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PSYC 211 (154)
Chapter 11

Chapter 11 Notes.doc

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Department
Psychology
Course Code
PSYC 211
Professor
Yogita Chudasama

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Chapter 11: Emotion Notes taken by: Ashley Brown Contact for mistakes: [email protected] Emotions as Response Patterns: Emotion is often referred to as the positive or negative feelings that are produced by particular situations. ← - consist of patterns of physiological responses and specific-type behaviors, and with humans this is accompanied by feelings ← - it is the behavior not feeling though that has consequences for survival and reproduction An emotional response consist of three types of components: (1) behavioral, (2) autonomic, and (3) hormonal - Behavioral component consist of muscular movements that are appropriate to the situation that elicits them - Autonomic responses facilitate the behaviors and provide quick mobilization of energy for vigorous movements (these are like increased heart rate and the like) - Hormonal responses reinforce the autonomic responses Fear The integration of the components of fear appears to be controlled by the amygdala Research with laboratory animals  Amygdala plays a special role in physiological and behavioral reactions to objects and situations that have biological significant - single neurons become active when emotionally relevant stimuli are presented - it is located within the temporal lobes - consist of several groups of nuclei that all have different inputs and outputs and furthermore different functions Amygdala divided into 12 regions containing several subregions. We’ll study 3 major regions: (1) the lateral nucleus, (2) the basal nucleus, and (3) the central nucleus - Lateral nucleus (LA) o Inputs: all regions of neocortex incl. the ventromedial prefrontal cortex, thalamus, and hippocampal formation o Outputs: basal nucleus, accessory basal, ventral striatum (which involves in the effects of reinforcing stimuli on learning), and the dorsomedial nucleus of the thalamus (which projects to the prefrontal cortex), ventromedial prefrontal cortex, and central nucleus o Function: - Basal nucleus (B) o Inputs: LA nucleus o Outputs: CE nucleus and ventromedial prefrontal cortex - Central nucleus (CE) o Inputs: basal, lateral, and accessory basal nuclei o Outputs: hypothalamus, midbrain, pons, and medulla o Function: expression of emotion, especially those provoked by aversive stimuli and expression of fear and emotional response o SEE FIGURE 11.2 on p. 369 o When the central nucleus is stimulated, animals are highly fearful, agitated and show stress induced illnesses (e.g. ulcers). - Medial Nucleus o Consist of several subnuclei which receive sensory input o Information related to the basal forebrain and hypothalamus o Involved in reproductive functions It is especially important to learn that a particular stimulus or situation is dangerous or threatening. - After learning this will evoke fear o heart rate and blood pressure will increase, muscles will become more tense, the adrenal glands will secrete epinephrine, making the animal cautious, alert, and ready to respond - conditioned emotional response is the most basic form of emotional learning o a classically conditioned response that occurs when a neutral stimulus is followed by an aversive stimulus; usually includes autonomic, behavioral, and endocrine components such as changes in heart rate, freezing, and secretion of stress-related hormones - physical changes caused by classical conditioning take place in the lateral nucleus of the amygdala o LA neurons communicated with neurons in the CE which then communicate with the hypothalamus, midbrain, medulla, and pons that are responsible for the behavioral, autonomic, and hormonal components of the conditioned emotional response - ventromedial prefrontal cortex (vmPFC) is involed in the process of extinction which is when you kind of undo the conditioned stimulus o extinction is not the same as forgetting, rather relearning. The expression of the CR is inhibited by the medial prefrontal cortex o the memory of the association can also be reactivated Research with humans  Specific response are aimed at terminating the painful stimulus Nonspecific response are controlled by the autonomic nervous system The amygdala is involved in emotional response in humans as well. ←Seeing words that denote threatening situations increases amygdala activity Medial prefrontal cortex plays a critical role in extinction of a conditioned emotional response with humans too. Damage to the amygdala interferes with the effects of emotion on memory - with normal functioning people are more likely to remember things that evoke emotional responses - amygdala is also involved in the formation of emotional memories o especially the right amygdala - amygdala lesions impair recognition of a musical style that is normally associated with fear Anger, Aggression, and Impulse Control Aggressive behaviors are species types (biting, hissing, growling), or that is the patterns of movements are organized by neural circuits whose development is largely programmed by an animal’s genes - many of these are related to reproduction - also related to self-defense - can consist of actual attacks or may just involve threat behaviors o stereotypical species-typical behavior that warns another animal that it may be attacked if it does not flee or show a submissive behavior o consist of postures or gestures o threatened animals may show defensive behaviors – threat behaviors or an actual attack- or it could show submissive behaviors – behaviors that indicate that it accepts defeat and will not challenge the other animal Predation is the attack of one animal directed at an individual of another species on which the attacking animal normally preys - more “coldblooded” then within species attacks: efficient and not accompanies by a high level of sympathetic activation Research With Laboratory Animals  Neural control of aggressive behavior: - Hierarchical: particular muscular movements are programmed by neural circuits in the brain stem (which is controlled by the hypothalamus and the amygdala which are in turn controlled by perceptual systems that detect the status of the environment) Aggressive attack and predation can be elicited by stimulation of different parts of the periaqueductal gray matter (PAG) - amygdala and hypothalamus influence these behaviors through excitatory and inhibitory connections with the PAG - SEE FIGURE 11.6 Role of Serotonin - the activity of serotonergic synapses inhibits aggression (and destruction of these axons in the forebrain facilitates aggressive attack) - low serotonin levels in rhesus monkeys showed risk-taking behaviors including high levels of aggression towards monkeys bigger and older than them, taking dangerous long leaps in between tall trees, and picking fights they couldn’t possibly win. AKA they like all died and most of them were killed by others. o Shows that serotonin exerts a controlling influence on risky behavior which includes aggression Research with Humans  Role of Serotonin - serotonergic neurons play an inhibitory role in human aggression - depressed rate of serotonin release associated with aggression, assault, and arson + other forms of antisocial behavior (murder and child beating) - drugs that increase serotonin in synapse like Prozac decrease irritability and aggressiveness - serotonin transporter gene has 2 common alleles –short and long- that make a difference in their amygdala’s response to viewing facial expressions of negative emotions o people who have at least one short allele are slightly more likely to show higher levels of anxiety or develop an affective disorder such as depression  during a task of looking at faces expressing fear or anger the right amygdala of these subjects showed a higher rate of activity than those of people with just long alleles Role of the Ventromedial Prefrontal Cortex (vmPFC) - plays an important role in regulating our responses to frustrations - important for the analysis of social situations - Region of the prefrontal cortex located at the base of the anterior frontal lobesm adjacent to the midline - includes the medial orbital prefrontal (PFo) cortex and the subgenual anterior cingulate cortex - directs input from the dorsomedial thalamus, temporal cortex, VTA, olfactory system, and amygdala o involve info about what is happening in the environment and what plans are being made by the rest of the frontal lobe - outputs to several brain regions incl. the cingulate cortex, hippocampal formation, temporal cortex, lateral hypothalamus, and amygdala o permit it to affect a variety of behaviors and physiological responses, incl emotional responses organized by the amygdala - communicates with other regions of the frontal cortex - notably the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (dlPFC) - Has inhibitory connections with amygdala o Involved in extinction o Involved in suppressing emotional response in other situations aka controlling emotional behavior  Seen in the case of Phineas Gage who after damage to vmPFC went from being well liked and respected To being childish, irresponsible and thoughtless of others. He had severe temper outbursts and used profane language. He was unable to make plans or carry them out. He lost his job and was unable to keep a social network of friends.  People with vmPFC damage can accurately asses the significance of particular situations but only in theoretical sense but real life situations failed to evoke the normal, learned patterns of social behavior - vmPFC involved in decision making o when damaged they make decisions that are rewarding in the short term but lead to detrimental effects in the longterm Moral judgment is mostly guided by emotional reactions - prefrontal cortex helps mediate the role of emotion in moral judgements - seen with Iowa Gambling Task (with bad and good decks and such) o Control subjects showed changes in skin conductance associated with ‘emotional stress’ just before they chose a card from the bad deck. o Control subjects eventually shifted their responses from bad decks to good decks. That is, they let their emotional response guide their choice behaviour. o Patients with PFv damage (especially PFo damage) did not show signs of stress ‘before’ they selected from the ‘bad’ deck but showed autonomic changes ‘after’ they made a choice that cost them money. o Patients with amygdala damage failed to show any emotional changes before or after the choice of cards. o Thus, emotional responses are important in guiding our decisions. Conflict between utilitarian and emotionally charged influences on our decisionmaking activate the anterior cingulate cortex (ACC) which is a part of the vmPFC - strongly connected with the dlPFC which is a region involved in several cognitive functions such as working memory, response selection, verification of information retrieved from long-term memory and the evaluation and implementation of strategies Amygdala matures early but the prefrontal cortex matures much later and as it matures adolescents show increases in speed of cognitive processing, abstract reasoning ability, ability to shift attention from one topic to another, and ability to inhibit inappropriate reponses. Evidence shows that decreased prefrontal activity and increased subcortical activity (incl. amygdala) is present in the brains of convicted murderers especially in the ones that involved impulsive, emotional murderers - increased amygdala reflected an increased tendency for display of negative emotions and the decreased prefrontal cortex activation reflected a decreased ability to inhibit these responses - people with antisocial personality disorder showed an 11 percent reduction in volume of the gray matter of the prefrontal cortex - in a study comparing “unsuccessful psychopaths” and “successful psychopaths” found that the unsuccessful ones had a 22.3 percent reduction in the volume of prefrontal gray matter o concluded that the successful psychopath’s relatively
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