Academic Word List

  • aid
  • chemical
  • consequences
  • conversely
  • depressed
  • exhibit
  • function
  • linked
  • maintain
  • psychological
  • react
  • release
  • specific

Other Vocabulary

  • container
  • disorders
  • disrupted
  • eccentric
  • impulsivity
  • irritability
  • mimic
  • nerve
  • paranoid
  • stimulate
  • suppression
  • suspicious
  • trait
  • uptake


Please click the Exercise link to continue and do exercises 1 and 2.


Use the questions to begin a discussion. Try to be sure everyone in your group gives their opinion and explains why they hold that opinion before moving on to the next question.

  1. Is there anything you have eaten that seemed to have an effect on your mood or how you felt; for example, caffeine or cigarettes? How effect did it have on you?
  2. How do you think different chemicals are able to make changes to your personality or behaviour?


Please click the Exercise link to continue and do Exercise 3.


Read the title of the Reading passage. In your group, discuss what this means to you and try to predict what the Reading may be about.

Nerve Cells


Look at the first paragraph of a larger Reading, which is only an Introduction to the topic. In your group, predict what you believe the rest of the reading will be about and some of the topics that might be discussed. Try to find the General Statement and Thesis Statement in the Introduction and write in Exercise 4 your summary of them. Try to rephrase vocabulary as much as possible.

Nerve Cells

The human body is really just a container, and it contains many things. It contains organs such as the liver, heart and lungs, as well as muscles and bones. What connects these organs and causes them to function all has to do with another very important organ, the brain. The brain uses a number of chemicals known as neurotransmitters to communicate between the cells inside the brain, or neurons, and the type of chemicals the neurons receive is directly related to the message that the neuron sends out to other neurons and eventually other organs in the body. But this chemical process can also have direct effects on people's personality and how they behave. Because of that, scientists have begun further research into how understanding this relationship between chemicals in the brain and personality may help doctors treat patients who suffer from personality disorders using specific drugs.

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