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Chapter 2

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York University
PSYC 3140
Jennifer Lewin

Chapter 2 -biological dimensions include causal factors from the fields of genetics and neuroscience -psychological dimensions include casual factors from behavioral and cognitive processes, including learned helplessness learning, prepared learning, and even unconscious processes -emotional influences contribute in a variety of ways to psychopathology, as do social and interpersonal influences -developmental influences figure in any discussion of causes of psychological disorders One-dimensional or Multidimensional models -one-dimensional model which attempts to trace the origins of behavior to a single cause -a liner causal model might hold that schizophrenia or a phobia is caused by a chemical imbalance or by growing up surrounded by overwhelming conflicts among family members -clinicians believe abnormal behavior results from multiple influences -biology and behavior of the individual, cognitive, emotional, social, and cultural environment, any one component of the system affects the other components. This is a multidimensional model What caused jody’s phobia? Behavioral influences -conditioned response to sight of blood: similar situations-even words- produce same reaction Biological Influences -inherited over reactive sinoaortic baroeflex arc -vasovagal syncope (common cause of fainting): heart rate and blood pressure increase, body overcompensates -Light-headedness and queasiness -Jody faints Emotional and Cognitive Influences -increased fear and anxiety Social Influences -Jody’s fainting causes disruptions in school and home:  Friends and family rush to help him  Principal suspends him  Doctors say nothing is physically wrong Developmental Influences -as time passes things about ourselves and environments change causing us to react differently at different ages Genetic Contributions to Psychopathology -Genes are very long molecules of DNA at various locations on chromosomes within the cell nucleus -Gregor Mendel’s physical characteristics such as hair color, eye color, height, and weight are determined—strongly influenced—by our genetic endowment -factors in the environment influence our physical appearance as well -our weight and even our height are affected by nutritional, social, and cultural factors The Nature of Genes -normal human cell has 46 chromosomes in 23 pairs. Each pair comes from father and one from mother -first 22 pairs of chromosomes prove programs for the development of the body and brain, and the has pair call the sex chromosomes determines sex -females 23 pair X chromosome males Y chromosome -abnormalities in the sex chromosomal pair can cause ambiguous sexual characteristics -DNA molecules contain gene structure, double helix. Located on this double spiral are simple pairs of molecules bound together and arranged in different orders. On the X chromosome are 160 million base pairs -something is wrong in the ordering of these molecules on double helix, defective gene -dominant gene is one set of a pair of genes that determines a particular trait -recessive gene must be paired with another recessive gene to determine a trait -dominant gene predict how many offspring will develop certain trait, characteristic, or disorder depending on whether one or both of the parents carry that dominant gene -polygenic influenced by many genes, contribute only a tiny effect. This may be influenced by the environment -Quantitative genetics sums up all the tiny effects across many genes without telling us genes are responsible for which effects -Molecular genetics focuses on examining the actual structure of genes with advanced technologies such as DNA microarrays; these technologies allow scientists to analyze thousands of genes at once and identify broad networks of genes that may be contributing to a particular trait -Genes exert influences on our bodies and our behavior through a series of steps that produce proteins -small proportion of the genes in any one cell are turned on or expressed New Developments in the study of genes and behavior -genetic contribution to psychological disorders and related behavioral patterns -for psychological disorders, the evidence indicated that genetic factors make some contribution to all disorders but account for less than half of the explanation -First, specific genes or small groups of genes may be found to be associated with certain psychological disorders -contributions to psychological disorders come from many genes, each having a relatively small effect -in linkage studies, scientists study individuals who have the same disorder, such as bipolar disorder, and also share other features, such as eye color is known this allows scientists to attempt to link known gene locations with the possible location of a gene contributing to the disorder -Second, it has become increasingly clear that genetic contributions cannot be studied in the absence of interactions with events in the environment that trigger genetic vulnerability to turn on specific genes The Interaction of Genetic and Environmental Effects -Eric Kandel speculated that the process of learning affects more than behavior -genetic structure of cells may change as a result of learning, if genes that were inactive or dormant interact with the environment in such a way that they become active The Diathesis- Stress Model -Diathesis-stress model, individual inherits, multiple genes, tendencies to express certain traits or behaviors, which may be activated under conditions of stress. Each inherited tendency is a diathesis, which is a condition that makes a person susceptible to developing a disorder -diathesis is genetically based and the stress is environmental, but they must interact to produce a disorder -individual with at least two copies of the long allele were able to cope better with stress than individuals with two coped of the short allele. -depression in the long allele groups seems related to stress in their recent past rather than childhood experiences -if individuals had a strong network of family and friends, they were protected from developing PTSD even if they had the vulnerable genetic makeup and experienced a trauma -different set of genes from those associated with depression seems to contribute to violent and antisocial behavior in adults -children who were maltreated turned out to be violent and antisocial as adults -larger network of genes certainly plays a role in the development of depression and other disorder The Reciprocal Gene- Environment Model -genetic endowment may increase the probability that an individual will experience stressful life events -people, might have a genetically determined tendency to create the environmental risk factors that trigger a genetic vulnerability to blood-injury-injection phobia that is the reciprocal gene-environment model -divorce is almost certainly related to various inherited traits, such as being high-strung, impulsive, or short-tempered, that make someone hard to get along with -social, interpersonal, psychological, and environmental factors play major roles in whether people stay married, and it’s possible that genes contribute to how we create our own environment Epigenetics and the Nongenomic Inheritance of Behavior -cross fostering: rat pup born to one mother assigned to another mother for rearing -environmental effect of early parenting seems to override any genetic contribution to be anxious, emotional, or reactive to stress -chaotic environments can override genetic factors and alter neuroendocrine function to increase the likelihood of later behavioral and emotional disorders -genes are turned on and off by cellular material, located outside the genome -environmental influences prevent unwanted personality traits/ psychological disorders -environmental events determine whether certain genes are activated or not Neuroscience and its contributions -knowing how the nervous system and brain work to understand behavior, emotions and cognitive processes is the focus of neuroscience -human nervous system includes: Central nervous system—brain, spinal cord Peripheral nervous system—somatic nervous system, autonomic nervous system The Central Nervous System -the central nervous system processes all information received from our sense organs and reacts as necessary (sorts out what is relevant) -The spinal cord is a part of the central nervous system. But its function is to facilitate the sending of messages to and from the brain -brain uses 140 billion nerve cells, called neurons, to control our every thought and action. Neurons transmit information throughout the nervous system. Neuron contains a central cell body with two kinds of branches. Dendrites have many receptors that receive messages in the form of chemical impulses from other nerve cells which are converted into electrical impulses -Nerve cells have small space which impulse must pass to get to the next neuron. Space between the axon of one neuron and dendrite of another is called synaptic cleft -chemicals released from the axon are called neurotransmitters -Major neurotransmitters: norepinephrine, serotonin, dopamine, and gamma amino butyric acid The Structure of the Brain -Brain two parts – the brain stem and forebrain -brain stem is the lower part of the brain. Brain stem handles essential automatic functions (breathing, sleeping, and moving). -Lowest part of the brain stem is the hindbrain—contains medulla, pons, and cerebellum. Hindbrain regulates automatic activities. Cerebellum controls motor coordination -midbrain coordinated movement with sensory input and contains parts of the reticular activating system which contributes to processes of arousal and tension (awake or asleep) -top of the brain stem are the thalamus, hypothalamus which regulated behavior and emotion -base of the forebrain includes hippocampus, cingulate gyrus, septum, and amygdala—system helps regulate our emotional experiences and expressions, our ability to learn and to control our impulses -basal ganglia base of the forebrain include caudate nucleus—control motor activity -large part of the forebrain is the cerebral cortex, contains 80% of the neurons in the central nervous system. Provides us with our human qualities, allowing us to look to the future and play, to reason, and to create -Cerebral cortex divided into two hemispheres: left hem.—responsible for verbal, cognitive processes Right hem: perceiving the world around us and creating images -each hemisphere consists of four separate areas: temporal (various sights and sounds, long term memory), parietal (sensations and touch), occipital (making sense of visual inputs), these three lobes are located towards the back (posterior) of the brain and frontal (carries weight of our thinking and reasoning abilities as well as memory, behave as social animals) The peripheral Nervous System -peripheral nervous system coordinates with the brain stem to make sure body is working properly -two major components are somatic nervous system, and autonomic nervous system -somatic nervous system controls the muscles -autonomic nervous system includes the sympathetic nervous system and the parasympathetic nervous system - autonomic nervous system regulate the cardiovascular system and endocrine system, and perform various other functions -endocrine gland produces own chemical messenger called hormone, and releases it directly into the blood stream -Adrenal glands produce epinephrine in response to stress -thyroid gland produced thyroxine which helps energy, metabolism, and growth -pituitary is a master gland that produces regulatory hormones -gonadal
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