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Chapter 2

PSYC 235 Chapter 2: PSYC235 Chapter 2 Notes

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Queen's University
PSYC 235
Christopher Bowie

WEEK 2 – Chapter 2: An Integrative Approach to Psychopathology One Dimensional or Multidimensional Models What Caused Jody’s Phobia? - A linear model may hold that schizophrenia, for example, is caused by a chemical imbalance or by growing up surrounded by conflict o Still encounter this, but most agree on multiple sources of behaviour - Using Jody’s example for multiple perspectives Behavioural Influences - His behaviour may be an unconditional response to a movie with graphic, bloody scenes - Got so bad that saying “Cut it Out” left him queasy - Why did no one else have this reaction? Biological Influences - Experienced a vasovagal syncope thus, causing his fainting - Increased HR and BP in film so, body compensated by lowering these, and amount of blood reaching his brain decreased significantly until he fainted o This seems to be inherited, which could be related to phobia in family history Emotional Influences - Rapid increases in HR caused by emotions may have trigged a stronger, more intense, broreflex o This will increase or decrease BP in an effort to maintain homeostasis - Also made him avoid any situation related to blood and how he thought about certain situations Social Influences - Did Jody’s friends/family’s assistance help or hurt him? - Principal rejected and dismissed his problem; may increase the effect - Being supportive only when he has reaction; may increase frequency/intensity Developmental Influences - We react differently depending on what stage of our lives we are in - Developmental Critical Period: more or less reactive to a situation o Ex. Why did the phobia develop after he turned 16? Outcome and Comments - Applied Muscle Tension decreases vasovagal reactions by maintaining BP o Ditto and colleagues have applied technique in blood donor clinics to ease symptoms Genetic Contributions to Psychotherapy - Genes are molecules of DNA located at various areas of a chromosome - Since Mendel we understand inheritance of genes, we know certain characteristics (ex. Height, weight) is determined by genetics, but also by environmental influences WEEK 2 – Chapter 2: An Integrative Approach to Psychopathology The Nature of Genes - We have 23 pairs of chromosomes, one from each pair coming from either parent - Last pair is sex chromosomes - Problem in ordering of genes, have a defective gene - may or may not lead to problems - Dominant vs. recessive - Much of development and behaviour is influenced by genes + environment - Genome: 20,000-25,000 genes - Quantitative Genetics: estimates effects of genes in explaining heritability without telling us which genes are responsible for what effects - Molecular Genetics: examining the actual structure and function of genes using microarrays – thousands of genes can contribute to one trait - Found specific genes that contribute to differences in temperament and traits - Only small portion of gene is “turned on” – cells become specialized o Ex. Lacking maternal behaviour in rat pups prevents expression of receptor that modulates stress response New Developments in the Study of Genes and Behaviour - Scientists have identified genetic contribution to psychological disorders/behaviour - About half of differences in personality/cognitive abilities due to genetics o Study done on 110 Swedish identical twin pars with 130 same-sex fraternal twins and found heritability for cognitive abilities was ~30-60% - Genetics determined cognitive stability, environment determined change - Genetics account somewhat to all disorders, but less than half of variability o Ex. If one identical twin has schizophrenia, less than 50% chance the other will - Childhood events/other life events can overwhelm influence of genes - Specific genes or groups of genes may be associated with particular psychological disorders, but a lot of suggestion to many genes contributing small effect The Interaction of Genetic and Environmental Effects - Eric Kandel suggested that the actual genetic structure of genes may change due to learning or become active o May lead to changes in number of receptors at the end of a neuron - Some believe that once development stops, our brain can no longer change, but others think that it is plastic and can change whenever due to environment The Diathesis-Stress Model - Sort of an additive model - Individuals inherit, from multiple genes, tendencies to express certain traits or behaviours which may then be activated under stress - Diathesis/vulnerability makes a person susceptible to developing a disorder when the right stressor or life event happens WEEK 2 – Chapter 2: An Integrative Approach to Psychopathology o Ex. Jody inherited the phobia of blood, but was no activated until he dissected an animal in class and could not escape  disorder o Ex. Alcoholism susceptibility in university where two friends are “experimenting” but only one goes on downward spiral - The smaller the vulnerability, the greater the life stress must be and conversely true - Study: 847 New Zealanders across lifetime saw that 17% had experienced major depressive episode in last year (@26yo) o Gene that produced a chemical transporter that affects transmission of serotonin o Those who had two copies of short allele (SS) were less able to cope with stress o Risk doubled if they had 4 stressful life events o Also, if they had traumatic childhood event, 63% more likely to develop depression as adults o Children who were maltreated, more likely to become violent and antisocial themselves and 4X more likely if they have that genetic makeup - Not just one set of genes or one kind of genetic makeup; large network of genes The Gene-Environment Correlation - Genetic endowment may increase the probability that an individual will experience stressful life events o Ex. People with susceptibility to blood phobia may have a character trait that makes them more impulsive  more accidents  seeing more blood o Have genetically determined tendency to create environmental risk factors to trigger the phobia - Some evidence says that this model relates to depression  may seek bad relationships o Ex. If your spouse and your parents have divorced, your chance is 78%; if not, only 5% o Related to personality traits: high-strung, impulsive, short-tempered OR you are passive  marry dominant mate who is impossible to live with WEEK 2 – Chapter 2: An Integrative Approach to Psychopathology Epigenetics and the Non-genomic “Inheritance” of Behaviour - In situations of cross-fostering (giving a pup to another mother) and demonstrated that motherly behaviour affected how the rats tolerated stress o Then went on to show that pups born to fearful mothers and reared them with calm mothers; found that they could be raised as calm, despite genetic influence o Maternal behaviour largely affects endocrine response to stress by affecting gene expression o Only happened if calm in first week of pup’s life - Also shown in humans where children of schizophrenic parents were only likely to develop a disorder if they were raised in dysfunctional homes - Epigenetics: genes are turned off and on by cellular material located just outside the genome o Stress, nutrition etc can affect this epigenome; genome itself doesn’t change, so if influence goes away, so does the epigenome o Environmental manipulations (esp early in life) may do a lot to override genetically influenced tendency to develop undesirable behaviour - Chang and Eng, the Siamese twins, were twins conjoined at the chest; shared identical genes and environment however, had very distinct personalities (one was moodier and started drinking heavily, while the other was cheerful etc) - Genetic endowment contributes to our behaviour, emotions, cognition and constrains the influence of environmental factors such as upbringing, later behaviour (New Zealand) - Environment seems to affect our very genetic structure and can determine whether or not certain genes are activated; may be sufficient enough to override genetic diathesis Neuroscience and Its Contributions to Psychopathology - Neuroscience focuses on how the nervous system, and especially the brain, work is critical to any understanding of our behaviour, emotions and cognition The Central Nervous System - Processes all info from our sense organs and reacts as necessary - Spinal cord big part of CNS but main job is to facilitate sending messages to and from the brain - Brian uses 100 billion neurons - Know the various parts and functions: o Dendrite: have receptors that receive signals from other neurons  converted to electrical signals o Axon: transmits these signals to other neurons WEEK 2 – Chapter 2: An Integrative Approach to Psychopathology o Synaptic Cleft: space between the axon of one neuron and dendrites of another; neurotransmitters released from axon to receptors of another cell - Important neurotransmitters: Norepinephrine, Serotonin, Dopamine, GABA The Structure of the Brain - Brain Stem: more ancient; most essential automatic functions like sleeping, breathing and moving around in a coordinated way o Hindbrain: lowest part that contains the medulla (automatic activities), pons (arousal) and cerebellum (motor coordination) o Midbrain: coordinates movement with sensory input and contains part of the reticular activating system o Thalamus & Hypothalamus: involved with regulating behaviour and emotion; relay between forebrain and rest of lower areas - Forebrain: more advanced; evolved more recently o Limbic System: includes the hippocampus, cingulate gurus, septum, and the amygdala; regulate emotions and expressions and ability to learn to control impulses; sex, aggression, hunger, thirst o Basal Ganglia: include the caudate nucleus; area believed to control motor activity o Cerebral Cortex: more than 80% of all neurons in CNS; distinct human qualities; plan, look at future; divided into two hemispheres (leftverbal/cognition, rightperceiving world around us and creating pictures) ▪ Temporal – recognizing sights/sounds with long term memory storage ▪ Parietal – recognizing touch sensations ▪ Occipital – integrating and making sense of visual input ▪ Frontal – thinking, reasoning, memory, relate to world around us WEEK 2 – Chapter 2: An Integrative Approach to Psychopathology The Peripheral Nervous System - Coordinates with brain stem to make sure the body is working properly - Somatic Nervous System o Controls muscles o Damage in this area may make it hard to engage in any voluntary behaviour - Autonomic Nervous System o Includes the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous system o Primary duties is to regulate the cardiovascular system (ex. The heart and blood vessels) and the endocrine system (ex. Pituitary, thyroid) - Each endocrine gland produces its own hormone and releases it directly into the bloodstream o Adrenal Gland: epinephrine/adrenaline due to stress and salt-regulating hormones o Thyroid Gland: thyroxine facilitating energy, metabolism and growth o Pituitary Gland/Master Gland: variety of regulatory hormones o Gonadal Gland: sex hormones - Sympathetic responsible for mobilizing the body during times of stress/danger o Heart beats faster  increasing blood flow, respiration increases  more oxygen into blood and brain, adrenal glands are stimulated - Parasympathetic balances sympathetic system o Normalizes our arousal and facilitates energy storage by helping digestion - Hypothalamus connects to pituitary gland and may stimulate the cortical part of the adrenal glands on top of kidney o Cortical part of adrenal gland produces stress hormone cortisol Neurotransmitters - Carry messages form one neuron to the other o Ex. Serotonin o Narrow currents flowing through the ocean of the brain - Sometime run parallel with other currents, do loops - There are thousands of brain circuits where a cluster of neurons are receptive to a certain type of neurotransmitter and form paths in the brain - More than 100 different neurotransmitters are functioning in system - Normally we think neurotransmitters are involved in psychological disorders, but more related to the way we process information; make people more or less likely to exhibit certain kinds of behaviour in certain situations - Substances called agonists effectively increase the activity of neurotransmitter by mimicking effect and antagonists decrease action of neurotransmitter o This is how a lot of drugs work o Reuptake: when a neurotransmitter is released, it is quickly drawn back from synaptic cleft back into neuron WEEK 2 – Chapter 2: An Integrative Approach to Psychopathology - Monoamines: include norepinephrine, serotonin and dopamine - Amino Acids: GABA and glutamate GABA and Glutamate - Glutamate is an excitatory transmitter that “turns on” many diff neurons  action - GABA is to inhibit/regulate transmission of info and action potentials o Reduced post-synaptic activity  inhibits a variety of behaviours and emotions; reduces anxiety o Benzodiazepines make it easier for GABA molecules to attach themselves to receptor of specialized neurons  higher level of benzo  more GABA attached  calmer we become o Reduces overall arousal and tempers emotional responses - Fast acting Serotonin (5HT) - Monoamine - Influences a great deal of behaviour, particularly how we process information - Regulates mood, behaviour and thought processes - Low activity levels  less inhibition, instability, aggression, suicide, impulse over-eating o Do not necessarily happen or cause behaviour, but may make us more us more vulnerable to it - Several classes of drugs affect serotonin system  tricyclic antidepressants, SSRIs (usually used for anxiety, mood and eating disorders) - Major pathway:6 major ones, looping in midbrain parts Norepinephrine - Part of endocrine system - Seems to stimulate alpha-adrenergic and beta-adrenergic receptors o Beta-blockers block receptors so that norepinephrine release is lowered, keeping HR and BP down - May play a part/be connected with states of panic - Modulates certain behavioural tendencies and not directly involved in specific patterns or in psychological disorders - Major pathway: one begins in hindbrain (basic bodily functions like respiration); influences emergency reactions Dopamine - Monoamine class - Implicated in p
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