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PSY 150A1, Chapter 3 Lecture & Textbook Notes

by: Lorelei Wong

PSY 150A1, Chapter 3 Lecture & Textbook Notes PSY 150A1

Marketplace > University of Arizona > Psychlogy > PSY 150A1 > PSY 150A1 Chapter 3 Lecture Textbook Notes
Lorelei Wong
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Chapter 3 Lecture & Textbook Notes
Structure of Mind & Behavior
Dr. Adam Lazarewicz
Class Notes
Psychology, Structure of Mind and Behavior
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This 8 page Class Notes was uploaded by Lorelei Wong on Monday February 8, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to PSY 150A1 at University of Arizona taught by Dr. Adam Lazarewicz in Spring 2016. Since its upload, it has received 36 views. For similar materials see Structure of Mind & Behavior in Psychlogy at University of Arizona.


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Date Created: 02/08/16
PSY 150A1 With Prof. Lazarewicz Lecture Notes Chapter 3: Biological Bases of Behavior  Biological psychology – links behavior/mental processes & biology o How they’re related  The Neuron o Neuron – a nerve cell  Human brain has ≈ 100 billion neurons  Glial cells – space fillers between neurons  10 times as many glial cells as neurons  Care & upkeep neurons  Aid in neural communication  Neuron Structure o Cell body (soma) – contains the nucleus & is central part of neuron o Dendrites – the communicators of the neuron  Branches receive signals electrical signals (messages) from other neurons o Axon – delivers messages to the neuron  Long cable-like extensions o Myelin sheath – fatty protective tissue insulating the axon  Speeds up neurotransmission  Contains and protects it for less loss of messages  Schwann cells – segments of the myelin sheath  Nodes of Ranvier – gaps between the adjacent sheaths  Ex: multiple sclerosis is a deterioration of myelin which leads to slowed communication with muscles and impaired sensation in the limbs  Complete messages are not making it all the way to their destination because the myelin is absent to protect the axon (like wires) from outside influence o Terminal buttons – end structures of axon branches that send out the message to other neurons  Contain neurotransmitters  Neuron Functions o Three main functions:  Receiving signals from other neurons or senses  “processing” signals  Sending signals to other neurons o Neurotransmission – passing messages from one neuron to another through the body (version of communication) o All-or-none law – neurons are always either on or of  Firing or at rest, no in between  Resting potential – neuron at rest  Negatively charged  Action potential – neuron in action  Firing messages  Resting until receives message, then springs into action with excitatory or inhibitory message PSY 150A1 With Prof. Lazarewicz o Excitatory messages – gets into action & quickly (gas pedal)  Emergency situations, gets moving and thinking fast o Inhibitory messages – calms down system after excitement (brake pedal) o Threshold – initiates neurons into action and directs them to either central nervous system or peripheral nervous system  Neural Communication o Neurotransmitter – chemical sending signals through neurons and body, when they jump from one to another  Stored in vesicles in the terminal buttons & bind to receptors on the next neuron  ***each receptor can only bind with one kind of neurotransmitter —like a lock and key***  When neuron releases neurotransmitters it releases more than needed with the extras being pulled back in eventually to the original neuron  Reuptake – reabsorbing neurotransmitters into vesicles  Electro chemical o 4 type examples for class:  Acetylcholine (ACh)  Muscle movement, attention, arousal, memory  Ex: a decrease in ACh production found in Alzheimer’s disease  Dopamine  Brain’s reward and pleasure centers  Helps to regulate emotions and movement  Ex: increases in dopamine can be linked to eating chocolate, sleeping, taking drugs, etc. o Deficits: Parkinson’s disease (too little dopamine) o Excess: Schizophrenia (too much dopamine)  Norepinephrine  Helps control alertness and arousal  Ex: fight or flight response o High levels: OCD, anxiety o Low levels: clinical depression (correlation not causation) o Fluctuations between low and high levels: bi-polar disorder  Serotonin  Helps regulate mood  Ex: deficits are linked to clinical depression (but correlation does not mean causation) o Neurotransmitters can be passed down genetically  Up to the nature vs. nurture efect whether symptoms of some will show up and have an efect  Neurotransmitters at Work o SSRIs PSY 150A1 With Prof. Lazarewicz  Often utilized to treat depression  Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor  Inhibits reuptake  more time for neurotransmitters to be absorbed by receptors o Ex: Prozac, Zoloft, paxil o Morphine  Accidental fin  Pain-killing and mood-elevating drug  Receptors that can absorb these exist in the brain even though it is an artificial creation, so technically there shouldn’t be receptors for it  Chemical structure similar enough to endorphins makes it possible for them to be absorbed o Endorphins  “morphine within”  Act as natural painkilling neurotransmitters  Released when responding to pain, exercise, excitement, sex, love, etc.  Ex: runner’s “high”, spicy foods, acupuncture, etc.  Altering Neurotransmission o Agonist – excites  promotes neurotransmission  Mimics neurotransmission efects because of similar structures  Ex: morphine  endorphins  Or blocks reuptake  Ex: SSRI o Antagonist – inhibits  blocks neurotransmission  Close enough in structure to be able to block receptors from absorbing neurotransmitters, but not close enough to be absorbed themselves and activate the neuron  Ex: Botox  Mapping Brain Functions o Diferent parts of the brain have diferent jobs to do o We know this from diferent ways, old & new  Brain damage – old way  Problems speaking or doing math or others and varies case to case  Ex: stroke victims  Ex: Phineas Gage o Good guy, life together, hard worker, family, level head o Survives a rod going through head, taking out frontal part of his brain o Years later, no longer has life together, gets feisty and aggressive, no longer himself  Neuroimaging – new way  Pictures of the brain or its activity PSY 150A1 With Prof. Lazarewicz  Electroencephalograph (EEG) – records of the brain’s electrical activity o Advantages: high temporal resolution; fast results communicated, non-invasive, not dangerous or painful  Looks like a swimming cap with a bunch of cords and sensors connected o Disadvantages: low spacial resolution; cannot tell where the activity coming from exactly  Computer-assisted tomography (CT scan) – 3D image of brain structure using x-rays o Used to examine brain injuries, tumors, stroke efects, etc. o Advantages: level direct view of the brain at a given angle or height & high spacial resolution o Disadvantages: high levels of radiation  Should not be performed often throughout a person’s life  Positron emission tomography (PET scan) – track injected radioactive glucose through the brain o Neurons use glucose as fuel so where they go to is what parts of the brain are being used o Measures brain function o Advantages: glucose consumption of the neurons means activity in that part of the brain o Disadvantages: radiation exposure, low temporal resolution (not good at getting split second readings), equipment is very expensive to have and use  Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) – uses 2 magnets to take pictures of the structure (brain, other soft tissues) o functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) – detects blood flow through the brain  Scientific Mind Reading o Diferent patter of brain activity = thinking of diferent objects o States of consciousness…  Structure of the Brain o Hindbrain – “older” part of brain; lower level structures responsible for basic survival mechanisms  Brainstem – neutral structures located at the base of the brain  Medulla – breathing, swallowing, heartbeat; functions we don’t have to think about actively to survive  Pons – facial muscles, motor movement, posture, and sleep o Links the brainstem and cerebellum  Reticular formation – nerve bundles running through brainstem PSY 150A1 With Prof. Lazarewicz o Fight-or-flight response, alertness  Cerebellum – “little brain”; coordinates movement, balance, posture, and timing o Midbrain  Thalamus – sensory relay station (except for smell…)  Sends received info to the appropriate brain structure  Receives info from higher brain structures and sends to hindbrain & body o Forebrain – “newer” part of brain; higher level structures responsible for advanced human functions  Limbic system – responsible for motivations, memory, and emotions (“emotional brain”)  Amygdala – emotions, motivation, and emotional behavior (especially anger & fear) o Lesion – natural or experimental destruction of brain tissue o What happens with lesion of amygdala?  Ex: lesioned the amygdala of a rhesus monkey (normally extremely territorial and aggressive) & the monkey couldn’t be bothered or upset anymore  Ex: electrically shock (stimulate) a cat’s amygdala and they get very angry, move the shock to another part of the amygdala and they get very scared o Amygdala activity happens when viewing those of another race o Damage can cause lack of usual response to personal space issues  Hypothalamus – maintains balance in the body o Hunger & thirst o Body temperature, blood pressure, and heart rate o Sleep, circadian rhythm, fatigue o Controls pituitary gland o Responds to “rewards” & “pleasure”  Ex: discovered this by accidentally attaching an electrode to a rat’s hypothalamus  Rat loved the shock (stimulation) to hypothalamus  Hippocampus – triggers processes that store/retrieve memories throughout the brain o H.M. had hippocampi surgically removed at the age of 27 to improve/help/control his epileptic seizures and it did help, but after surgery he couldn’t form new memories. So he was basically stuck mentally at the age of 27. PSY 150A1 With Prof. Lazarewicz  Anterograde amnesia – cannot create new memories  Stuck with old knowledge and memories, but unable to learn anything new or remember what you try to learn, talk about, or do  Retrograde amnesia – inability to retrieve their old memories  Can learn and create new memories, but cannot remember their past  Cerebral cortex – wrinkled surface of the brain; where higher- level mental processes take place  2 cerebral hemispheres – control opposite sides of the body than which they are located on o LH  right side of body  Analytical & verbal (language and number skills) o RH  left side of body  Intuitive & perceptual (insight, art, and creativity) o Corpus callosum – connects the two hemispheres and shares info between them  Spilt-brain patients – sever corpus callosum to help treat epilepsy  Seizures due to uncontrolled neural firing that goes through brain on both sides sometimes because of the corpus callosum connecting  These patients normally could live average lives, but they have started noticing o Left-visual field  RH o Right-visual field  LH  Normal brain – info stored in corpus callosum  Split-brain – info “stuck” in the hemisphere that receives it o LH sees object on right side and can name it, RH sees object on left side but cannot name it  4 lobes of cerebral cortex o Frontal lobe – executive control center; planning, reasoning, memory, personality, etc.  Motor cortex – controls fine movement, organized by body part o Parietal lobe – behind frontal lobe about the cortex; integrates senses, sense of touch PSY 150A1 With Prof. Lazarewicz  Sensory cortex – sense of touch, organized by body part o Temporal lobe – under temples, in front of ears; hearing o Occipital lobe – back of cortex; vision  Separate areas for shape, color, motion, etc. o We use 100% of our brains  Brain’s Flexibility o Plasticity – brain’s ability to modify itself and adapt  Present ability in all brains, but most evident after brain damage  Ex: amputated finger  sensory cortex reassigns that finger’s section of the brain to get info from other fingers instead  Heightens sense in another area where it will be useful  Most plastic in childhood, easier to recover from damage Textbook Notes  Mirror neurons – only carried out or activated when a person copies or emulates the behaviors of another  Central nervous system – includes brain and spinal cord  Spinal cord – bundle of neurons leaving brain running through the back & main means for transmitting messages to the body from the brain and vice versa  Reflex – automatic response  Sensory (aferent) neurons – outer parts of body receive messages that send to brain  Motor (eferent) neurons – communicate info to brain and nervous system to muscles/glands  Peripheral nervous system – branches out from spinal cord and brain to communicate to extreme ends of the body  Somatic division – voluntary movement control and transmits info to and from the sensory organs  Autonomic division – involuntary moment controls such as heart, lungs, glands, etc.  Sympathetic division – autonomic division; prepares body for stressful situations  Parasympathetic division – autonomic division; calms body after stressful situation  Endocrine system – messages sent chemically through the bloodstream  Hormones – regulate functions of body and growth chemically in the blood  Pituitary gland – “master gland” that releases hormones  Central core – hindbrain  Association areas – higher mental cortex area and processes like language, memory, and speech  Neuroplasticity – how the brain changes over time, creating new neurons, connecting new parts of the brain and memories, organizing thought processes, etc. PSY 150A1 With Prof. Lazarewicz  Lateralization – one side of the brain dominating the other  Biofeedback – how someone learns to control involuntary functions of the body such as blood pressure, skin temperature, respiration rate, etc.


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