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Chapter 11

Chapter 11: Emotion

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PSYC 211
Yogita Chudasama

 Emotions as response patterns: behavioral: muscular movements appropriate to situation that elicits them. Autonomic: facilitate behaviors, provides quick mobilization of energy for vigorous movement. Hormonal: reinforces autonomic response  Fear: integration of components of fear controlled by amygdala. Single neurons in various nuclei of amygdala become active when emotionally relevant stimuli are presented. Located in temporal lobes, has several groups of nuclei w/ different inputs/outputs and functions. Medial nucleus: several subnuclei, get sensory input, take to medial basal forebrain and hypothalamus. Lateral nucleus: gets sensory info from all regions of neocortex (inc. prefrontal), thalamus, and hippocampal formation, sends info to other parts of brain, inc. ventral striatum and dorsomedial nucleus of thalamus, accessory/basal nuclei, all send info to central nucleus, which projects to wide variety of regions; involved in emotional responses. Single most important part of brain for expression of emotional responses provoked by aversive stimulineural activity and Fos production increase. If damaged, many emotional behaviors and physio responses are reduced/extinguished. May be responsible for harmful effects of long-term stress. Conditioned emotional response: produced by neutral stimulus paired with emotion-producing stimulusspecific and non-specific response. Physical changes responsible for classical conditioning happens in lateral nucleus of amygdala. LN communicates w/ CN, which communicates with hypothalamus, midbrain, pons, and medulla responsible for behavioral, autonomic and hormonal components of conditioned emotional response. medial prefrontal cortex involved in extinction – not forgetting, just learning that CS no longer followed by aversive stimulus, so CR is inhibited. In humans, amygdala related to fear, emotional responses, association with memory. Amygdala activity increase when seeing words denoting threatening situations  Anger, aggression, impulse control: aggressive behaviors are species-typical; patterns of movement organized by neural circuits whose development is programmed by animal’s genes. Behaviors related to reproduction ro self-defense. Threat behaviors: postures/gestures that warn adversary to leave or be attacked, reinforce social hierarchies in organized groups of animals or warning intruders away, advantage b/c no actual fighting. Defensive behaviors: threat behavior or attack vs. submissive behavior – accepts defeat, will not challenge. Predation: attack of member of one species on another for food. For same species, animal is arouses, sympathetic branch of ANS high activity, but attack of predator is more cold-blooded. o Research w/ lab animals: neural control of aggressive behavior: hierarchical; particular muscular movements an animal makes are programmed by neural circuits in brain stem. Attack depends on many factors. Brain stem controlled by hypothalamus and amygdala (species-typical), limbic controlled by perceptual systems that detect enviro. Defensive/predation elicited by stim of PAG in midbrain; hypothalamus and amygdala influence behaviors through excitatory/inhibitory connections w/ PAG. Serotonin: activity of serotonergic synapses inhibits aggression; destruction of serotonergic axons in forebrain facilitates aggression. When 5-HT released, some NT escapes and broken down to 5-HIAA in CSF, which indicates elevated level of serotonergic activity. Monkeys w/ low levels showed risks, inc. aggression, likely to die. Serotonin exerts controlling influence on risky behavior, inhibitory role on aggression o Research w/ humans: role of serotonin: serotonergic neurons play inhibitory role in aggression, low levels of 5-HIAA in CSF a.w/ aggression and other antisocial behavior. Drugs that are serotonin agonist (fluoxetine – Prozac) decrease irritability/aggressiveness. There is association between differences in genes responsible for production of serotonin transporters and reaction of amygdala to seeing negative emotions – transporter has long/short allele. Role of ventral prefrontal cortex: impulsive violence is due to faulty emotional regulation. Skills to analyze social situations not localized, but right more important than left. Orbitofrontal cortex: at base of frontal lobes, just above orbits. Ventromedial prefrontal cortex. Ventral prefrontal gets direct input: info about enviro, plans made by rest of frontal lobes; outputs: affect variety of behaviors/physio responses. Ventral prefrontal has inhibitory connection w/ amygdala, responsible for suppressing previously learned conditioned emotional responses when CS unaccompanied by aversive stim (extinction). Serves as interface btwn mechanisms involved in automatic emotional responses and those involved in control of complex behaviors. Emotional responses provide important element in decision making; prefrontal/amygdala lesions prevent anticipatory emotional response of bad decision. Region monitors if something good/bad happens, not if choice was correct/incorrect. People w/ antisocial personality disorder show reduction in volume of gray matter of prefrontal, decreased sensitivity to unpleasant outcomes, failure to avoid bad behaviors. Psychopaths don’t have conditioned emotional response, min. activation of amygdala, orbitofrontal, ventromedial prefrontal, or insula. Moral judgments guided by emotional reactions. Thinking about moral dilemmas activated several brain regions involved I emotional reactions, inc. medial prefrontal cortex. Damage to this area impairs moral judgments; if early in life, people learn to incorporate emotional rections into decision-making, but later in life will change behavior to others, but not ability to reason. Amygdala plays role in provoking anger, prefrontal cortex suppresses. Antisocial behavior a.w/ decreased volume of prefrontal cortex, so activating it may reflect role in inhibiting aggressive behavior. Emotional murderers have decreased prefrontal activity and increased subcortical activity. Increased activation of amygdala reflected increased tendency for negative emotions, decreased activity of prefrontal reflected decreased ability to inhibit amygdala and control emotions. Prefrontal cortex gets major projection of serotonergic axons, which activate region. Low level of serotonin release can result in decreased activity of prefrontal cortex. Ventral prefrontal cortex gives info about ongoing emotional states and consequences of actions to regions of brain involved in rational cognitive processes, which regulates/controls emotional responses. Prefrontal also has direct inhibitory connections w/ amygdala. Inhibitory role of serotonin may be result of excitatory effect on prefrontal cortex, which enhances ability to control behaviors.  Aggression in males: androgen secretion increases at puberty, which is when intermale aggressiveness begins – behavior controlled by neural circuits that are stim. By androgens. Early androgeniza
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