Dopamine has many functions in
the brain, including important roles in behavior and
cognition, motor activity,
motivation and reward, regulation of
milk production, sleep, mood, attention, and learning.
responses of dopamine neurons are observed when an unexpected reward is
These responses transfer to the onset of a conditioned
stimulus after repeated pairings with the reward.
neurons are depressed when the expected reward is omitted.
dopamine neurons seem to encode the prediction error of rewarding outcomes.
In nature, we learn to repeat behaviors that lead to maximize rewards.
Dopamine may provide a teaching signal to parts of the brain
responsible for acquiring new behavior.
central nervous system,
serotonin is believed to play an important role as a neurotransmitter, in the
regulation of anger, aggression, body temperature, mood, sleep, vomiting,
As with all
neurotransmitters, the effects of serotonin on the human mood and state of
mind, and its role in consciousness, are very difficult to
endogenous opioid peptidesThere are three well-characterized families of opioid peptides
produced by the body: enkephalins, endorphins and dynorphins.
An enkephalin is a
pentapeptide involved in regulating pain and nociception in the body.
The enkephalins are termed endogenous ligands, or specifically
endorphins, as they are internally derived and bind to the body's opioid
Endorphins resemble the opiates in their abilities to
produce analgesia and a sense of well-being.
Endorphins are "natural pain
Other drugs may increase the effects of the endorphins.
The term "endorphin" implies a pharmacological activity as opposed to a
specific chemical formulation.
It consists of two parts: endo- and
-orphin; these are short forms of the words endogenous and opium, intended to
mean "a morphine-like substance originating from within the body."
term endorphin rush has been adopted in popular speech to refer to feelings of
exhilaration brought on by pain,
danger, or other forms of
stress due to the influence of endorphins.
Dynorphin is a class of
peptides which has some opiate-like activity.
The dynorphins, which
include dynorphin A, dynorphin B, alpha- and beta-neoendorphin, and big
dynorphin, are all the products of a single gene, 'preprodynorphin'.
Dynorphin functions primarily as a kappa opioid receptor agonist,
meaning that it acts mainly at kappa opioid receptors.
peptides include beta-endorphin, met-enkephalin, leu-enkephalin and
One of the most important features
of neuron synapses
is that they are the site of action for the majority of psychoactive
Neuron synapses are affected by drugs such
as curare, strychnine,
LSD, and countless
These drugs have different effects on synaptic function, and
often are restricted to neuron synapses
that use a specific neurotransmitters.
Curare is a poison which stops
acetylcholine from depolarising the post-synaptic membrane, causing
Strychnine blocks the inhibitory effects of the neurotransmitter
glycine, which causes the body to pick up and react to weaker and previously
ignored stimuli, resulting in uncontrollable muscle contractions.
increases the inhibitory effects of the neurotransmitter GABA.
acts on synapses that
use endorphin neurotransmitters.
Cocaine hydrochloride blocks
reuptake of dopamine and therefore increases its effects.
diethylamide interferes with synapses that use the neurotransmitter serotonin
to cause hallucination.
modulate the serotonin system in such a way to produce psychedelic alterations
in perception, emotional response, and thought process'.
These include psilocin,
lysergic acid diethylamide,
and 3,4-methylenedioxy-n-ethylamphetamine .
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