1. What is a neurotransmitter, how it works and it’s effects.
Neurotransmitter: The process of how people respond to external stimuli by sending electrical signals to the Central Nervous System.
How? — Electrical impulses through the presynaptic cell that releases neurotransmitters from a sac. The neurotransmitters diffuse through the membrane of the synapse and is received by receptors at the post synaptic cell.
Neurotransmitters: Dopamine and Serotonin.
Function: Sleep, arousal levels, emotion
Experiment: Kasamatsu and Hirai — release in serotonin altered how the monks experienced the world.
Human behaviour affected - having hallucinations
People who experience depression have low levels of serotonin. SSRI (Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitor) can help patients by preventing the reabsorption back to presynaptic cell.
Watch this for information on how this happens!
Function: Voluntary movement, learning, pleasure
When there is excess dopamine, people will hallucinate — Schizophrenia
Drugs such as clozapine can help block receptor sites at the post synaptic cell.
However it may be over simplistic as new anti-schizophrenic drugs can affect other neurotransmitters such as serotonin. Therefore we cannot assume that dopamine alone contributes to schizophrenia.
Study: Hietala (1995)