This key culminating unit brings together all the understanding the students have acquired with an in-depth investigation of how their choices affect their brains, as well as how their brains affect their choices. The students begin by drawing upon their understanding of how neurons collaborate to form a circuit by investigating the reward pathway. They experience a virtual hands-on laboratory to investigate how certain drugs of abuse can hijack this pathway and stimulate the drive to repeat destructive behaviors. Students grapple with the question of substance abuse as a chronic neurological disorder and explore public policy issues to address the questions of how to deal with substance abuse.
- 5.1: What circuits do drugs affect in our brains?
- 5.2: How do drugs alter synaptic transmission?
- 5.3: Should animals be used in scientific research?
- 5.4: How is dopamine involved in addictive behaviors?
- 5.5: When does abuse become addiction?
- 5.6: What are the long-term effects of drug abuse and addiction?
- 5.7: Is addiction a chronic disease?
Unit 4 Overview || Final Project >