CHAPTER 7.docx

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Dwayne Pare

CHAPTER 7: NEUROSCIENCE AND PERSONALITY  Meditation makes you healthier and happier  Study with 8 week meditation and control group on waitlist for 8 weeks o Practiced being in the moment instead of planning, worrying, thinking or fantasizing about the future o Tuned into breathing and regulated their attention to think about nothing  Group with meditation showed less anxiety and showed diff in how brain responded to emotional stimuli o Greater brain activation on left prefrontal cortex of brain at rest and in response to +ve/-ve events o Better immune functioning than control  Regular meditation changes how our brains work and activiation is related to emotions we feel and how we respond to stressful events o More open to experiencing +ve emotions and less reactive to –ve emotions with overall effect of decreasing anxiety and improving immune functioning without drugs  Does our physiology determine our personality or vice versa?  We may be born with a certain physiology that may cause us to develop certain traits, but env can modify aspects of our personality o Physiology = package of potentialities for personality traits that may be developed, discouraged or modifies by our experiences  Our behavior also affects physiology – don’t know how much WHAT IS NEUROSCIENCE AND HOW DO WE STUDY IT?  Brain and nervous system  Nervous system: central nervous system- brain and spinal cord and peripheral nervous system – somatic nervous system (controls movements of muscles) and autonomic nervous system (regulates smooth muscle, inner organs, cardiac muscle and glands) o Autonomic divided into:  Sympathetic – mobilizes energy for flight or fight  Parasympathetic – supports systems that replenish body’s energy stores (salivation, digestion)  Brain protected by cerebrospinal fluid and flows thorugh spaces in brain, centricles like blood plasma, continually produces, circulated and reabsorbed through brain and ventricles  We shouldn’t expect to see large differences in ppl b/c brain has structures and systems that control thinking, reasoning, learning, memory, breathing, sleeping, eating , movement, processing sensory info and emotions o Can vary depending on how they respond to stress (heart palpitations,, sweating) to what they think is sad or happy to how they respond to hormones, drugs  Differences in bodily responses, brain structure, brain activity and biochemical activity are all related to individual differences in personality Bodily Responses:  Autonomic N.S responds to arousing events in env.  When aroused, sympathetic responds by increasing heart rate, sweating, muscle activity, blood pressure, respiration and blood flow to extremities o Body curtails regular maintanence functiosn to mobilize an immediate response  Sweating measured by galvanic skin response (GSR) – measure of skin conductance or how quickly a slight electrical current passes though 2 pts on skin o Faster the conductance, more moisture present, greater arousal  Muscle activity measured by electromyography (EMG) or myoelectric activity – estimates electrical impluses of muscles during contraction and relaxation o Used in biofeedback to train ppl to perceive muscle contractions so they can learn to relax their muscles TABLE 7.1 Bodily Responses Brain Structure Brain Activity Biochemical Activity Cardiovascular Dissection Cortical stimulation neurotransmitters Heart rate cytology EEG dopamine Blood pressure CT scan Evoked potential serotonin Blood flow MRI PET scan GABA Respiratory function fMRI enzymes Galvanic skin response Transcranial magnetic MAO stimulation electromyography Hormones, epinephrine, norepinephrine, cortisol, drug responses Brain Structure  Looked at sizes and weights of specific parts of the brain btw ppl and kinds and number of cells in various parts of nervous system  Past – studied diff via dissecting brain after death  Autopsy – brain can be removed and sections of tissues preserved for cytological (cell) study  Present- possible to study structure of living human brain via noninvasive procedures o Computerized tomography (CT scan) – high resolution c racy of brain  by looking at thin cross sections of brain
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