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Exam 1 Study Guide.pdf

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Boston College
PSYC 1110
Gene Heyman

  1   Psychology  as  a  Natural  Science  Exam  1  Study  Guide     Multiple  Choice  and  Essay     LECTURE  1  (Intro)   • Topics  are  susceptible  to  scientific  analysis     o Experiments  in  vivo  and  in  vitro   o Surveys,  observation   • Natural  vs.  Social  -­‐  depends  on  degree  of  reliance  on  experiments  vs.  questionnaires,  and   role  of  brain   • Psychology  as  a  Natural  Science:  interest  in  individual  psychological  processes  and   behavior,  interest  in  integrating  brain  functioning  and  structure  with  psychological   observations,  reliance  on  experiments  as  a  way  of  finding  out  about  psychological  functions,   brain,  and  how  they  relate  to  one  another     • Is  there  a  causal  relationship  between  meditation  and  antibody  production?  –  There  could  be   a  correlate  like  social  interaction   o Yes  meditation  can  make  you  healthier     • How  can  what  we  think  influence  our  immune  system?     o Mind  over  matter   o Brain  &  immune  system  are  “wired”  together  so  that  they  can  influence  each  other  – there  are  circuits     o Consciousness  has  a  physical  basis   o Changes  in  consciousness  alters  immune  system     o Experience  alters  consciousness   § Therefore  experience  alters  immune  system   § Experience  changes  your  brain     • Does  experience  alter  the  brain?  Yes  -­‐  Davidson  Experiment   o When  consciousness  changes,  the  brain  changes   • Memory  is  dynamic  not  passive  (reflects  your  input)           LECTURE  2  (History,  Darwin,  and  a  Genetic  puzzle)     • Why  did  scientific  psychology  emerge  (19  century)  so  long  after  other  experimental   sciences  (17  century)?     o Lack  of  interest,  belief,  technology?     o Philosophical  barriers:  Dualism     § Mind  and  body  split  –  mind  can’t  be  measured   § Actions  based  on  history  or  on  free  will     § Those  that  are  willed  cannot  be  experimentally  analyzed     • What  led  to  the  change?   o Advances  in  physiological  studies  (Helmholtz  and  Pavlov)     o Darwin’s  theory  of  natural  selection  (evolution  from  common  ancestor)   § Provides  general  context  for  claim  that  psychological  phenomena  have  a   natural  basis     § Humans  belong  in  natural  world     2   § Human  capacities  have  natural  explanation   • Summary:  Psychology  as  a  natural  science  started  in  late  19  c  as  extension  of   physiological  research,  Darwinian  Theory  of  natural  selection,  and  old  curiosity   regarding  human  nature     • Darwin  (1809-­‐1882),  Voyage  of  the  Beagle  (1832-­‐ 1836),  Origin  of  the  Species  (1859)   • How  does  the  immense  variety  of  highly  adapted  life   come  about?     o Differences  reflect  environmental  conditions     o Limited  resources  à  competition  for  survival     o Constraints:  natural  process  has  to  produce   new   species  and  adaptation  (Not  by  plan)   • Implications   o Psychological  phenomena  have  biological   basis   o Psychological  phenomena  are  influenced  by  inheritance     o “blind”  mechanical  natural  process  can  produce  highly  adaptive,  intelligent  creatures     • How  can  we  account  for  human  uniqueness?   LECTURE  3  (Genetic  Influences  on  Psychological  Phenomena)   • The  brain  is  dynamic     o Confusion  between  thoughts  and  what  actually  happened   o Class  memory  study:  sleep  wasn’t  said   • Heritability:  the  degree  to  which  differences  for  a  given  trait  (i.e.  height)  depend  on  genetic   differences  relative  to  experiential  differences  (i.e.  environmental)     o %  of  variation  in  trait  that  is  due  to  genetic  variation  relative  to  experiential  variation     o Not  fixed  –can  change  due  to  environmental  variation  (i.e.  growth  hormones)     o If  environment  is  homogenous,  trait  is  due  to  genetics     o Refers  to  populations  not  individuals     o Equal  environment  =  increase  heritability   o Not  0%  or  100%  because  traits  differ     § Eye  color  close  to  100%   § Height  in  makes:  80%   § Psychiatric  disorders:  45%-­‐75%   • How  are  attitudes  inherited?   o Many  inherit  certain  traits  that  predispose  to  attitude     o Twins  example  [live  apart,  same  political  values]   • From  DNA  to  Traits   o You  don’t  inherit  “traits,  “  just  instructions  that  lead  to  traits  (DNA)   o All  our  cells  have  same  DNA,  how  they  differ  is  due  to  gene  expression—the  process   by  which  DNA  is  made  into  a  functional  biological  unit  such  as  a  protein     § Influenced  by  maturational  (eye  color)  and  experiential  factors  (height,   attitudes,  psychiatric  status)   o Basic  units  of  life:  proteins  and  cells   • Instincts   o Stereotypical  behavioral  patterns,  elicited  by  specific  stimuli,  and  perhaps     3   accompanied  by  specific  emotions  –  high  heritability  –  imprinting  ex.             LECTURE  4  (Genetic  Influences  on  Psychological  phenomena)   • Why  do  we  think  cute  things  are  cute?  -­‐    Certain  facial  expressions  have  significant  innate   component  **Blind  baby  smiling   o Specific  pattern  of  behavior   o Triggered  by  specific  situation     o People  manage  facial/emotional  reactions     • Two  sets  of  controlling  neural  centers  and  nerve  fibers  to  same  facial  muscles   o Involuntary  pathway:  neural  control  centers  in  phylogenetically  ancient  lower  brain   areas   o Voluntary  pathway:  neural  control  centers  in  more  recent  higher  (cortical)  brain   areas     o We  may  be  able  to  detect  hidden  but  true  emotions     • Inherit  DNA  not  traits   • Gene  expression  turns  DNA  into  functional  biological  units  and  can  be  influenced  by   experience/environment     • Imprinting  is  not  independent  of  experience     • Temperament:  a  distinctive  set  of  feelings/behaviors  that  originate  in  biology  and  appear   early  in  development  (irritability,  activity  level,  sweet  disposition,  reaction  to  the  unfamiliar)   –  identifies  aspects  of  personality  that  are  stable  and  depend  on  biology   • Four  temperaments  identified  by  Greeks:  Sanguine,  Choleric,  Lachrymose,  Phlegmatic   • Kagan’s  research:  show  infants  something  new  and  measure  how  he/she  responds   o Higher  heart  rate  under  tested  conditions  but  not  at  home   o Novel  stimuli  produced  larger  increases  in  pupil  size     o Novel  stimuli  yielded  larger  increase  in  stress  related  biochemical  s   o Correlation  between  shyness  at  21  months  and  at  the  end  of  7.5  years  was  pretty  high   o Those  who  were  quiet  were  more  outgoing  later     • Fox  Study:  possible  explanations  for  correlation  between  “upbeat”  moms  and  decrease  in   shyness     o Mom’s  care  alters  physiology,  or  child  has  become  less  anxious,     o Physical  basis  for  psychological  phenomenon?       LECTURE  5  (Genetic  Influences  on  Temperament  and  Attitude)     • Need  physical  pathway  from  experience  to  better  ability  to  cope  with  stressors     • Rat  pups  with  “attentive”  mothers  cope  with  stressors  better  than  rat  pups  with  inattentive   moms  (analogous  to  shy  kids)  –attentive  moms  influence  stress  network  –  maternal  care   alters  “fight/flight”  reflex  system  by  gene  expression     • Stress   o HPA  axis  triggers  flight/fight  response:  release  of  energy,  increased  heart  rate,   increased  blood  pressure,  pupil  dilation,  dilation  of  blood  vessels  for  muscles,   constriction  of  blood  vessels  everywhere,       4   • Study:  Neurodevelopmental  Sequelae  of  Postnatal  Maternal  Care  in  Rodents:  Clinical  and   research  implications  of  molecular  insights     o Increase  in  hormone  receptors  =  more  effective  adaptions  to  stressors     • Relative  to  instincts,  temperament  is  more  malleable     • DNA  and  attitudes   o Differences  in  DNA  à  Diff.  in  response  to  threat  à  Diff.  in  political  attitudes     o Could  heredity  explain  increasingly  polarized  political  debate?   o Oxley  Study:  Galvanic  Skin  response    [sweat  glands]     o Diffs  in  DNA  à  diffs  in  Response  to  Stressors  à  Diffs  in  Political  Attitudes     o Attitudes  have  correlates  à  Correlates  have  genetic  Basis  à  link  between  DNA   (inheritance)  and  attitudes   § Can  produce  greater  polarization  as  a  function  of  mechanisms  that  increase   likelihood  that  “like-­‐minded”  marry  one  another  (assertive  marriage  patterns)   § If  people  are  more  likely  to  marry  people  with  similar  attitudes  as  them  and   those  attitudes  are  heritable  then  the  genetic  based  differences  will  increase   o Biology  reflects  behavior,  experience,  and  psychological  states  –  in  turn   behavior,  experience,  and  psychological  states  reflect  biology     o Correlation:  degree  to  which  one  variable  predicts  a  second  variable,  measure  of   association,  association  may  or  may  not  be  causal       LECTURE  6  (Intro  to  the  Brain  and  Neurons)     • Statistics:  techniques  for  analyzing  data,  interpreting  data,  displaying  data,  and  making   decisions  based  on  data   o Descriptive:  quantitative  techniques  that  provide  a  mathematical  picture  of  a   collection  of  observations   o Inferential:  quantitative  techniques  for  testing  hypotheses  about  the  data     • The  Brain   o Regulates  fundamental  physiological  functions     o Translates  outside/inside  world  into  a  neural  code   o Creates  experience   o Changes  in  response  to  selection  pressures,  maturational  factors,  experience   o Although  physical/biological  entity,  it  is  as  malleable  as  is  behavior  itself     o Not  fixed  functionally  or  structurally  (orientation  of  cube  changes)   o Malleable  –  primate  brains  highly  susceptible  to  selection  pressures,  experience   alters  brain,  maturation  changes  brain,  brain  maintains  scores  of  functions   simultaneously   • Nervous  system  –  receives  and  transmits  info,  carries  out  actions,  makes  decisions,  helps   establish  psychological  states,  regulates  heart  rate  and  blood     o Sends  signals  to  the  brain  that  reflect  external  and  internal  events  (afferent  signals)     o Transmits  signals  from  the  brain  that   § Influence  internal  functions  (heart  rate,  blood  flow)   § Influence  movement  in  the  environment  (involuntary  and  voluntary  efferent   signals)     § Influence  cognition   § Influence  mood       5   o Changes  in  brain  can  yield  changes  in  consciousness  (drugs)   • Central  Nervous  System  –  brain  and  spinal  Cord   • Peripheral  Nervous  System  –  somatic  (hunger,  digestion,  temperature  regulation)  /   autonomic  (Sympathetic,  parasympathetic)     o Central  and  Peripheral  are  separate  but  interdependent     §      Peripheral  sends  info  to  Central  which  organizes  and  evaluates  it  and  then   sends  instructions  back  to  peripheral     • Brain  creates  experience  of  sound  –  translates  physical  stimulus  by  changing  air  pressure   –  physical  into  experiential  events     • Neurons  –  fundamental  unit  of  the  brain     o Electrically  excitable  cell  that  can  interact  with  other  cells  by  electrical  and  chemical   signals   o 3  types:   § Sensory:  detects  information  from  physical  world  and  sends  to  brain   (afferent),  transducer,  picks  form  of  physical  energy  and  translate  to  action   potential     § Motor:  produces  movement,  directs  muscles  to  contract  and  relax  (efferent)   (fibers  slide  past  eachother),  almost  makes  contact  with  muscle  fibers,     § Inter:  local/short-­‐distance  circuits  within  single  area  rather  than  transmitting   information,  most  common  form,  create  link  to  communicate  between  other   neurons     o Sensory  +  Motor  =  controls  movement   o Reflexes  =  automatic  motor  responses     o Structure:   § Dendrites:  short,  branchlike  appendages  that  increase  neuron’s  receptive  field   and  detect  chemical  signals  from  neighboring  neurons     § Cell  Body:  soma,  where  information  received  is   collected  and  integrated   § Axon:  long,  narrow  outgrowth  by  which   information  is  transmitted  to  other  neurons   § Terminal  buttons:  small  nodules  at  the  end  of  the   axons  that  release  chemical  signals  from  the   neuron  to  synapse   § Synapse:  where  chemical  communication  occurs   between  neurons   § Presynaptic  sends  signals  /  Postsynaptic  receives   signals   § Myelin  sheath:  fatty  material  that  insulates  axons  and  allows  for  rapid   movement  of  electrical  impulses  along  axon   § Nodes  of  Ranvier:  small  gaps  of  exposed  axon  where  action  potentials  are   transmitted  –  ions  pass  in  and  out   o Action  potential:  neural  impulse  that  passes  along  the  axons  and  subsequently   causes  release  of  chemicals  from  terminal  buttons     o What  are  factors  that  contribute  to  the  firing  of  an  action  potential?     1. Changes  in  electrical  potential       6   a. Excitatory  signals:  depolarize  cell  membrane  and  increase   likelihood  neurons  will  fire   b. Inhibitory  signals:  hyperpolarize  membrane  and  decrease  the   likelihood  that  neurons  will  fire   c. If  total  excitatory  surpasses  neuron’s  threshold  à  action  potential     i. Neurons  fire   ii. Sodium  gates  open  so  more  positively  charged   iii. Potassium  Channel   2. Action  Potentials  Spread  along  axon   a. Propagation:  when  neurons  fire  and  cell  membranes  depolarization   moves  along  axon  like  a  wave     b. Neural  insulation  helps  messages  move  quickly  along  axons     3. All-­‐or-­‐nothing  principle   a. A  neuron  fires  or  it  doesn’t     b. Cannot  partially  faire   c. Fires  with  same  potency  every  time   d. Not  described  as  weak  or  strong  but  how  often   • Neurotransmitters  bind  to  specific  receptors  across  synapse   o Neurotransmitters:  chemical  substance  that  carry  signals  from  one  neuron  to   another     o Receptors:  specialized  protein  molecules  located  on  the  postsynaptic  membrane;   neurotransmitters  bind  to  these  molecules  after  passing  synaptic  cleft     1. Reuptake:  when  a  neurotransmitter  is  taken  back  into  presynaptic  terminal  buttons,   thereby  stopping  its  activity   2. Enzyme  Deactivation:  when  enzyme  destroys  neurotransmitter  in  synaptic  cleft   3. Autoreception:  autoreceptors  monitor  how  much  neurotransmitters  have  been   released  into  synaptic  cleft     • Drugs  and  Toxins       o Alter  how  neurotransmitters  are  synthesized   o Raise/lower  amounts  of  neurotransmitters  released  from  terminal  buttons   o By  blocking  reuptake  they  change  how  neurotransmitters  are  deactivated  and   affect  the  concentration  of  neurotransmitters     LECTURE  7  (How  Neurons  Communicate)     • How  neurons  communicate     o Electrical  impulses  –  charged  ions   o Chemical  communication   between  neurons     o Ion  Channels  and  ion   transporters  regulate  the  number   of   ions  inside  and  outside  the  axon     o Channels  are  voltage  dependent     o Ions  seek  an  even  distribution  of   plus/minus  charges   inside/outside  of  neuron   o How?  –  literally  pumps  out  Sodium,  membrane  is  semi-­‐coarse  and  positive/     7   negative  ions  leak  through  gates/channels     • Key  idea:  voltage,  equilibrium,  charged  molecules  (ions)     • What  happens  when  propagating  action  potential  reaches  the  end  of  the  axon?   1. Axon  branch  terminals  store  neurotransmitters   2. Action  potential  triggers  the  release  of  the  neurotransmitters  into  the  synapse     3. Neurotransmitters  form  temporary  bond  with  post-­‐synaptic  receptors     • Synapses:  temporary  neurotransmitter/receptor  bond  changes  functionality  of  post-­‐ synaptic  neuron     • release  of   neurotransmitters  initiates   sequence  of  events  that  either   promote  or  retard  action   potentials  in  the  post-­‐ synaptic  neuron                                           • Brain/mind/neurons   o All  thought  action,  and  mood  is  mediated  by  brain   o Brain  =  collection  of  interconnected  neurons   o Neurons  have  simple  language:  on/off,  yet  psychological  phenomena  are  complex     o Must  be  possible  to  represent  experience,  make  plans,  carry  out  actions,  have   feelings,  etc   o We  can  represent  all  of  our  ideas  and  experiences  in  a  two  letter  binary  code     o Can  we  read  brain’s  binary  code?     o Experiences  that  yield  persistent  changes  in  behavior  must  produce  changes  in   brain  structure/function  as  well       8             LECTURE  8  (How  drugs  work  &  what  we  should  expect  on  the  basis  of  neural  comm.)   • Calculating  Speed  of  Nerve     o Do  nerve  impulses  travel  at  a  finite  speed  and  if  so,  what  is  it?   o Distance  –  total  height     • Principles  of  drug  action   o Almost  all  drugs  work  at  a  specific  receptor  which  gives  it  access  to  the  neuron’s   machinery  and  thus  the  individual’s  psychology     o Receptor  populations  are  broadly  distributed  about  the  central  and  peripheral   nervous  system  but  not  evenly  distributed     o Tolerance   § Drug  dose  elicits  biological  imbalance   § Body  “fights”  back     • Metabolic  compensatory  response   • Receptor  compensatory  response   o Theory:  imagine  that  drug  use  occurs  in  predictable  settings     o Drugs  affect  neural  behavior,  but  just  act  on  a  subset  of  neurons     o Fixed  drug  injection  is  interacting  with  different  neural  systems  as  function  of   difference  in  experience  and  genetics   o At  level  of  neuron,  thoughts,  feelings,  and  drug  effects  are  indistinguishable  and  can   interact   • How  drugs  work:  Mechanisms   o Drugs  that  influence  synthesis  and  storage  of  neurotransmitters   § L-­‐Dopa:  synthesis  of  dopamine  to  treat  Parkinson’s  disease   § Aspirin:  blocks  prostaglandin  synthesis  –prostaglandins  induce
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