Discussion: Neurotransmitters and Receptors
The various neurotransmitter systems each release a chemical of a different “flavor” along a unique pathway from one brain region to another. This is sometimes described using a lock and key model, where the neurotransmitter is the specific “key” that fits into the receptor, or “lock.” Furthermore, the brain may produce many different neurotransmitter receptors, each responding differently to the same chemical, such that the number of signals that can be transmitted in the brain seems innumerable. Understanding the functions of the nervous system requires an understanding of these different neurotransmitters and the receptors.
For this week’s Discussion, you will select a particular neurotransmitter and describe one or two places in the nervous system where this transmitter is typically found and the effects of this transmitter on behavior.
(For the discussion I chose the frontal lobe, but here is what my professor said (For your Discussion, you described the frontal lobe, more specifically the prefrontal cortex. This is still a very broad area with many connections and functions. For your Application, you probably want to just focus on one subregion of the prefrontal cortex, such as the orbitofrontal cortex or the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex, or any other such area, to enable you to go into depth about the connections and functions of that area. So, if you are interested in creativity, research which brain area is most associated with that and then use that as the basis for your Application).
Post a description of your chosen neurotransmitter and the receptors it acts on.
Include descriptions of the two types of receptors (metabotropic and ionotropic) as well as what it means to be an agonist or antagonist for a receptor.
Identify at least two specific drugs that affect your chosen neurotransmitter. You may select naturally occurring or synthetic drugs, as well as those used recreationally and/or for medical purposes.
Finally, identify which type or types of receptors your specific transmitter it acts on and whether it is an agonist or antagonist, explaining both terms.
Breedlove, S. M., & Watson, N. V. (2019). Behavioral neuroscience (9th ed.). New York, NY: Oxford University Press.
- Chapter 4, “The Chemistry of Behavior”