The significance of neurotransmitters for human behaviour

  • Walther Birkmayer
  • Peter Riederer


The way we function and the way we act depend very much on the cybernetic harmony of the various neurotransmitters in the organism as a whole. We have talked about the“balance within the microcosm of our brain”, and put forward the notion that within our central nervous system there exists a permanent rhythmical feedback mechanism which regulates the balance between the specific actions of the neurotransmitters with a dynamic action such as DA and NA on the one hand and of the relaxing neurotransmitters such as 5-HT on the other. This rhythmical relationship is like a sine curve (the Ying-Yang symbol), the dynamic neurotransmitters with a peak of activity at about 5 p.m. smoothly alternating with the neurotransmitters responsible for relaxation having their maximal activity at 4 a.m. This smooth transition between the predominance of the sympathetic neurotransmitters and that of the parasympathetic ones is the essential requirement for an innate harmony in our being and our behaviour.


Parasympathetic Activity Sine Curve Playing Possum Sympathetic Neurotransmitter Southern Polar Region 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Wien 1989

Authors and Affiliations

  • Walther Birkmayer
    • 1
  • Peter Riederer
    • 2
  1. 1.Birkmayer-Institut für ParkinsontherapieViennaAustria
  2. 2.Clinical Neurochemistry, Department of PsychiatryUniversity of WürzburgFederal Republic of Germany

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