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COLORADO / Psychology / PSYCH 2012 / What are quantitative traits?

What are quantitative traits?

What are quantitative traits?


School: University of Colorado at Boulder
Department: Psychology
Course: Biological Psychology
Professor: Joe berta
Term: Spring 2017
Cost: 50
Name: PSYC 2012, Exam 2
Description: These notes cover what will be on our next exam, namely: * Chapter 3: The Anatomy of the Nervous System * Chapter 4: Neural Conduction and Synaptic Transmission * Chapter 15: Drug Addiction and the Brain’s Reward System * Chapter 17: Biopsychology of Emotion, Stress, and Health
Uploaded: 04/01/2018
16 Pages 5 Views 14 Unlocks

Preliminary Study Guide for Exam 2 Chapter 15

What are quantitative traits?

What are quantitative traits?

● Most behaviors that 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

● Quantitative Genetics requires good measures of psychological traits ❍ The mathematical basis of quantitative genetics is solid

■ But means little if psychological measures used are poor

❍ Measures should be:

■ Valid: measures what it is supposed to measure

■ Reliable: consistent results

● Phenotype = Genetic Effects + Environmental Effects

● Difference in Phenotype = Difference in Genetics + Difference in Environment What is the strategy of quantitative genetics?

What are the 3 basic human behavioral genetic methods?

● Hold genetics or environment constant and see the effect of the other ❍ Animals:

■ Cross different inbred strains that differ on behavioral trait

● Same environment If you want to learn more check out What is life?

● Difference due to genetics

■ Treat members of same inbred strain differently

● Genetically identical

● Difference due to environment

■ Selective breeding

● Hold environment constant

● Select behavioral trait from mutt animals

What are the 3 basic human behavioral genetic methods

1. Family studies

2. Adoption studies

3. Twin studies

(1) Family Studies

● Galton's method

● Rationale:

❍ The closer the relationships, the more family members will be alike because they share more genes and environment

● Disadvantage:

❍ Useful, but can't separate genetic from environmental effects

what is the General Layout of the Nervous System?

● Can determine familiality

❍ Familiality: Trait (phenotype) runs in families

(2) Adoption Studies

● Baby is adopted to non-relatives shortly after birth

● Rationale:

1. Correlation of adopted child's traits with genetic parents or other genetic relatives is due to genetics, not environment

■ Share genes

■ Don't share environment

2. Correlation of adopted child's traits with adoptive parents is due to environment ■ Share environment

■ Don't share genes

● Possible problems with adoption studies:

1. Maternal effects: baby shares mother's body for 9 months

■ Fetal environment mistakenly attributed to genetics

■ One check: correlate trait with biological father

2. Selective placement of baby

■ Placed with parents with similar environment

● E.g., SES, religion Don't forget about the age old question of what do ribosomes do?

● Overestimate genetic effect

■ Placed with physically similar parents

● E.g., height, race

● Overestimate environmental effect

(3) Twin Studies

● More of these performed than adoption studies

● Rationale:

❍ Identical twins = Monozygotic Twins (MZ)

■ Share 100% of genes

❍ Fraternal twins = Dizygotic Twins (DZ)

■ Share 50% of genes

❍ Correlate one twin's score with other twin's score

❍ If MZ correlation higher than DZ correlation If you want to learn more check out What are the individual difference in the stress response?

■ Genetic effect

■ MZ twins share twice as many genes as DZ twins

❍ If MZ correlation equal to DZ correlation

■ No genetic effect

■ MZ share twice as many genes but same correlation

● Problem with twin studies: Assumes MZs and DZs share same amount of environment ❍ Not true

■ MZs share more environment than DZs

■ But often doesn't matter


● The percentage of differences for a trait in a population that is due to differences in genetics ❍ Heritability = Differences in genetics / differences in trait

■ Rephrased: Heritability is genetic differences divided by phenotypic differences ● Heritability can range from

❍ 0 (0%): difference not due to genetic differences

❍ 1.0 (100%): difference all due to genetic differences

● Heritability can be tricky



❍ Often need many subjects to get a stable estimate of heritability

❍ Genetics and environment must be variable to get a good estimate of heritability ■ Heritability of clones = 0 Don't forget about the age old question of what is the five meaning of normal (sexual normalcy)?
If you want to learn more check out What is the meaning of strategy?

● No genetic variability

● Differences must be due to environment

❍ Heritability can increase with age

■ Share less environment as get older

● Similarities must be due to genetics

Minnesota Study of Twins Reared Apart (Thomas Bouchard)

● Rationale:

❍ Eliminates shared environment as a confound

❍ Since twins were reared apart, the similarities in comparison to twins reared together must be due to genetics

● Used both MZ and DZ twins

● Gave much higher estimate of heritability of IQ than other methods

Textbook Material to Read

● (textbook, 7th ed.: pp. 47-49; 8th ed.: 46-48)

Chapter 3

Studies of the Body

1. Anatomy: study of the structure of the body and its parts

2. Physiology: study of the function of the body and its parts

General Layout of the Nervous System (NS)

● 2 major divisions of the vertebrate nervous system:

1. Central Nervous System (CNS): the division of the nervous system located within the skull and spine

■ Receives, processes, and sends signals to the peripheral nervous system 2. Peripheral Nervous System (PNS): division of the nervous system located outside the skull and spine

■ Carries information to and from the CNS

Peripheral Nervous System If you want to learn more check out What are the two ways in which a moral argument can fail?

● Peripheral Nervous System made up of 2 parts:

1. Somatic NS

■ Interacts with the external environment

■ Made up of two parts:

1. Afferent nerves: carry sensory signals to the CNS

❍ Nerves: bundles of axons in the peripheral NS

❍ Signals from skin, skeletal muscles, joints

2. Efferent nerves: carry motor signals from the CNS to the skeletal muscles ❍ Skeletal muscles: striated muscles attached to the skeleton

2. Autonomic NS

■ Made up of two parts:

1. Afferent nerves: carry sensory signals from internal organs to the CNS 2. Efferent nerves: carry motor signals to the internal organs from the CNS ❍ 2 kinds of efferent nerves:

1. Sympathetic nerves

2. Parasympathetic nerves

● Most nerves in the peripheral nervous system project from the spinal cord ❍ Cranial nerves

■ An important exception

■ Project from the brain

■ 12 pairs of cranial nerves

Conventional Functions of the Sympathetic and Parasympathetic Nervous Systems

1. Sympathetic nerves stimulate, organize, and mobilize energy resources for emergencies ❍ Fight or flight response

2. Parasympathetic nerves conserve energy

3. Each organ is controlled by relative levels of sympathetic and parasympathetic activity 4. Sympathetic changes indicate psychological excitation

5. Parasympathetic changes indicate psychological relaxation

Central Nervous System (CNS)

● Brain and spinal cord

● Protection:

1. Skull and Backbone

2. Meninges (singular: meninx)

1. Dura Mater

● Outer meninx

2. Arachnoid membrane

● Subarachnoid space

❍ Just below arachnoid membrane

❍ Contains large blood vessels and cerebrospinal fluid

3. Pia Mater

● Innermost meninx

3. Cerebral Spinal Fluid System

■ Colorless fluid that circulates through CNS

● Goes through 3 openings

1. Subarachnoid space

2. Central canal

■ Runs through length of spinal cord

■ Lumbar puncture (spinal tap): diagnostic procedure used to collect a sample of cerebrospinal fluid

● Needle between 3rd and 4th or 5th lumbar vertebrae

● Most often used to diagnose meningitis (inflammation of meninges)

3. Cerebral ventricles

■ 4 internal chambers of the brain

● Some disorders associated with expanded ventricles

❍ E.g., Huntington's disease

❍ E.g., Alzheimer's disease

❍ E.g., Schizophrenia

Cerebrospinal Fluid (CSF)

● Made by choroid plexuses

❍ Capillaries that protrude into all 4 ventricles from pia mater

❍ Total volume of CSF is about 1/4 pint

● Absorbed by sinuses in dura mater

❍ Drains into jugular vein

● Hydrocephalus: blockage to CSF system; results in expansion of brain

❍ Can occur in babies

■ Impedes development of brain

● Often leads to cognitive impairment

❍ Treatment:

■ Remove blockage

■ Drain excess fluid with valve that shunts CSF through a tube to the gut ● Functions of CSF system:

1. Cushioning of CNS

2. Helps supply nourishment to CNS

3. Involved in removing waste from CNS

Blood-Brain Barrier

● Capillaries run through brain

❍ Selectively permeable: allow some chemicals to pass through but not others ■ Chemicals stopped by tightly packed capillary cells covering blood vessels ● Sealed by a type of glial cell

■ Allows chemical across that are necessary for life

● E.g., oxygen, carbon dioxide, nutrients

● Actively transports glucose across barrier

■ Blocks many large molecules

● E.g., many proteins

■ Important breaks in barrier

● E.g., Area postrema

❍ Detects toxins in blood and induces vomiting

■ Won't allow dopamine through to treat Parkinson's disease

Directions in Anatomy

● Vertebrate Nervous System

❍ 3 axes:

1. Anterior: toward the nose end / Posterior: toward the tail end

2. Dorsal (superior): toward the surface of the back or top of the head / Ventral (inferior): toward the surface of the chest or bottom of the head

3. Medial: toward the midline of the body / Lateral: away from the midline of the body Spinal Cord

● Inner H: gray matter

❍ Mostly cell bodies and unmyelinated interneurons

■ Myelin: cover some axons; speeds up signals

■ Interneurons: communicate only with other neurons

● Surrounding the H: white matter

❍ Mostly myelinated axons

● Pairs of spinal nerves are attached to the spinal cord

❍ Two dorsal, two ventral

■ Dorsal neurons: sensory (afferent) neurons

■ Ventral neurons: motor (efferent) neurons

● Stretch reflex: a reflex elicited by a sudden external stretching force on a muscle ❍ E.g., Patellar tendon reflex (knee jerk)

❍ Normally these are compensating responses

■ Try to compensate for sudden changes

● Take too long if mediated by the brain

❍ But brain can have an effect

■ E.g., arm hit while carrying glass of water


● 5 major divisions of the brain

❍ Forebrain

1. Telencephalon

2. Diencephalon

❍ Midbrain

1. Mesencephalon

❍ Hindbrain

1. Metencephalon

2. Myelencephalon

● In general:

❍ Forebrain controls the midbrain

❍ Midbrain controls the hindbrain

❍ Hindbrain and midbrain are involved with life processes

■ Midbrain also involved with elementary sensory processing

❍ Forebrain is involved with high level cognitive processes (executive functions) Medulla (Myelencephalon)

● Most posterior part of the brain

● Mostly tracts carrying signals between the body and the upper part of the brain ❍ Tracts: bundles of axons in the CNS

❍ Nuclei: clusters of cell bodies in the CNS

● Reticular Formation

❍ Involved in sleep, attention, movement, maintaining, muscle tone, and cardiac, circulatory, and respiratory functions

■ Note: these functions change during REM sleep


● Makes up 10% of mass of brain

❍ But contains more than half of brain's neurons

● Receives information from the spinal cord and pons

❍ From spinal cord: information about body's position in space

❍ From pons: information from the cortex about intended movements

● Cerebellum calculates movements necessary to achieve a goal

● Plays a major role in motor learning

❍ Especially learning that requires sequence of movements that require precise timing ❍ Active in well-learned movements

● Results of damage to cerebellum:

❍ Uncoordinated and inaccurate movements

■ E.g., trouble throwing a baseball, playing a guitar

❍ Problems in balance, and gait

❍ Learning new motor sequences is difficult

❍ Alcohol affects cerebellum soon after ingestion

Mesencephalon (Midbrain)

● 2 divisions

1. Tectum (dorsal)

■ Colliculi involved with orienting behavior

● Superior colliculus

❍ Receives information from retina (eye)

❍ Blindsight: ability of some blind people with damage to visual cortex to respond to some visual cues

■ But don't consciously see stimuli

■ E.g., locate objects in space, motion

● Inferior colliculus

❍ Receives information from ear

2. Tegmentum (ventral)

■ Substantia nigra

● Area that goes bad in Parkinson's disease


● Largest division of the human brain

❍ Made up of two structures:

1. Thalamus

● Receives information from sensory receptors

❍ Some processing

● Relays information to various areas of the cortex

2. Hypothalamus

● Located just below the thalamus

● Involved in several motivated behaviors

❍ Directly controls the pituitary gland

■ Controls pituitary gland neurally and chemically

■ Pituitary gland controls endocrine glands

● Endocrine glands involved in variety of motivated behaviors

❍ Sexual behavior

❍ Eating

Cerebral Cortex

● Covers the two hemispheres

● Convoluted: furrowed

❍ Allows for bigger surface area

❍ Limited by size of skull and female birth canal

● Fissures: large furrows

● Sulci (singular: sulcus): small fissures

● Gyri (singular: gyrus): ridges between fissures and sulci

● Fissures, sulci, and gyri are used as landmarks to divide the cortex

❍ Longitudinal fissure: divides the hemispheres

■ Corpus callosum: largest tract connceting the hemispheres

❍ Central fissure (or sulcus) and lateral fissure (or sulcus)

■ On lateral surface of the brain

● Helps divide the cortex into 4 lobes

Lobes of the Brain and Associated Functions

● Occipital Lobes

❍ Primary visual cortex

■ Analyzes visual information

■ Almost always on test

● Parietal Lobes

❍ Somatosensory cortex

■ Post central gyrus

■ Analyzes sensations from body (touch)

● Tested by 2-point thresholds

● Frontal Lobe

❍ Motor cortex

❍ Broca's area

● Temporal Lobe

❍ Primary auditory cortex

❍ Wernicke's area

Broca's Aphasis & Wernicke's Aphasia

● Aphasia: a brain damage-produced deficit in the ability to use or comprehend language ❍ Broca's aphasia: normal comprehension of both written and spoken language ■ Speech is meaningful but slow, labored, disjointed, and poorly articulated ■ An expressive disorder

❍ Wernicke's aphasia: disorder of language comprehension in both spoken and written language with no associated deficits in speech production

■ May speak in long sentences that have no meaning

■ May create new words (neologisms)

■ A receptive disorder

Limbic System

● Involved in motivated behavior

❍ E.g., fight/flight, eating, sexual behavior

❍ E.g., amygdala: emotional reactions, anger, fear, recognizing fear in others, conditioned fear

■ Also found involved in positive emotions

● Hippocampus

❍ Involved with consolidating memory (putting memories into permanent storage) ■ H.M.

● Basal Ganglia

❍ Important role in voluntary movement

❍ Nucleus accumbens: plays a role in rewarding behavior

■ E.g., addictive drugs and other types of reinforcers

Chapter 17


● Difficult to define

❍ Usually considered:

■ Short term

■ Subjective mental state

■ Evaluative (good-bad)

■ Accompanied by distinctive behaviors

■ Associated with involuntary physiological responses

● Number of basic emotions is controversial

❍ Are there a few basic emotions?

■ Other emotions combinations of these?

❍ Are emotions instead on a continuum?

● Emotional expression

❍ One way to determine the number of emotions:

■ Which emotional expressions occur across cultures?

● The Expression of Emotions in Man and Animals (1872)

❍ by Charles Darwin

❍ First scientific study of emotional expression

❍ Collected information on emotional expression from

1. Different cultures

2. Blind, deaf, and mute woman

3. Non-human animals

4. Actors

5. Electrically induced expressions

Darwin's Conclusions

● Expressions started as indication of what an animal will do next ● Expressions evolve to enhance an animal's survival

● Opposite expression can signal opposite meeting

● E.g., aggression

❍ Aggression signaled by certain stance

❍ Another animal can show submission with an opposite stance

❍ Both animals survive

■ No fight

■ Both can still pass on genes

■ Expression of emotion has survival value


● Brief expressions of emotions

● Last about 0.05 sec (1/20 sec)

● Break through showing real emotion

Facial Feedback

● Facial Feedback Hypothesis: our facial expressions influence our emotional experience ❍ Subjects viewed slides

❍ Told to contract certain facial muscles

■ Sometimes resulted in smiling

■ Sometimes resulted in angry face

■ Not told to smile or make angry face

● Just to contract certain facial muscles

❍ Subjects reported slides made them happier when smiling

■ Angrier when making angry face

Brain Influence

● Early indication emotions (and personality) tied to the brain

❍ Phineas Gage (1848)

■ Tamping iron through head

● Changed his emotional life and personality

❍ Before accident: respectful and responsible

❍ After accident, irreverent impulsive, couldn't hold a job

■ Medial prefrontal areas damaged

● Both hemispheres

● Involved in emotions and planning

Theories of Emotions

● Common-Sense View

❍ We sense something, experience the emotion, and have a physiological response ❍ Perception of Stimulus (see bear) -> Experience of Emotion (Fear) -> Physiological Response ● James-Lange View of Emotion

❍ We have physiological response BEFORE the experience of the emotion (experience takes place in the brain's cortex)

■ Assumes different patterns of physiological response for different emotions ● Some differences overlap

● But overlap for many emotions

❍ Perception of Stimulus (see bear) -> Physiological Response -> Experience of Emotion (fear) ● Cannon-Bard View

❍ Experiences of emotions are independent but parallel with the physiological response to a stimulus

❍ You can have an emotional response without the physiological response, and vice-versa ❍ Perception of Stimulus -> Experience of Emotion + Physiological Response ● Schacter-Singer View

❍ We label physiological responses as different emotions depending on the situation ❍ Assumes that physiological responses to emotional stimuli are similar

❍ Environment is the big deal here

■ Environment influences how we perceive physiological responses

● Modern Biopsychological View

❍ Each of the three factors influence each other

❍ Can take into account feedback from situation in labeling the emotion

■ Think feedback loops

Limbic System Theory of Emotion

● Structures of limbic system affect hypothalamus

❍ Hypothalamus necessary for emotional states

■ Physiology of emotions

❍ Hypothalamus affects cortex

■ Experience of emotion due to cortex

❍ Hypothalamus controls pituitary gland

■ Pituitary controls endocrine glands

● Involved in emotions

● Hypothalamus necessary for emotional reactions

❍ Sham Rage: exaggerated, poorly directed aggressive responses of decorticate animals ■ Decorticate: lacking the cortex

■ Hypothalamus must be intact

■ Triggered by mild stimulus

● E.g., mild touch

■ Also triggered by direct electrical stimulation of hypothalamus

● But an animal whose hypothalamus is electrically stimulated will attack other animals that are just bystanders

● Amygdala and fear conditioning

❍ Amygdala part of limbic system

❍ Rats: tone - shock

❍ Later react to tone with fear responses

■ Freezing

■ Bigger startle response

Kluver-Bucy Syndrome

● Behavioral changes induced in primates by bilateral damage to temporal lobes ● Due to damage to amygdala

● Symptoms:

❍ Lack of fear

❍ Hypersexuality

❍ Hyperorality

❍ Visual Agnosia: Trouble recognizing familiar objects and people

● Case study: SM

❍ Bilateral damage to amygdalae

❍ Shows no fear

■ Handles snakes and spiders (tarantula)

■ Mugged several times, death threats (lives in bad part of city)

■ Showed no fear or anxiety

■ Not scared by horror films or haunted houses

❍ Does experience happiness from movies

❍ Trouble consolidating emotional material

❍ Does not recognize fear in people’s faces

■ Because doesn’t look at person’s eyes

■ Can if directed to look at person’s eyes

Lateralization of Emotions

● Differences in right and left hemispheres

❍ E.g., Right hemisphere – negative emotions

❍ Left hemisphere – positive emotions

● Evidence for lateralization is not convincing

● Large meta-analysis does not back up lateralization proposals (Tor Wager) ● Meta-analysis: combine the results of a number of research studies and analyze them statistically as if one set of data


● Stress (stress response): the physiological response to physical or psychological threat ● Stressors: experiences that induce the stress response

Two-System View of Stress

● Stress response has 2 physiological components:

1. Anterior pituitary gland releases ACTH (adrenocorticotropic hormone)

■ Triggers release of glucocorticoids from cortex of adrenal glands

● E.g., Corticosterone:

❍ Shifts body from carbohydrate to fat metabolism

❍ Regulates blood pressure

❍ Anti-inflammatory effects

❍ Sometimes suppresses immune responses

2. Stressors activate sympathetic NS

■ Influences adrenal medulla to release epinephrine and norepinephrine Adrenal Glands

● Cytokines: hormones released by many cells

❍ Involved in wide range of physiological and immune responses

❍ Cause inflammation and fever

❍ 1990s: Found to be a major stress hormone

● In short term stress response can be adaptive

❍ Body responds to physical stressor

❍ E.g., exposure to cold temperatures

● But long-term can lead to ill health

❍ Body shows same long-term ill health to psychological stressors

❍ E.g., Non-human animals

❍ Lab: repeated exposure to shock

❍ Long-term restraint

Chapter 4

Basic Parts of Neurons

● Neurons: cells of the nervous system that are specialized for the reception, conduction, and transmission of electrochemical signals

❍ Neurons have wide range of shapes and sizes

❍ Notice: functions are similar to cognitive and computer functions

● Cell body (soma)

❍ Functions:

■ Metabolism: energy production

■ Synthesis of proteins from genes

❍ Nucleus

■ Contains chromosomes

❍ Cytoplasm: clear fluid outside of nucleus

● Dendrites: processes emanating from the cell body which communicate with other neurons ❍ Receives most synaptic contacts from other neurons

● Axon: process projecting from the cell body

❍ Carries the neural signal

■ Axon hillock: cone-shaped region at the junction between the axxon and cell body ● Involved in decision to increase or decrease neural signaling

● Myelin Sheath: fatty insulation arond many axons

❍ Covering is a type of glial cell

❍ Speeds up neural signal

❍ Nodes of Ranvier: gaps between sections of myelin

❍ Multiple sclerosis (MS): degeneration of myelin

● Button: knobby ending of axon branch

❍ Involved in releasing neurotransmitter into synaptic gap (cleft)

■ Neurotransmitter: molecules released from neurons that influence other cells ■ Synapse: junction between two neurons or a neuron and muscle or gland ● Chemical signals are released across the synaptic

❍ Synaptic vesicles: membrane covered balls containing neurotransmitter Membrane

● Neuron cell membrane

❍ Composed of lipid bilayer

■ Inside and outside of neuron differ in chemical concentration

● Must keep these concentrations separate

❍ Kept separate by the membrane

● Lipid Molecule

❍ Polarized head region: attracts water (hydrophilic)

❍ Neutral tail: repels water (hydrophobic)

❍ This difference keeps the lipids lined up

■ Heads towards water

■ Tails away from water

● Lipid bilayer keeps chemicals separate

❍ But need to get some chemicals across this barrier

■ Done by:

● Channel proteins: allow certain molecules to pass through membrane

● Signal proteins: transfer a signal to the inside of a cell when particular molecules bind to the outside

Classes of Neurons

● Classes of neurons by structure:

1. Unipolar: neurons with one process emanating from the cell body

2. Bipolar: neurons with two processes emanating from the cell body

3. Multipolar: neurons with more than two processes emanating from the cell body ■ Most human neurons are multipolar

4. Multipolar interneuron: neurons with short axons or no axons

● Classes of neurons by function:

1. Sensory neurons: carry information from the sense receptors to the CNS 2. Motor neurons: carry information from the CNS to muscles and glands

3. Interneurons: communicate with other neurons

■ Make up most of the human brain

Support Cells of the Nervous System

● Glial cells (glia): central nervous system

● Satellite cells: peripheral nervous system

● Provide both physical and functional support to the nervous system:

❍ Support structure during development

❍ Help remove waste

❍ Help deliver nourishment

❍ Make up myelin covering

❍ Part of the blood-brain barrier

❍ Also involved in signaling

How to Work Out the Neural Circuitry?

● Methods:

❍ Stains:

1. Golgi stain:

● Dyes SOME neurons black

● Shows the shape of neurons

● Does not show internal structure

2. Nissl stain:

● Stains all neurons in a preparation

● But stains only the cell bodies

❍ Can't discern shape

❍ Can count the number of neurons in a part of the brain


● One or two questions will be based on the article “What Are Emotion Expressions For?” Current Directions in Psychological Science (2011), Volume 20, number 6, pages 395-399.

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