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Chapter 3

Chapter 3 - Genetic and Biological Foundations

16 Pages
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Department
Psychology
Course Code
PSY100H1
Professor
Michael Inzlicht

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Genetic and Biological Foundations
What is the Genetic Basis of Psychological Science?
Genetics describes how various characteristics are passed along through inheritance
Each cell has 23 pairs of chromosomes made up of genes
Gene segment of DNA that is involved in producing proteins that carry out a
specific task
Gene expression the process by which the gene produces RNA and then protein, is
switched on
Genes have instructions about when to produce RNA determined by the environment
Allows cells to differentiate to different tasks
Heredity Involves Passing along Genes through Reproduction
Gregor Mendel and selective breeding
Alleles two versions of a gene if they differ, one is dominant and one is recessive
Dominant genes are expressed whenever they are present, recessive genes are
expressed only when matched with a similar gene from the other parent
Genotype genetic constitution of an organism, the actual genetic makeup
determined at conception (Pp)
Phenotype the observable physical characteristics of an organism, determined by
genetic and environmental factors (Purple)
Polygenic effects influenced by many genes, as with most human traits and
diseases
Genotype Variation Is Created by Sexual Reproduction
Gametes egg and sperm cells with half the chromosomes of a normal cell, randomly
divided
Zygote fertilized cell, egg and sperm combined to make 46 chromosomes
Each combination is 1 of 8 million outcomes leading to genetic variability
www.notesolution.com
Mutations - errors in the process of cell division at the embryonic stage, may produce
an advantage or disadvantage
Such advantages are spread through the gene pool natural selection
Genes Affect Behaviour
Behavioural genetics the study of how genes and environment interact to influence
psychological activity
Behavioural genetics methods to assess the degree to which traits are inherited
twin studies and adoption studies
Twin studies compare similarities between twins to determine the genetic basis of
specific traits; the more similar monozygotic twins are than dizygotic twins, the
more likely the influence is to be genetic
Adoption studies compare similarities between biological relatives and adopted
relatives; any similarities between adopted relatives are more likely environmental
Studying monozygotic twins who are either raised together or raised apart likely to
be similar in either case, may be more similar if raised apart because parents of
twins encourage individuality
Heredity the transmission of characteristics from parents to offspring by means of
genes
Heritability statistical estimate of the portion of observed variation in a
population that is caused by differences in heredity
Variation the overall amount of difference among people
E.g. if height has a heritability of .60, it means 60% of height variation among
individuals is due to genetics refers to populations, not individuals
The more diverse the population, the lower the estimate of heritability greater
variability comes from diversity
Social and Environmental Contexts Influence Genetic Expression
Different genes may react differently to environmental factors such as abuse
Genes influence how you react to environmental factors , which causes different
responses from others
www.notesolution.com
Gene Expression Can Be Modified
Changing a single gene can have dramatic results
Changing the expression of one gene can affect the expression of many other genes
and thus affect complex behaviours
RNA interference, RNAi injecting slightly modified RNA into worms led to a
dramatic shutdown in gene expression of genes which produce that RNA
How Does the Nervous System Operate?
Takes information from outside world, evaluates it, and produces behaviours to
adapt to the environment
Billions of nerve cells
Neurons Are Specialized for Communication
Neurons differ from other cells because they are excitable, meaning they operate
through electrical impulses and communicate with other neurons through chemical
signals
Reception taking in information from neighbouring neurons
Conduction integrating those signals
Transmission passing signals to other neurons
Dendrites short outgrowths that increase the neurons receptive field to detect
chemical signals from neighbouring neurons
Cell body where information from thousands of other neurons is collected and
integrated, site of metabolism and genetic action, contains DNA
Axon a long narrow outgrowth that transmits electrical impulses, can be a few
millimetres to a meter, spinal cord to big toe, make up nerves
Terminal buttons small modules at the ends of axons which receive electrical
impulses and release chemical signals from the neuron to an area call the synapse
Synapse the site for chemical communication between neurons; chemicals leave
one neuron, cross the synapse, and pass signals along to the dendrites of other
neurons
www.notesolution.com

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Description
Genetic and Biological Foundations What is the Genetic Basis of Psychological Science? Genetics describes how various characteristics are passed along through inheritance Each cell has 23 pairs of chromosomes made up of genes Gene segment of DNA that is involved in producing proteins that carry out a specific task Gene expression the process by which the gene produces RNA and then protein, is switched on Genes have instructions about when to produce RNA determined by the environment Allows cells to differentiate to different tasks Heredity Involves Passing along Genes through Reproduction Gregor Mendel and selective breeding Alleles two versions of a gene if they differ, one is dominant and one is recessive Dominant genes are expressed whenever they are present, recessive genes are expressed only when matched with a similar gene from the other parent Genotype genetic constitution of an organism, the actual genetic makeup determined at conception (Pp) Phenotype the observable physical characteristics of an organism, determined by genetic and environmental factors (Purple) Polygenic effects influenced by many genes, as with most human traits and diseases Genotype Variation Is Created by Sexual Reproduction Gametes egg and sperm cells with half the chromosomes of a normal cell, randomly divided Zygote fertilized cell, egg and sperm combined to make 46 chromosomes Each combination is 1 of 8 million outcomes leading to genetic variability www.notesolution.com Mutations - errors in the process of cell division at the embryonic stage, may produce an advantage or disadvantage Such advantages are spread through the gene pool natural selection Genes Affect Behaviour Behavioural genetics the study of how genes and environment interact to influence psychological activity Behavioural genetics methods to assess the degree to which traits are inherited twin studies and adoption studies Twin studies compare similarities between twins to determine the genetic basis of specific traits; the more similar monozygotic twins are than dizygotic twins, the more likely the influence is to be genetic Adoption studies compare similarities between biological relatives and adopted relatives; any similarities between adopted relatives are more likely environmental Studying monozygotic twins who are either raised together or raised apart likely to be similar in either case, may be more similar if raised apart because parents of twins encourage individuality Heredity the transmission of characteristics from parents to offspring by means of genes Heritability statistical estimate of the portion of observed variation in a population that is caused by differences in heredity Variation the overall amount of difference among people E.g. if height has a heritability of .60, it means 60% of height variation among individuals is due to genetics refers to populations, not individuals The more diverse the population, the lower the estimate of heritability greater variability comes from diversity Social and Environmental Contexts Influence Genetic Expression Different genes may react differently to environmental factors such as abuse Genes influence how you react to environmental factors , which causes different responses from others www.notesolution.com
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