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PSYC 342
Jens C Pruessner

PSYC 342 Lecture 1 - Jan. 10 Introduction: Comments on Academia: • University education enables you to enter Academia • Done mostly by teaching you knowledge However, little emphasis on meta-knowledge (teaching how to teach, or learning how to learn…) • • One goal for this class: Making you understand the scientific process How Do You Become a Scientist? • Finish your university degree • Typically requires a Ph.D to become a scientist • Masters degree demonstrates that you can conduct research that was assigned to you by your supervisor. Ph.D must show that you can come up with original research Ph.D, M.D., Psy.D., are the three ‘Doctors’ that qualify you as a ‘scientist’ • • In science, for scientists, it’s all about publications • You either ‘publish or perish’ • Basic content in scientific paper includes, methods component, results, hypothesis, etc. Journal Publications: • The Journal Impact factor • Tells you about how prestigious or high-quality a journal is • How many times an article will get cited or was cited in one year • The h-index Designed to tell people about the quality of a scientist • • Citations = papers = h • More papers with papers being cited by numerous scientists results in higher h-index • The peer review process • Prior to being allowed to publish, peers review your work. This allows your work to be verified to be legit and free from problems • Typically gets other scientists familiar in the same field as work to review and critically assess the work • Peer-review criteria: • Originality, Novelty • Impact • Accuracy • Sound science • Problems with peer-review: • Personality, Politics • Coming to correct and accurate acceptions or rejections • How do you consider the impact, and the originality • Most research papers follow the following format: • Title • (Sometimes) Abstract • Introduction (includes hypothesis) • Methods • Results Discussion • • References PSYC342 Lecture 2 - Jan. 12 Summary From Last Class: • Scientific knowledge is communicated via publications, either in print or online journals • Journal’s impact is measured via the Journal Impact Factor • Researcher’s impact is measured via the h-index • Traditional medium is print, but over the past decade, a switch to online journals can be observed • PLoS One as an example that doesn’t judge the impact of a publication (but lets the readers do so) Methods in Research and Academia: ‘The Scientific method’ • • Important Terms: • Hypothesis • Operational definition • Variable • Data • Must gather evidence to formulate a theory which then results in gathering more evidence. This ends up being an endless cycle Essential Components of Scientific Research: • Precision • Skepticism • Be skeptical on everything presented • Area where most errors/problems come from • Reliance on empirical evidence • Cannot have a theory based only on insight, must have data and evidence Precision: • Theories • Organized systems of assumptions designed to explain phenomena and their interrelationships • Hypotheses Attempt to predict or account for a set of phenomena; specify relationships among variables, • and are empirically tested • Operational definitions • Define terms in hypotheses by specifying the operations for observing and measuring the process or phenomenon Skepticism: • Scientists do not accept ideas on faith or authority • Skepticism means treating conclusions, both old and new, with caution • Old beliefs (even in textbook) sometimes need to be reversed Reliance on Empirical Evidence: • A scientist relies on empirical evidence to determine whether a hypothesis is true Karl Popper’s ‘Critical Rationalism’: Principle of Falsifiability • • A scientific theory must make predictions specific enough to disconfirm the theory • The theory must predict not only what will happen, but also what will not happen • Always be overly skeptical about every claim being made (not just in science, but life in general) • Example: Eating hamburgers will make you fat. The ‘principle of falsifiability’ lies in the fact that there may be individuals who eat hamburgers and do not get fat Descriptive Studies: Establishing the Facts • Studies using methods that yield descriptions of behaviour but not necessarily causal explanations Include: • • Case studies • A detailed description of a particular individual being studied or treated which may be used to formulate broader research hypotheses • More commonly used by clinicians because the case is very rare and should be studied in depth on its own • Occasionally used by researchers • Features: Intensive examination of the behaviour and mental processes associated with a specific person or situation Strengths: Provide detailed descriptive analysis of new, complex, or rare phenomenon • • Pitfalls: May not provide representative picture of phenomena • Example: Railroad working in US. Had to put explosives in holes with a stone rod; an explosive exploded, drove stone rod through his brain. He still survived, though he had a change in his personality and behaviour • Clever Hans was an Orlov Trotter horse that was claimed to have been able to perform arithmetic and other intellectual tasks • Naturalistic Observations • Researchers carefully and systematically observe and record behaviour without interfering with behaviour • Naturalistic observation: • Purpose is to observe how people or animals behave in their natural environment • Laboratory observation: • Purpose is to observe people or animals in a more controlled setting • Features: Observations of human or animal behaviour in the environment in which it typically occurs • Strengths: Provides descriptive data about behaviour presumably uncontaminated by outside influences • Pitfalls: Observer bias (if the observer knows what to look for, they will always report the bias) and participant self-consciousness can distort results • Psychological tests • Procedures used to measure and evaluate personality traits, emotional states, aptitudes, interests, abilities, and values Psychological tests can be objective or projective • • Projective test: not directly asked about a certain behaviour or personality traits, only asked to describe what you see in random pictures; project meaning into pictures. Experimenter then projects • Objective test: IQ Test. Answers can only be interpreted in one way; no ambiguity of how to interpret the results • Characteristics of a good test include: • Standardization • The test is constructed to include uniform procedures for giving and scoring the test In order to score tests in a standardized way, an individual’s outcome or score is • compared to norms • To establish norms, the test is given to a large group of people who are similar to those for whom the test is intended • By having norms or established standards of performance, we know who scores low, average, or high Reliability • • When constructing a test, the scores achieved on the test at one time and place should be consistent with the scores achieved at another time and place • Consistent means from Time A to Time B; also across forms, two versions of test • Validity • The ability of a test to measure what it was designed to measure • Content validity • The test broadly represents the trait in question • Criterion validity The test predicts other measure of same trait in question • • Surveys • Questionnaires and interviews that ask people about experiences, attitudes, or opinions • A representative sample • Group of subjects, selected from the population for study, which matches the population on important characteristics such as age and sex • Popular polls and surveys rely on volunteers Volunteer Bias: • Volunteers who participate may differ from those who did not volunteer If Ps already know about the phenomenon being studied, then will demonstrate self-serving • bias Correlation Studies: Looking for Relations • Descriptive studies that look for a consistent relationship between two phenomena • Correlation • A statistical measure of how strongly two variables are related to one another • Correlational coefficients can range from -1.0 to 1.0 • Features: Examine the relationships between research variables • Strengths: Can test predictions, evaluate theories, and suggest new hypotheses • Pitfalls: Cannot infer causal relationship between variables Experiments: Hunting for Causes • A controlled test of a hypothesis in which the researcher manipulates one variable to discover its effect on another • An experiment includes variables of interest, control conditions, and random assignments Features: Manipulation of an independent variable and measurement of its effects on a dependent • variable • Strengths: Can establish a cause-effect relationship between independent and dependent variables • Pitfalls: Confounding variables may prevent valid conclusions Variables: • Characteristics of behaviour or experiences that can be measured or described by a numeric scale • Variables are manipulated and assessed in scientific studies Experimental Variables: • Independent variables are variables the experimenter manipulates Dependent variables are variables that the experimenter predicts will be effected by manipulations • of the independent variable or variables • In an experiment, a comparison condition in which subjects are not exposed to the same treatment as in the experimental condition • In some experiments, the control group is given a placebo which is an inactive substance or fake treatment Sources of Confounding Variables: • Random Variables • Importance of random assignment • Participants’ Expectations • Placebo effect • Experimenter Bias • Expectations of the experimenter • Unintended changes in subjects behaviour due to cues inadvertently given by the experimenter • Strategies for preventing experimenter effects include single and double-blind studies Selecting Human Participants for Research: • The sampling procedures used can: • Affect the research results • Limit the meaning of the results • Representative Samples • Random Samples • Convenience Samples Random Assignment: • For experiments to have experimental and control groups composed of similar subjects, random assignment should be used • Each individual participating in the study has the same probability as any other of being assigned to a given group Evaluating the Findings: • Descriptive Statistics • Statistical procedures that organize and summarize research data • Examples include: • Arithmetic mean • Standard deviation • Inferential Statistics • Interpreting the Findings Statistical Analysis of Research Results: • Descriptive Statistics • Measures of central tendency Measures of variability • • Used with central tendency to compare the two groups • Correlation coefficients • Strengths of two variables with each other • Inferential Statistics • Meaning of “statistically significant” • Statistical procedures that allow researchers to draw inferences about how statistically meaningful a study’s results are • The most commonly used inferential statistics are significance tests Statistical tests that show how likely that a study’s results occurred merely by chance • Types of Probability: • Alpha-error: What were the chances that you find a result in your study which is not present in the population? • Beta-error: What were the chances that you didn’t find a significant effect in your study even if it was present in your population? • Power (1-beta): What were the chances to find a significant effect given your sample size? Probabilities in Psychology: • Determines the likelihood with which a result can be expected to occur • Based on the normal distribution PSYC342 Lecture 3 - Jan. 17 CNS: Overview • Terminology in the Brain • Classifications and Structures • Three different communication systems • The nervous system The endocrine system • • The immune system Terminology in the Brain: • Anterior - Posterior • Superior - Inferior • Lateral - Medial • Rostral - Caudal • Dorsal - Ventral • Sagittal • Coronal C•assification of the NS Classification of the NS: Monday, 16 January, 12 4 Organization of the Nervous System Organization of the Nervous System: Somatic Nervous System: • Sends sensory information to CNS for processing • Sends messages from CNS to muscles to direct motion Monday, 16 January, 12 5 Autonomic Nervous System: • Controls activities normally outside of conscious control • Two subsystems: • Sympathetic nervous system • Parasympathetic nervous system The Spinal Cord: • Receives signals from the senses and relays them to the brain • Neurons in the spinal cord also carries signals downward from the brain to the muscles • Cells of the spinal cord can direct simple behaviours - reflex provides speed to escape further harm • SensoryA Reflex Pathwaylled afferent neurons • Motor neurons are called efferent neurons Return Monday, 16 January, 12 9 Major Major Structures of the Brain Major Structures of the Forebrain Monday, 16 January, Cerebral cortex is the most developed part of the brain; makes • Monday, 16 January, 12 11 WithThe Limbic Systemimbic System • Papex and MacLean coined the Limbic system as the ‘upper loop’ Saul Kassin, Psychology. Copyright © 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Reprinted by permission. • Amygdala - deals with emotions Monday, 16 January, 12ocampus - deals with memory 12 • Cingulate cortex - cognitive processes • Fornix • Mammillary bodies • Septum • Thalamus is first receiving point of sensory information. Emotions are related to memory, thus they initiate responses which are timely (i.e. Fear to induce fast response) The Cerebral Cortex Within the CNS: The Cerebral Cortex • Frontal, Temporal, Parietal and Occipital lobes • Two types of cells: Monday, 16 January, 1Glia - supporting cells 14 • • Neurons (different types) • About 100 billion neurons in the brain (!!!) • Cortex acts as an integrated whole to coordinate behaviour and cognitive processing The Nervous System: • Structure of the cell: • Cell body Nucleus • • Dendrites • Axon • Terminal Buttons Electrical and Chemical Events in the Nervous System: • Unilateral direction from cell body down the axon to terminal buttons • Action potential goes from -70mV to +40mV The role of myelin sheaths The Role of Myelin Sheaths: Monday, 16 January, 12 19 Communication Between Neurons Communication Between Neurons: The Relationship Between Neurotransmitters The Relationship Between Neurotransmitters and Receptors: Monday, 16 January, 12 20 Communication Between Neurons - Neurotransmitters: Monday, 16Integration of Neuraltus 21 • Exocytosis • EPSP & IPSP Signals Integration of Neural Signals: Six Neurotransmitters: Monday, 16 January, 12 23 • Acetylcholine (+ and -) • Dopamine (+) Adrenaline/Noradrenaline (+) • • Serotonin (-) • Glutamate (+) Small Molecule Neurotransmitters Small Molecule Neurotransmitters: A Neural Network Model Monday, 16 January, 12odel: 25 Within the CNS: Basal Ganglia Monday, 1Stratum (striped structure): Caudate and Putamen 26 • • Globus Pallidus • Motivation, reward, movement, motor control Within the CNS: Basal Ganglia Striatum (striped • structure):Caudate and Putamen • Globus Pallidus • Motivation,Reward, Movement,Motor control The Midbrain: Monday, 16 January, 12 30 • Tetum and Tegmentum (roof and covering) • Superior colliculus and inferior colliculus • Role in sensory processing, attention, arousal, sleep The Midbrain • Tectum and Tegmentum (roof and covering) • superior colliculus and inferior colliculus • role in sensory processing, attention,arousal, sleep The Hindbrain: • Cerebellum • Pons • Medulla Oblongata Monday, 16 January, 12 Peptides: 32 • Amino acids linked by peptide bonds • Endogenous opiates - kick in when body is in pain, can control the pain (i.e. Marathon people get runner’s high) • Important for pain relief and pleasure Neurotransmitter pathways Neurotransmitter Pathways: Monda•,Frontal lobe has to do with reward (due to dopamine) and basal ganglia deals more with movement and body control Three Different Communication Systems Within the Body: • Nervous system (uses neurotransmitters) • Endocrine system (uses hormones) • Immune systems (uses cytokines) • Interacting: NS controls hormonal release and cytokine release; hormones can affect neuronal firing PSYC342 Lecture 4 - Jan. 19 Hormones & Endocrine Systems: Overview • Three different communication systems • The nervous system (uses neurotransmitters) The endocrine system (uses hormones) • • The immune system (uses cytokines, fights infections and disease) • Interacting: Nervous system controls hormonal release and cytokine release; hormones can affect neuronal firing • Similarities and Differences • The endocrine system: Overview • HT hormones PT hormones • Functional Organization of the Nervous System: • Hierarchical • Evolutionary newer additions took over control from previous additions and became their new masters • Results in increased environmental control • Intellect, cognition, reasoning - neocortex • Functions of the older structures? Reasons for use of Neurotransmitter in the NS: Up and down regulation of activation • • Possible through use of neurotransmitter • Centralize neurotransmitter • Failsafe mechanism • Development and learning • Neurotransmitter helps establish new connections • You can up regulate to signify importance Centralized control • • Understood as subserving centralize control Excursion: Multiple Sclerosis and the Immune system: • Inflammatory disease (traditional hypothesis) • Disease of the myelin sheath; attacks and destroys them resulting in reduce processing of electrical signals through neurons • Stops perception and motor functions • Impaired veinous drainage in the brain (vascular hypothesis) • Higher pressure in NS causes the disease • Time and future research will tell what’s the correct approach The Endocrine System: • Endocrine means ‘the internal secretion of a biologically active substance’ • Gland has something to do with hormone; it produces and secretes a hormone The Definition of a Hormone: • Chemical messenger effective in minute quantities • Synthesized in ductless (no tubing) glands Secreted into and transported by blood • • Acts on receptors located far away from synthesis • Exerts a specific regulatory effect on target cells • Slower than neurons; timing is not an issue for hormones • Does not target a specific area but rather diffuses throughout the body Exceptions to the Rule (Hormones): • Some hormones not synthesized in ductless glands Hormones sometimes act as neurotransmitters (paracrine function) • • Can influence cell that released them (autocrine function) • Can get feedback from body • Hormones can generalized effects, or different effects depending on the specific receptor type Two Chemical Classes of Hormones: • Amino acids and peptides • Peptides can’t get to the brain unless already there • Steroid hormones (four-ringed chemical base) • Already in the brain Overview of the Endocrine System: The Endocrine Control Center • Hypothalamus and Pituitary (most important hormonal control center) • Within the diencephalon, just inferior to the thalamus • Control a number of endocrine glands, and a range of physiological activities • Major point of interaction of nervous system and endocrine system • Part of limbic system; thus takes part in relay center Corticotropin Releasing Hormone (CRH): • Synthesized in the anterior portion of the PVN (Paraventricular Nucleus) of the hypothalamus • Stimulates the secretion of Adrenocorticotropic Hormone (ACTH) from the Pituitary CRH releases ACTH • Gonadotropin Releasing Hormone (GnRH): • Synthesized within the preoptic area of the Hypothalamus • Controls the release of luteinising hormone (LH) and follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) • One or two GnRH? Growth Hormone Releasing Hormone (GHRH): • Secreted within the ventromedial nucleus and the arcuate nucleus of the Hypothalamus • Stimulates Growth Hormone secretions from the Pituitary Thyrotropin Releasing Hormone (TRH): • Synthesized in the PVN and anterior PVN of the Hypothalamus • Stimulates cells in the anterior pituitary gland to produce and release thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) Dopamine: • Neurons located in the arcuate nucleus of the Hypothalamus When released act as primary prolactin-inhibitory hormone in the Pit
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