Lecture on November 7th: Stress

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Psychology & Brain Sciences
Lori Astheimer Best

Behavioral Neuroscience, Lecture on November 7 th Stress What is stress? 1) Faster response  Fight or flight OR 2) Slower response  Fight or flight (continued)  Learning and memory Homeostasis, coordinated physiological processes which maintain most of the steady states in the organism.  Body temperature  extreme temperature (stressor)  Blood glucose level  starving (stressor) Stress, any circumstance that upsets the homeostatic balance.  The noxious stimulus causes stress; in response to this lapse in homeostasis/stress the body has an adaptive response. Properties of psychological stressors,  Novelty – anything new you haven’t seen before.  Unpredictability – anything you were not expecting.  Threat to the ego  Sense of control decreased – feel like you do not have control over a situation N.U.T.S The relativity of stressors, Absolute  A real threat o Being in an accident o Confronting a dangerous animal o Extreme weather Relative  An implied threat o Public speaking task o Exam *Summary of stress: Stress, a threat, real or implied, to the physical or psychological integrity of an individual. Two categories of stressors: Psychological or physiological Relativity of stressors: Absolute or relative How do our bodies respond to stress? Stress response, 1. Faster response (happens in seconds) a. Starts in the hypothalamus, moves to adrenal glands where epinephrine and norepinephrine are released. (sympathetic- adrenal-medullary system) b. Norepinephrine is also released from sympathetic nerve terminals. c. Medulla is the middle section of the adrenal gland. d. On the day of a stressful event, epinephrine and norepinephrine will drastically increase. e. Function: increase fuel mobilization, raise blood pressure and increase cardiac output. 2. Slower response (happens in minutes to hours) a. Moves from hypothalamus, to anterior pituitary glands, to adrenal cortex where cortisol is released. (hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal axis) or (HPA) axis i. Hypothalamus releases corticotropin-releasing hormone (CRH) into the anterior pituitary, which releases adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH) into the adrenal cortex, which r
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