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PSYC 1010
Rebecca Jubis

Chapter 3- Biological Bases of Behavior Biological Approach- to understand behaviour, we must examine the brain and nervous system. An assumption is that for every thought there’s a corresponding physical event taking place in the brain Electrical Stimulation of the Brain (ESB) Penfield* Split Brain patients- inability to do uncertain things Two hemispheres are not connected to one another Adapt to a situation to a certain degree Left Hemisphere- dominant hemisphere control the right hand side of the body mathematical abilities science logic analytic processes Right Hemisphere-controls the left side of the body arts music dance sculpture imagination Stan Coren- prof @ UBC 10- 15% of left-handed people in the pop - If you are left-handed the cause is a pathological event in neonatal - shorter life span (theory) - die 7-8 years earlier than right handed people - impaired immune system - syndrome – a bunch of diverse set of symptoms Right- handed vs left-handed Speech in L hemisphere 92% 69% Speech in R hemisphere 7% 18% Speech in both hemisphere 1% 13% Nervous System CNS – brain and spinal cord PNS- neural tissue outside the brain and spinal cord Autonomic – internal systems, involuntary, visceral Sympathetic – trouble shooter Parasympathetic – housekeeping, maintain homeostasis( negative/positive feedback) Somatic Neurons- the most basic unit of the NS Glial cells- acts as a glue to keep the NS intact Electrochemical reactions – extremely mild electric charges transfer impulses from one neuron to another Dendrites- carry the impulses to the brain Axons- protected by the myelin sheath(acts as an insulation) Terminal Buttons Synapse- gap between neurons Neural transmitters - reuptake Resting Potential- when a neuron is at rest Action Potential- when a resting neuron is stimulated by another neuron and a surge of electrical energy moves down the axon. all or nothing Neural impulses- 200 mi/hr Whether the post-synaptic neuron fires or not, depends upon: A total no. of messages or impulses that it receives The type of message it receives Excitatory or inhibitory in nature Excitatory – creates a positive voltage switch having the ability to excite the next neuron Inhibitory- prevent a nearby neuron from firing Chapter 6 Summary Phobias are irrational fears of specific objects or situations and are often the result of another learning process termed classical conditioning Learning refers to a relatively durable change in behavior or knowledge that is due to experience. This broad definition means that learning is one of the most fundamental concepts in all of psychology. Conditioning involves learning associations between events that occur in an organism's environment. In investigating conditioning, psychologists study learning at a very fundamental level. Classical conditioning is a type of learning in which a stimulus acquires the capacity to evoke a response that was originally evoked by another stimulus. The process was first described around 1900 by Ivan Pavlov, and it is sometimes called Pavlovian conditioning in tribute to him. The term conditioning comes from Pavlov's determination to discover the "conditions" that produce this kind of learning PAVLOV Pavlov would present meat powder to a dog and then collect the resulting saliva. As his research progressed, he noticed that dogs accustomed to the procedure would start Salivating before the meat powder was presented. What Pavlov had demonstrated was how learned associations- Figure 6.1 Classical conditioning apparatus. An experimental arrangement similar to the one depicted here (taken from Yerkes & Morgulis, 1909) has typically been used in demonstrations of classical conditioning, although Pavlov's original setup (see inset) was quite a bit simpler. The dog is restrained in a harness. A tone is used as the conditioned stimulus (eS) and the presentation of meat powder is used as the unconditioned stimulus (UeS). The tube inserted into the dog's salivary gland allows precise measurement of its salivation response. The pen and rotating drum of paper on the left are used to maintain a continuous record of salivary flow. (Inset) The less elaborate setup that Pavlov originally used to collect saliva on each trial is shown here (Goodwin, 1991). the unconditioned stimulus (UCS) is a stimulus the t evokes an unconditioned Response without previous conditioning. The unconditioned response (UCR) is an unlearned reaction to an unconditioned stimulus that occurs without previous conditioning. In contrast, the link between the tone and salivation was established through conditioning. It is therefore called a conditioned association. Thus, the Conditioned stimulus (CS) is a previously neutral stimulus that has, through conditioning, acquired the capacity to evoke a conditioned response. The conditioned response (CR) is a learned reaction to a conditioned stimulus that occurs because of previous conditioning. a trial in classical conditioning consists of any presentation of a stimulus or pair of stimuli In many instances, the conditioned responses are physiological reactions that are just the opposite of the normal effects of the drugs (Siegel et aI., 2000). These opponent responses, which have been seen as the result of conditioning with narcotics, stimulants, and alcohol, are called compensatory CRs because they partially compensate for some drug effects. These compensatory CRs help to maintain homeostasis (internal balance) in physiological processes Acquisition refers to the initial stage of learning something. Pavlov theorized that the acquisition of a conditioned response depends on stimulus contiguity. Stimuli are contiguous if they occur together in time and space. Instead, the right circumstances produce extinction, the gradual weakening and disappearance of a conditioned response tendency. What leads to extinction in classical conditioning? The consistent presentation of the conditioned stimulus alone, without the unconditioned stimulus. For example, when Pavlov consistently presented only the tone to a previously conditioned dog, the tone gradually lost its capacity to elicit the response of salivation Spontaneous recover is the reappearance of an extinguished response after a period of nonexposure to the conditioned stimulus. Pavlov (1927) observed this phenomenon in some of his pioneering studies. He fully extinguished a dog's CR of salivation to a tone and then returned the dog to its home cage for a "rest interval" (a period of nonexposure to the CS). On a subsequent day, when the dog was brought back to the experimental chamber for retesting, the tone was sounded and the salivation response reappeared. Although it had returned, the rejuvenated response was weak. If a response is extinguished in a different environment than it was acquired, the extinguished response will reappear if the animal is returned to the original environment where acquisition took place (Bouton, 1994). This phenomenon, called the renewal effect, along with the evidence on spontaneous recovery, suggests that extinction somehow suppresses a conditioned response rather than erasing a learned association. In other words, extinction does not appear to lead to Unlearning you might cringe at the sound of a jeweller's as well as a dentist's drill. These are examples of stimulus generalization. Stimulus generalization occurs when an organism that has learned a response to a specific stimulus responds in the same way to new stimuli that are similar to the original stimulus. Generalization Stimulus discrimination occurs when an organism that has learned a response to a specific stimulus doe not respond in the same way to new stimuli that are similar to the original stimulus. First, you condition a dog to salivate in response to the sound of a tone by pairing the tone with meat powder. Once the tone is firmly established as a CS, you pair the tone with a new stimulus; let's say a red light, for 15 trials. You then present the red light alone, without the tone. Will the dog salivate in response to the red light? The answer is "yes." Even though the red light has never been paired with the meat powder, it will acquire the capacity to elicit salivation by virtue of being paired with the tone (see Figure 6.8). This is a demonstration of higher-order conditioning, in which a conditioned stimulus functions as if it were an unconditioned stimulus. Figure 6.8 Higher-order conditioning. Higher-order conditioning involves a two-phase process. In the first phase, a neutral stimulus (such as a tone) is paired with an unconditioned stimulus (such as meat powder) until it becomes a conditioned stimulus that elicits the response originally evoked by the UCS (such as salivation). In the second phase, another neutral stimulus (such as a red light) is paired with the previously established CS, so that it also acquires the capacity to elicit the response originally evoked by the UCS. REVIEW OF KEY POINTS . Learning is defined as a relatively durable change in behavior or knowledge due to experience. Classical conditioning explains how a neutral stimulus can acquire the capacity to elicit a response originally elicited by another stimulus. This kind of conditioning was originally described by Ivan Pavlov, who conditioned dogs to salivate in response to the sound of a tone. In classical conditioning, the unconditioned stimulus (UCS) is a stimulus that elicits an unconditioned response without previous conditioning. The unconditioned response (UCR) is an unlearned reaction to an unconditioned stimulus that occurs with t previous conditioning. The conditioned stimulus (CS) is a previously neutral stimulus that has acquired the capacity to elicit a conditioned response. The conditioned response (CR) is a learned reaction to a conditioned stimulus. . Classically conditioned responses are said to be elicited. Many kinds of everyday responses are regulated through classical conditioning, including phobias, mild fears, and pleasant emotional responses. Even subtle physiological responses such as immune system functioning respond to classical conditioning. Sexual arousal can be influenced by Pavlovian conditioning, and this process may have adaptive significance. Stimulus contiguity plays a key role in the acquisition of new conditioned responses. A conditioned response may be weakened and extinguished entirely when the CS is no longer paired with the UCS.ln some cases, spontaneous recovery occurs, and an extinguished response reappears after a period of nonexposure to the CS. Conditioning may generalize to additional stimuli that are similar to the original CS. The opposite of generalization is discrimination, which involves not responding to stimuli that resemble the original CS. When an organism learns discrimination, the generalization gradient narrows around the original CS. Higher-order conditioning occurs when a GS functions as if it were a UCS. Operant conditioning is a form of leering in which responses come to be controlled by their consequences. Another name for operant conditioning is instrumental learning, a term introduced earlier by Edward L. Thorndike (1913). Thorndike wanted to emphasize that this kind of responding is often instrumental in obtaining some desired outcome. The learning curve of one of Thorndike's cats. The inset shows one of Thorndike's puzzle boxes. The cat had to perform three separate acts to escape the box, including depressing the pedal on the right. The learning curve shows how the cat's escape time declined gradually over a number of trials. The decline in solution time showed that the cats were learning According to the law of effect, if a response in the presence of a stimulus leads to satisfying effect, the association between the stimulus and the response is strengthened. Skinner demonstrated that organisms tend to repeat those responses that are followed by favourable consequences. This fundamental principle is embodied in Skinner's concept of reinforcement. Reinforcement occurs when an event following a response increases an organism's tendency to make that response. In other words, a response is NEl strengthened because it leads to rewarding consequences (see Figure 6.10). The principle of reinforcement An operant chamber, or Skinner box, is a small enclosure in which an animal can make a specific response that is recorded while the consequences of the response ar systematicaly contrlled. Reinforcement contingencies are the circumstances or rules that determine whether responses lead to the presentation of reinforcers. The cumulatie recorder creates a graphic reord of respondig and reinorcement in a Skiner box as a function of time. Reinforcemet in operant conitioning. According to Skinner, reinforcement occurs when a respo.nse IS followed by rewarding consequences and the organism's tendency to make the response I,n.cre.ases. The two examples diagrammed here illustrate the basic premise of oper~nt condlti~~ing--that voluntary behaviour is controlled by its consequences. These examples involve positive reinforcement (for a comparison of positive and negative reinforcement Operant responses are usually established through a gradual process called shaping, which consists of the reinforcement of closer and closer approximations of a desired response. S aping is necessary when an organism does not, on its own, emit the desired response (e.g dog learning to use a bell to go outside) Resistance to extinction occurs when an organism continues to make a response after delivery of the reinforcer has been terminated. The greater the resistance to extinction, the longer the responding wil continue. Thus, if a researcher stops giving reinforcement for lever pressing and the response tapers off slowly, the response shows high resistance to extinction. However, if the response tapers off quickly, it shows relatively little resistance to extinction. Dicrminatie stimuli ar cues that inuence operat behaviour by indicating the probable consequences (reinorcement or nonreinorcement) of a resnse. For instance, envision a cat that comes running into the kitchen whenever it hears the sound of a can opener because that sound has become a discriminative stimulus signallng a good chance of its getting fed. If the cat also responded to the sound of a new kitchen appliance (say, a blender) this response would represent generalization-responding to a new stimulus as if it were the originaL. Discrimination would occur if the cat learned to respond only to the can opener and not to the blender. Chapter 14: Abnormal Behavior: The medical model assumes that it is useful to view abnormal behavior as a disease and it led to more humane treatment for people who exhibited abnormal behavior The medical model has been criticized on the grounds that it converts moral and social questions into medical questions Judgments of abnormality are based on three criteria: deviance from social norms, maladaptive behavior and reports of personal distress Deviance: people are often said to have a disorder because their behavior deviates from what their society considers acceptable What constitutes normality varies somewhat from one culture to another but all cultures have such norms When people violate these standards and expectations they may be labeled mentally ill For example, transvestic fetishism is a sexual disorder in which a man achieves sexual arousal by dressing in women’s clothing This behavior is regarded as disordered because a man who wears a dress is deviating from our cultures norms Maladaptive behavior: In many cases people are judged to have a psychological disorder because their everyday adaptive behavior is impaired This is the key criterion in the diagnosis of substance-use disorders Alcohol and drug use is not terribly unusual or deviant but when the use of cocaine, for instance, begins to interfere with a person’s social or occupational functioning, a substance-use disorder exits In such cases it is the maladaptive quality of the behavior that makes it disordered Personal distress: Frequently, the diagnosis of a psychological disorder is based on an individual’s report of great person distress This is usually the criterion met by people who are troubled by depression or anxiety disorders Depressed people for instance may or may not exhibit deviant or maladaptive behavior Such people are labeled as giving a disorder when they describe their subjective pain and suffering to friends, relatives and mental health professionals Antonyms such as normal versus abnormal and mental health versus mental illness imply that people can be divided neatly into two distinct groups: those who are normal and those who are not Normality and abnormality exist on a continuum The most common types of disorders are substance-use, anxiety and mood disorders Stereotypes of Psychological Disorders: Psychological disorders are incurable admittedly there are mentally ill people for whom treatment is largely a failure However , they are greatly outnumbered by people who do get better, either spontaneously or through formal treatment The vast majority of people who are diagnosed as mentally ill eventually improve and learn normal , productive lives Even the most severe psychological disorders can be treated successfully People with psychological disorders are often violent and dangerous: only a modest association has been found between mental illness and violence-prone tendencies this stereotype exists because incidents of violence involving the mentally ill tend to command media attention a report released by the Public Health Agency of Canada (1996) on mental illness and violence concluded that the strongest predictor of violence was pas violence ad that there was no consistent evidence that psychological disorders uncomplicated by substance abuse are a significant risk factor for violence, once you control for past history of violence People with psychological disorders behave in bizarre ways and are very different from normal people: This is true only in small minority cases, usually involving severe disorders As noted earlier, the line between normal and abnormal behavior can be difficult to draw A classic study by David Rosenhan (1973) showed that even mental health professionals may have difficulty distinguishing normality from abnormality To study diagnostic accuracy, Rosenhan arranged for number of normal people to seek admission to mental hospitals. These “pseudopatients” arrived at the hospitals complaining of one false symptom- hearing voices. Except for this single symptom, they acted as they normally would and have accurate information when interviewed about their personal histories. All of the pseudopatients were admitted and the average length of their hospitalization was 19 days DSM-IV, which was released in 1994 is the official psycho-diagnostic classification system In DSM-IV information on patients is recoded on five axes: (I) clinical syndromes, (II) personality disorders (III), general medical conditions, (IV) psychosocial stressors and (V) global assessment of functioning Look at figure 14.3 on pg 610 Epidemiology- the study of the distribution of mental or physical disorders in a population Prevalence refers to the percentage of a percentage of a population that exhibits a disorder during a specified time period Anxiety Disorders: Generalized anxiety disorder is marked by chronic high anxiety not tired to a specific threat Phobic disorder is marked by a persistent irrational fear of an object or situation that is not dangerous Panic disorder: involves recurrent sudden anxiety attacks and is often accompanied by agoraphobia Obsessive-compulsive disorder is marked by uncontrollable intrusions of unwanted thoughts and urges to engage in senseless rituals Post traumatic stress disorder is the enduring anxiety and disturbance attributed to a major traumatic event Etiology: Twin studies suggest that there is a genetic predisposition to anxiety disorders A concordance rate indicates the percentage of twin pairs or other pairs of relatives who exhibit the same disorder Disturbance in the neural circuits using GABA and serotonin may play a role in some anxiety disorders Many anxiety responses may be acquired through classical conditioning and maintained through operant conditioning Cognitive theorists assert that the tendency to over interpret harmless situations as threatening leads to anxiety disorders Stress may contribute to the emergence of some anxiety disorders Somatoform Disorders: Somatoform disorders are physical ailments that cannot be fully explained by organic conditions and are largely due to psychological factors A somatization disorder is marked by a history of diverse physical complaints that appear to be psychological in origin Conversion disorder involves a significant loss of physical function with no apparent organic basis usually in a single organ system Hypochondria is marked by excessive preoccupation with one’s health and constant worry about getting ill Etiology: Somatoform disorders often show up in people with histrionic personality traits Cognitive theorists assert that people with somatoform disorders focus excessive attention on bodily sensations and apply an unrealistic standard of good health Somatoform disorders may occur in people who learn to like the sick role because it allows them to avoid stress and gain sympathy Dissociative Disorders: Dissociative amnesia is sudden loss of memory for personal information that is too extensive to be due to normal forgetting In dissociative fugue, people lose their memory for their entire lives along with their sense of identity Dissociative identity disorder (or multiple personality disorder) involves the coexistence of two or more largely complete and usually very different personalities Etiology: Dissociative amnesia and fugue are usually attributed to extreme stress Some theorists maintain that people with dissociative identity disorder are engaging in intentional role-playing to use mental illness as an excuse for their personal failings Other theorists maintain that cases of dissociative identity disorder are rooted in severe emotional trauma that occurred during childhood Mood Disorders: Major depressive disorder is marked by persistent feelings of sadness and despair, loss of interest in previous sources of pleasure, slowed thought processes and self-blame Dysthymic disorder- consist of chronic depression that is insufficient in severity to justify diagnosis of a major depressive episode Bipolar disorder (manic-depressive disorder) is marked by the experience of depressed and manic episodes, with the latter involving irrational euphoria, racing thoughts, impulsive behavior and increased energy Cyclothymic disorder is when people exhibit chronic but relatively mild symptoms of bipolar disturbance Both types of mood disorders are associated with substantial elevations in suicide rates dying Seasonal affective disorder (SAD), a type of depression that follows a seasonal pattern and postpartum depression, a type of depression that sometimes occurs after childbirth Etiology: Twin studies suggest that there is a genetic predisposition to mood disorders Disturbances in the neural circuits using serotonin and norepinephrine appear to contribute to mood disorders Researchers have found a correlation between depression and reduced hippocampal volume which may reflect suppressed neurogensis due to stress Cognitive theorists assert that people who exhibit a pessimistic explanatory style are especially vulnerable to depression and that rumination tends to extend and amplify episodes of depression Behavioral theorists emphasize how inadequate social skills increase vulnerability to depression High stress is associated with increased vulnerability to mood disorders The onset of depression has also been linked to seasonal patterns and childbirth Schizophrenic Disorders: The general symptoms of schizophrenia include irrational, thought, delusions and deterioration Delusions are false beliefs that are maintained even though they clearly are out o touch with reality Paranoid schizophrenia is dominated by delusions of persecution and delusions of grandeur Hallucinations are sensory perceptions that occur in the absence of a real, external stimulus or are gross distortions of perceptual input Catatonic Schizophrenia is marked by striking motor disturbances, ranging from muscular rigidity to random motor activity Disorganized schizophrenia is marked by very severe deterioration of adaptive behavior Undifferentiated schizophrenia is marked by idiosyncratic mixtures of schizophrenic symptoms Some theorists have proposed dividing schizophrenia disorders into two categories based on the dominance of negative symptoms (behavioral deficits) versus positive symptoms (behavioral excesses and peculiarities) Negative symptoms involve behavioral deficits such as flattened emotions, social withdrawal, apathy, impaired attention and poverty of speech. Positive symptoms involve behavioral excesses or peculiarities such as hallucinations, delusions, bizarre behavior and wild flights of ideas Etiology: Twin studies and adoption studies suggest that there is a genetic vulnerability to schizophrenia Disturbances at dopamine synapses have been implicated as a possible cause of schizophrenia The neurodevelopment hypothesis posits that vulnerability to schizophrenia is increased by disruptions of the normal maturational processes of the brain during prenatal development or at birth Schizophrenic patterns from families high in expressed emotion have elevated relapse rates High stress is associated with increased vulnerability to schizophrenic disorders Personality Disorders: DSM-IV lists 10 personality disorders, which are marked by extreme personality traits that cause subjective distress or impaired social or occupational functioning Many critics argue that the personality disorders overlap too much with Axis I disorders and with each other The antisocial personality disorder is marked by impulsive, callous, manipulative, aggressive, and frequen
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