Week Five Notes
Week Five Notes Psyc 287
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This 6 page Class Notes was uploaded by Ashley Choma on Monday September 26, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to Psyc 287 at University of Nebraska Lincoln taught by Dr. Pearce in Fall 2016. Since its upload, it has received 7 views. For similar materials see Psychology of Personality in Psychology at University of Nebraska Lincoln.
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Date Created: 09/26/16
Psychology of Personality PSYC 287 Week Five Notes Chapter 8 Reading Assignment Chapter 8: The Anatomy and Physiology of Personality Modern technology allows close examination of two aspects of the brain: its anatomy and its biochemistry Anatomical researchers examine the functions of different parts of the brain & try to determine the timing & physical location of various brain processes Researchers of brain biochemistry examine the effects of two fundamental groups of chemicals, neurotransmitters & hormones on brain processes The Anatomy of Personality o Neurons (nerve cells): dendrites – receive stimulation; axons – pass the message Dendrites of afferent nerves: messages travel up these to the brain to report what the body is feeling and doing Efferent nerves: send impulses & instructions from the central nervous system back to the muscles, glands, and other organs Interneurons: organize & regulate transmissions between nerve cells o Thalamus: regulates arousal & serves other functions o Hypothalamus – connected to just about everything else o Hormones: biological chemicals that affect the entire body o Amygdala – important role in emotion; hippocampus – important in processing memories o Cortex: neocortex, frontal cortex o Research methods for Studying the Brain Brain damage – the oldest source of knowledge about the brain is the study of people who have suffered head injuries Brain stimulation – a particularly intriguing (but difficult & rare) approach to studying the brain is to stimulate is parts directly with electrodes Stimulating the central region of the left substantia nigra could produce symptoms of depression Transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) uses rapidly changing magnetic fields to temporarily “knock out” areas of brain activity Brain activity & imaging – observe its function directly – to view what the brain is doing while it is doing Electroencephalography: electrodes are placed on the scalp to pick up electrical signals generated by the brain activity underneath Magnetoencephalography (MEG) – uses delicate sensors to detect magnetic indications of brain activity Positron emission tomography (PET) scan creates a map of brain activity by following the location of a harmless radioactive tracer injected into the bloodstream Functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) – monitors magnetic pulses generated by oxygen in the blood to map where the brain is most active at a given moment o The Amygdala: a small structure located near the base of the brain, behind the hypothalamus Appears to link perceptions & thoughts about the world w/ their emotional meaning o The Frontal Lobes & the neocortex The frontal lobes and emotion Left frontal lobe – more active when a person wants to approach something pleasant Right frontal lobe – associated w/ wanting to withdraw from something unpleasant or frightening The case of Phineas Gage – rod in frontal lobes The case of Elliott For Gage & Elliott – the damage to tissue in the right frontal lobes impaired their ability to use their emotional reactions in decision making Somatic marker hypothesis – emotions enable people to make decisions that maximize good outcomes & minimize bad ones, & to focus on what is really important Cognition and Emotion One important lesson from research on the brain is that cognition & emotion are inextricably intertwined - & when they become detached, the consequences can be severe o The Anterior Cingulate The cingulate is a brain structure in the cortex, just on top of the corpus callosum & extending all the way from the front of the brain to the back Anterior cingulate – appears to be especially important for the experience of normal emotion – b/c it projects inhibitory circuits into the amygdala o The Lessons of Psychosurgery Evidence from a number of sources converges to suggest that the frontal lobes are centers of cognitive control, serving to anticipate the future and plan for it o Brain Systems Systems or circuits within the brain may be more important than discrete areas Persistence: the ability to complete a task in the face of obstacles & in the absence of immediate reward C-system: involved in effortful, reflective thinking about the self and others X-system: involved in effortless, reflexive social thought The Biochemistry of Personality o The two important chemicals for behavior are neurotransmitters and hormones Neurotransmitters travel across the synapse to the next neuron in line, where they cause a chemical reaction that has either an excitatory or inhibitory effect Hormones: biological substances that affect the body in locations different from where they were produced o Endorphins – work by inhibiting the neuronal transmission of pain o Neurotransmitters Dopamine – described as the neurotransmitter that turns motivation into action Serotonin – seems to play a role in inhibition of behavioral impulses o Hormones Hormones that are important for behavior are released by the hypothalamus, the gonads (testes & ovaries), and the adrenal cortex (part of the adrenal gland that sits atop the kidneys) Epinephrine & norepinephrine Epinephrine (adrenaline); norepinephrine (noradrenaline) Testosterone Testosterone (primarily in males) & estrogen (females) o Both are present in both Cortisol Released into the bloodstream by the adrenal cortex as a response to physical or psychological stress, cortisol is part of the body’s preparation for action as well as an important part of several normal metabolic processes Oxytocin Plays an important role in mother-child bonding, romantic attachments, and sexual response Released by the hypothalamus & circulates through the body and brain via the bloodstream 9/22 in class notes The Brain, Biochemistry, and Personality – chapter 8 Brain Structure – neurons afferent (sensory) & efferent (motor) neurons interneuron (hippocampus) Brain Structures o Thalamus: regulates arousal Consciousness, sleep, alertness o Hypothalamus: links nervous systems to endocrine system through pivitary gland Controls body temperature, hunger, thirst, fatigue, sleep cycle o Amygdala: memory & emotion processing o Hippocampus: consolidates short-term memory into long term memory o Figure 8.1 – page 266 is important o Frontal lobes: recognize consequences; choose between alternatives; suppress socially unacceptable behavior; compare and contrast Reaches full maturity after age 20 Researching the Brain o Brain imaging EEG (electroencephalography) – electrodes on the scalp MEG (magnetoencephalography) – uses magnets EEG & MEG provide good temporal resolution, poor spatial resolution PET (positron emission tomography) Measures blood flow using radioactive tracers Good spatial resolution, poor temporal resolution fMRI (functional magnetic resonance imaging) measures change in magnetization between oxygen- rick and oxygen-poor blood fMRI & Statistical Error o dead salmon placed into fMRI machine o followed experimental protocol for humans showed the dead fish a series of photographs depicting humans in social situations asked dead fish to determine what emotion the individual in the pic must have been experiencing o by random change, significant BOLD signal change was located in dead salmon’s brain a scan can provide up to 130,000 voxels researchers filter the fMRI data to separate signal from noise used p=.001 as a statistical threshold, which failed to eliminate false positives multiple comparison corrections can control the false positives Researching the Brain o Brain Damage Physical Phineas Gage – head impaled by rod – damage to frontal lobes o Stubborn, flat emotion, etc. o Frontal lobe damage seems to interfere w/ emotional stability and understanding other’s emotions Michelle Philpots Chemical “The Lost Mariner” (Sacks 1985); Korsakov’s syndrome effects on brain’s mammillary bodies (hypothalamus) o Brain Stimulation Electrical, chemical Pages 263-264 Jose Delgado’s electrical stimulation research – monkeys & bulls o Human implantation 25 (mostly female) subjects received implants limbs could be moved independently of subject s free will specific behaviors could not be directed, but aggression could be increased/decreased stimulation of septum produced feelings of euphoria Donald Ewen Cameron: chemical stimulation o Participated in project MKULTRA experiments for CIA o Possibly intended to achieve mind-control, but useful for information extraction o Administered LSD to people unknowingly to study their reactions o Some “driving” experiments involved putting subjects into long drug – induced comas while playing loops of simple statements or noise o No lasting intended behavior effects Research Ethics o Informed consent o Human dignity o Institutional review boards o Federal state and institutional rules governing treatment of human and animal subjects