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Chapter 8

PSYCH356 Chapter Notes - Chapter 8: Agreeableness, Fluoxetine, Monoamine Oxidase

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Richard Eibach

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Chapter 8: The Anatomy and Physiology of Personality
The Anatomy of Personality o, I an’t eliee it
- Nerve cells or neurons, typically have projections called dendrites, which receive
stimulation, and axons, which pass the message on
- The dendrites of afferent nerves, extend from the central nervous system to every part
of the body; messages travel up these dendrites to the brain to report what the body is
feeling and doing
- At the same time, efferent nerves, with extra-long axons, send impulses and instructions
from the central nervous system back to the muscles, glands, and other organs
- Interneurons, which have short axons or none at all, organize and regulate
transmissions between nerve cells
- The hypothalamus is important because it is connected to just about everything else
o Its nerves extend throughout the brain, and it secretes several hormones
- Hippocampus important in processing memories
Research Methods for Studying the Brain
Brain Damage
- The oldest source of knowledge about the brain is the study of people who have
suffered head injuries
- If enough are carefully observed, it becomes possible to draw conclusions by keeping
track of the specific problems caused by damage to different parts
- All of this kind of research has been done on animals
o The brains of different mammals look alike and function alike in many ways
Brain Stimulation
- A particularly intriguing but difficult and rare approach to studying the brain is to
stimulate its parts directly with electrodes
- Most of the research is done on animals
- Human patients were subjects of brain surgery (conscious) and they reported visions,
sounds, dreams, and memory flashbacks
- Stimulating a particular area of the brain could produce symptoms of depression
- New method called transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS), uses rapidly changing
ageti fields to teporarily kok out tur off areas of rai atiity
o E.g., turning off part of brain that is linked to speech, patient would be unable to
Brain Activity and Imaging
- To observe its functioning directly to view what the brain is doing while it is doing it
- Oldest technique is electroencephalography (EEG), in which electrodes are placed on
the scalp to pick up electrical signals generated by the brain activity underneath
- Magnetoencephalography (MEG), uses delicate sensors to detect magnetic as opposed
to electrical indications of brain activity
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