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PSYC 2800
Amanda Helleman

Emotion Cognitive interpretation of subjective feelings Interpretation of physiological symptoms (chills, increased HR) E.g., anger, sadness, fear Can occur unconsciously and influence behavior Motivation: What we do with emotions Goal directed behaviour Can result from emotions. Feel stressed so study. Subjective; can occur without awareness. Ex: Eat without thinking Neuroanatomy of emotion and motivation: Structures implicated= Hypothalamus Limbic System Frontal Lobes What Causes Behaviour? Is it free will? Possible explanation: brain needs stimulation? Experience world through senses and engage in motor behavior to deal with it. Sensory Deprivation Subject is allowed only restricted sensory input: No sight, sound or touch. Low tolerance for deprivation and may even display hallucinations If brain not receive stimulation , may produce it on its own Hebb and Heron (1950s) After about 4 to 8 hours, subjects became quite distressed; few subjects lasted more than 24 hours Brain has an inherent need for stimulation; one reason that we engage in behavior is to stimulate the brain Similar studies with rhesus monkeys: Do tricks to look through window (stimulation) when deprived. Drives and Behavior Drive Hypothetical state of arousal that motivates an organism to engage in a particular behavior Hungry-hunger drive-look for food Drive theories of motivation assume the brain is storing energy for behavior Flush model: Empty reservoir fills up over time, when full, engage in behavior to empty reservoir again Once a behavior is started, it will continue until all the energy in its reservoir is gone There are separate stores of energy for different behaviors Later proved wrong, particularly when looking at non-biological drives (friendship) Neural Circuits and Behavior Researchers have not been able to link drives and brain activity. Brain during drive state no different than not in drive state. Behavioral change correlates with changes in hormones and cellular activity Example: A mans frequency of copulation is correlated with his levels of male hormones, called androgens (male hormones related to level of sexual interest). More of these hormones= have more sex. Stimulating brain cells activated by androgens, induces sexual behaviour. Motivational states correlated with brain activity. Conclude: neuronal activity responsible for behaviour, not drives Evolutionary Influences on Behavior Innate Releasing Mechanism (IRM): Hypothetical mechanism that detects specific sensory stimuli and directs an organism to take a particular action Innate (part of genome); releasing (trigger behaviours) Cats do attack behavior when shown Halloween cat image. Smile at babies, they smile back (mimick). Blind kids show same facial expressions . The brain must have a set of norms against which it can match stimuli so as to trigger an appropriate response Although IRMs are prewired into the brain, they can be modified with experience Sexual stimuli not affect us when little but as we age, they have a different meaning Evolutionary Influences on Behavior (2) Evolutionary Psychology Discipline that seeks to apply principles of natural selection to understand the causes of human behavior Behaviors exist because the neural circuits producing them have been favored through natural selection E.g., homicide exists today because related to past adaptive behaviours The Chemical Senses Play a central role in motivated and emotional behaviour Smell: mark territories, identify group members (urine; sweat) Taste: identify foods ( food from non food, avoid poisons) Old senses Olfaction Stimulus: Odorants (volatile chemicals), something that enters air and can exist in air molecule. Ex: Cant smell a desk, its not volatile Organ: Olfactory epithelium *OE+(retina of the nose) Contains receptor cells (olfactory sensory neurons) and support cells Receptor cells send cilia into the olfactory mucosa Airborne chemicals dissolve in the olfactory mucosa and interact with the cilia Activation of metabotropic receptors leads to the opening of sodium channels and subsequent change in membrane potential Smell things, enter OE, receptor cells detect volatile odorants with cilia 9receptors on cilia specific to detect specific odorants), causes change in membrane potential by opening sodium channels. Go to olfactory bulb (extension of our brain?) Olfaction Olfactory cells project to the olfactory bulb, ending in tufts of dendrites called glomeruli In the olfactory bulbs, synapses are formed with mitral cells, which then project to several areas of the forebrain Olfactory Pathways Olfactory nerve goes to areas of limbic system: Pyriform cortex, entorhinal cortex, amygdala, hypothalamus, thalamus, and the orbitofrontal cortex Smell is very emotional sense. Ex: Cinnamon, popcorn. May trigger strong emotional reactions. Olfactory memory very compelling. Note: no connection through thalamus for amygdala and pyriform cortex! Project there directly. Why such a strong emotional component to smell. Taste and smell= flavour Accessory Olfactory System Pheromone: Animals use as signalling mechanism Odorant biochemical released by one animal that acts as a chemosignal and can affect the physiology or behavior of another animal, same or different species Usually studied in rodents. Often released urine. If female mouse pregnant, another male other than father enters territory, female spontaneously aborts fetus to carry child of new (thus dominant) male Mclintock: Women living together, cycle together. Something released in sweat? Strippers earn more tips when ovulating. Men detecting something in their sweat. Vomeronasal Organ: Detects pheremones, activated by presence of pheremones. Not in humans. Special olfactory receptor, made up of small group of receptors that are connected by a duct to the nasal passage and detect pheromones; projects to the amygdala and hypothalamus Human Olfactory Processing We can identify our own odors, odors of kin vs. non-kin, friends vs. strangers! Little language for odours Lundstrom and colleagues (2008) The brain analyzes common odors and body odors differently Body odors activate structures also activated by visually emotional stimuli. Smelling a strangers odor activates structures also activated by fearful visual stimuli Birth control blocks MHC detection? Gustation Taste receptors are found within taste buds located throughout the mouth and nasopharynx Taste buds organized in papilla Five different taste-receptor types Sweet, sour, salty, bitter, and umami (meaty) Gustatory stimuli interact with microvilli, located on the tips of receptors, to open ion channels and alter the membrane potential Taste all tastes all over tongue. Properties of food stimulate receptor Sense of salt learned? Eat more salt, crave more salt. Eat less, crave less.
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