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Chapter II.docx

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Martha Mc Kay

Chapter II: Contemporary Theories of Abnormality Albert Ellis: - Developed rational-emotive theory, emotional problems are the result of irrational beliefs, so therapists need to confront their clients with their irrational beliefs - Suffered from a fear of public speaking and a fear of talking to women, he made himself do both of these things and overcame the obstacles. Nurture-Nature Question: Is the cause of this disorder biological (nature) or psychological or social (nurture)? Contemporary Theories: - Diathesis-Stress Models/Vulnerability-Stress Models: Integrations of biological, psychological, and social approaches A person must carry a vulnerability to the disorder + has to experience some type of stress/trigger Both vulnerability and stress can be biological, psychological, or social The Vulnerability-Stress Model Vulnerability + Stress Disorder Biological factor Biological trigger (genes, disordered (onset of a disease, biochemistry, brain exposure to toxins, anomalies) etc.) Social factor Social trigger (maladaptive (traumatic event, upbringing, chronic major loss, etc.) stress, etc.) Psychological factor Psychological (unconscious trigger (perceived conflicts, poor skills, loss of control, maladaptive violation of a trust, cognitions, etc.) etc.) - Recognize the feedback effects that biological and psychological factors have on each other (change of one factor causes the change of a second factor, which in turn changes the first factor again) Biological Approaches: - Great example, story of Phineas Gage, damage to a certain part of the brain changes personality - Abnormalities in brain structure, imbalance of neurotransmitters or hormones accumulation of disordered genes I. Structural Brain Abnormalities Phineas suffered primarily injuries to the cerebral cortex Some of the brain structures are clearly separated while others merge into each otherdebates about exact boundaries and functions Major Structures of the Brain Structure Function Cerebral Cortex Involved in many of our most advanced thinking processes Corpus Callosum Bridge of fibres passing information between the two cerebral hemispheres Thalamus Relay centre for cortex; handles incoming and outgoing signals Cerebellum Involved in balance and the control of movement Medulla Responsible for regulating largely unconscious functions (breathing and circulation) Hypothalamus Responsible for regulating basic biological needs: hunger, thirst, temperature control Pons Involved in sleep and arousal Reticular Formation A network of neurons related to sleep, arousal, and attention Spinal Cord Responsible for communication between brain and the rest of body; involved with simple reflexes - The limbic system: A collection of structures that are closely interconnected with the hypothalamus and appear to asset some additional control over instinctive behaviours regulated by the hypothalamus Monkeys with damage to the limbic system become chronically aggressive or excessively passive Structures of the Limbic System Structure Function Amygdala Important in the regulation of emotion and memory Hippocampus Important in memory - Schizophrenia: abnormality in the cerebral cortexlose touch with reality II. Biochemical Causes of Abnormality - Neurotransmitters: biochemical that act as messengers carrying impulses from one neuron, nerve cell, to another Synapse: the gap between synaptic terminals and the adjacent neuron Receptors: molecules on the membranes of adjacent neurons - Neurotransmitter Theories: Too much or too little of certain neurotransmitters in the synapses due to malfunction of reuptake/degradation causes psychopathology Reuptake: initial neuron reabsorbs the neurotransmitters Degradation: receiving neuron releases an enzyme to break down neurotransmitters Possible that neurotransmitters interact, particularly serotonin and dopaminedysfunction in one lead to dysfunction in another (Ex. Depression caused by interacting deregulation in serotonin and dopamine) Neurotransmitter Function Serotonin - regulates emotions and impulses - found in central and peripheral nervous systems - serotonin 5-HT1A receptor related to stress-related disorders (depression, anxiety) Dopamine - prominent in brain areas that regulate our experience of reinforcement or rewards - important to the functioning of muscle systemsrelated to disorders involving muscle control (Parkinsons disease) - schizophrenia: abnormally low dopamine activity in mesocortex
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