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COLORADO / Psychology / PSYCH 2012 / divisions of biopsychology

divisions of biopsychology

divisions of biopsychology


School: University of Colorado at Boulder
Department: Psychology
Course: Biological Psychology
Professor: Joe berta
Term: Spring 2017
Cost: 50
Name: PSYC 2012, Exam 1 Study Guide
Description: These notes cover chapters 1, 2, 5, and 14 for the first midterm.
Uploaded: 02/11/2018
15 Pages 7 Views 9 Unlocks

Chapter 1

Why Study Biopsychology?

Why Study Biopsychology?

● To understand modern psychology need to know about the brain

● Make some questions about behavior more approachable

● Has practical applications

What is Biopsychology? Psychology? Neuroscience?

● Biopsychology: the scientific study of the biology of behavior

● Psychology: the scientific study of behavior and mental processes

● Neuroscience: the scientific study of the nervous system

6 Divisions of Biopsychology

1. Psychophysiology: study of the relation between physiological activity and psychological processes in human subjects

❍ Non-invasive research methods like EKG, GSR, EEG, EMG, EOG

2. Cognitive Neuroscience: focuses on the use of functional brain imaging to study human thinking ❍ E.g., fMRI, PET

3. Physiological Psychology: study of the neural mechanisms of behavior through the direct manipulation of the brain in controlled experiments

What are the 6 Divisions of Biopsychology?

Don't forget about the age old question of patrick finn uga

❍ E.g., surgery, electrical stimulation, lesioning

4. Psychopharmacology: study of the effect of drugs on the brain and behavior 5. Neuropsychology: study of the psychological effects of brain damage on human patients 6. Comparative Psychology: comparison of similarities and differences of different species in order to understand the evolution, genetics, and adaptiveness of behavior


● A preparation with no direct medicinal value that nonetheless has an effect ❍ Placebos can decrease pain, depression, and the symptoms of Parkinson’s disease ● Active placebo: a substance used in controlled experiments that has no therapeutic effect on the condition being treated but may produce side effects (such as drowsiness or nausea) similar to those of the substance whose effectiveness is being tested Don't forget about the age old question of What is morphine?

● Placebo effect: a beneficial effect, produced by a placebo drug or treatment, that cannot be attributed to the properties of the placebo itself, and must therefore be due to the patient's belief in that treatment

What is Comparative Psychology?

● Nocebo: something that should be ineffective has a malignant effect

Research in Biological Psychology

● Human Subjects

❍ Advantages:

■ Can follow instructions

■ Can report subjective experiences

❍ Disadvantages:

■ Complex brains and behavior

■ Ethical problems

● Animal Subjects

❍ Advantages:

■ Simpler brains and behavior

■ Can use comparative approach

■ Avoid some ethical problems

❍ Disadvantages:

■ Can't follow instructions

■ Can't report subjective experiences

Research Methods

1. Experiment: investigator manipulates one factor (independent variable) to observe its effect on another variable (dependent variable) If you want to learn more check out tcu biology
Don't forget about the age old question of sexdx

❍ 2 conditions:

■ Experimental condition: exposes the subject to the treatment

■ Control condition: contrasts with the experimental condition; serves as a comparison with experimental condition

❍ Confounded variable: an unintended difference between the conditions of an experiment that could have affected the dependent variable

2. Quasi-experimental studies: studies of groups of subjects who have been exposed to the conditions of interest in the real world

❍ Have the appearance of experiments but have potentially confounding variables ❍ Advantage: can study subjects and effects that can't be studied ethically/practically with experiments

❍ Drawback: possible confounds

3. Case Studies: focus on a single case or subject If you want to learn more check out how to organize math notes

❍ Good for:

■ Unusual cases

■ Developing hypothesis

■ Disproving a universal generalization (need just one contrary case)

❍ Problem:

■ Often can't generalize


● 2 types of experimental design:

1. Within-subjects design: test the same group of subjects under all conditions ■ Advantage: almost a perfect comparison (testing the same subjects)

■ Problem: sometimes impossible or confounded

2. Between-subjects design: a different group of subjects is tested under each condition ■ Problem: not a perfect match between groups

● Try to control with random assignment or matching important factors

● Can use statistics to eliminate the effect of differences between these groups ● Big advantage of experiments:

❍ Can validly draw cause-and-effect conclusions Don't forget about the age old question of uic math 110

● Drawbacks of experiments:

❍ Often artificial

❍ Often expensive

❍ Often time consuming

■ Have to apply for grants, get approval, etc.

Converging Operations

● Converging operations: use of several research approaches to solve a single problem ❍ Every study has weaknesses

■ Need replication

■ Need different types of studies

Pure and Applied Research

● Pure research: motivated by the curiosity of the researcher

❍ A lot of pure research becomes applied with time

● Applied research: intended to bring about some direct benefit

Morgan's Canon

● When there are several possible interpretations for a behavioral observation, the rule is to give precedence to the simplest one

Coolidge Effect

● A copulating male who becomes incapable of continuing to copulate with one sex partner can often recommence copulating with a new sex partner

❍ To reproduce in female without confounds (hard to separate response as coolidge effect from more vigorous male when partners swapped), did the following:

■ At the same time a female subject was copulating with one male (the familiar male), the other male to be used in the test (the unfamiliar male) was copulating with another female ■ Then both males were given a rest while the female was copulating with a third male ■ Finally, the female subject was tested with either the familiar male or the unfamiliar male. The dependent variable was the amount of time that the female displayed lordosis ● Lordosis: the arched-back, rump-up, tail-diverted posture of female rodent sexual receptivity

Chapter 5

Neuroimaging Techniques

● CT (Computerized Tomography)

❍ structure, not activity

● MRI scan (Magnetic Resonance Imagining)

❍ structure, not activity

● PET scan (Positron Emission Tomography)

❍ shows activity via a radioactive, non-digestible glucose (more activity = more glucose needed) ● fMRI scan (functional MRI)

❍ shows activity

❍ used more than PET scans in cognitive neuroscience

❍ advantages:

■ no radioactive injections

■ better temporal and spatial resolution

❍ disadvantages:

■ PET can measure some functions fMRI can't, like specific neural receptors ● EKG: electrocardiogram (heart)

● GSR: galvanic skin resistance/response (sweat)

❍ Skin momentarily becomes a better conductor of electricity when either external or internal stimuli occur that are physiologically arousing

❍ Skin conductance level (SCL) is a measure of the background level of skin conductance that is associated with a particular situation

❍ Skin conductance response (SCR) is a measure of the transient changes in conductance that are associated with discrete experiences

● EEG: electroencephalogram (gross electrical activity of brain)

● EMG: electromyogram (muscle tension)

● EOG: electrooculogram (eye movement)

Noninvasive Procedures

● TMS (Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation)

❍ Uses an electromagnetic coil and magnetic fields to stimulate nerve cells in the brain ❍ Improves symptoms of depression

❍ Used when other treatments haven't been effective

Invasive Procedures

● Stereotaxic Surgery

❍ The means by which experimental devices are precisely positioned in the depths of the brain ❍ Stereotaxic atlas: used to locate brain structures like how a geographic atlas is used to locate geographic landmarks

❍ Stereotaxic instrument: has two parts

1. Head holder, which holds the subject's brain firmly

2. Electrode holder, which holds the device to be inserted

● Lesioning

❍ A part of the brain is damaged, destroyed, or deactivated; then the behavior of the subject is carefully assessed in an effort to determine the functions of the lesioned structure ❍ Aspiration lesions: cortical tissue is drawn off by suction through a fine-tipped handheld glass pipette

❍ Radio-frequency lesions: made by passing radio-frequency current (high frequency current) through the target tissue from the tip of a stereotaxically positioned electrode ❍ Knife cuts: eliminates conduction in a nerve or tract with a tiny, well-placed cut ❍ Reversible lesions: use lidocaine injections or cooling the target structure to temporarily de-activate it

● Electrical Stimulation

❍ Opposite of lesioning: uses electrical stimulation to produce behavioral effects ❍ Usually delivered across the two tips of a bipolar electrode - two insulated wires wound tightly together and cut at the end

Chapter 14

Basic Measures of Human Sleep

● Electroencephalogram (EEG)

❍ Measure of gross electrical activity of the brain through electrodes taped to the surface of the scalp in humans

● Electromyogram (EMG)

❍ Measure of electrical activity of muscles (muscle tone)

● Electrooculogram (EOG)

❍ Measure of eye movement

Sleep Stages

● Awake

❍ High frequency, low amplitude EEG waves

● Stage 1

❍ Lasts about 5-10 minutes

❍ Breathing and heart rate slow down

❍ Hypnogogic imagery

■ From sensory experience to short dreams

● Stage 2

❍ Lasts about 20 minutes (during first cycle)

❍ Little or no eye movements

❍ Some muscle tone, but reduced


■ Sleep spindles (bursts of high frequency waves)

■ K-complexes

❍ Mundane thoughts

● Stages 3-4 (Delta sleep)

❍ Deep sleep

❍ Lasts about 30 minutes (during first cycle)

❍ Little or no eye movements

❍ Some muscle tone but reduced


■ Low frequency, high amplitude (Delta waves)

❍ Little or no thinking

❍ End of this stage:

■ Bedwetting and sleep walking

● Once you've done steps 1-4, go back through sleep stages briefly in reverse order ❍ Stage 4 -> Stage 3 -> Stage 2 -> REM Sleep

● REM Sleep (Rapid Eye Movement)

❍ EEG: high frequency, low amplitude

■ Similar to wakefulness

❍ Heart rate increases

❍ Fast, shallow breathing

❍ Tonic events: continuous throughout REM

■ EMG: relaxed muscle tone

● Can't move during REM normally

■ Erections: penis and clitoris

❍ Phasic events: periodic, not continuous

■ Eye movements

■ Middle ear twitching

■ Muscle twitching

● Awakening

❍ Hypnopompic imagery: sensory phenomena sometimes experienced upon awakening ■ Visual hallucinations

■ Feeling of movement

■ Sense of someone in room

■ Sometimes associated with sleep paralysis

● Sometimes out of body experiences


● About 80% of time sleep dreams are reported when awakened from REM ❍ Less than 10% reported when awakened from non-REM sleep

● Dream time is about same as waking time

❍ Not instantaneous

● Outside stimulation can be incorporated into dreams

❍ Sounds, light, spray of water

❍ Used to measure dream time

● Lucid Dreaming: dreamer is aware they are dreaming and often can control the course of the dream

❍ Frontal lobes responsible for this

❍ Motor cortex activated when clenching fists in lucid dream

fMRI and Decoding Dreams

● Horikawa et al, 2013

● Sleepers awakened during stage 1 or 2 sleep

❍ Determined by EEG

● fMRI monitored brain activity

● Questioned if and what dreaming

❍ Go back to sleep

● 200 dream reports

● 3 subjects

● Verbal reports were analyzed by semantic network analysis

❍ Semantic Network: set of concepts related to one another

Misconceptions About Research in Popular Media

● REM dreams were recorded

❍ Actually, hypnogogic imagery (sensory experience at sleep onset)

● Pictures recorded during dreams

❍ Actually developed after verbal reports, semantic analysis

● Soon will have home dream decoders

❍ Equipment costs millions of dollars

● Have movies of dreams

❍ Shown example of "movie"

Michel Jouvet (1925-2017)

● Started in late 1950s

● Intact medulla necessary for REM paralysis

❍ Research created lesions in locus coeruleus of cats

■ Prevents paralysis during REM sleep

❍ Cats would act out dreams following the lesioning

■ Results suggest paralysis may prevent us from acting out our dreams

■ Prevents us from hurting ourselves, or others

Sleep & Dreams

● Sleep follows a daily rhythm

❍ 90 minute cycle imposed on 24-hour cycle

● Four kinds of rhythms in humans:

1. 90 minutes: alertness, daydreaming

2. 24 hour: sleep, body, temperature

3. 28 day: menstrual cycle

4. Yearly: some mood disorders (SAD), changes in sexual activity (maybe) Circadian Rhythms

● Circadian Rhythms: 24-hour biological cycles

❍ We tend to go to sleep as body temperature falls

❍ We tend to wake up as body temperature rises

❍ As night progresses:

■ REM periods get longer

■ Delta periods get shorter

● Eventually, delta sleep stops

❍ Controlled by Zeitgebers (environmental cues)

■ E.g., light-dark cycle

■ People put on 11.5-hour light / 1.5-hour dark cycle will conform to 23-hour day ❍ Free-running rhythms: light kept constant - no light/dark cycle

■ Usually a little longer than 24 hours

■ People put on free-running schedule will drift from 24-hour day ❍ Jet lag: a circadian rhythm problem

■ Travel east: time advanced

■ Travel west: time delayed

■ Results in problems in sleep, motivation, thinking

● Especially traveling east

Sleep Problems and Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI)

● 30-70% of people with TBI have sleep problems

❍ Why numbers are so imprecise:

■ Most mild TBI not reported

■ Most TBI sufferers not checked for sleep problems

■ Large variability in severity of TBI

Sleep Time in Mammals

● Ranked from most to least sleep:

1. Little Brown Bat

2. Cat

3. Dog

4. Horse

Chapter 2


● Nature-nurture issue: the debate about the relative contributions of nature (genes) and nurture (experience) to the behavioral capacities of individuals

● Sir Francis Galton (1822-1911)

❍ Started modern version of the debate

❍ Wrote Hereditary Genius (1869)

■ Identified criteria for being a genius (measured in eminence)

● Have obituary in London Times

● In books similar to Who's Who

■ Found that the closer the blood relationship to a genius, the more likely a person is a genius ■ Concluded the effect is due to genetics

■ But environment confounded with genetics

● E.g., money, medical care, food, education, social connections

● Galton coined the term eugenics and promoted it

❍ Eugenics: selective breeding of humans

■ Positive eugenics: promote breeding among some people

■ Negative eugenics: stop some people from breeding

● Galton promoted positive eugenics, not negative eugenics

■ Problem with eugenics:

● Getting rid of recessive traits

● Determining which traits are good or bad

● Ethics

● Modern view of nature-nurture issue:

❍ Both nature and nurture have an effect on a person's behavior

❍ E.g., genetic predisposition + environmental trigger

Case of the Chimps with Mirrors

● Can assess self-awareness with a mirror

● Self-aware: recognizes itself in mirror

● Not self-aware: treats reflection as separate organism

● Gallup tested this with chimps by anesthetizing them and putting a red dot on their forehead to see if they'd recognize it in the mirror and touch it on their own forehead

Evolution by Natural Selection

● Charles Darwin (1809-1882)

❍ Evidence for evolution:

1. Biogeography: study of the geographic distribution of plants and animals 2. Structural similarities among living species

3. Major changes have been brought about by selective breeding

4. Fossil record shows changes through geological record

● Fitness (Darwinian sense): the ability of an organism to survive and contribute genes to the next generation

Traits and Adaptation

● Difficulties in working out adaptive functions

❍ Some traits are not adaptive

❍ Exaptation: a characteristic that evolved because it performed one function but was co-opted to perform another

❍ Similarities among species do not necessarily mean the species have a common evolutionary origin

■ Homologous: similar because they have common evolutionary origin

■ Analogous: similar traits but don't have a common evolutionary origin

■ Sometimes difficult to tell which is which


● Difficulties in tying behavior to adaptation and selection:

❍ Behavior usually doesn't leave fossils

❍ No fossil brains (one exception)

❍ How to explain altruistic behavior

■ Altruistic behavior: giving up resources with no apparent payoff

● Ultimate: giving up life to save another

❍ How can this trait survive?

● Explanations of altruism:

❍ Group selection

❍ Expect payback

❍ Inclusive fitness: individual's fitness as well as his or her effects on the fitness of any genetically related neighbors

■ Not thinking you are saving relatives to pass your genes on but act this way ■ Parents and siblings share 50% of your DNA

● Save 3 of them and you save 150% of your genetic material

Evolutionary Psychology

● Evolutionary Psychology: the study of behavior that uses principles of natural selection to account for human behaviors

❍ Explanations often involve getting genes to the next generation

■ Not necessarily thinking about this but acting as if trying to get genes to next generation ❍ Controversial because it often backs our stereotypes

■ But not saying people should act this way

■ Naturalistic Fallacy: treating the term "good" as if it were the name of a natural property

● Don't base right and wrong on nature

❍ Major problem with evolutionary psychology explanations: testing the explanations Social Dominance and Courtship

● Dominant males copulate more and thus are more effective in passing on their characteristics to future generations

● Dominant females are more likely to produce more and healthier offspring ❍ High ranking female chimps more likely to maintain access to productive food-foraging areas ● Courtship displays are thought to promote the evolution of new species

● A few members of a species may develop different courtship displays, and these may form a reproductive barrier between themselves and the rest of their conspecifics ❍ Species: a group of organisms reproductively isolated from other organisms ❍ Conspecifics: members of the same species


● Spandrels: nonadaptive evolutionary by-products

❍ Belly buttons

● Convergent evolution: the evolution in unrelated species of similar solutions to the same environmental demands


● Phenotype: observable trait

❍ E.g., wrinkled/smooth, IQ, personality, psychopathologies

❍ NOTE: can be a psychological trait

■ As long as can be validly and reliably measured

● Genotype: genetic constitution of an organism

❍ A phenotype can result from different genotypes

■ So, cannot necessarily tell genotype from phenotype

Mendel's Conclusions

1. An organism possesses two factors (alleles) for each trait

❍ Allele: alternate form of a gene

2. One allele can dominate the other

❍ Recessive: an allele that has no phenotypic effect when paired with a dominant allele ■ Exception:

● Semi-dominance: both alleles of a heterozygote are evident in a phenotype 3. An organism randomly inherits one of its father's alleles and one of its mother's 4. The inheritance of different traits are not linked

❍ Not always true

Mendelian Traits

● Humans

❍ Examine pedigree charts (family trees)

❍ Follow guidelines

■ E.g., if someone has a dominant trait, at least one parent must show the trait ● Cannot skip a generation (unless mutation)

■ E.g., recessive alleles can skip generations

● Carriers: do not have the trait but can give the allele to the next generation ❍ No carriers of dominant traits

Some Psychological Traits are Mendelian Traits

● Huntington's disease (chorea)

❍ Single gene DOMINANT lethal disorder

❍ Usually begins in middle age

■ Usually reproduce by middle age

● So not weeded out of the population

● PKU (phenylketonuria)

❍ Single gene RECESSIVE disorder

❍ Usually moderate cognitive impairment

❍ Normal allele produces phenylalanine hydroxylase

■ Converts phenylalanine to tyrosine

❍ PKU allele does not produce the enzyme

■ Phenylalanine builds up

● Damages developing brain

❍ Remedy: don't consume phenylalanine until adulthood

Chromosomal Abnormalities

● Abnormalities of whole chromosomes are associated with behavioral abnormalities ❍ More or fewer chromosomes than normal

❍ Nondisjunction: uneven division of members of a chromosome pair during meiosis ● Trisomy-21 (Down Syndrome)

❍ 3 chromosome #21

❍ Single biggest cause of cognitive impairment

■ Usually mild to moderate impairment

❍ Incidence increases with maternal age

Disorders of X and Y Chromosomes

● Turner's Syndrome

❍ Females with only one X chromosome

❍ 1 in 2500 live female births

■ 98% fetuses miscarried

❍ Puberty rarely occurs without hormone therapy

❍ Verbal IQ normal

❍ Nonverbal IQ = 900

● Females with extra X chromosome

❍ 1 in 1000 live female births

❍ Average IQ = 85

❍ Can reproduce

❍ Few problems (often undetected)

● XXY Male syndrome (Klinefelter's syndrome)

❍ 1 in 500 male births

❍ Infertile even with hormone therapy

❍ Little lower IQ

❍ Speech and language problems

● XYY Male syndrome

❍ 1 in 1000 live male births

■ But 1 in 100 sperm are YY

❍ Slightly lower IQ than siblings

❍ "Supermales"

■ Once thought more violent than XY males

● Not backed up by later research

● Given popular appeal by mass killer Richard Speck

● Over-represented in prison populations as they are more likely to get caught - physically stand out

How Genes Affect Behavior

● Genes affect behavior through proteins

❍ Structural genes: contain the information for synthesizing a protein

❍ Enhancers (promoters): stretches of DNA that determine when structural genes start to make proteins and at what rate

■ Transcription factors: proteins that bind to DNA and influence a particular gene's production of proteins

How Genes Produce Proteins

● DNA is transcribed into RNA which is translated into a protein

● Structure of DNA

❍ Made up of Nucleotides

■ Phosphoric acid group

■ Sugar group with attached bases

● Bases are the genetic code

● Mutations are changes in these bases

■ Purines (double-ringed bases)

● Adenine (A)

● Guanine (G)

■ Pyrimidines (single-ringed bases)

● Thymine (T) [RNA: Uracil (U)]

● Cytosine (C)

■ T and A pair with 2 hydrogen bonds

■ C and G pair with 3 hydrogen bonds

DNA Acts as a Template to Replicate Itself

● During cell division

❍ Helix unwinds

❍ Nucleotides available in nucleus

■ Attach to each strand

■ Have 2 copies of strand

● Errors in replication can result in mutations

❍ Usually detrimental

❍ Sometimes neutral, sometimes beneficial

❍ The source of variation

■ But evolution usually a recombination of genes

Transcription and Translation

● DNA is transcribed into RNA, which is translated into a protein ❍ Transcription: production of RNA from a DNA template

■ Takes place in nucleus of cell

■ Messenger RNA (mRNA) carries the genetic code

● Complements are matched

● Introns removed

❍ Introns: non-coding sequences of DNA in genome

❍ Exons: expressed sequences

■ Code for proteins

● mRNA is transported outside of the nucleus

● Translation: assembly of a protein from a mRNA sequence ❍ Protein: long chain of amino acids

❍ 20 amino acids

■ Coded by 3 base pairs

● Amino acids carried by transfer RNA (tRNA) to ribosomes

● Ribosome acts like a factory to connect amino acids into a long chain Behavior and Genes

● Repeats: bases repeat themselves

❍ Occur in about 50,000 places in genome

■ Different in different people

● Used in DNA fingerprinting

❍ Expanded triplet repeats: 3 bases repeat themselves

Fragile-X Syndrome

● Second most common cause of cognitive impairment

❍ 1 in 1250 males, 1 in 2500 females

● Most moderately impaired

❍ Range from severe to normal

● Traits:

❍ IQ declines with age

❍ Language difficulties

❍ Long face, prominent jaw, protruding ears

● Repeats of CGG

❍ Normal: 6-54 repeats

❍ Pre-mutation: 55-200 repeats

❍ Fragile-X: >200 repeats

■ Disrupts nearby regulatory gene

● Regulates several genes

❍ Most expressed in brain and testes

Huntington's Disease

● 3 base repeat on chromosome #4


● Non-Huntington's: 11-34 repeats

● Huntington's: >40 repeats

● Produces a protein with a changed conformation (shape)

❍ Gives the protein toxic properties

Quantitative Genetics

● Most behaviors psychologists are interested in involve many genes and environmental effects ❍ Quantitative traits

■ Not either/or Mendelian traits

■ Continuous traits

● E.g., reaction time, IQ, musical ability, happiness, risk taking, personality ■ Involve many genes and the environment

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