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Chapter 6.docx

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Richard Eibach

Chapter 6: Brain, Evolution and Personality  Acc to Eysenck’s theory, extraverts differ from introverts because of differences in their physiological level of arousal in the brain  He proposed that these differences are influenced by the ascending reticular activation system of the brain, the system believed to regulate overall arousal in the cortex  Introverts show greater changes in their brain wave activity in response to low frequency tones, indicating their lower threshold for stimulation to the CNS  Optimal level of arousal: the arousal level that is most appropriate for doing a given task effectively  To calculate differences in the brain’s asymmetry, researchers subtract the level of EEG brain wave activity on the left side of the brain from the lebel of activity on the right side of the brain  A +ve asymmetry measure indicates a relatively higher degree of activity on the right side of the brain; a –ve measure indicates a relatively higher degree of activity on the left side of the brain  Individual differences involves two neurological systems in the brain: Behavioural inhibition system(BIS) and the behavioural activation system(BAS)  BIS causes individuals to withdraw from certain undesirable stimuli or punishments and thus inhibits behavior  BAS directs individuals toward certain desirable goals or incentives and thus activates approach behavior. You can think of it as an energizing system that activates and facilitates rapid action  Individuals who had higher resting levels of activity in their left frontal area of the brain gave more positive responses to happy stimuli. They also showed higher levels of self-reported BAS sensitivity on questionnaires  Higher resting levels of activity in their right frontal area did the right opp = negative feelings in response to aversive stimuli  Greater activity in the BAS seems to be more characteristic of extroverts and BIS is introverts  Gray’s theory and related work also indicates that BIS id linked to anxiety as a personality dimension, whereas the BAS is related to individual differences in impulsivity or the inability to inhibit and control one’s responses and urges  Those high in BIS will seek out and select negative cues and events in their environment  Those high in BAS will attend to and pursue positive events and possibilities for gratifications  The proper level of neurotransmitters is maintained by monoamine oxidase (MAO)  fMRI measures the magnetic fields created by the funct
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