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Chapter1 Chapter1 Presentation Transcript

  • Chapter 1 The Major Issues
  • The Mind-Brain Relationship
    • Biological Psychology is the study of the physiological and genetic basis of behavior.
    • Emphasis is placed upon physiological, evolutionary and developmental mechanisms of behavior.
    • A strong emphasis is placed upon brain functioning.
  • Fig. 1-1, p. 2
  • The Mind-Brain Relationship
    • Brain functioning can be explained at a more microscopic level in terms of neuron and glia activity.
  • Fig. 1-2, p. 3
  • The Mind-Brain Relationship
    • Biological explanations of behavior fall into four categories:
      • Physiological - emphasis on brain and other vital organs.
      • Ontogenetic - describes the development of a structure or behavior.
      • Evolutionary - focuses upon the evolutionary history of a behavior.
      • Functional - describes why a structure or behavior evolved as it did.
  • The Mind-Brain Relationship
    • Deep understanding of a particular behavior is tied to being able to explain the behavior from each of these perspectives.
  • The Mind-Brain Relationship
    • Biological explanations of behavior raise the issue of the relationship between the mind and the brain also know as the “ mind-body ” or “ mind-brain problem ”.
    • The “mind-brain problem” has a variety of explanations.
  • The Mind-Brain Relationship
    • Dualism is the belief that there are different kinds of substances and the mind and the body are separate entities.
      • Defended by French philosopher Rene Descartes.
      • Most common belief among nonscientists.
      • Rejected by most neuroscientists.
  • The Mind-Brain Relationship
    • Monism is the belief that the universe is only comprised of one type of substance.
    • Forms of monism include:
      • Materialism - everything that exists is physical by nature.
      • Mentalism - only the mind truly exists.
      • Identity position- mental processes are the same as brain processes but simply described in different ways.
  • The Mind-Brain Relationship
    • Explanations of the mind-body relationship do not answer some fundamental questions:
      • Why is consciousness a property of brain activity?
      • What kind of brain activity produces consciousness?
      • How does brain activity produce consciousness?
  • The Mind-Brain Relationship
    • Because “consciousness” is not observable, it’s function is often difficult to define and/ or explain.
    • Solipsism - suggests that “I alone” am conscious
      • Difficulty of knowing if others have conscious experiences is known as the “ problem of other minds”.
  • The Mind-Brain Relationship
    • Chalmers (1995) proposes two problems that must be distinguished when discussing consciousness:
      • Easy problems - focus on differences in conscious states and their mechanisms.
      • Hard problems - focus on why and how brain activity is associated with consciousness.
  • The Mind-Brain Relationship
    • Research approaches to the “hard problems” include:
      • Using brain scan techniques to identify specific regions of the brain and the corresponding amount of activity when a stimulus is consciously detected.
      • Monitoring brain activity when attention is directed or focused upon varying competing stimuli.
  • The Genetics of Behavior
    • Both genes and environment interact to shape human behavior.
    • The fundamental issue is how much a role genetics do play in shaping human behaviors.
      • Examples: psychological disorders, weight gain, personality, sexual orientation?
  • The Genetics of Behavior
    • 19 th century monk Gregor Mendel demonstrated that inheritance occurs through genes.
    • Genes are basic units of heredity that maintain their structural identity from one generation to another.
    • Genes are aligned along chromosomes (strands of genes) and come in pairs.
  • The Genetics of Behavior
    • A gene is a portion of a chromosome and is composed of deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA).
    • DNA serves as a model for the synthesis of ribonucleic acid (RNA) .
  • Fig. 1-7, p. 12
  • The Genetics of Behavior
    • RNA is a single strand chemical that can serve as a template/ model for the synthesis of proteins.
    • Proteins determine the development of the body by:
      • forming part of the structure of the body.
      • serving as enzymes that serve as biological catalysts and regulate chemical reaction in the body.
  • The Genetics of Behavior
    • Homozygous for a gene means that a person has an identical pair of genes on the two chromosomes.
    • Heterozygous for a gene means that a person has an unmatched pair of genes on the two chromosomes.
  • The Genetics of Behavior
    • Some genes can be either dominant or recessive.
      • Examples: eye color, ability to taste PTC
    • A dominant gene shows a strong effect in either the homozygous or heterozygous condition.
    • A recessive gene shows its effect only in the homozygous condition.
  • Fig. 1-8, p. 13
  • The Genetics of Behavior
    • Each chromosome participates in reproduction independently of the others.
    • Each species has a certain number of chromosomes.
    • Crossing over occurs when a pair of chromosomes break apart during reproduction and reconnects and attaches to the second chromosome.
      • BC & bc  Bc & bC
  • The Genetics of Behavior
    • Types of genes include:
      • Autosomal genes - all genes except for sex- linked genes.
      • Sex-linked genes - genes located on the sex chromosomes.
    • In mammals, the sex chromosomes are designated X & Y.
      • Females have two X chromosomes (XX).
      • Males have an X and a Y chromosome (XY).
  • The Genetics of Behavior
    • During reproduction:
      • Females contribute an X chromosome.
      • Males contribute either an X or a Y chromosome that determines the sex of the child.
    • If an X chromosome is contributed by the male, the off-spring is female.
    • If a Y chromosome is contributed by the male, the off-spring will be male.
  • The Genetics of Behavior
    • The human Y chromosome has genes for 27 proteins
    • The human X chromosome has genes for approximately 1500 proteins.
    • Thus, sex-linked genes usually refer to X-linked genes. (Example: Red-green color deficiency)
    • Sex-limited genes are genes that are present in both sexes but mainly have an effect on one sex (Chest hair, breast size, etc.)
  • The Genetics of Behavior
    • Sources of variation in a species that allows for evolution to occur include:
    • Recombination refers to a new combination of genes in the off-spring that yield characteristics not found in either parent.
    • Mutation refers to a change in a single gene that is rare, random and often independent of the needs of the organism.
  • The Genetics of Behavior
    • Almost all behaviors have both a genetic component and an environmental component.
    • Researchers study monozygotic and fraternal twins to infer how much of a genetic component exists for a particular behavior.
    • Researchers also study adopted children and their resemblance to their biological parents to infer the influence of heredity.
    • Estimates of hereditary influences are often difficult to infer and are prone to error.
    • Sources of error include the following:
      • The inability to distinguish between the effects of genes and prenatal influences.
      • Environmental factors can inactivate genes.
    The Genetics of Behavior
    • Sources of error (con’t)
      • Multiplier effect – genetic tendencies that guide behavior will result in a change in the environment that magnifies the original tendency.
      • Traits with a strong hereditary influence can by modified by environmental intervention.
        • Eg. “elevated plus maze”, PKU
    The Genetics of Behavior
  • Fig. 1-9, p. 15
    • Genes do not directly produce behaviors.
    • Genes produce proteins that increase the probability that a behavior will develop under certain circumstances.
    • Genes can also have an indirect affect.
      • Genes can alter your environment by producing behaviors or traits that alter how people in your environment react to you.
    The Genetics of Behavior
    • Evolution refers to a change in the frequency of various genes in a population over generations
    • Evolution attempts to answer two questions:
      • How did some species evolve?
      • How do species evolve?
    The Genetics of Behavior
  • The Genetics of Behavior
    • How species did evolve involves the tentative construction of “evolutionary trees”.
    • How species do evolve rests upon two assumptions:
      • Offspring generally resemble their parents for genetic reasons.
      • Mutations and recombination of genes introduce new heritable variations that help or harm the chance of survival and reproduction.
  • Fig. 1-10, p. 17
  • The Genetic of Behavior
    • Common misconceptions about evolution include the following:
      • Lamarckian evolution - “The use or disuse of some structure or behavior causes an increase or decrease in that behavior.”
      • “Humans have stopped evolving.”
      • “Evolution means improvement.”
      • “Evolution acts to benefit the individual or the species.”
  • The Genetics of Behavior
    • Evolutionary psychology (sociobiology) focuses upon functional explanations of how behaviors evolved.
    • Assumes that behaviors characteristic of a species have arisen through natural selection and provide a survival advantage.
      • Examples: differences in peripheral/color vision, sleep mechanisms in the brain, eating habits, temperature regulation.
  • The Genetics of Behavior
    • Some behaviors are more debatable regarding the influence of natural selection.
    • Examples include:
      • Life span length
      • Gender differences in sexual promiscuity
      • Altruistic behavior
  • The Use of Animals in Research
    • Animal research is an important source of information for biological psychology but remains a highly controversial topic.
    • Animal research varies on the amount of stress and/ or pain that is caused to the animal itself.
  • The Use of Animals in Research
    • Reasons for studying animals include:
      • The underlying mechanisms of behavior are similar across species and often easier to study in nonhuman species.
      • We are interested in animals for their own sake.
      • What we learn about animals sheds light on human evolution.
      • Some experiments cannot use humans because of legal or ethical reasons.
  • Fig. 1-12, p. 23
  • The Use of Animals in Research
    • Opposition to animal research varies:
      • “ Minimalists ” favor firm regulation on research and place consideration upon the type of animal used and the amount of stress induced.
      • “ Abolitionists ” maintain that all animals have the same rights as humans and any use of animals is unethical.
  • The Use of Animals in Research
    • Justification for research considers the amount of benefit gained compared to the amount of distress caused to the animal.
      • No clear dividing line exists.
    • Colleges and research institutions in the United States are required to have an Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee.
      • Oversees and determine acceptable procedures.