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Lecture 8

Lecture 8 PSYC23.docx

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David Haley

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Lecture 8 PSYC23- Thursday, March 7, 2012
Delayed marriage: the trend that people are not settling down as early as before (the early 20s) In the
70’s peaking age of marriage was 24 for women. Profound change in 30 years, so what are the
implications in terms of biological reproduction. SAME THING as delayed parenting (same trend, other
these interplay) many don’t have kids until early 30’s. Now even if you get married later, you’re having
kids even later IF EVER. How does having a older parent impact the parenting ways on the child. Are
there changes in neurobiology and hormones of older parent?
Evolution of Paternal Brain: of all the mammals species only 10% have parents who are fathers (it is not
the norm) So why do humans use this? Theroy is that in huner gather times it eas more convient and
easier if father carried child while they searched for food, the mother could not take on all the
responsibilities, and therefore less likely to have “time” to reproduce(more reproductively fit if you have
a supportive partner)
Modern day evidence that shows father want to impress current mate and potential mate, impress
those around him y taking care and playing more with the child in public more than in home( because
people swoon)
Culture variation (values of parenting with respect to fathers:
Kipsigis people (E.Africa think fathers gaze can harm the infant)
Aka group of hunter gathers (Central Africa) keep tabs on there child( SLIDE)
Maternal Brain Circuit: Think of it as 3 levels
Increase cognitive capability decreases stress reactivity!!.
How effective is science? Scientist have employed methods on animals to show the possible “best
parenting mechanisms, so what we are looking at are the general results) We assume that the same
changes that occur in animals occur in humans but its not totally true because cognition is defined
differently in rodents and humans (the risk of generalizing the results)
Rat Maternal Brain:
Hormones: triggered during pregnancy act on parts of the brain to CHANGE maternal brains.
Cognitive changes (hormones in brains) we see in the brain effect how you become a “nicer”
Ovaries: elevation of estrogen and progestern effect the hypothalamus (evolved in regulation of
hormones) brain structure. Specifically, the Medial preoptic area increases in size (cells). Another
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