PY 302 Ch. 2

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111 Terms
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implies that any particular influence contributing to psychopathology cannot be considered out of context
vasovagal syncope
a common cause of fainting
means “sinking feeling” or “swoon” caused by low blood pressure in the head
sinoaortic baroreflex arc
compensates for sudden increases in blood pressure by lowering it
developmental critical period
we are more or less reactive to a given situation or influence than at other times
long deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) molecules, the basic physical units of heredity that appear as locations on chromosomes; single gene is a subunit of DNA that determines inherited traits in living things
phenylketonuria (PKU)
can result in mental retardation; this disorder, present at birth, is caused by the inability of the body to metabolize (break down) phenylalanine, a chemical compound found in many foods
Huntington's Disease
this disease has been traced to a genetic defect that causes deterioration in a specific area of the brain, the basal ganglia; causes broad changes in personality, cognitive functioning, and, particularly, motor behavior, including involuntary shaking or jerkiness throughout the body
sex chromosomes
23rd chromosomes; linked to a person's sex; X and/or Y chromosomes
dominant gene
one of a pair of genes that strongly influences a particular trait, and we need only one of them to determine, for example, our eye color or hair color
recessive gene
must be paired with another (recessive) gene to determine a trait
influenced by many genes, each contributing only a tiny effect, all of which, in turn, may be influenced by the environment
molecular genetics
focuses on examining the actual structure of genes with increasingly advanced technologies such as DNA microarrays
DNA microarrays
technologies allow scientists to analyze thousands of genes at once and identify broad networks of genes that may be contributing to a particular trait
diathesis-stress model
hypothesis that both an inherited tendency (a vulnerability) and specific stressful conditions are required to produce a disorder
a condition that makes someone susceptible to developing a disorder
susceptibility or tendency to develop a disorder
Eric Kandel
neuroscientist and Nobel Prize winner; speculated that the process of learning affects more than behavior
chemical transporters
affects the transmission of serotonin in the brain
gene; long ones (LL) were able to cope better with stress than individuals with two copies of the short ones (SS)
gene-environment correlation model
that people with a genetic predisposition for a disorder may also have a genetic tendency to create environmental risk factors that promote the disorder
offspring born to one mother is assigned to another mother for rearing
the study of factors other than inherited DNA sequence, such as new learning or stress, that alter the phenotypic expression of genes
study of the nervous system and its role in behavior, thoughts, and emotions
individual nerve cell; responsible for transmitting information
one type of branch in neurons; have numerous receptors that receive messages in the form of chemical impulses from other nerve cells, which are converted into electrical impulses
one type of branch in neurons; trunk of neuron that sends messages to other neurons
action potential
short periods of electrical activity at the membrane of a neuron, responsible for the transmission of signals within the neuron
terminal buttons
the end of an axon (of a neuron) where neurotransmitters are stored before release
synaptic cleft
space between nerve cells where chemical transmitters act to move impulses from one neuron to the next
chemicals that cross the synaptic cleft between nerve cells to transmit impulses from one neuron to the next; their relative excess or deficiency is involved in several psychological disorders
causing excitation; activating
causing inhibition; suppressing
brain stem
lower and more ancient part of the brain; found in most animals, this structure handles most of the essential automatic functions, such as breathing, sleeping, and moving around in a coordinated way
more recently evolved than the brain stem
regulates many automatic activities, such as breathing, the pumping action of the heart (heartbeat), and digestion
controls motor coordination, and recent research suggests that abnormalities in this part may be associated with autism, although the connection with motor coordination is not clear
heart rate, blood pressure, respiration
regulates sleep schedule
Coordinates movement with sensory input; contains parts of the reticular activating system (RAS)
thalamus and hypothalamus
relays between brain stem and forebrain; behavioral and emotional regulation
limbic system
emotions, basic drives, impulse control; associated structures and psychopathology
basal ganglia
caudate nucleus, motor activity
forebrain (cerebral cortex)
most sensory, emotional, and cognitive processing; two specialized hemispheres; left = verbal, math, logic; right = perceptual
somatic branch of PNS
controls voluntary muscles and movement
Autonomic branch of PNS
sympathetic and parasympathetic branches; regulates cardiovascular system & body temperature; also regulates the endocrine system and aids in digestion
temporal lobe
associated with recognizing various sights and sounds and with long-term memory storage
parietal lobe
associated with recognizing various sensations of touch and monitoring body positioning
occipital lobe
associated with integrating and making sense of various visual inputs
frontal lobe
responsible for higher cognitive functions such as thinking and reasoning, planning for the future, and long-term memory
somatic nervous system
controls the muscles, so damage in this area might make it difficult for us to engage in any voluntary movement, including talking
autonomic nervous system
regulate the cardiovascular system (for example, the heart and blood vessels) and the endocrine system (for example, the pituitary, adrenal, thyroid, and gonadal glands) and to perform various other functions, including aiding digestion and regulating body temperature
endocrine system
each gland produces its own chemical messenger, called a hormone, and releases it directly into the bloodstream
chemical messenger produced by the endocrine glands
produced by adrenal glands, also called adrenaline; response to stress, as well as salt-regulating hormones
produced by thyroid; facilitates energy metabolism and growth
pituitary gland
master gland that produces a variety of regulatory hormones; and the gonadal glands produce sex hormones such as estrogen and testosterone
sympathetic nervous system
primarily responsible for mobilizing the body during times of stress or danger (fight or flight) by rapidly activating the organs and glands under its control; heart beats faster, thereby increasing the flow of blood to the muscles; respiration increases, allowing more oxygen to get into the blood and brain; and the adrenal glands are stimulated
parasympathetic nervous system
takes over after the fight or flight has been active for a while, normalizing our arousal and facilitating the storage of energy by helping the digestive process
subset of research for endocrine system
hypothalamic–pituitary-adrenocortical axis
the hypothalamus connects to the adjacent pituitary gland, which is the master or coordinator of the endocrine system; the pituitary gland, in turn, may stimulate the cortical part of the adrenal glands on top of the kidneys
certain structures that cap the ends of chromosomes to protect the chromosome from deteriorating or getting entangled with neighboring chromosomes
brain circuits
neurotransmitter currents or neural pathways in the brain
chemical substance that effectively increases the activity of a neurotransmitter by imitating its effects
in neuroscience, a chemical substance that decreases or blocks the effects of a neurotransmitter
inverse agonists
chemical substance that produces effects opposite those of a particular neurotransmitter
action by which a neurotransmitter is quickly drawn back into the discharging neuron after being released into a synaptic cleft
amino acid neurotransmitter that excites many different neurons, leading to action
gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA)
neurotransmitter that reduces activity across the synapse and thus inhibits a range of behaviors and emotions, especially generalized anxiety
monosodium glutamate; can increase the amount of glutamate in the body, causing headaches, ringing in the ears, or other physical symptoms in some people
neurotransmitter involved in processing of information and coordination of movement, as well as inhibition and restraint; it also assists in the regulation of eating, sexual, and aggressive behaviors, all of which may be involved in different psychological disorders; its interaction with dopamine is implicated in schizophrenia
selective-serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs)
used to treat a num­ber of psychological disorders, particularly anxiety, mood, and eating disorders; affects serotonin more directly than other drugs, including the tricyclic antidepressants
(also noradrenaline) neurotransmitter active in the central and peripheral nervous systems, controlling heart rate, blood pressure, and respiration, among other functions; because of its role in the body’s alarm reaction, it may also contribute generally and indirectly to panic attacks and other disorders
monoamine class
include norepinephrine (also known as noradrenaline), serotonin, and dopamine
amino-acid class
include gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) and glutamate
these drugs block the beta-receptors so that their response to a surge of norepinephrine is reduced, which keeps blood pressure and heart rate down
neurotransmitter whose generalized function is to activate other neurotransmitters and to aid in exploratory and pleasure-seeking behaviors (thus balancing serotonin); a relative excess of dopamine is implicated in schizophrenia (although contradictory evidence suggests the connection is not simple), and its deficit is involved in Parkinson’s disease
this drug and more modern antipsychotic treatments affect a number of neurotransmitter systems, but their greatest impact may be that they block specific dopamine receptors, thus lowering dopamine activity
obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD)
individuals with this severe anxiety-based disorder suffer from intrusive, frightening thoughts—for example, some patients may fear that they might have become contaminated with deadly germs and will poison their loved ones if they touch them
initiating factors
the reasons why a problem develops in the first place
maintaining factors
the reasons why a problem still persists
precision medicine
tailoring the treatment to the individual patient in order to optimize therapy outcome
Insel, Scanlan, Champoux, and Suomi (1988)
raised two groups of rhesus monkeys identically except for their ability to control things in their cages; one group had free access to toys and food treats, but the second group got these toys and treats only when the first group did; in other words, members of the second group had the same number of toys and treats but could not choose when they got them; the monkeys in the first group grew up with a sense of control over things in their lives and those in the second group didn’t
William Greenough
he and his associates raised rats in a complex environment that required significant learning and motor behavior, which affected the structure of the rats’ brains; this supports the role of psychological factors in biological development
cognitive sciences
field of study that examines how humans and other animals acquire, process, store, and retrieve information
learned helplessness
Martin Seligman’s theory that people become anxious and depressed when they make an attribution that they have no control over the stress in their lives (whether or not they do in reality)
learned optimism
if people faced with considerable stress and difficulty in their lives nevertheless display an optimistic, upbeat attitude, they are likely to function better psychologically and physically
positive psychology
investigators explore factors that account for positive attitudes and happiness
(also known as observational learning) learning through observation and imitation of the behavior of other individuals and consequences of that behavior
Albert Bandura
observed that organisms do not have to experience certain events in their environment to learn effectively; rather, they can learn just as much by observing what happens to someone else in a given situation
prepared learning
an ability that has been adaptive for evolution, allowing certain associations to be learned more readily than others
nature of emotion
to elicit or evoke action; action tendency different from affect and mood; intimately tied with several forms of psychopathology
components of emotion
behavior, physiology, and cognition; example of fear
blind sight (unconscious vision)
Weiskrantz (1992); the case of a young man who, for medical reasons, had a small section of his visual cortex surgically removed; the young man became blind in both eyes; during routine tests, a physician raised his hand to the left of the patient who, much to the shock of his doctors, reached out and touched it; scientists determined that he could not only reach accurately for objects but could also distinguish among objects and perform most of the functions usually associated with sight; yet, when asked about his abilities, he would say that all he was doing was guessing
implicit memory
condition of memory in which a person cannot recall past events despite acting in response to them (contrast with explicit memory)
explicit memory
conscious memory for events
Anna O.
it was only after therapy that she remembered events surrounding her father’s death and the connection of these events to her paralysis; her behavior (occasional paralysis) was evidently connected to implicit memories of her father’s death
black box
refers to unobservable feelings and cognitions inferred from an individual’s self-report or behaviors
Stroop paradigm
participants are shown a variety of words, each printed in a different color; they are shown these words quickly and asked to name the colors in which they are printed while ignoring their meaning; color naming is delayed when the meaning of the word attracts the participant’s attention, despite efforts to concentrate on the color
fight or flight response
biological reaction to alarming stressors that musters the body’s resources (for example, blood flow and respiration) to resist or flee a threat
Charles Darwin (1872)
pointed out more than 100 years ago, this kind of reaction seems to be programmed in all animals, including humans, which suggests that it serves a useful evolutionary function
pattern of action elicited by an external event and a feeling state, accompanied by a characteristic physiological response
action tendency
a tendency to behave in a certain way (for example, escape), elicited by an external event (a threat) and a feeling state (terror) and accompanied by a (possibly) characteristic physiological response
enduring period of emotionality
conscious, subjective aspect of an emotion that accompanies an action at a given time
circumplex model
a model describing different emotions as points in a 2-dimensional space of valence and arousal
affective style
sometimes used to summarize commonalities among emotional states characteristic of an individual
fright disorders
characterized by exaggerated startle responses, and other observable fear and anxiety reactions
describes various anxiety-based symptoms, including insomnia, irritability, phobias, and the marked somatic symptoms of sweating and increased heart rate (tachycardia)
gender roles
cultural expectations of men and women
developmental psychopathology principle that a behavior or disorder may have several causes