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PSYO 2220 Chapter Notes -Eric Kandel, Tachycardia, Link Rat

Course Code
PSYO 2220
Dr.Elaine Ply

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Abnormal behaviour results from multiple influences. It is a multidimensional model
Jody is a student with a disorder that causes him to faint at the sight of blood. Bllod-injury-
injection phobia
Examples from all models…
Biological influences
He saw a movie with graphic bloody scenes = classically conditioned from then on
However, nobody else in the class that saw the movie developed the same problem
Biological Influences
Vasovagal syncope = fainting
Increased heart rate and blood pressure
His body compensated by lowering blood pressure and heart rate
Not enough blood reaching his brain = loss of consciousness
Emotional Influences
Jody has fear and anxiety about seeing blood
Emotions affected his biological process
Social Influences
Jody’s principal rejected him -> makes psychological disorders worse

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His family and friends rush to help  may increase frequency and intensity of reaction
Developmental Influences
People become more or less reactive as they develop – developmental critical period
As seen in Jody’s case, a variety of influences interact
Genes and Psychopathology
-When something is wrong in the formation of molecules om the double helix it causes a
defective gene which can cause problems
Quantitative Genetics estimates the effects of genes in explaining individual differences
(heritability) without necessarily telling us which genes are responsible for what effects
Molecular Genetics focuses on examining the structure and functioning of genes
Technologies such as DNA Microarrays allow scientists to analyze genes and identify networks
of genes that might be contributing to a certain trait. 100s of genes can contribute to 1 trait.
Social and cultural influences can determine whether genes are ‘turned on’
Genetic factors account for less than half of the variability of psychological disorders
Stressful events can cause changes in cognitive functioning- turning on specific genes

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Interactions between genes and the environment
Eric Kandel proposed that when inactive genes come in contact with learning, that causes them
to become active which in turn affects the amount of receptors at the end of a neuron,
therefor affecting biochemical processes in the brain.
Diathesis-Stress Model
Individuals inherit tendencies from multiple genes to express certain behaviours or traits which
may be activated under conditions of stress. Each inherited tendency is a diathesis  makes
someone susceptible to developing a disorder. The disorder appears when the person with the
diathesis is put under stress.
The Gene-Environment Correlation Model
Genetics may increase the chances that an individual will experience stressful life events. Ex.
Jody was rushing around to avoid blood which caused him more minor stressful events
Scientists demonstrated that behaviour can be passed down without a genetic link- rat pups
assigned to non biological mothers adopted their behaviours.
It appears that genes can be turned on or off by cellular material that is located just outside of the
cell known as epigenetics – and that stress, nutrition, or other factors can effect this
epigenome- passed down for generations. The epigenome can fade depending on the
Psychological disorders can be prevented in this context.
Neither genes or environment alone determine psychological disorders, but rather a complex
interaction of the two.
Neuroscience and its Contributions to Psychopathology
Understanding how the brain works so we can comprehend our behaviour, emotions, and
cognitive processes is the goal of neuroscience.
The Central Nervous System
Processes info from sense organs and reacts
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