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University of Toronto Scarborough
David Haley

1 DEVELOPMENTAL PSYCHOBIOLOGY MID TERM LECTURE 1: Background: Appreciating the type of questions addressed in the field & Michel Reading BASIC QUESTIONS Risk factors for bad intelligence: minority status, occupation , mother education, fam size, life events, parenting, anxiety huge variation of illness not explained by SES even more so in countries with less economic disparity How biology inherently affects our psychological needs – bidirectional – how they develop over time – evolution – influence our present sit. How to study the dynamic relationships between bio and psyc? -hardwired behaviors (instincts) that can be conditioned (eg fight flight, coping) -identify critical experiences that shape individ differences in that behavior -identify mechanisms that underlie those invid differences in behavior similar q’s: -how does stress affect body? How is it adaptive /maladaptive chronic = bad for physical and mental moderate brief periods of stress=adaptive and enhance your learning and social competence -what types of thoughts and behaviors help you cope with daily stress? Mental Activity: Basic learning mech. That organize how we learn everything How do we form new memories? Time Emotional context Sex difference How does stress affect memory? ASSUMPTIONS IN DEVELOP PSYCHBIO -behavior and mind evolved to solve problems -continuity in mental, behavior, and physiological processes among species -prior adaptation and individ variation both contribute to mental , behave and physio devel STRESS & PARENTING HOW DO WE REGULATE STRESS? No organ for attachment or bonding Research in past -introduce chaos pull babies apart – separation anxiety John Bowlby – Father of attachment theory 2 Intimate relationships are where person’s life revolves – through out maturity until old age Throughout lifespan Niko Tinbergen - Imprinting (Animal behavior) -New born gravitates to caregiver -Born with preference for parent (parent must be around in Critical period) -Irreversible innate releasing mechanism bond occurs when it registers the caregiver in critical period = underline is 2 import features that distinguished from any other kind of learning -that only happens if they experience this environment *New concept: -critical replaced with sensitive period (it’s possible for imprinting to occur during other time periods provided that stimuli is approp/expos long enough) Harry Harlow (monkeys) Why do kids form attachments to their mom? Parent not respond – kid upset takes time to recover What happens and what stress sys. Do when Disrupt emotional reaction to other? -hypothalamic pituitary adrenal axis -parasympathetic & sympathetic nervous systems GEORGE MICHEL READINGS History: -460-370 BCdevelop psych began w. pre-formationism (everything formed from beginning- children were considered a mini version of an adult; sperm is a version of a human; original sin) -19 centpredeterminism: devel is orderly progression through distinct stages, goal to be perfect, end is pre determined, “savages” seen as noble & pure -environmentalism: denial of the existence of development; diff btw species is # and content of conditioned responses -2nd half 19  epigenetic: plant or animal from an egg or spore through a sequence of steps in which cells differentiate and organs formhow the unstructured egg accounts for continuity= elan vital (mysterious force that directs transformation of the embryo into an adult) -development emerges from earlier conditions, not directed toward later conditions, greater complex, irreversible -research is on what develops rather than what prompts the development (Bryant) & is coactional (results from the relationship of at least 2 or more components within the system) -can exist simultaneously at diff levels -heckles law ontogeny individuals development recapitulates phylogeny your individ development will go through same stages as other species Baldwin- linked habit formation w. natural selectionanimals have adaptive capacities that allow them to solve enviro problems by trial and error; habits are solutions to problems that they encounter in their environment 3 Baldwin effect: if the same problems recur generation after gen, and if their solution is important to their survival, then natural selection will favor those animals that solve the problems more quickly Darwin: branches of comparative (comparing animals behave) and develop psych derive -all those characteristics considered specific to humans (ie intelligence, emotional feeling) can be found in simpler form of most animals -view of pangenesis (heredity involves invis particles [gemmules] were passed onto offspring) -emerged from Darwin were anecodtalists (collect stories about animals from animal enthusiast ie pet owners to study human mind & animal mind) -resulted in anthropomorphism (attrib to human characteristics to other animals) -2 interpretation of honey bee dance as symbolic communication or not a language: use Morgan’s Canon since two or more possible explanations for behavior, one should always choose the theory that supposes simple mental processesnot a language Dynamic Systems theory- complexity derives from the pattern of relations among the components of a system; it increases according to the # of other components that one component (focal) can affect, including those that affect the focal component…also reciprocal relation between you & enviro Interdisciplinary- transactions btw 2 or more disciplines that lead to changes in the concepts and rule systems of at least 1 of the disciplines ex. Is imprinting redefined as attachment (object relations & dependency) LECTURE 2: ADAPTATION & HONEY CUTT READING HISTORY OF DEVELOPMENTAL SYSTEMS INDIVIDUAL DEVELOPMENT- EVIDENCE OF HOW PSYCHOBIO ADAPTS TO LESS OPTIMOL CONDITIONS example of individual development occurring and what variation there can be: Gorillas -western lowland gorillas ..wild gorillas -gorillas all in line grooming each other : last baby is grooming a human, then mom comes over to groom the human -Charlesparents killed, rescued at a young age and was brought into a zoo…he was capable of producing but not very social or playful…they decided to provide enrichment training (got him to paint; hes very artistic, it is helping him to manage his mood) -Samanthabrought into zoo at a bit older, she was admired for her intelligence and strong will, more friendly **what are some of the mechanisms that make them so different? -experience; diff age, 4 Plasticity: Reversal Effects…the diff experience and diff behaviors suggests plasticity, & this issue of reversibility *Recovery is not complete -length of exposure--- evidence of plasticity and reverse but depends on timing Romanian adopted children (O’connor) -adopted 24 months, showed greater IQ -adopted 24-28 showed lower IQ\ kids adopted early show recovery, kids adopt later don’t show recovery children show partial recovery to extreme hardship, which shows the notion of plasticity and raises qs about what is reversible and what types of experiences can improve early hardship There is some kind of sensitive period Maternal behave in rats (Meady) -adult offspring who received low licking/grooming compared to adult offspring who received high lickin/grooming…orig thought it was the paintbrush not the licking low: *heightened stress reactivity *increased HPA activation to restraint stress *decreased sensitivity to the inhibitory effects of GC on HPA activation shows that even when licking, the degree of licking still matters most Early Rearing Alters Epigenome: low licking= stress stay elevated lot of lick= less methalation of DNA stress receptor …more adaptive you perceive stress, chemical release in hypothalamus and then secretes CPF into pituitary gland which secretes ACTH into adrenal glands (right next to kidneys …the warehouse of stress horomones) then cortisol is released , affects activities in every cell to target stress receptors into brain and can act on hippocampus that has a lot of stress receptors (plays important in memory … so connection in stress and memory) Enrichment -the epigenetic effects caused by natural variation in parenting are reversible through stimulating environments -but that its much more challenging to reverse the abused -more licking signals to babies as more attachment, sensitivity (attachment) -if you have low maternal care then you have less front A symmetry (measurement of approach behavior & positive emotion) , then when they have child they have more fearful infant response LICKLITER & HONEY CUTT -views in history of science: Predeermined view: Genes containing all the info that will determine our activity 5 Or Probabilistic view: Less predictable whats going on, genes arent sole predictors of our development -already explains history in Michel reading of preform, etc Mendel -phenotype & genotype; heredity came packaged in units/factors assoc w. phen…later said factors are genes -20 century = gene based version of potential preformationism but there are no strict versions of preformationism led to more epigenetic view of Modern Sysnthetis of evolutionary bio (integrate Darwin w mendel): predetermined epigenetisis: unfolding phenotype is epig (in form of instructions before its realized) but development is performationist b/c zygote contains inherited genetic program that determines pheno -population genetics=modification of genes were source of evolutionary change this view added w. Modern define evolution as “change in gene frequencies in populations” NEW DEFINITION: we can’t predict how embryo will develop b/c all development depends on interaction between genes, cells, environment LECTURE 3: RELATIONSHIPS Before we get into critical assumptions of developmental systems theory: Scientific method -Need to know what is known, respect what is already established and known -Ask questions on what is known – come up with something new that adds to the relative topic, or completely say that what is known may not be all that correct -review what is novel, Assumptions in developmental psychobiology Genes 1. Predetermined vs epigenetic Everything we become is known in advanced counter evidence: embryonic activity (How one of the interconnecting bone) develop is completely contingent on experienc
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