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3. Oct 2-chapter 3-biological functions.docx

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Psychology 1000
Lynn Jackson

Chapter 3: Biological Foundation October 2, 2012 Capgras Delusion –phenomenon that causes a person to think that people in their life are imposters or replicas of the people they used to know (parents, friends, pets, self, etc.) GENETIC BASIS OF PSYCHOLOGY  Genetics –used to describe how characteristics are passed along to offspring through inheritance o Also refers to the process involved in turning genes “on” and “off”  Biology and environment mutually influence each other  Within each cell are CHROMOSOMES –structures within the cell body that are made up of genes o Each human as 23 pairs of chromosomes; half of each pair coming from each parent  Gene –the unit of heredity that determines a particular characteristic in an organism  Gregor Mendel –developed SELECTIVE BREEDING –which strictly controlled which plants breed with other plans o Deduced that plants contained separate units, now known as genes  Dominant Gene –a gene that is expressed in the offspring wherever it is present  Recessive Gene – a gene that is expressed only when it is matched with a similar one from the other parent  Genotype –the genetic constitution determined at the moment of conception  Phenotype –observable physical characteristics that result from both genetic and environment influences  Polygenic Effects –when a population displays a range of variability for a certain characteristic  Cell Division –the chromosomes duplicate and then the cell divides into two new cells with identical chromosome structure; basis of the life cycle GENETIC BASESS OF PSYCHOLOGICAL EXPERIENCES  Behavioural genetics –study of how genes and environment interact to influence psychological activity  Research of psychological characteristics influence of Human Genome project and related research  Genes  cells  systems  psychological experiences o Family studies: twin and adoption studies  Monozygotic twins –(Identical twins) twins who result from one zygote splitting in two and therefore share the same genes  Dizygotic twins –(fraternal twins) twins who result from two separately fertilized eggs  Heredity –the transmission of characteristics from parents to offspring by means of genes  Heritability –a statistical estimate of the variation, caused by differences in heredity, in a trait within a population SHARED GENETICS  Most commonly used indices of shared genetics in family studies o Concordance rates –an index of the degree of co-occurrence on a characteristic among different types of relationships  Good for dichotomous (“either or” ie. male or female) variables.  10% is the population base rate of people who report having major depression  o Correlations –between different people with psychological characteristics  Good for continuous (not either or, varying degrees) variables  Various components of intelligence show a genetic influence  Broad psychological genetics that have a NERVOUS SYSTEM  Nervous System o Central Nervous System  Brain  Spinal cord o Peripheral Nervous System  Somatic Nervous System  Skin, muscles and joints send signals to the spinal cord and brain  Brain and spinal cord send signals to skin, muscles and joints  Autonomic Nervous System  Glands and internal organs send signals to the spinal cord and brain  Brain and spinal cord send signals to the glands and internal organs o Sympathetic nervous system o Parasympathetic nervous system HOW DOES THE NERVOUS SYSTEM OPERATE?  Transits information throughout the body  Genetics influence reactivity of the nervous system  Neurons –the basic unit of the nervous system; operates through electrical impulses which communicate with other neurons through chemical signals. Neurons receive, integrate and transmit information in the nervous system o Neurons : cells involved in communication and transmission of information o Two thirds of neurons are located in the cortex o Three types of neurons:  Sensory neurons –detect information from the physical world and pass that information along to the brain  Often called afferent neurons, meaning they carry info to the brain  Sensory nerves that provide information to the muscles are referred to as somatosensory  Motor Neurons –direct muscles to contract or relax, thereby providing movement  Called efferent neurons, meaning they transmit signals from the brain to the muscles throughout the body  Interneurons –communicate only with other neurons; typically within a specific brain region o Dendrites –branchlike extensions of the neuron that detect and RECEIVE information from other neurons o Soma (Cell Body) –in the neuron, where information from thousands of other neurons is collected and processed o Axon –a long narrow outgrowth of a neuron by which information is transmitted OUT to other neurons  Terminal Buttons –small nodules, at the ends of axons, that release chemical signals from the neuron to the synapse o Synapse, or Synaptic Cleft –the site for chemical communication between neurons, which contains extracellular fluid o Myelin Sheath –a fatty material, made up of glial cells, that insulates the axon and allows for the rapid movement of electrical impulses along the axon o Nodes of Ranvier –small gaps of exposed axon, between the segments of myelin sheath, where act
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