List the primary steps (and purposes) necessary to conduct an action potential in a neuron.
1. The signal reaches the axon initial segment (axon hillock) and activates the "action potential." 2. The AP travels down the axon in a non-decremental fashion known as saltatory conduction 3. Saltatory conduction is performed when the AP lands on each Node of Ranvier; when this occurs, voltage-activated ion channels (sodium and potassium) open, allowing a quick ionic exchange the neuron. This action re-charges the AP (therefore making it a non-decremental process) and sends the charge "skating" across the myelin sheath to the next Node of Ranvier, and the process repeats.
From a biopsychology perspective, why do individuals with Generalized Anxiety Disorder tend to self-medicate with alcohol?
GAD involves racing, uncontrolled worry. This indicates that there is a lack of the inhibitory neurotransmitter GABA in certain areas of the prefrontal cortex, which controls such excessive thoughts. Alcohol is a GABA agonist, which increases the effects of GABA. Therefore, people with GAD abuse alcohol in order to reduce the chronic, invasive thoughts.
What is a scientifically motivated method to increase comprehension and retention of course materials?
Go beyond re-writing or re-reading your notes. Put the information into question-answer format via flash cards or a practice test, and make yourself recall the answers rather than recognize them. When you master a topic, don't discard it completely. Test yourself over it periodically to keep it in working memory. Don't study for more than 15 minutes at a time, because your hippocampus can only encode so much new information at once. Study for 15 minutes, and then take a 10 minute break (a brisk walk is a great idea). This allows your brain to consolidate the new memories, and be ready for more info by the time you get back. Do this a maximum of 2 hours per day.