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Chapter 2

PSYC39H3 Chapter Notes - Chapter 2: Electrodermal Activity, Monoamine Oxidase A, Reserpine

Course Code
David Nussbaum

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Chapter 2:
Theories explain a certain phenomenon in this course (looking @ theories to explain antisocial
Strong theory = following components:
o 1) parsimonious
o 2) clearly identifies:
Causal mechanisms
o 3) testable, therefore falsifiable via hypotheses/predictions
o 4) based on empirical data, modified with new data
o 5) posses interdisciplinary compatibility
o 6) respects gender, ethnicity, culture
Gall = phrenology, shape/size of head determines personality, behavior
Lombroso = used phrenology to compare criminals
o Father of criminology
o Sloping foreheads, twisted lips atavisms criminals = evolutionary throwbacks
Genetics and Crime:
o Twins
99% of human genetics that are the same; 1% can vary; but this 1% is the same
for MZ twins
Attribute to genetics if concordance 4 MZ > concordance for DZ
Concordance is converted into heritability coefficient of sample/population
Overall findings antisocial beh attributed to:
Heritability = 0.41
Shared enviro = 0.16
Non-shared enviro = 0.43
o Adoption
Cross fostering paradigm
o Molecular Genetics
Interaction btn specific gene + well-known risk factor
Ex) interaction btn low-activity version of MAO-A gene and childhood
Low-activtiy version of MAO-A gene = warrior gene
Found on X-chromosome
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Only expresses itself in the presence of certain evniro:
o Childhood abuse
o provocation
Neurochemistry and Crime:
o Hormones
Testosterone + aggression in humans = +ve but weak correlation = 0.14
Moderated by:
o Age
o Time of day reading was taken lowest in morning
Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder (PMDD) = DSM IV = less than 5% of
menstruating women
o NTs
Involved in info processing, mood regulation, communication
Behavioral inhibitions
Mood regulation
Precursor AA = tryptophan = obtain thru diet
Malfunction in 5HT system = impulsive, irritable, aggressive
Triggered arficially by drugs, alcohol, nicotine aggression
Not sure if too high or too low dopamine = responsible for anti-social
Allows one to react to short-term stress
Increases HR & BP increase aggression
Reserpine = decrease norepi = decrease aggression
Psychophysiology and Crime:
o Measures of autonomic response related to various measures of antisocial spectrum:
Heart rate
Electrodermal activity (EDA)/galvanic skin response/skin conductance
o Gray’s arousal model
Personality, learning, motivation & emotional response governed by 2
underlying biological system of autonomic aroundal
BIS (anxiety)
BAS (approach/reward-seeking): impulsivity/sensation-seeking
Measured HR/EDA in one of 3 paradigms
o HR = medium-sized correlate of anti-social beh in kids
o EDA = very related to psychopathy, esp with negative stimuli
Brain and Crime:
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