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Lecture 7

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Connie Boudens

PSYB30 – Lecture 7 Purple Text – Prof’s Speech Neuroscience and Personality [other biological theories] Relationship of personality and changes in:  bodily responses  brain structures – areas of the brain; relative size of parts of brain to each other  brain activity – transmission of signals throughout the brain  biochemical activity Division of the nervous system - central nervous system o brain o spinal cord - peripheral nervous system o everything else o divided into:  somatic nervous system (sending and receiving signals from the body to the brain)  autonomic nervous system (without conscious thought; automatic)  sympathetic and parasympathetic division Sympathetic nervous system  “fight-or-flight” system  System of nerves that are called into play when you feel threatened (physical or psychological)  Non-essential activities are dampened (GI/urinary)  Dampens non-essential functions – anything that your body doesn‟t need to spend energy on at that time  Increases activity in area that will be needed if you will have to fight or flee  Example: heart rate increases (supplying muscles with more oxygen)  breathing becomes more rapid and deeper (to make sure the blood contains enough oxygen which can be provided to the muscles)  skin is cold and sweaty  pupils dilate (enabling you take to take in more light; see better)  blood is diverted to sketetal muscles (for more efficient movement)  live releases more glucose into the blood (supplying the muscles with more energy)  “sympathetic system has sympathy for you, it is trying to help you”  Parasympathetic is opposite – has opposite effects; calms things down  Sometimes feel like vomiting because your body doesn‟t want to be digesting food when the energy is needed to do other functions Bodily Responses: MeasuringANS activity  Heart rate – attach a heart monitor  Body temp and blood flow – see where the blood is being directed  Skin conductance (GSR) – galvanic skin response that measures moisture on skin (perspiration)  Electromyography (EMG) – measures nonvisible muscle movement Brain Structure Measures  Static differences (not looking at brain activity; taking a snapshot) in relative size and weight and cell numbers of brain parts  Main ways of looking at brain structures  Computerized tomography (CT) scan  Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) Measures for Brain Structure during Stimulation - Cortical stimulation – attaching electrodes or implants to different areas of the brain o Normally done with animals o Electrodes show what happens in brain when stimulated - EEG – caps with electrodes that fastens to person‟s head o Looking at electrical activity in different parts of the brain - PET – give person a solution with low level of radioactivity with glucose, scan brain to see where the glucose is being used, areas of the brain that are most active at that time will use the most glucose - fMRI – same as MRI (3D image) but fMRI shows activity; which parts of the brain are more active and are doing different things o good standard for brain imaging research at this time o but every expensive - TMS – newest type of technology, transcranial magnetic stimulation, similar to cortical stimulation but don‟t have to open skull o Electrode can be placed anywhere on skull and stimulated to provide electrical stimulation to that part of the brain disrupting activity o Can be used for research BiochemicalActivity – primarily relates to neurotransmitters Neurotransmitters: chemicals released by neurons to excite next neuron into action, or inhibit it; move from one neuron to another so that a neuron can either fire or fail to fire - Basically responsible for making sure the message is passed along - 4 main neurotransmitters  Dopamine  Generally, related to energy, to feelings of pleasure, learning, movement, sensitivity to rewards  Serotonin  Has to do with mood regulation and arousal, control of sleeping and eating  Too little serotonin often linked to depression  norepinephrine and epinephrine  Norepinephrine and epinephrine are also considered stress hormones  increase blood flow to muscles by increasing heart rate and blood pressure Research example - Video: Helen Fisher o Came up for four personality styles via questionnaire to see why people fall in love with particular people o Romantic love is a powerful brain structure, basic drive o Why do you fall in love with one person rather than another o Estimate: 40-60% of who you are comes from genetics o Personality: nurture (childhood, experiences, environment) and nature (temperament, biology, predisposiitons) o How does your basic body chemistry drive you to some people rather than others? o There are a lot of chemicals in the brain, the following four brain systems are linked to personality; each one is linked to a constellation of personality traits  Dopamine (da) and norepinephrine (ne) – explorer  Traits linked to those high in dopamine system: Novelty-seeking, risk-taking, curious, make more money and also lose more money than others, energetic, enthusiasm, impulsivity, idea generation, creativity, susceptible to boredom, reckless, manic, insecure, unpredictable  Serotonin (5-ht) – builder  High in serotonin system: Observe social norms, cautious, calm, structured, fact-oriented, orderly, literal, good with numbers, religiosity, must have loyal friends, close-minded, rigid, stubborn  Testosterone (t) – director  Analytical, good at music, structural, experimental, rank-oriented, emotionally-contained, decisive, direct, uncompromising, mind- blindness, demanding  Estrogen (e) and oxytocin (ot) – negotiator  Tied to web thinking, imaginative, good people skills, understanding, trusting, introspective, intuitive, scattered, decisive, placating, gullible, hypersensitive, unforgiving o We all respond to all brain systems o No 2 people took 56 question questionnaire in the same way o Dopamine: Explorers want somebody like themselves o Serotonin: Traditional wants traditional o Testosterone: opposites attract o Beginning to map brain circuitry of personality Important Biological Theories of Personality  Eysenck‟s PEN model  Reinforcement Sensitivity Theory (RST)  Temperament Eysenck‟s PEN model  Factors: Neuroticism, extraversion, psychoticism  Evidence:  Three traits seemed to be cross-culturally applicable; Cross-cultural universality which suggests there is a genetic foundation  Consistency over time – indicating a strong foundation; not affected by things that happen to people  Heritability – have a strong heritable component, suggesting something biological  Eysenck believed:  Introverts had a greater baseline level of cortical arousal, specifically in ARAS; ascending reticular activating system – because of that, introverts were kind of overaroused and needed somewhere quiet to return to a state of homeostasis  If this is the case, it should be present in sleep  But the only difference at rest was in response to moderate stimulation – if they were exposed to moderate stimulation, you would see the greater cortical arousal to be there at baseline  Seems that baseline level of arousal idea doesn‟t hold, but that introverted people are more “arouseable” – i.e. given the same amount of stimulation, an introvert might be more aroused than an extrovert  Eysenck:  Neuroticism had to do with stability of SNS and with the vulnerability of people who were high in neuroticism to negative emotions  Those who were n
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