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Lecture 6

PSYC23H3 Lecture Notes - Lecture 6: Cortisol, Stimulus Modality, Attachment In Adults

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David Haley

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2 Basic Biological Principles
Phylogeny recapitulates ontogeny
Evolved structures in an older species are repeated in the
development of a newer species
the forms/structures are inherited and repeated in newer
species and in early development
you can see the early forms in the early development of
the newer species
often questioned/dismissed
Dissolution (Jackson)
When diseased newer structures are the first to fail
When stressed newer structures and their associated behavioral
strategies are the first to fail
the newer structures are the most vulnerable; our
physiological responses to challenges are set up where newer
structures are engaged, and as they are engaged, the older
structures are brought on
a part of the newer vagal activity is inhibiting the older one
then older system kicks in
if older system is prolonged, it can be dangerous
Richter (1957)
- Richter (1957) compared lab rats to wild rats during a major stress situation
(swimming) and found that lab rats were able to mount a sympathetic
response strategy (e.g., increased heart rate and greater mobility) during a
swim challenge, whereas wild rats showed inhibition of the heart, freezing
behavior, and most of these wild rats drowned
o wild rats, they shocked even from the start
you put them in the water, and this throws them over the edge
(within 30secs, they drown)
they used their older vagus was insufficient, and they drown
- Wild rats were so stressed that they had to use the older Dorsal Medial
Nucleus DMNX to respond, which may be good for reptiles but lethal for
- Lab rats mounted a good stress response by using the Nucleus Ambiguus to
withdrawal (inhibit) vagal activity and increase sympathetic activity;
- Wild rats essentially peeled back an older layer of the ANStoo much!
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Hofer: Attachment as Regulation
- in the past, when w thought about parent/infant interaction, we had a notion
of almost like a romantic r/s
o does removal of the loved one make you feel a general distress or a
more decomposed experience?
if you kept their smell/smile, would you still be left distressed?
Even warmth, food (arlows monkey
Monkeys preferred the warmth over the food
Or will you still feel the same loss bc the person isnt there?
- But what hidden regulators do is go beyond food
o if you only took food away, but keep everything else the same, what
would you find
it didnt decrease general stress response (crying)
it decreased activity level
- even loss of warmth reduced activity level
thus, caregiver provides multiple types of hidden regulators
- they dont only provide a single regulator
o attachment is a multiple regulator system that caregiver provides
Attachment As Regulation: Yes! : But Not A Single Regulator of Fear & Exploration
Multiple Hidden Regulators:
- Specific physiological responses that are regulated by specific features of the
parent-infant interaction
- Possibly learning to associate each of those specific features to a
physiological response
- During separation:
o Provision of warmth Reduces activity decline
o Provision of milk Reduce HR decline
Multiple Behavior Systems
Attachment = regulation
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Biological Function
Environment of evolutionary adaptedness (EEA)
Physical proximity increases (attachment was considered a proximity
Infants are born w capacity to seek proximity w older caregiver
Physical protection from predators
Survival (reproductive fitness)
Felt sense of security
Safe haven (psychological level)
When your parent comes/you feel relieved
Learning about the world
Social complexity
if you can keep the sympathetics inhibited & the newer
vagus more active
you will be more receptive to the world & your
(notion of dissolution)
Physical Proximity
- The maximum distance observed between infants and mothers of primate
species at various ages
- babboons spend more time w caregiver
o as they get older 6mo, they are put down
o then they wander farther as they continue to age
- monkeys are shown the same basic patterns
- gorilla
o its not unitl 4mo until they even have 10ft of distance
o arent able to leave/ go v far at mo
- humans are still being held at 7mo
o not being put down
o only at 10mo do you see a small difference
- proximity is conserved in our species and related species
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