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Psyc 314 Getting Stress Under Your Skin.doc

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University of British Columbia
PSYC 314
Frances Chen

Psyc 314 Getting stress under your skin Brain-Body connections Nervous system: comprised of central nervous system (spinal cord and brain). Signals sent from neurotransmitters from neuron to neuron Peripheral nervous system: somatic system (voluntary. ex. walking),Autonomic system (involuntary. Ex. heart is breathing)--parasympathetic (calms body down) and sympathetic (excited your body) Nervous system can directly transmit signals to other body parts through neurons or it can have an effect on hormones (can have an effect on the endocrine system). Direct nervous system stimulation to muscles Nervous system connects brain spinal cord to the rest of the body; neuron to neuron transmission of signals through neurostansmitters How to mobilize the body through the nervous system: SAM and HPA SAM: epinephrine and norepinephrine released as one pathway from nervous system. Sympathetic nervous system  adrenal gland  release epinephrine/norepinephrine HPA: hypothalamus leads to release of CRH which goes to anterior pituitary which releasesACTH which goes to adrenal cortex which releases cortisol What types of stress affect the HPAsystem? Rohleder et al., 2007. • Social Self Preservation Theory -role of social-evaluative threat • Study of ballroom dancers • Salivary cortisol measured before, during, and after acute stressor idea that when there are threats to physical survival there is release of cortisol and when you are socially threatened you will also get the release of cortisol--particularly the emotion shame.Athreat to your social self, causing a threat to your status, you will be in a position which could cause embarrassment and shame. Researchers interested in the role of social-evaluation threat. Studied competitive ballroom dancers. They measured salivary cortisol before competition, right after the dance, and after. They wanted to look at real life stressors opposed to evoked acute stressors in lab experiences. Results: real world stressors evoke more cortisol levels than that in the lab. Cortisol response to real world stress is greater than in the lab Confound: the dancers are also under physical stresses which may be the cause of the increased cortisol Researchers did a follow up study to look at the dancers when they were practicing and found that there was a large increase in cortisol on the day they were being judged compared to days that they practiced They also compared two different types of dance; solo and group dancing. They hypothesized that if it was really about being evaluated that there woul be more cortisol during solo dancing than in group dancing because you are being more scrutinized when you are dancing along. Results showed that the cortisol levels went up when they were dancing solo than in a group They looked at dancers, dancers in the lab, and students in the lab Endocrine system: hormones go through blood stream and have effect on target organs like heart hormones: once they are released they go into your blood stream • Once released, hormones go into bloodstream • Leads to extended arousal -longer lasting than sympathetic nervous system • EPI, NOREPI act within seconds • Cortisol acts within minutes/hours • Increase in HR, blood flow, breakdo
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