Regulatory Behavior Paper

Topics: Neuron, Nervous system, Sleep Pages: 7 (1403 words) Published: May 11, 2015

Regulatory Behavior
Emily Beecher
April 27, 2015
Dr. Annie Powers
Regulatory Behavior
The nervous system is an extremely elaborate biological machine. Without question, the nervous system is a system so intricate and comprehensive that professionals in the field of medicine to this day do not have a “complete picture” of each of the working details of the human nervous system. Of these different mechanisms, perhaps the one most riddled with speculation, is the mechanism of sleep. In discussing regulatory process, sleep is perhaps one of the most essential to the healthy upkeep of the human nervous system. This process is such a necessary behavior that without it, the nervous system, and the overall health of the individual in question can become compromised (to the point of fatality) without it. The Nervous System

The central nervous system is made up of two major components, the brain and the spinal cord. The spinal cord connects to the brain, and is the main messenger component to the rest of the body from the brain. There are several different parts of the brain including the hypothalamus, the thalamus, the corpus callosum, and the cerebellum ("The Central Nervous System", 2009). The hypothalamus is above the spinal cord, and regulates the consumption of food and water. It also “controls the release of sex hormones from the pituitary gland” (“The Central Nervous System”, 2009). The thalamus is responsible for passing on information from the senses to the brain. The corpus callosum connects the two hemispheres of the brain and helps with communication. The cerebellum stores procedural memory, and the cortex helps to make decisions and solve problems. The left hemisphere of the brain controls different aspects of the human body than the right hemisphere. The left hemisphere controls the right side of the body, and regulates speech, language, comprehension, analysis, calculations, time, sequencing, and recognition of words, letters and numbers ("The Central Nervous System", 2009). The right hemisphere controls the left side of the body, and regulates creativity, spatial ability, context/perception, and recognition of faces, places, and objects. A neurotransmitter is a chemical message that acts between the neurons in the brain. A neuron consists of an axon, dendrites, a cell body, and the axon terminal. The dendrites are branch-like structures off of the cell body and the location of information is received. The axon terminal reaches out to other nerve cells to pass information over the synapse, which is a small gap between the dendrites and axon terminal ("The Central Nervous System", 2009).. For any neurons to communicate with one another, there must be an electrical impulse to pass the information over the synapse. “This electrical impulse is made at the head of the axon and then travels down towards the axon terminal, where it causes channel proteins to open and allow calcium ions through the cell membrane and into the neuron. Once the calcium ions are inside the neuron, they bind with vesicles and cause them to meet the cell membrane where they fuse and the neurotransmitters are released. The neurotransmitters then diffuse across the synapse and bind with receptors on the new neuron” ("The Central Nervous System", 2009). When this binding occurs, a response is triggered. Effects of Fear, Aggression, and Anxiety

Fear, aggression, and anxiety can all have an immensely large effect on one’s sleeping habits. An ongoing fear or phobia can cause an individual to lose sleep, which in turn, decreases their function the next day. Fear can also inhibit bad dreams throughout the night, which could also cause the individual to wake up periodically throughout the night and not receive any REM sleep. Aggression can also affect sleep as well. If an individual already has sleep problems, such as sleep apnea or insomnia, this can cause aggression to worsen. It also is the other way around: if a person has...

References: Kalat, J.W (2013). Biological Psychology (11th ed.). Wakefulness and Sleep. Belmont, CA: Cengage Learning/Wadsworth
The central nervous system. (2009). Retrieved from
Walecka-Kapica, E., Klupińska, G., Chojnacki, J., Tomaszewska-Warda, K., Błońska, A., & Chojnacki, C. (2014). The effect of melatonin supplementation on the quality of sleep and weight status in postmenopausal women. Menopausal Review / Przeglad Menopauzalny, 13(6), 334-338. doi:10.5114/pm.2014.47986
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