Textbook Notes (367,769)
Canada (161,382)
Psychology (9,688)
PSYC62H3 (313)
Chapter 1

Chapter 1 Notes

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Suzanne Erb

Chapter 1Psychopharmacology is the discipline that attempts to systematically study the effects of drugs on behaviour cognitive functioning and emotions Drugs that alter behaviour cognitive functioning or emotions are called psychoactive or psychotropic drugs Psychopharmacology is made up of psychology and pharmacology which refers to the study of the variables affecting behaviour and the study of the effects of drugs on biological systems respectivelyPsychoactive drugs are chemicals that induce psychological effects by altering the normal biochemical reactions that take place in the nervous system Three other ingredients in the drug experience should be kept in mind setpsychological makeup and the expectations of the individual taking the drugsettingthe social and physical environment in which the drug is takenand the individuals unique biochemical makeup some are dependent upon genetic factors Drugs should not be viewed as simply bad or good A Historical Overview of PsychopharmacologyHuman beings have been using drugs to alter mood and behaviour for thousands of years Early Viking warriors were said to ingest the mushroom Amanita muscariam which is capable of inducing gaiety exuberance and berserk behaviour Some native American Indians used peyote cactus a hallucinogen in their religious ceremonies mushroom stones found in Guatemala indicate there was a mushroom cult some 3500 years ago Spanish chroniclers wrote eating of the diabolic mushroom teonanacatl food of the gods for purposes of divination prophecy and worship Cannabis marijuana was first used more than 4000 years ago primarily for its medical value in treating ailments Opium poppies contain narcotics morphine and codeine were used by ancient Sumerians in Mesopotamia almost 7000 years ago Substances that suppress manic symptoms can be found in rauwolfia a plant common to the Himalayas For centuries South American Indians have chewed the coca leaf contains small amounts of cocaine and alleviate fatigue elevate mood and reduce hungerbeen used since 3000 BCThe use of tea as a pleasurable stimulant began in China about 600 AD Except for perhaps caffeine the most common psychoactive substance used around the world is alcohol and has been available for thousands of years Alcohol is a simple product of fermentation which occurs when certain yeasts molds and bacteria act upon sugar in a variety of fruits Earliest records of alcohol production was the Egyptians more than 5500 years ago wine produced in present day Iran 2000 years before this Nonhuman animals have been observed to seek out substances with moodaltering properties Animals have been noted to prefer water containing a small percentage of alcohol over pure water Observations of animals has led Siegel to propose the hypothesis that intoxication is a universal fourth drive as natural as a the innate drives of hunger thirst and sex
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