially dead and cannot function without life support. Psychologists study the brain by using imaging technology as well as studying how behaviors affect the neurotransmitters within the brain.
"How Do Psychologists Study About the Brain?" General Psychology. N.p., n.d. Web. 14 Dec. 2014.
- Reductionism risks ignoring important factors that contribute to the study of the brain by oversimplifying how it functions. It may also ignore variables that do not fall in line with the simplified theory, such as discounting environmental factors in depression cases.
Reductionism can be useful because it enables biologists to consider human thought in simplified terms. It also can enable a scientist to determine the root cause of a problem by looking at the brains chemical reactions as the main cause.