Psychopharmacology 3e Chapter 2 Outline

Structure and Function of the Nervous System


Cells of the Nervous System

Neurons have three major external features
Box 2.1 The Cutting Edge Embryonic Stem Cells
Characteristics of the cell membrane are critical for neuron function
Glial cells provide vital support for neurons
Box 2.2 Of Special Interest Astrocytes

Electrical Transmission within a Neuron

Ion distribution is responsible for the cell’s resting potential
Local potentials are small, transient changes in membrane potential
Sufficient depolarization at the axon hillock opens voltage-gated Na+ channels, producing an action potential
Drugs and poisons alter axon conduction

Organization of the Nervous System

Box 2.3 The Cutting Edge Finding Your Way in the Nervous System
The nervous system comprises the central and peripheral divisions
CNS functioning is dependent on structural features
The CNS has six distinct regions reflecting embryological development
Box 2.4 Of Special Interest Neuroendocrine Response to Stress
The cerebral cortex is divided into four lobes, each having primary, secondary, and tertiary areas
Rat and human brains have many similarities and some differences