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Lecture 7

PSYB30 - Lecture 7.docx

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University of Toronto St. George
Elizabeth Page- Gould

Neuroscience and Personality Relationship of personality and changes in:  bodily responses – anything but the brain  brain structures – various areas of the brain; mostly looking relative sizes of particular parts and comparing sizes of parts between people  brain activity – transmission of various signals throughout the brain  biochemical activity – transmission of signals facilitated by neurotransmitters Major Divisions of the Nervous System  Central Nervous System (CNS) = brain + spinal cord  Peripheral Nervous System (PNS) = everything else concerned with the nervous system o Divided into the somatic nervous system + autonomic nervous system o Somatic nervous system  sends signals from the body to the brain and receives signals from the brain to the body  Further divided into afferent nervous and efferent nerves o Autonomic nervous system  happens without conscious thought  Further divided into the sympathetic and parasympathetic division Sympathetic Nervous System  “fight-or-flight” system o System of nerves that is called into place when you’re in a situation where you feel threatened o Can be a physical or psychological threat – such as when a person is nervous during a presentation o Non-essential activities are dampened (GI/urinary) – anything the body does not need to spend energy on at that time = these activities are slowed or shut down o Increase activities in areas that are going to be needed if you are actually going to fight or flee  Heart rate increases – so that if can supply muscles with oxygen  Breathing becomes rapid and deep - to ensure that the blood contains more oxygen  Skin is cold and sweaty – ex. Palms get sweaty  Pupils dilate – allows you to see better because you take in more light  Blood diverted to skeletal muscles – to allow more efficient movement  Liver releases more glucose into the blood – this gives muscles more energy  Might feel like vomiting – because blood is not used to digest food during these times therefore body ejects food and blood is used for other activities  Parasympathetic is opposite – it calms things down Bodily Responses: MeasuringANS activity  Heart rate – via a heart rate monitor  Body temp and blood flow  Look at where the blood is being directed  Skin conductance (GSR)  = Galvanic skin response  Measures moisture on your skin – method of measuring perspiration when the person can’t feel it/or can’t see it  Device attached to the back of the hand that shows how much a person’s skin can conduct electricity = proxy amount of moisture on the skin  Electromyography (EMG)  Measures non-visible muscle movements Brain Structure Measures  Static (snapshot) differences in relative size and weight and cell numbers of brain parts  Computerized tomography (CT) scan  Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) = 3D image of the brain BrainActivity • Methods for measuring brain structure during stimulation include: o EEG  Cap over someone’s head – with electrodes attached  Looking at electrical activity in different parts of the brain through electrodes on skull o PET  Give a solution with a very low level of radioactivity, also has glucose in it  Scan the person’s brain to see where the glucose is used – where glucose is used most = areas of brain that are most active at that time o fMRI  = functional MRI  = 3D image of the brain + shows activity in the brain  Ex. Put person in fMRI machine and give them a task to do and see where there is most activity in the brain  Gold standard  Very expensive – therefore research facilities usually don’t own these and have to use the one at hospitals usually overnight  Therefore have to find participants who are willing to do research overnight + have to pay them a lot o TMS  Newest technology  = trans cranial magnetic stimulation  Very similar to cortical stimulation but don’t have to open up your skull  Place electrode anywhere along skull and can provide electrical stimulation to that part of the brain = disrupts activity in that part of the brain  Has been approved in the U.S.Ato treat depression – as a potential alternative to electroconvulsive therapy but still not as effective  Research on TMS shows that ability to sing and ability to speak are not related – that they are separate to some extent! – therapeutic application = get those with speech problems to use this to communicate o Cortical Stimulation  Involves attaching electrodes/implants directly to different areas of the brain  Often not done with humans, research with this usually done with animals BiochemicalActivity Neurotransmitters: chemicals released by neurons to excite next neuron into action, or inhibit it – there inhibitory and excitory neurotransmitters - responsible for making sure the message is passed on  Dopamine  Related to energy – feelings of pleasure, movement, sensitivity to rewards, learning  Serotonin  Related to mood regulation and arousal  Also controls eating and sleeping  If you are on an antidepressant and it’s an SSRI – first ‘S’stands for serotonin  Increases serotonin in the brain and their impact in the brain – too little serotonin is linked to depression • Norepinephrine and epinephrine are also considered stress hormones o increase blood flow to muscles by increasing heart rate and blood pressure Who we love: Ted talk by BiologicalAnthropologist Helen Fisher  Romantic love – comes from primordial parts of the brain, way below the cortex = basic mating drive  Personality = Nurture (Childhood, experiences, environment) + Nature (biology, temperament, predispositions)  40-60% of personality determined via DNA  Does your basic body chemistry drive you to some people over others? o Brain systems linked with personality o Dopamine (DA) + Norepinephrine (NE) = explorer  Seek experiences: sensation seeking  Risk takers  Make most money but also lose most money  Energetic, impulsive, mental flexibility, idea generation (creativity)  Unreflective, manic, susceptible to boredom  Top word used by explorers in questionnaire = adventure  Most in big cities such as New York, California o Serotonin (5-HT) = builder  Conventional, structured, social, cautious, fact oriented, respectful, calm and controlled, figural/numeric creativity, conscientious, orderly  Religiosity, loyal  Close-minded, rigid, stubborn, moralistic, controlling  Top word used = family  One of the genes in the serotonin system is associated with consensus building, low key – this gene is most common in Japan and China o Testosterone (T) = director  Being good at rule-based systems (such as engineering, computers, etc.), music, experimental, rank oriented, decisive, bold, and direct, emotionally contained  Uncompromising, impatient, demanding , mind blindness, less empathetic, aloof  Top word used = intelligent  Found in Washington, Nevada,Alaska o Estrogen (E) & Oxytocin (OT)  Web-thinking, holistic, imaginative, good people/social skills, pro-social, trusting  Indecisive, scattered, placating, ruminating, gullible, back-stabbing,
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