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University of Toronto Scarborough
Elizabeth Page- Gould

Psychophysiology Overview (Lecture 1 & Associated Readings) – Total Chaps (1,2,4,5,12 so i.e. pages 1-35, 47-67, 178-203) •Definition of Psychophysiology: From the LEC: psychophysiology studies embodiment of the mind; looks at relationships between mental processes and bodily responses. John Stern defines it as any research in which dependent var (subject’s response) is physiological and the independent var is a behavioral one. In more modern definitions however, the independent var is sometimes the physiological one and the dependent is behavioral •Embodiment: Assumes human mind is at least an emergent property of the human body and possibly a system of the human body •Assumptions of embodiment: Assumes human mind is at least an emergent property of the human body and possibly a system of the human body •Monism: The mind and body are not distinct from each other; rather the mind is a bodily system like any other •Dualism: The mind and body are separate things • Substance dualism: Mind and body are composed of different substances (Descartes) • Property dualism: Different systems interacting with one another create the mind; the mind is thus an emergent property of bodily processes •Identity thesis: All mental states are embodied corporeally • Implications of identity thesis: understanding bodily responses can inform understanding of mental states (& vice versa), argues against reductionism, determinism, and pure psychologism •The Nervous system: The communication system of the body •Peripheral Nervous System: It is the nervous system outside the CNS, the somatic, sensory system  reflect stress, sensation, sex • Function: To maintain homeostasis • Components: Composed of neurons outside bone enclosures of spinal column and skull, FROM LEC: it is made of nerves, organs, glands, tissues, and fluids • Motor Systems: Can be divided into Somatic Nervous system and the ANS •Somatic Nervous System: composed of efferent neurons that project out of the CNS and innervate skeletal musculature. Dendrites of motor neurons are found in central horn of spinal cord. •Muscles: Each motor neuron with the group of muscles innervated by it is called a motor unit. Route from CNS to motor unit is called the final common path in SNS •Striate muscles: Motor Neurons from spinal nerves extend w/o synapse to skeletal (striate) muscles at approximately the level of vertebral segment from which neuronal process came. On the cellular level, these muscles are composed of myofibrils, each myofibril is made up of tiny filaments. There are two kinds of these, actin and myosin which overlap slightly but aren’t bound to each other. When contraction initiated, bonds are made between the two and fibers are quickly pulled together causing greater overlap which is then broken like a ratcheting. When they slide, it causes muscle contraction • Smooth muscles: Found in layers around hollow organs of gastrointestinal tract, around uterus & bladder, and surrounding arteries. Also controls dilation/constriction of pupils & body hair. Two types of smooth muscle: multi unit and unitary. Multi unit is similar to striate because each cell is separated from other cells. Unitary on the other hand, sends action otentials to other smooth muscle cells via gap junctions that permit spread of electrical current between cells (w/o neurotransmitters) • Autonomic Nervous System (ANS): Has efferent fibers like SNS except in this system, they synapse once outside the CNS before reaching target organ/gland. The middleman here is called the ganglion (ganglia to be plural). •Function of ANS: ANS is both motor and sensory system for control of, and feedback from, internal organs/glands  According to LEC: regulates activity of visceral organs •Branches of ANS: Two branches, Sympathetic and Parasympathetic nervous systems • Sympathetic Nervous System: Mobilizes body in response to stress, typically associated w/ task engagement and approach motivation. • Parasympathetic Nervous System: Ganglia for this system typically lie in the wall of the target organ. This system composed of preganglionic neurons whose cell bodies lie in brain stem and sacral segments of spinal cord; they synapse into postganglionic neurons in or near target organ • Enteric Nervous System: Regulates much of the function of the gastrointestinal system • Relationship between branches of ANS: Used to be believed that increasing activity in one branch decreased activity in another (reciprocal mode of ANS control), sometimes though, an increase in one does nothing for the other (uncoupled mode of ANS control), and activity in both branches can simultaneously increase/decrease (coactivational mode of ANS control) •Neuroendocrine System: Also mobilizes the body in response to stress but less reliable than ANS •Communication in the peripheries: Done through nerves & neurotransmitters •Nerves: Neurons usually found in bundles that represent their origin & destination. In the PNS, these bundles are called nerves. Nerve cells are elongated and excitable (stimulus from one end of the cell can affect the whole cell through electrical disturbance) •Efferent and afferent nerves: afferent neurons conduct impulses TOWARD a particular structure. Efferent neurons conduct impulses away from a particular structure (structure usually CNS) •Intracellular communication: Done through action potentials which go from axon hillock to synapses •Conduction: Inside of neurons, electric potential is -90mV •Resting potential and action potential: Resting potential is the inside of the cell at -90mV relative to outside. This difference of inside negative and outside positive is termed Polarization. Resting Potential is due to cell’s ability to take in potassium and inability to take sodium. A sodium- potassium pump inside cell helps to maintain equilibrium, it uses energy to transport 3 Na cells out and bring in 2 K cells. IPSPs and EPSPs are inhibitory and excitatory synaptic potentials that serve to either make the cell further or closer to threshold  they are graded potentials •All-or-none law: When inside of the cell becomes more positive relative to outside, membrane becomes permeable to sodium, creating local currents. A strong current (depolarization) that brings the cell to around 20-40mV creates a threshold, which results in an explosive change across the membrane which exhausts the cell’s energy at once before sodium inactivation gates close. (makes membrane impermeable to sodium and also pumps sodium out of the cell using the K-Na Pump) •Intercellular communication: Cells communicated through axons, which build to a threshold at the axon hillock in order to transmit an action potential. This action potential then travels down the axon before reaching a synapse where neurotransmitters are released through synaptic gap •Neurotransmitters: Chemicals released by one neuron to excite or inhibit another neuron •Neurotransmitters of the Peripheral Nervous System: Acetylcholine, norepinephrine, and epinephrine •Non-invasive measurement: Measuring from the skin’s surface, we can detect bioelectrical activity below the measurement (e.g. impedance band). •Bioelectric potentials: difference of electricity from inside and outside of a cell, it is these things that get measured through non-invasive measurements Methods of Psychophysiology (Lecture 2 and Chapters 4 and 5) •Physiological responses: ------ •Tonic activity: background or resting level of activity during physiological measure. Subject is not making a spontaneous response here and not making a discrete response to some stimuli. Tonic level is level of activity of some ANS or CNS measure at a particular point in time prior to stimulation. Tonic level measured immediately before stimulus is called the baseline, 5 min usually enough for cardiovascular recording •Phasic activity: evoked response right after stimulus, can be an increase or decrease in frequency, two difficulties with this are that 1) you must determine the extent of stimulus influence and separate it from spontaneous and other phasic activity, and 2) introduce a correction factor for magnitude of phasic activity as a function of preceding tonic activity (law of initial values) •Spontaneous activity: Increase/decrease in physiological response (heart rate) because of something unknown (e.g. an anxious thought in CNS)  activity w/o stimulus •Basic Psychophysiological Constructs: ------ •Arousal: Suggests heightened responding to a stimulus. Three diff kinds: cortical, autonomic, and behavioral  these can’t be used as substitutes for each other because they all measure different things •Stimulus-response specificity: Principle states that specific stimulus contexts bring about certain responses (e.g. noticing wallet is missing will make you act a certain way) or another e.g. soldiers who hear a strange sound will experience the same patterns of arousal and will act similarly •Habituation: reduction of responding that occurs with the repeated presentation of the same stimulus can be short term or long term. The more frequent the stimulus, the faster the habituation. Sokolov’s theory for habituation was the comparator model (where subject has a template in his head that evolves with repetition) and the Govers & Thompson dual theory of habituation (where sensitization and habituation occur simultaneously) •Baseline: Tonic activity; activity of participant while at rest w/ no stimulus •Law of initial values: The greater the pre stimulus levels the smaller the response to stimulation. A change at higher levels of stimulation means less than changes from an earlier point. To figure out if a dataset is in accordance with LIV, two methods are available: 1) Lacey’s Autonomic Lability Score, and 2) an analysis of covariance  from LEC: grater phasic change amongst lower tonic levels •Individual response stereotypy: Refers to idiosyncratic responding to given stimulus, thes
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