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Lecture 7

PSY260H1S Lecture 7

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University of Toronto St. George
Daniela Bellicoso

PSY260H1S L7/8; March 05/12, 13 Emotional Learning & Memory: Ch. 10  Ch. 7, 8, 9, 10 on test Bhvr’al Processes: What is Emotion?  Bodily changes seen in arousal are mediated by the autonomic  Emotion: nervous system (ANS) o Cluster of 3 distinct but interrelated kinds of responses: physiological responses, overt (or observable) bhvrs, & o ANS: collection of nerves & structures that control internal organs and glands conscious feelings produced in response to an  Nerves of the ANS operate autonomously (‘w/o conscious important situation  Physiological responses associated w emotion: control’)  Upon sensing threat, ANS signals adrenal glands to release o Changes in heart rate stress hormones, including epinephrine (adrenaline) & o Increased perspiration glucocorticoids o Increased respiration o These stress hormones act in the body to  Overt bhvrs associated w emotion: activate/deactivate the fight-or-flight response o Facial expression  Stress Hormones: hormone that is released in response to o Vocal tone o Posture signals from the autonomic nervous system (ANS) & helps mediate the fight or flight response; ex: epinephrine and  Conscious feelings associated w emotion are subjective glucocorticoids experiences: o Sadness o Epinephrine: stress hormone, also known as adrenaline, that helps to mediate the fight-or-flight o Happiness response  The fn of emotion is to marshal the body’s resources to o Glucocorticoids: group of stress hormones (including respond to an important situation cortisol in humans) that help to mediate the fight-or-  Dif clusters of specific physiological, overt motor, and flight response conscious reactions constitute various emotional responses o Cortisol: chief glucocorticoid in humans  Strong pleasant emotions can also cause physiological arousal What is Emotion? similar to that seen in the fight-or-flight response in reaction  Small set of universal emotions are hardwired in humans from to a threatening stimulus birth  Include: happiness, sadness, anger, fear, disgust, and surprisWhich Comes First, the Biological Response or the Conscious o Later shame & interest were added Feeling?  Humans from all cultures all feel these emotions and can  Our automatic emotional responses are often slightly ahead of recognize the markers of these emotions in others our conscious awareness  Emotion seems to be innate but its outward expression may  William James proposed that conscious feelings of emotion be modified by learning: occur when the mind senses the physiological responses o While all cultures can recognize these emotional associated w fear or some other kind of arousal displays, dif cultures may teach their members specific o Meaning we express some emotional feeling in rules about the appropriateness of how to display response to how our body responded to an emotion- emotions in various social contexts inducing stimulus o Men & women of several cultures around the world  James-Lange theory of emotion (proposed by show similar physiological measures of emotions, but Carl Lange) gender difs do exist o James-Lange Theory of Emotion: theory that conscious feelings of emotion occur when the mind senses bodily Autonomic Arousal and the Fight-or-Flight Response responses associated with that emotion  Emotions can cause physiological responses o This is a one way association  Collection of physiological responses associated w emotion that prepare the body to face a threat or adverse stimulus are known as arousal or the “fight-or-flight response” o Body prepares to face threat either by fighting or running away  James-Lange theory predicts a certain emotion should be  Arousal: collection of bodily responses (including increased evocable in a person by inducing the corresponding bodily blood flow to muscles, increased respiration, and depressed digestion and immune fn) that prepares the body to face a responses o Ekman (1992) threat; also known as the fight-or-flight response o Directed people to move facial muscles to simulate o Flight-or-Fight Response: collection of bodily responses (including increased blood flow to muscles, increased facial expressions that correspond to a particular emotional display in order to evoke the associated respiration, and depressed digestion & immune fn) that feelings prepares the body to face a threat; also known as arousal  Issue w the James-Lange theory of emotion: o Many emotion-provoking stimuli (anger, fear, sexual pleasure) lead to similar sets of biological (physiological) responses  Schachter & Singer (1962) o To investigate how the conscious mind determines which emotion is being signaled by various biological responses, volunteers received epinephrine injections o Volunteers were next placed in a room with a person who unbeknownst to them had been instructed to act joyful or irritated  Volunteers began to catch the mood of their companion o Epinephrine injections caused bodily arousal, which volunteers’ brains interpreted according to the context in which that indiv had been placed o Suggests same ambiguous bodily responses can occur in dif emotions  The label we apply to them depends on the situation we are in  Modern theories of emotion tend to suggest emotions depend on interactions btwn bodily responses, conscious feelings, and cognitive assessment of context o Each component of this interaction affects the others  Compare to the James-Lange theory …  In sum, emotion is a complex phenomenon that includes a constant interplay of conscious feelings, cognitive assessments, and bodily responses  Emotion affects how memories are stored and how they are recalled  Consider transfer-appropriate processing o Suggests that retrieval is best when cues available at testing are similar to those available at encoding o This applies to mood states at encoding & testing times  Mood-Congruency of Memory: principle that it is easier to retrieve memories that match our current mood or emotional state Do Animals Have Emotions? o Recall the general principle of memory that our strongest memories tend to be associated with strong  Can animals feel emotions? o Subjective feelings are only one component of emotions emotions, whether those emotions are (+)ve or (-)ve & more difficult to confirm in animals  Mood may influence recall because strong moods/emotions cause biological responses & subjective feelings which act as o Biological responses & overt bhvrs are more apparent in animals stimuli that become part of learned associations  Animals show similar reactions to arousing stimuli Flashbulb Memories o Piloerection: an emotional response in mammals in which body hair stands on end, making the animal look  Everyday emotions can strengthen memories, while extreme bigger and more threatening that it is emotions can lead to memories of exceptional strength & durability o Many human & primate fear reactions seem to be direct analogues o Some of these vivid memories are called flashbulb  Even nonmammalian animals show some of memories these responses o Flashbulb Memories: memory of emotional events that seem especially vivid & long lasting  When these physiological responses are observed, most researchers term this to be an o Typically (-) expression of fear response, regardless of  Flashbulb memories might be remembered in amazing detail o We recollect not only time of day & place of the event, whether the animal is consciously aware of their feelings of fear but also background details including smells, clothes, weather, etc.  Every so often, usually in the case of a tragedy, an entire Emotions Influence How Memories Are Stored & Retrieved  We tend to have strong memories for episodes of intense society forms flashbulb memories emotion (both +ve & -ve) due to frequent rehearsal, mental  Flashbulb memories are often associated with a dramatic or highly memorable event, especially if it is a turning point of review, and talking about the events  Strong emotions influence the probability that a memory is some sort encoded in the first place Can Flashbulb Memories Be Trusted Emotion & Encoding of Memories  Many times there’s confusion in some of the fine details surrounding a particular event for which a person has a flashbulb memory  It is not always easy to determine the correctness of a  Rats prefer darker areas particular flashbulb memory o Expt’ers can place rat in light area and measure how o Generally, unless the particular detail is obviously long until it crosses to dark area, and how much time is incongruous w known facts, we cannot judge accuracy spent in this section o We fill in gaps o Next give foot shock when rat crosses to dark area and measure what time it will now spend in light section  Many studies have been conducted to address the issue of validity or trustworthiness of flashbulb memories  At first, rat may remember its unpleasant  Talarico & Rubin (2003) experience & freeze immediately when put into tunnel o Looked at events of 9/11 … flashbulb memories were judged immediately after the event and again after  Freezing = classically conditioned some time (weeks and mths) to study memory response (CR) to expt’al context decay/change  Slowly, rat will probably show delay before o Sept. 12, 2001: 54 university students contacted and crossing to dark section and likely not spend asked series of openended questions about how they’d much time there heard of terrorist attacks o Avoidance bhvr of area where shock was received =  On avg students remembered 12 details instrumental conditioning o Students were again contacted later. On average:  Avoidance learning can be fast & long-lasting  Students contacted 1 wk after the event o In the case of the rat who receives single foot shock in remembered 10 details dark section, delay may last several minutes before  Students contacted 8 mths after the event crossing back into that section remembered ~ 7 details o Delay can be seen even a day or more after original o In both later recall cases, inconsistent events also crept learning into the reports that conflicted with their original Sep. Humans also show this conditioned avoidance 12 event recall  In each case, people generally report being very confident in (don’t have to know: ) the accuracy of their flashbulb memory, even when they differ  Conditioned avoidance to avoid danger leads to an increase in from their original testimony (for which they also believed the frequency of an avoidance response due to its pairing w they were very accurate) removal of an undesirable conseq  Important to remember about flashbulb memories is that they o These are examples of (-)ve reinforcement are: o (-)ve Reinforcement: type of instrumental conditioning o Long-lasting, vivid, & largely accurate in which the response causes a punisher to be taken away o BUT, they are not perfect photographic records of they or “subtracted” from the envt; over time, the response event: they can be both incomplete, & contain becomes more frequent inaccurate details Learned Helplessness  Why do errors creep into our memories? o Errors are often due to forgetting where the news was  Work by Martin Seligman & colleagues shows phenomenon first heard  Learned Helplessness: phenomenon that prior exposure to an  Ex: misattribution to TV, radio inescapable punisher will reduce or impair later learning to o Memories of particularly important events are escape from or avoid that punisher continuously pondered, rehearsed, & discussed o Uncontrollable punisher teaches an expectation that  This makes the memories more liable to responses are ineffective at avoiding the negative unconsciously having gaps filled in with details punisher effects, subsequently reducing motivation to that appear to fit the context attempt new avoidance responses  When these errors creep into our memories, this is one way in  Learned helplessness may be a key part of depression which false memories can form o Depression: psychiatric condition involving a general o False Memories: memories for an event that never loss of initiative & activity, together w feelings of actually happened inescapable sadness or apathy o In which case, although many of the remembered  Depression may be triggered by external problems but details may be quite correct, others that seem equally affected indivs feel they are unable to do anything to change vivid may actually be entirely wrong the conditions making them feel depressed o Learned helplessness may underlie human depression Learning Emotional Responses: Focus on Fear o Antidepressant drugs meant to alleviate depression in  Research on animal emotion has focused on the learning of humans also eliminate learned helplessness in animals physiological responses previously exposed to inescapable shock that produced  Fear has been most commonly and intensely investigated learned helplessness bhvr  Benson et al. (1999) Conditioned Avoidance: Learning to Avoid Danger Altogether  Gave animals showing learned helplessness antidepressant  Conditioned Avoidance: conditioning paradigm where an drugs to reduce learned helplessness bhvrs organism learns to take action in order to avoid or escape from o Rats placed in a chamber where there was a light a dangerous situation indicating an incoming shock  Example of conditioned avoidance training w a rat: o The control attempted to avoid the shock. o Rat is placed in tunnel shaped expt’al apparatus (dark o The exposure grp had learned helplessness & just took except for one bright area) the shock. o Desipramine + exposure grp were taught learned helplessness, but were given antidepressants, so tried The Amygdala: A Central Processing Station for Emotions to avoid the shock.  Amygdala: collection of brain nuclei lying at anterior tip of each hippocampus, important for emotional learning & emotional memory o Small, almond-shaped o 10 separate sub-regions, dif patterns of input & output o Learned emotional responses o Emotional modulation and regulation of memory storage and retrieval  Lateral nucleus: primary entry point for sensory info into amygdala o Sensory info directly from thal & indirectly thru cortex  Central nucleus: projects out of amygdala to ANS (drives physiological responses), & motor centres (driving expression of bhvr’al responses)  Basolateral nucleus: projects to cortex, BG, hippocampus  An alternative to giving antidepressants to reduce learned o Provides a pathway for emotion to regulate memory helplessness might be to prevent learned helplessness in the storage & retrieval from these structures first place  Train dogs to escape shock  expose to inescapable shock  put back in avoidance chamber  dogs continue to be able to avoid shock & learned helplessness is prevented Brain Substrates  Jamez Papez reviewed literature showing lesions to various parts of the brain cause emotional impairment  From his understanding of the involvement of the hippocampus & cingulated cortex in emotion, he reasoned these regions play a key role in emotions together w other regions such as the thal & hypothal o Thalumus: sensory info input area to the brain o Hypothal: helps regulate the body’s response to emotion  Hippocampal damage  overly aggressive  Cingulate cortex damage  increased apathy, depression  He proposed these brain regions operate in a loop (“Papez circuit”) that is key for the emotion processing pathway The Amygdala and Learning of Emotional Responses o Not exactly right  Animals: electrically stimulating the amygdala can  Some structures were left out (amygdala), & produce dramatic emotional displays, particularly some that were included are not specific for depending on what role the animal plays emotion (hippocampus, hypothal) o Ex: predator (cat growling, hissing) vs. prey (rabbit  However, this structure grping led to idea of freezing, lowered heart rate, redirecting energy to react limbic system or escape from situation) o Dif species-typical defensive reactions  Electrical stimulation of the human amygdala does not produce displays that are so dramatic o Generally will look around & realize there is no threat o Animal les able to control emotion & bodily response o If stimulated human amygdala in threatening situation (ex. alley)  more likely to show physiological response  Why the dif in emotional display btwn humans & animals stemming from amygdala activation?  Limbic System: collection of brain structures important for o Modern theories of emotion suggest our conscious memory & emotion, including the thal, hypothal, cingulated emotional feelings depend both on our biological
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