Serotonin is a molecule that Neuron 1 releases over time into the synapse (i.e., space between Neuron 1 and Neuron 2). Serotonin is recycled back into Neuron 1 by Serotonin/Na+/Cl- Reuptake transporters found on Neuron 1.
At the synapse, serotonin binds to the serotonin receptors on Neuron 2 and sodium ions (Na+) enter Neuron 2.
a) What determines the concentration of serotonin in the synapse at any given time?
b) In the brains of people with depression, some neurons fire fewer action potentials in response to stimuli. Scientists have proposed that some symptoms of depression are caused by a deficiency of serotonin in regions of the brain.
One drug to treat depression is Prozac. Prozac, a Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitor (SSRI), blocks the action of the Serotonin/Na+/Cl- Reuptake transporter and increases the concentration of serotonin in the synapse.
How does Prozac minimize some of the symptoms of depression? In your explanation, address the post-synaptic potential and the probability of an action potential in Neuron 2.
We recommend that you administer these questions as homework and preface the question with these instructions for students:
"For the following question, please respond to the best of your knowledge and using only the information in the question and what you know. Please do not refer to any outside sources (textbooks, notes, internet, etc.). Any reasonable attempt to answer the question will be awarded full credit."
To administer this question:
- Create a text question in your learning management system
- Copy the text and any images for the question from this web site and paste it into your learning management system.
To analyze your data for questions with Reports Available:
- Login to your account on this website
- Return to this question
- Click on the link below Analyze your data for this question.
- Upload your spreadsheet for analysis
- Use the ‘Student Text Response Column (Start)’ dropdown menu to select the column containing the student responses to part a of the question.
- Use the ‘Student Text Response Column (End)’ dropdown menu to select the column containing the student responses to part b of the question.
- Both columns containing student responses should now be highlighted in teal
- Add a note (e.g. pre-instruction) to your file if desired