Listen&Learn: Neurotransmitters

Jaksyn Peacock
Learn about the chemicals that send messages throughout the body.

Pre-listening vocabulary

  • cell: the smallest unit of life
  • neurotransmitter: a type of chemical that sends messages between different parts of the body
  • receptor: something that senses and responds to signals
  • imbalance: a disproportionate amount of something
  • mental: relating to the mind
  • depression: a mood disorder that causes people to feel upset and exhausted often
  • regulate: to keep something at a normal level

Listening activity

Gapfill exercise

Neurotransmitters are that nerve cells use to communicate with other parts of the body. When a nerve cell releases a chemical, it is detected by a receptor in a different cell. This gives the body a to do something. Some neurotransmitters functions like moving or breathing. Others control and learning processes. There are over 100 known types of neurotransmitters, all with different purposes. An imbalance of neurotransmitters can cause both mental and physical illnesses. For example, people who with depression may have low levels of the chemical called serotonin, which helps to regulate emotions. Other commonly known neurotransmitters include dopamine, which responds to rewards, and adrenaline, which responds to danger.

Comprehension questions

See answers below

  1. The cells that make neurotransmitters are
    a. nerve cells
    b. blood cells
    c. skin cells
  2. There are at least
    a. 100 known neurotransmitters
    b. 200 known neurotransmitters
    c. 1000 known neurotransmitters
  3. Serotonin is responsible for
    a. regulating emotions
    b. responding to rewards
    c. responding to danger

Discussion/essay questions

  1. Brain chemistry is something scientists are continuing to learn more about. Why is it important to understand the brain?

Transcript

Neurotransmitters are chemicals that nerve cells use to communicate with other parts of the body. When a nerve cell releases a chemical, it is detected by a receptor in a different cell. This gives the body a signal to do something. Some neurotransmitters control functions like moving or breathing. Others control emotions and learning processes. There are over 100 known types of neurotransmitters, all with different purposes. An imbalance of neurotransmitters can cause both mental and physical illnesses. For example, people who struggle with depression may have low levels of the chemical called serotonin, which helps to regulate emotions. Other commonly known neurotransmitters include dopamine, which responds to rewards, and adrenaline, which responds to danger.

Answers to comprehension questions

1a 2a 3a

Written and recorded by Jaksyn Peacock for EnglishClub

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