IB Psychology: Neurotransmission

Nerve cells, called neurons, are one of the building blocks of behaviour. It is estimated that there are between 10 and 100 billion neurons in the nervous system and that neurons make 13 trillion connections with each other. The neurons send electrochemical messages to the brain so that people can respond to stimuli—either from the environment or from internal changes in the body.The following video explains how the...

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Comments 13

Ian Latham 2 November 2017 - 07:51

Antonova et al is a great study. Will you be posting more information or adding it to your list of key studies? (See my comment in Facebook group.) Thanks.

John Crane 2 November 2017 - 16:38

Ian, I can add it to "key studies."

Trevor Mrak 13 March 2018 - 17:27

Hi John, I'm curious about one comment regarding Antonova... in the original, it states that there was "no significant difference in performance accuracy, as measured using the mean displacement error", but you mention that the task took more time. This time concept would make sense, but I can't seem to figure out where the original study mentions it, as it was a discussion point with students recently. Can you point me to it?

John Crane 13 March 2018 - 20:41

Dear Trevor,

Good question. I am just rereading the text and agree that this is not the case. I will fix the text, but I will seek out my other sources with Antonova cited which made reference to this. Thanks for catching this.

Trevor Mrak 18 March 2018 - 08:17

Thanks, John. I'd been thinking that I must've missed something, as it seemed to make sense and would be consistent with Rogers and Kesner and other similar studies regarding differences in speed/error rates for different conditions. Am I reading correctly in believing that the lack of time difference/levels of error between the conditions has to do with the fact that the participants in Antonova et al extensively practiced with the VR maze prior to scanning? It seems like a plausible explanation at least.

John Crane 20 March 2018 - 04:52

Dear Trevor,

Yes, that is how I am interpreting it. I am also trying to find another student friendly study on acetylcholine and memory. There are so many out there, but most of them make my head hurt. I think that although this topic seems easy when presented at the high school level, the actual research on neurotransmission is incredibly complex. Not a surprise, knowing that our brain are so complex. The question is how do we break it down to teach to students so that we simplify things without misteaching information. A constant struggle.

Hani Ramzy 12 April 2018 - 11:37

Hi, John, I know we can use Caspi for the question “Describe how genetic inheritance (or genes) influence/s human behavior, using one relevant example”. My question is in your opinion, can we also use this same study (Caspi) for the question
“Describe neurotransmission, using one relevant piece of research to support your answer”. I say this John because the 5HTT gene is related to the neurotransmitter serotonin

John Crane 13 April 2018 - 04:51

Dear Hani

The best way to figure out if a study could be used is to determine the aim of the study. In this case, the study was not a study of neurotransmission, but a study of genetics. Notice that the new working is to describe/explain/discuss neurotransmission and its effect on behaviour. Caspi would not be appropriate.

Hani Ramzy 13 April 2018 - 09:27

Thank you John for both answering my question and for the tip on using study aims to determine suitability of studies for different questions. As always - very appreciated.

Gisou Ravanbaksh 17 April 2018 - 11:11

Hi John,
We use your Oxford textbook in my class. A student pointed out today that pg 41 in the textbook states that in Rogers and Kesner the third group of rats received no injection, but here on this site it says that the third group received a placebo. Can you please clarify? Thanks!

John Crane 18 April 2018 - 06:52

They received a salune solution. The mistakr was never edited out by OUP in all the years it was in print. That is why the new text is online. It makes it so much easier to fix such errors

Ian Latham 22 May 2018 - 20:05

Going back over material taught, I realise that the powerpoint students used in class had the 'old' BLOA key study 'Martinez & Kesner (n.d.)' while the 'new' text here describes/references Rogers & Kesner (2003). Are they basically the same and if so, I just tell them to use the new reference? Or should I warn them of a potential confusion and get them to discard M&K notes?

John Crane 23 May 2018 - 05:30

Dear Ian

The video is a replication/version of the study to help students understand the procedure. They do not need to reference the video separately. The conceptual understandings of the two versions are the same.

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