Books (Research)

Place (inside the brain)

"The past 100 years have been characterized by rapid development of technology, major sociopolitical changes and substantial growth in knowledge about human biology, behavior and the brain. These changes have been paralleled by an ever-increasing speed with which information and news are transmitted around the world. For instance, news of natural disasters, catastrophes and genocides are made widely available, instantaneously, via 24-hour cable news networks, creating an enormous pool of spectators to regional negative events."

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A neural pathway, is a series of neurons connected together to enable a signal to be sent from one brain region to another. Neurons are connected by a single nerve fibre or by bundles of nerve fibres known as tracts. A neural pathway that serves to connect relatively distant areas of the brain or nervous system is a bundle of neurons, known collectively as white matter. A neural pathway that spans a shorter distance between structures, such as most of the pathways of the major neurotransmitter systems, is usually called grey matter.

512px-Neural_pathway_diagram.svg.png

A neural pathway is responsible for connecting a specific part of the nervous system to another by a bundle of axons, which are also the long fibers of neurons. The pathway helps to connect parts of the brain or nervous system that are distant, and are typically known and seen as white matter. In the vision pathway, visual information leaves the eye with the help of the optic nerve. Axons partially cross in the middle of the optic chiasm. Following this, the axons are known as the optic tract, which will bind around the midbrain in order to reach the lateral geniculate nucleus. The lateral geniculate nucleus is the area where the axons have to synapse. After this, the axons flow throughout the white matter and act as optic radiations, which finally travel back to the primary visual cortex located in the back of the brain.

Functional Aspects - In general, neurons receive information either at their dendrites or cell bodies. The axon of a nerve cell is, in general, responsible for transmitting information over a relatively long distance. Therefore, most neural pathways are made up of axons. If the axons have myelin sheaths, then the pathway appears bright white because myelin is primarily lipid.If most or all of the axons lack myelin sheaths (i.e., are unmyelinated), then the pathway will appear a darker beige color, which is generally called grey.

(words via wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Neural_pathway)

 

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For centuries, scientists who have dedicated their lives to studying the human brain have attempted to unlock its mysteries. The role the brain plays in human personality — as well as the myriad of disorders and conditions that come along with it — is often difficult to study because studying the organ while it’s still functioning in a human body is complicated. Now, researchers at The Allen Institute for Brain Science have introduced a new tool that could make such study a whole lot easier: functioning virtual brain cells.

The fully 3D computer models of living human brain tissue are based on actual brain samples that were left over after surgery, and present what could be the most powerful testbed for studying the human brain ever created.

The samples used to construct the virtual models was healthy tissue that was removed during brain operations, and represents parts of the brain that are typically associated with thoughts and consciousness, as well as memory. Those are vital areas for the research of mood disorders and various psychiatric ailments.

(image via http://bgr.com/2017/10/26/brain-cell-computer-model-allen-institute-research/)

 

neuron.jpg 

Diagram of a typical myelinated vertebrate motor neuron

(image via https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Neuron)

(Images of neurons are fascinating, as those branches, endless, monstrous figure)

There are several types of specialized neurons. Sensory neurons respond to stimuli such as touch, sound or light and all other stimuli affecting the cells of the sensory organs that then send signals to the spinal cord and brain. Motor neurons receive signals from the brain and spinal cord to cause muscle contractions and affect glandular outputs. Interneurons connect neurons to other neurons within the same region of the brain, or spinal cord in neural networks.

('sensory', which a date can active the part of the brain, I thought about using light bulbs to replace those two gates part or somewhere links to black strings as neurons.)

Information transmission within the brain, such as takes place during the processes of memory encoding and retrieval, is achieved using a combination of chemicals and electricity. It is a very complex process involving a variety of interrelated steps, but a quick overview can be given here.

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5-HTP
Enhance Your Mood, Your Sleep, and a Lot More

5-HTP (5-hydroxytryptophan) - In humans, 5-HTP is the immediate nutrient precursor to the neurotransmitter serotonin (5-HT). This means that 5-HTP converts directly into serotonin in the brain (see Figure 1). Serotonin has many profoundly important functions, including a role in sleep, appetite, memory, learning, temperature regulation, mood, sexual behavior, cardiovascular function, muscle contraction, and endocrine regulation.

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Figure 1.Serotonin metabolism. The brain neurotransmitter serotonin is replenished naturally by the nutrient 5-HTP, leading to more efficient functioning of neural pathways.

5-HTP is a chemical that the body makes from the dietary amino acid tryptophan. 5-HTP is linked to the brain chemical serotonin, which affects mood, sleep and pain. It can be taken as a supplement.

5-HTP is used in the production of the chemical serotonin in the brain and nervous system. Some people believe it can be used to help treat conditions affected by serotonin, such as depression, insomnia, obesity and other conditions. However, its use for treating these conditions remains debated and more research is needed.    (via https://www.webmd.boots.com/vitamins-and-minerals/5-htp)

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picture via https://www.kcl.ac.uk/ioppn/depts/bcn/Our-research/Neurology/index.aspx 

 

© DQ Zhang, all rights reserved

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