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The synaptic space between two neurons is shown. Some neurotransmitters that have been released into the synapse are attaching to receptors while others undergo reuptake into the axon terminal.
Reuptake involves moving a neurotransmitter from the synapse back into the axon terminal from which it was released.

Neuronal communication is often referred to as an electrochemical event. The movement of the action potential down the length of the axon is an electrical event, and movement of the neurotransmitter across the synaptic space represents the chemical portion of the process.

Neurotransmitters and drugs

There are several different types of neurotransmitters released by different neurons, and we can speak in broad terms about the kinds of functions associated with different neurotransmitters ( [link] ). Much of what psychologists know about the functions of neurotransmitters comes from research on the effects of drugs in psychological disorders. Psychologists who take a biological perspective    and focus on the physiological causes of behavior assert that psychological disorders like depression and schizophrenia are associated with imbalances in one or more neurotransmitter systems. In this perspective, psychotropic medications can help improve the symptoms associated with these disorders. Psychotropic medications are drugs that treat psychiatric symptoms by restoring neurotransmitter balance.

Major neurotransmitters and how they affect behavior
Neurotransmitter Involved in Potential Effect on Behavior
Acetylcholine Muscle action, memory Increased arousal, enhanced cognition
Beta-endorphin Pain, pleasure Decreased anxiety, decreased tension
Dopamine Mood, sleep, learning Increased pleasure, suppressed appetite
Gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) Brain function, sleep Decreased anxiety, decreased tension
Glutamate Memory, learning Increased learning, enhanced memory
Norepinephrine Heart, intestines, alertness Increased arousal, suppressed appetite
Serotonin Mood, sleep Modulated mood, suppressed appetite

Psychoactive drugs can act as agonists or antagonists for a given neurotransmitter system. Agonists are chemicals that mimic a neurotransmitter at the receptor site and, thus, strengthen its effects. An antagonist    , on the other hand, blocks or impedes the normal activity of a neurotransmitter at the receptor. Agonist and antagonist drugs are prescribed to correct the specific neurotransmitter imbalances underlying a person’s condition. For example, Parkinson's disease, a progressive nervous system disorder, is associated with low levels of dopamine. Therefore dopamine agonists, which mimic the effects of dopamine by binding to dopamine receptors, are one treatment strategy.

Certain symptoms of schizophrenia are associated with overactive dopamine neurotransmission. The antipsychotics used to treat these symptoms are antagonists for dopamine—they block dopamine’s effects by binding its receptors without activating them. Thus, they prevent dopamine released by one neuron from signaling information to adjacent neurons.

In contrast to agonists and antagonists, which both operate by binding to receptor sites, reuptake inhibitors prevent unused neurotransmitters from being transported back to the neuron. This leaves more neurotransmitters in the synapse for a longer time, increasing its effects. Depression, which has been consistently linked with reduced serotonin levels, is commonly treated with selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs). By preventing reuptake, SSRIs strengthen the effect of serotonin, giving it more time to interact with serotonin receptors on dendrites. Common SSRIs on the market today include Prozac, Paxil, and Zoloft. The drug LSD is structurally very similar to serotonin, and it affects the same neurons and receptors as serotonin. Psychotropic drugs are not instant solutions for people suffering from psychological disorders. Often, an individual must take a drug for several weeks before seeing improvement, and many psychoactive drugs have significant negative side effects. Furthermore, individuals vary dramatically in how they respond to the drugs. To improve chances for success, it is not uncommon for people receiving pharmacotherapy to undergo psychological and/or behavioral therapies as well. Some research suggests that combining drug therapy with other forms of therapy tends to be more effective than any one treatment alone (for one such example, see March et al., 2007).

Summary

Glia and neurons are the two cell types that make up the nervous system. While glia generally play supporting roles, the communication between neurons is fundamental to all of the functions associated with the nervous system. Neuronal communication is made possible by the neuron’s specialized structures. The soma contains the cell nucleus, and the dendrites extend from the soma in tree-like branches. The axon is another major extension of the cell body; axons are often covered by a myelin sheath, which increases the speed of transmission of neural impulses. At the end of the axon are terminal buttons that contain synaptic vesicles filled with neurotransmitters.

Neuronal communication is an electrochemical event. The dendrites contain receptors for neurotransmitters released by nearby neurons. If the signals received from other neurons are sufficiently strong, an action potential will travel down the length of the axon to the terminal buttons, resulting in the release of neurotransmitters into the synapse. Action potentials operate on the all-or-none principle and involve the movement of Na + and K + across the neuronal membrane.

Different neurotransmitters are associated with different functions. Often, psychological disorders involve imbalances in a given neurotransmitter system. Therefore, psychotropic drugs are prescribed in an attempt to bring the neurotransmitters back into balance. Drugs can act either as agonists or as antagonists for a given neurotransmitter system.

Personal application queation

Have you or someone you know ever been prescribed a psychotropic medication? If so, what side effects were associated with the treatment?

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Questions & Answers

I am wrilly interisting about big problems psihycil nature between famillys/like parents bully some childe physically , even hall life and show some kinde of heath and $inaid
Zorica Reply
same
Gaea
Never give minor issues space. Time creates space, more time more space therefore if u give a small issue more time it gets more space in your mind hence breeding stress
Andrew Reply
yes yes yes so true
Gaea
hi..my brother gets angry Everytime I say no to him for anything he ask for he don't talk to me after that.. Everytime I only have to say sorry so this time I decided not to say sorry he haven't talked to me for two weeks I am so stressed what should I do
Nush
give him so time. I think you should let him figure out his own feelings. plus, you did the right thing. he needs to know that not everyone will give him what he wants.
Gaea
Don't be stressed out . You did right thing. but remember one thing don't show angry gestures to him or don't try to make him realize by teasing or scolding. If you try to be humble and patient, he may understand his mistake on his own.
PARUL
yeah
Gaea
Hi everyone! So i'm gonna be a college freshman soon and i'm gonna major in Psychology😬 but lately i've been worrying about what job i'm gonna have after getting my Bachelor's degree. Any tips or advice?
Angelique Reply
I think minimum of a masters degree is needed in order to get a job once you do mphil and phd u gonna get licence to work as a clinical psychologist and a lot more options 😊best wishes
kitty
hi...my brother gets angry with me anytime I say no to him for anything he ask for and stop talking to me every time I only have to say sorry..so I decided this time not to say sorry he haven't talked to me at all what should I do please help me
Nush
I think it's just a matter of ego and pride.they may have a kind of feeling like if they apologize it hurts their integrity and pride. Some people never admit they are wrong and it creates stress in the other person. .some people are not empathetic and they always want to feel cared n lovedbyother
kitty
so what can we do..if you are a person who always says sorry it's a good indicator that you have such a broad mind where you are ready to solve problems n you love them even though they are bad at you..basically everyone in this whole world is selfish..humans are selfish but there are some people
kitty
like you whom God created just to solve problems and lead other people in a better way..what you should do is create a beautiful bonding bw your bro ask him softly about his problems..love him more..and eventually he may become softer and lovable
kitty
if your bro is an introvert there could be chances where he has got several problems he haven't discussed with anybody which brings out their egoistic behr and blunt nature...ask him to say about his problems..make him understand the importance of apologies and empathetic behr..and try not to end up
kitty
in a fight discussing these things...u should softly deal with it..even if other people let you down or didn't say sorry to you doesn't mean that you r wrong..u are saying sorry everytime because u have a good heart..
kitty
hope this helps🐒have a good day..good life!!😊
kitty
hi..I have a problem.i will emotional fast, every time when I will give any seminar or etc I will get so emotional and I will cry on the stage....what can I do? give me a solution please
Secular Reply
try to think why your on stage and the audience arnt, try to stay positive and maybe meditate before your performance
Raneem
well i personally suggest trying to practice a lot to other people or to yourself be4 stuff like seminars (like rehearsing), but i think you should ask other people too. also like quora is a good place to ask questions and u might get more/better feedback
Aon
i know this is a psychology app, but quora is specifically designed for asking and answering questions (also ask friends/family/etc)
Aon
Coz u scared of society so that ur confidence is very low ...
Arishfa
Take deep breaths it might sound silly but it actually works.. calms your body and mind.don not focus on things like it may go wrong...or what people will think...just prepare and present..💖
kitty
Being emotionl is nt a fault,its gud dat u atleast knw abt it.Accept ur feelings/emotions.Dis time know wht's mking u cry.Is it d topic or ur intrnl feeling abt ur performance?if it's abt prfrmnce jus know dat none s perfect & b confident in ur subjct by practicing it.Remember None can play ur role.
sailaja
i had a problem that;even though i have people around me, I'm feeling lonely
sharath
is there any online facilities to acquire Internship?
Tanvi Reply
psychology is the study of human behaviour,mental processes and experiences.It id because behaviour cant be stable over a period of time hence,it considered subjective.morover, human experiences cant be objective
Rija Reply
Is this a Statement OR a Question ? all things considered, psch has come a long way in its relatively short life. i was getting an "art" degree, when I enrolled, the Pseudo science changed and I landed a science degree instead (worth more when employers look at it)
Lyric
human behavior is fascinating if you ask me, my 1st degree was criminology/investigations, the ultimate goal of the field is control <~~ sounds terrible but in reality it's more about learning to predict the behaviors we need prevented & find a way to stop them before the next school shooting or btk
Lyric
It's needs to be tackle at young age before it heads to the teens stage then sometimes they don't wanna hear it or un cool
Derek
the suffix ology is study of
Mouze Reply
the prefix psyche is the soul
Mouze
iwillbecomeasuideideaseveryday whatareiwilldo
Vijaya Reply
?
BLYTHE
@Vjaya are you OK?
Ashantelle
u should have hope in life...its not that hard as you think...dont give up even though I don't know what you are talking about just pray..breathe...relax..eveything will be fine 💖
kitty
would you like to talk? I'm an advocate for suicide prevention .
Sonya
that's quite gud
sharath
listen buddy if you keep having those thoughts you will manifest bad energy, i recommend listening to positive subliminals for your subconscious mind, and try being positive, it doesn't have to be real just fake it until you make it
stan
ohhh a Loona here?
here a Orbit too
Vijaya I wish I could Help you-
if you're having suicidal thoughts or anything like that, please contact a suicide hotline b/c i think they could help u more more than we could 1-800-273-8255 there are probs other ones just search it
Aon
how are you feeling tho? im kinda confused by the question and i didnt even know this app had a discussion thing
Aon
please call suicide hotline though if you are having suucidal thoughts because they can really help you (definitely more than some of us could) 1-800-273-8255
Aon
please call suicide hotline though if you are having suucidal thoughts because they can really help you (definitely more than some of us could)
Aon
is anyone there
Robin
@vijaya if ur still reading comments, idrk what u meant but please do stay safe and get help if you're feeling badly
Aon
Hii🙋🏽‍♀️
Angelique
please what is the difference between illusion and hallucination
Okugo Reply
d
April
a Hallucination is not real it is a false perception however in illusion is real but it's made to be out to be something different than what it is
April
hope that helps
April
hallucination is an experience involving the apparent perception of something not present. illusion is a thing that is or is likely to be wrongly perceived or interpreted by the senses.
MH
like u see a rope and if you perceive it as a snake it's illusion
kitty
And if you feel like something crawling into your body(in reality such a thing is not happening)that is hallucination
kitty
I hope examples will make it more clear for you
kitty
and even hearing voices when no one has spoken is also hallucination
kitty
body and mind are two sides of coin
Rutika Reply
then what is the coin? maybe they're different coins?
not
Body is physical while mind is psychological
Ashantelle
Moderately retarded people have the IQ range of on the wechelser scales
Manisha Reply
body and mind are two sides of coin plz tell me answers
Rutika
maybe the soul is the coin?
Del
Body is physical while mind is psychological
Ashantelle
how being a manager we can biuld up an environment in which workplace perform well and motivate?
Attieh Reply
Allow the whole team to contribute to decisions. Be open to listen to team when decisions are not working/or are Be firm when you need to be but also be equally fair to all Recognise and reward exceptional results from individuals
Ashantelle
Be a leader and take action to resolve matters swiftly
Ashantelle
I'm confused. After my PG degree in psychology, how am I Gonna start my career? what's next?
Tanvi Reply
made a good resume, send them out, for the best to cash
ABIOLA
you apply for counseling job in schools and colleges
Dhanaraj
you might want to try getting some work in a behavioral clinic to build your resume so you can work on your career.
April
I have taken clinical psychology
Tanvi
there are lots of opportunities
Faazi
I want to know the opportunities. I can't study further due to family issues.
Tanvi
counselling in schools I think can do
Nevak
also juvenile halls might be a job lead
Total
u can work in hospitals too
Faazi
starting your career from school counseling is a good way initially.
kajal
can you start your own firm immediately after school!!
Jeffer
briefly explain contemporary psychology
Pawanjeet Reply
a
April
Uses moderate techniques to answer questions in a broad spectrum of psychology. Just think back in the day twin studies was not used in the beginningin any type of psychological study. Also, Shock treatment studies are done however today there on ethical and a different technique has been adopted
April
who is an evolutional psychology
Ruth Reply
charles darwin.
jane

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Source:  OpenStax, Psychology. OpenStax CNX. Feb 03, 2015 Download for free at https://legacy.cnx.org/content/col11629/1.5
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