Using Empirical Research Evidence, Explain the Effects of One Neurotransmitter on Human Behaviour

Topics: Dopamine, Neurotransmitter, Neuron Pages: 3 (745 words) Published: November 25, 2012
Using empirical research evidence, explain the effects of one neurotransmitter on human behavior.

Neurotransmitters are chemical messengers, which send signals and communicate information through neurons (nerve cells), cells, our brains and our bodies. Neurotransmitters are released and travel through terminals in the brain until they reach certain receptors. Neurotransmitters and their functions are located and carried out in different sections of the brain. It uses neurotransmitters to make your body carry out certain functions, such as making your heart beat and your lungs breathe. Scientists are not sure of how many neurotransmitters actually exist, but they can be sorted into two main different types. These are called exitatory neurotransmitters and inhibitory neurotransmitters.

Exitatory neurotransmitters stimulate different parts of the brain. Three wellknown types of exitatory neurotransmitters are dopamine, norepinephrine, epinephrine. Inhibitory neurotransmitters calm the brain and create balance. Three different types of inhibitory neurotransmitters are serotonin, gaba and dopamine. Although dopamine was already mentioned as an exitatory neurotransmitter, it is special because it is considered to be both exitatory and inhibitory.

Dopamine affects the 5 different dopamine receptors: dopamine 1 (D1), dopamine 2 (D2), dopamine 3 (D3), dopamine 4 (D4) and dopamine 5 (D5), and helps to control parts of the brain that react to pleasure and reward. It helps the brain not only to see rewards, but to motivate a person to obtain those rewards, or at least try to move towards them. It also helps to motivate humans to perform the actions again, to acquire the same rewards. This involves activities such as eating, sex, and other such activities that create a rush of adrenaline. Along with that, dopamine also helps the body to move and have emotional responses to certain objects or situations.

A lack of the dopamine neurotransmitter...
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