Using one or more examples, explain effects of neurotransmission on human behavior.


  • Chemical messenger that allows communication between nerve cells.
  • Receptor sites that can only take in specific electrochemical.
  • Travels from the Pre-Synaptic neuron through the Synapses to the Post-Synaptic neuron.


  • Produced in Pineal Gland.
  • Responsible for: Emotion, Sleep, Mental wellbeing (Happiness)/Depression
  • During the process of neurotransmission, not all Serotonin gets absorbed by the Post-Synaptic neuron.
  • The extra Serotonin is taken back into the Pre-Synaptic neuron through Active Reuptake; or
  • The Serotonin gets broken down by Monoamine Oxidase (MAO), which causes a low level of Serotonin being absorbed by the Post-Synaptic neuron.
  • Low level of serotonin in the Post-Synaptic neuron means impulse cannot be started.

Neurotransmission is the process when signals are transmitted in the neurons through the synapse with the help of neurotransmitters.

Neurotransmitter is a chemical in the synapse that transmits signals between neurons.

What happens in neurotransmission?
O Action potentials (a negative electric charge) in the neuron releases neurotransmitters from the terminal buttons
O Neurotransmitters in the terminal buttons diffuses over the synaptic cleft
o Neurotransmitters fit into receptor cells in the dendrites (lock-and-key model)
o This changes the charge of the neuron to be more positive
o When the neuron reaches a certain threshold (+15mv of the resting potential) all ion channels in the neuron open, creating the action potential (-40mv)

Serotonin – A neurotransmitter involved in aggression, depression, love, etc.
o It inhibits behavior and is involved in sleep, mood, aggression, love
o Studies: Caspi 2003, Marazitti
o Studies in neuroscience has shown that people in love tend to release more serotonin which leads to an increased heart rate, loss of sleep, feelings of excitement, etc.

Dopamine – A neurotransmitter involved in eating behavior, love, etc.
Dopamine is related with the pleasurable feelings we have, motivating us to perform activities; for example rewarding experiences such as food, sex, and drugs.
People with Parkinson’s disease have a lack of dopamine, and people with schizophrenia have an excess of dopamine.
Like serotonin, studies in neuroscience show that people in love tend to release more dopamine which stimulates the brain’s pleasure center, leading to increased heart rate, loss of appetite, etc.

Acetylcholine – A neurotransmitter involved with memory.
o In a particular study, damage to the cholinergic (acetylcholine-producing) system in the brain was shown to be somewhat responsible with memory deficits in Alzheimer’s disease.
o It has also been shown to be involved with synaptic plasticity in learning and long term memory

Noradrenalin – A stress hormone andtransmitter involved with depression.
o Noradrenalin affects parts of the brain that controls attention and responses, and is in association with increasing heart rate, blood pressure, release of glucose, and increasing blood flow to muscles.
A lack of noradrenalin could cause depression because the body is not as responsive to stimulation, and lack arousal and alertness.

Effects of neurotransmission on human behavior
o Neurotransmission has a significant effect on human behavior.
o They send signals that control bodily functions which are present when we are faced with certain situations and arousals.
o Lack of neurotransmitters can also cause effects on our behavior.
  • These neurotransmitters control bodily functions and behaviors such as sleep, eating, learning, arousal, and even mood.

Neurotransmitters v hormones.docx
Neurotransmitters v hormones.docx
Neurotransmitters v hormones.docx

Neurons video

Case Studies:
BLOA #6 Sample Essay.doc