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Psychology Midterm Review.docx

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Joe Kim

Psychology Midterm Review Development 1 Themes discussed in first half of course  Development  Gene-environment interactions across an individual’s lifespan  Evolution  Gene-environment interactions across the evolutionary history of a species  Neuroscience  The study of the nervous system  Development- refers to the changes and continuities that occur within the individual between conception and death  Maturation- the biologically timed unfolding of changes within the individual according to the individual’s genetic plan. How this plan unfolds is influence by specific environmental conditions that shape the genetically determined processes.  Learning- refers to the relatively permanent change in our thoughts, behaviours, and feelings, as a result of our experiences. Learning processes allow you to acquire new information and guide optimal strategies to respond to events and stimuli in the environment.  Learning processes can be controlled but can also become so practiced as to become automatic. For example, to look left then right when crossing the street. We learned this as a child, but as an adult it becomes installed in us to do this before crossing the street.  Interactionist Perspective- the view that holds that maturation and learning interact during development. Plays important role in understanding inherited traits, prenatal development, and how our nervous system develops across a lifespan.  Changes that occur earlier in life are much more dramatic than those occurring later in life, therefore many researchers who study human development focus on infancy and childhood. 4 methods of measuring abilities in infants  Habituation Procedure – determines if an infant can detect the difference between two stimuli.  Process of Habituation Procedure- begins by repeatedly presenting the infant with the same stimulus, such as tone or a picture, while measuring changes in physiological responses, like heart rate and breathing, or behavioural orienting 1 responses like head or eye movements. When a novel stimulus is presented, an infant will initially show a burst of activity. As the same stimulus is repeatedly presented, the infant’s responses will return to baseline levels. At this point the infant has demonstrated habituation to the stimulus.  Event related potentials- a measure of the brain electrical activity evoked by the presentation of stimuli.  To measure event related potentials, a special cap with an array of electrodes is carefully placed on the scalp. These sensitive electrodes can detect changes in electric activity across a population of neurons in the brain. The particular behaviour being measure will evoke changes in the various brain regions of interest.  And so, if you were presenting the infant with a visual stimulus you may expect changes in activity in the occipital lobe of the brain, an area devoted to visual processing.  If you were presenting an auditory stimulus, you may expect changes in the temporal lobe region, an area devoted to auditory processing.  Habituation and ERP provide complementary behavioural and neural measures to understand an infants sensory interactions with the environment  High-amplitude sucking method- to determine what an infant likes or dislikes.  In this procedure you first measure the baseline-sucking rate for the infant in the absence of relevant stimuli. During the shaping procedure, the infant is giving control of the presentation of a stimulus to be tested such as a series of musical notes. IF she sucks on the pacifier at a faster rate then baseline (means she likes it), a switch is activated in the pacifier that causes the stimulus to be presented. If the infant can detect the musical notes and likes what she hears, she can keep the musical notes playing for longer by increasing her sucking rate & vise versa.  Preference method- another method of measuring what an infant likes & dislikes.  In this method, the infant is put in a looking chamber to simultaneously look at 2 different stimuli. The researcher can accurately measure the direction that the infant is looking to tell if more attention is being directed to one stimulus over the other. Using this procedure, researchers have found that the infants tend to prefer looking at big patterns with lots of black and white contrasts and prefer looking at faces.  Competence-performance distinction- an individual may fail a task not because they lack those cognitive abilities, but because they are unable to demonstrate those abilities. 2  Longitudinal Design- a developmental research design in which the same individuals are studied repeatedly over some subset of their lifespan. In this, researchers examine the abilities and characteristics of the same individuals repeatedly over a subset of their lifespan.  There are several disadvantages to longitudinal design 1. Firstly a study is very time consuming, as it covers a persons entire lifespan. 2. Selective attrition- loss of participants in a study such that the sample ends up being non-responsive of the population as a whole. 3. Practice effects- changes in participant’s responses due to repeated testing.  Cross-Sectional Design- a developmental research design in which individuals from different age groups are studied at the same point in time.  Advantages of Cross sectional Design: 1. Allows researchers to assess developmental change 2. Relatively less time consuming an expensive; can uncover age differences. Disadvantages of Cross Sectional Design: 1. Cannot distinguish age effects from generational effects 2. Cannot assess developmental change 3. You are not directly tracking changes with age. Since each person is only studied at a single time point, you are not really observing what happens as a person ages. Development 2  When a sperm penetrates an ovum a new cell is formed called a zygote, which contains 46 chromosomes, 23 from each parent. A chromosome is a threadlike structure that is made of DNA. Segments of DNA comprise of genes, which provide the chemical code for development.  Each parent can produce more than 8 million different genetic combinations.  Monozygotic Twins- same sperm and ovum, which formed one zygote and then split into 2 separate zygotes, genetically identical  Dizygotic twins- come from two different sperm and ova, and start off as two different zygotes from the moment of conception, share ~50% of genes  Genotype- an individual’s inherited genes. The 46 identical chromosomes in each of your cells translates into the roughly 30-40000 genes that make up your genotype.  Phenotype- the expression of an individual’s genotype in terms of observable characteristics. 3 Four Patterns of Genetic Expression  Simple dominant- recessive inheritance- a patter of inheritance in which the expression of a trait is determined by only one allele. One allele is inherited from each parent. Together this pair of alleles determines the phenotypic expression for a particular trait.  Homozygous- when two genes have the same effect on the phenotype  Heterozygous- when two genes have a different effect on the gene. Dominant gene is expressed in the phenotype, and recessive gene is still in genotype and can pass this gene on to children.  Polygenic Inheritance- when multiple genes are involved in the expression of a trait. Many traits like height and weight are determined by the interaction of multiple genes, which adds exquisite complexity.  Codominance- in this situation, two dominant alleles are both fully and equally expressed to produce a phenotype that is a compromise between the two genes. A good example is the ABO blood type proteins in humans, in which there are two dominant alleles (A or B) and one recessive allele (O). When both dominant alleles are present, instead of expressing one over the other, the offspring expresses both equally leading to a blood type of AB.  Sex-linked Inheritance- involves genes expressed on the X chromosome. Remember male =XY & females = XX. This becomes important when you consider that some recessive genes expressed on the X chromosome are responsible for disorders like colour blindness or hemophilia. Because females have two x chromosomes, the phenotypic expression for the recessive allele occurs less frequently in females. Thus, females rarely express sex linked recessive gene disorders in there phenotype, but they are often genetic carriers.  One of the most hotly debated issues has been the nature vs. nurture debate- the extent to which genetics and environmental factors contribute to how a person develops  At one extreme, some scientists believed that nurture was all-important, and that a person’s development was largely independent of genetic factors. Ex. Watson  At the other extreme, some scientists believed that who you became was largely predetermined by inherited genes & that the environment had a minimal effect.  Canalization Principle- Genotype restricts the phenotype to a small number of possible developmental outcomes.  A classic example is infant babbling. Despite the incredible range of language cultures that a child may be born into, all infants babble in the same way making similar sounds; this universal phonemic sensitivity is independent of the environment.  Range of Reaction Principle- genotype establishes a range of possible responses to different kinds of life experiences. 4  Just as the environment influences the expression of your genes, your genes can influence the type of environment that you seek out. Three different ways: 1. Passive Genotype/environment correlations: the environment that your parents choose to raise you in was influenced by their own genes, and so this environment will likely complement your genes. For example a couple that are both athletic with good hand-eye coordination and reflexes, when designing the environment to raise their child, they might focus on an active playroom with many physical toys. Early in life 2. Active genotype/ environment correlations- our genotype influence the kind of environments that you seek. For example a person with a sensation seeking temperament may actively choose environments, which satisfies these thrill-seeking urges. Develops in childhood and continues to adulthood 3. Evocative genotype/environmental correlations- the way that your inherited traits affects how others respond to you & is influential throughout your life span.  Because both types of twins normally develop in the same environment at the same time, you can assume that if monozygotic twins are more similar for a trait, than are dizygotic twins the difference is presumable due more to genetic factors. Monozygotic twins have a higher IQ, which may suggest the degree to which genes, or environment contribute to a particular trait.  Critical Period- a window of opportunity within an individuals development in which particular environmental stimulation is necessary in order to see permanent changes in specific abilities. For examples view slides.  Such studies suggest that without a normal level of environmental stimulation, the brain may not fully develop some of its functioning to its full potential.  Does more early stimulation= more brain development? Unclear answer  Experience-expectant brain growth- the brain has evolved to expect a particular level of environmental input, and with this input, our brains develop normally. Ordinary levels of visual, auditory, and social input, ensure that the brain develops properly.  Experience-dependent brain growth-which refers to the unique way in which your brain develops according to your own personal experiences. This type of brain growth is specific to each individual and reflects the more subtle changes in brain structure across individuals based on their varied experiences.  Sensitive Periods- brain maintains some residual capacity for change and growth in adulthood: the fact that our brains develop according to our own personal experiences. Captures the idea that the brain maintains at some residual capacity for change and growth into adulthood. Evolution 1 5  Adaptations- are biological traits that help an individual to survive and reproduce in its habitat. They perform specific functions that make an organism better suited to its environment.  Adaptations emerge in development as a result of the activation of relevant genes in interaction with relevant aspects of the environment. They arise through natural selection  Natural Selection- the differential survival and reproduction of organisms as a result of heritable differences between them. It was first discovered by Charles Darwin, and Alfred Russel Wallace, and is one of 4 basic mechanisms of evolution, the other being mutation, genetic drift, and migration.  Over successive generations, there will be selective transmission of heritable parental traits. This is because the specific characteristics that are best adapted for survival and reproduction are going to be reproduced at higher rates.  Stabilizing Selection- selection against any sort of departure from the species- typical adaptive design… and this sort of selection tends to keep traits stable over generations.  Darwinian Fitness- average reproductive success of a genotype relative to alternative genotypes. About reproduction  Evolution as a change in gene frequencies over generations  Most of the organisms you typically think about reproduce sexually, as opposed to asexually, and this involves the fusion of male and female gametes. In sexually reproducing organism, there is often competition for mates, and natural selection acts on mate-finding and reproductive behaviours. This is known as sexual selection.  Sexual Selection- the component of natural selection that acts on traits that influence an organism’s ability to obtain a mate.  For examples & mate selection= view last ten minutes of presentation Evolution 2  Organisms evolved to maximize their fitness and reproductive success.  Evolution acts at the level of genes and those genes that contribute to an individual’s fitness will consequently get replicated more often, increasing in frequency in successive generations. Often referred to as the selfish gene.  Table of social behaviors- view lecture??  Altruism- behaviour in which the actor incurs a cost to provide a benefit to a recipient  Not Altruism-foraging/vigilance in groups. Not altruism because actor gains from behaviour.  A group full of altruists will thrive because individuals in that group are regularly helping one another. But how will the individuals that make up this group do? An individual that behaves altruistically decreases its own direct fitness by definition, whereas an individual that behaves selfish won’t.  Eusocial Hymenoptera- includes all ants, some bees & wasps. Most individuals spend their lives serving the colony without reproducing. How is this possible? 6  The answer comes from an amazingly crucial insight by an evolutionary biologist named W.D Hamilton. In the 1960’s, Hamilton was troubled by the evolution of altruism because as he saw it, standard accounts of natural selection could never favour genes for self-sacrifice. But he realized that the solution was as simple as recognizing that genes for altruism could be successful if they helped identical copies of themselves. He introduced this concept in his theory of inclusive fitness.  Direct fitness- is an individuals genetic contribution through its personal reproduction  Indirect Fitness- is an individual’s genetic contribution through the reproduction of close genetic relatives  Direct fitness + indirect fitness= inclusive fitness  This means that you can increase your fitness by helping kin to successfully raise their offspring sometimes even when doing so has negative effects on your own direct fitness (case for honey bees and eusocial hymenoptera)  Because of inclusive fitness, natural selection can favour not only behaviours that increase an individual’s own reproductive success, but also behaviours that increase the reproductive success of close genetic kin.  Hamilton’s rule- the reproductive benefit to the recipients (B) multiplied by the probability that the recipients actually have identical copies of the same gene, or coefficient of relatedness (r ) must be greater then the reproductive cost to the actor (c) .  An altruistic behaviour will be favour when br >c, where c is the reproductive cost to the actor “b” is the reproductive benefit to the recipient and “r” is the degree of relatedness between the 2 individuals.  Relatedness- probability that actor and recipient share gene in question. Depends on how genes were inherited.  For example in humans we get 1 gene from each parent, however these copies are not always identical. The one you inherit from mom may be the same or different then the one you inherit from your dad.  You have a 50/50 chance of inheriting an identical gene from your parents  Relatedness- full siblings =.50. Half siblings= .25. Aunt/uncle=.25. First cousins =125.  Phenotype matching- an evaluation of relatedness between individuals based on an assessment of phenotypic similarity. Baboons, rhesus monkeys, golden hamsters, and Belding’s ground squirrels use this concept.  Direct Reciprocity- refers to situations in which individuals help each other and both benefit. In some circumstances, individuals who reciprocate acts of generosity can have a selective advantage over others who do not.  Indirect Reciprocity- occurs when individuals help those who have helped others. By helping another, you establish a good reputation for yourself and overall will g
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