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Chapter 6 Notes.doc

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G Cupchik

PSYC18 Chapter 6 Emotions and the Brain - Brain regions and neurotransmitters are intimately involved in emotions - E.g. Sleeping sickness (encephalitis lethargica) made people act like zombies until they got a dose of L-DOPA - They began to act spontaneously with emotion, passion, appetite and sexual desires How do brain mechanisms of emotion work? - Neuroimaging: machine monitors biochemical events in a series of conceptual slices through a persons brain, while computer takes info and constructs images of the brain to show where it is most active - E.g. Positron Emission Tomography (PET) and functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI) - Neuroscientists study emotional effects of accidental damage to the brain while others have made lesions deliberately in brains of animals - Neurophysiologists have stimulated parts of the brain electrically and pharmacologically stimulated parts of the brain with chemical mechanisms of neurons. One can also record the electrical activity of single neurons. - Anatomy, lesions, stimulation, pharmacology, electrical recording - Left to right: Spinal cord, cerebellum, pineal gland, cerebrum, corpus callosum, thalamus, hypothalamus, pituitary gland, midbrain, pons, medulla - Hindbrain controls basic physiological processes o Medulla regulates cardiovascular activity o Pons control sleep o Cerebellum controls motor movement - Forebrain o Thalamus: integrating sensory information o Hippocampus: memory processes o Hypothalamus: regulates important biological functions (eating, sexual behaviour, aggression, etc.) o Limbic system: with structures involved in emotions like amygdala o Cortex: ability to lead complex social lives, plannign and intentional action, emotion regulation - Early Research on brain lesions and stimulation o First theory of brain mechanisms of emotion was proposed by Cannon o Cannons graduate student Bard: cats deprived of cortex were liable to make sudden attacks coined with term sham rage Cortex usually inhibits this expression o Children abound with uncontrolled emotion until cortex develops sufficiently to inhibit their lower functions - The Limbic System o MacLean from Papez: sensory impulses from the body and outside world reach the thalamus and split into three main pathways Striatal region (stream of movement) Neocortex (stream of thought) Limbic system (stream of feeling) o MacLean proposes that the human forebrain includes three distinct systemsPSYC18 Chapter 6 Emotions and the Brain Striatal region (reptilian level): earliest and most basic part of the forebrain, scheduling and generating basic behaviours, Limbic system (Paleomammalian level): Hypothalamus connections, autonomic nervous system and control of bodys hormonal system via pituitary gland as well(Mammals are social creatures, maternal caregiving, vocal signaling, and play) Klver: Wild monkeys became docile after large parts of limbic system were removed Weiskrantz: Monkeys also approached everything without fear Olds: rats and their levers o Stimulation of septal region of limbic system induces a tendency to approach o Glickman: if mood produced by some kind of electrical stimulation is based on approach: mood of encouragement. If based on withdrawal, avoidance, escape and rejection of anything that tastes/smells bad o Those with temporal lobe epilepsy (discharge of nerve sells contained within limbic region): preceded by auras, subjective states that often include strong emotions o MacLean-Panksepp conjecture: Experience of emotions is generated in the limbic system, and that each distinct emotion type is based on a particular system of limbic brain circuitry Circuitry creates a readiness for a set of species-characteristic brain processes and behaviours, somewhat appropriate to the event that triggered them experience of a pa
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