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Psychology: PSYA01 Chapter Three Textbook Notes

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Steve Joordens

Lecture 6,7,8 Week 4-5 Psychology Chapter 3 Module 3.1 - Are we products of our genes (nature) or environment (nature) in which we are raised - Nature and nurture lie along a continuum, with some traits subject to greater influence from genes Heredity and Behavior - Genes: basic unit of heredity; they are responsible for guiding the process of creating proteins that make up our physical structures and regulate development and physiological processes throughout the life span - Chromosomes: structures in the nucleus that are lined with all the genes an individual inherits - DNA: a molecule formed in a double-helix shape that contains four nucleotides: adenine, thymine, cytosine, guanine, - Genes instruct cells how to behave, which type of molecule to produce, and when to produce them - Genotype: refers to the genetic makeup of an organism - Phenotype: consists of the observable characteristics, including physical structures and behaviors - Homozygous: two corresponding genes at a given location on a pair of chromosomes - Heterozygous: two genes that differ - DD= dominant homozygous Dd= dominant heterozygous dd= homozygous recessive Behavioral Genetics: twins and adoption - Behavioral Genetics: the study of how genes and environment influence behavior - Comparing peoples relativeness, parents-offspring, siblings, unrelated individuals and measuring resemblance for a specific trait - Monozygotic twins: come from a single ovum, which makes them genetically identical - Dizygotic twins: comes from two separate eggs fertilized by two different sperm cells that share the same womb - Heritability: a statistic, expressed as number between zero and one, that represents the degree to which genetic difference between individuals contribute to individual differences in a behavior or trait found in a population 1.0 indicates that the gene accounts for the individual differences - Environment never stops interacting with genes Behavioral Genomics: the molecular approach - Behavioral Genomics: is the study of DNA and the ways in which specific genes are related to behavior - A single gene can affect more than one trait, this is called shared genetic liability Evolutionary Psychology - Heritable traits are passed on through sexual reproduction, some of these traits called adaptations contribute to survival, health and sexual behavior - Evolution: the change in the frequency of genes occurring in an interbreeding population over generations - Natural selection: is the process by which favorable traits become increasingly common in a population of interbreeding individuals, while the unfavorable traits become less common Lecture 6,7,8 Week 4-5 Cultural and Environmental Contribution to Behavior - Gender difference may occur because of cultural and environmental factors because they choose to believe in gender roles Module 3.2 - Neurotoxic attack the nervous system disabling the nerves so the body can’t regulate the systems that the body needs to survive Neural Communication - Neurons: one of the major types of cells found in the nervous system, responsible for sending and receiving messages throughout the body - Some extend from the spinal cord to extremities, others start as soon as they end - Cell body: contains genetic material and nucleus, materials needed by neuron made here - Dendrites: projections from the cell body that pick up impulses from other neurons - Axon: the structure that carries nerve action potential, projection of the cell body - Neurotransmitter: the chemicals that function as messengers allowing neurons to communicate with each other - Synapse: where neurotransmitters are released, small spaces that separate nerve cells - Sensory Neuron: fetch information from the bodily sense and brings it towards the brain - Motor Neurons: carry messages away from the brain and spinal cord and towards muscles to control their flexion Glial Cells - Myelin: fatty sheath that insulates axons from one another, resulting in increased speed and efficiency of neural communication - Multiple Sclerosis: disease where the immune system doesn’t recognize the myelin and attacks it, affecting the structural and functional integrity of the nerve cells - Glial Cells: specialized cells that are involved in mounting immune responses in the brain, removing the wastes and synchronizing activity of the billions of neurons - Interaction of neurons is dependent on glial cells Resting and Action Potential - Neurons differ in their ion charges - Resting Potential: refers to its relatively stable state during which an action potential isn’t sent - The difference in charge is -70mV to +40mV, the threshold is -55mV - When action potential occurs this is called neural firing - Action Potential: a wave of electrical activity that originates at the base of the axon and rapidly travels down in length - Synaptic cleft: a minute space between the terminal button and dendrite - Refractory period: brief moment when the neuron cannot fire - All-or-none principal: individual nerve cell fires at the same strength every time an action potential occurs o Neurons cannot overfire or underfire , speed of signal cannot be faster or slower o A stimulus is experienced with greater intensity because its stimulating more nerve cells - Neurogenesis: the formation of new neurons from a limited number of brain regions specifically learning and memory regions - Lecture 6,7,8 Week 4-5 Neurotransmitters and Hormones - Many different types of NT, each have their own unique molecular shape - Send and receive certain number of neurotransmitter, key and lock specificity - When neurotransmitters are released at the axon terminal, they cross the synapse and fit in a particular receptor of the dendrite - Excitatory: increase action potential, inhibitory: decreasing action potential - NT left in the synapse can be broken down by enzymes or reuptake - Reuptake: NT are absorbed into the axon terminal of the presynaptic neuron o Natural recycling of NT Types of NT - Molecular difference causes each NT to have a different effect on the nerve behavior - Monoamines: NT with unique functions - Snake venom blocks acetylcholine preventing release into synapse thus affect muscle movement - Acetylcholine: movement and attention, junction of nerve and skeletal muscle cells, important for voluntary movement - Dopamine: control of movement, reward-seeking behavior, cognition and behavior, mood control - Norepinephrine: memory, attention to new or important stimuli, regulation of appetite and mood o Synthesized from dopamine, regulate stress - Serotonin: regulation of mood, sleep and appetite - Glutamate: excites nervous system, memory and autonomic nervous system reaction - GABA: inhibits brain activity, lowers arousals, anxiety and excitation, facilitation of sleep o Reducing the resting potential so that threshold isn’t reached Drugs Effect on NT - Agonist: drugs that enhance or mimic the effect of a NT’s action - Drugs can behave as agonist either directly or indirectly o Direct: physically binds to the receptor o Indirect: increases the release and availability of that NT
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