2.4 Limbic-Emotions and Memory Flashcards Preview

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Flashcards in 2.4 Limbic-Emotions and Memory Deck (73):
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Psychology of limbic system

Collectively processes and experiences emotions

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Limbic system (physiology) function

Links the somatic (perception of external) & autonomic (internet, visceral) nervous systems

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Two-way communication

Hypothalamus (autonomic) to limbic (somatic); limbic channels all somatic perception information to and from the cerebral cortex / diencephalic regions

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Hypothalamus provides limbic system with information about...

The state of the INTERNAL body environment..
-Drive or motivational states (physiological reasons for wanting to do things: drink water, eat food, reproduce, etc)

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Limbic system sends info about...

State of external environment the body is dealing with (Emotional states of being: fear, anxiety, anger, happy, sad)

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Limbic system anatomy

Widespread regions throughout the midbrain, involves both cerebral and diencephalic brain regions

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Hypothalamus

Consists of many nuclei that control feeding, drinking, self defense and reproduction
(point between nervous and endocrine)

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Arcuate nucleus (hypothalamus)

Has gonadotropes: makes people want to reproduce and controls the actual process

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Anterior and Supraoptic nucleus (hypothalamus)

Produce ADH
ADH is potent stimulator of thirst

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The hedonic principle

Hypothalamus stimulates behaviors-->those that result in pleasurable sensation in the limbic system are repeated, behaviors that result in painful or unpleasant sensations are avoided

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Reward

A stimulus (resulting from a behavior) that results in pleasure
ex: you drink water because you are thirsty, positive emotions / associations

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Punishment

Stimulus (resulting from a behavior) that results in pain / discomfort
ex: consumption of toxic food, negative emotions / associations with food and venue

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Limbic system neurons produce neuropeptides known as...

Endorphins

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2 types of endorphins

Enkephalins and dynorphins

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Endorphin =

ENDOgenous morphing-like substances

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Opiate drugs

Bind to endorphin receptors (morphine, oxycontin, heroin)

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Enkephalins

Released following rewarding stimuli, causing pleasurable sensations (euphoria)

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When are enkephalins released?

Sexual orgasm, satiety of thirst and hunger
Also during vigorous exercise.. decrease pain sensation(analgesic)

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Dynorphins

Released following punishing stimuli, causing unpleasant sensations (dysphoria)

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Where do endorphins have a critical role in learning and memory processes?

Hippocampus

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What is the first step in detecting / satisfying hunger?

Hypothalamus perceives a caloric deficiency (energy deprivation)

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What happens after the hypothalamus perceives energy storage?

Hypothalamus signals limbic system, which results in
a} dynorphin release (dysphoria)
b}a subjective feeling of "hunger" (discomfort) aroused by limbic system
c} Limbic system organizes and initiates feeding behavior

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What happens after feeding behavior?

Energy level is normalized
-Both mobilized (blood) and and bodily stores of energy

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What happens after normalization of energy level?

Hypothalamus subconsciously detects rise in energy

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After the hypothalamus detects rise in energy,

Hypothalamus signals to limbic system which results in
{a} an enkephalin release (euphoria)
{b} Subjective feeling of satiety
{c} You positively associate whatever you just ate, remember the food well (hippocampus) and go back to that food later

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Hippocampus

Works with amygdala and cerebral cortex to consolidate information from short-term memory into long-term memory

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Short-term memory

Limited to several (about 6) specific pieces of stored information, requires lots of energy to keep things here

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What does short term memory require?

Hippocampal attention, subject to distraction and disappear of not reinforced / practiced

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What is short-term memory important for?

Short-term planning of behaviors and recalling simple sequences of motor acts

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Hippocampus and amygdala assist in...

Formation of long-term, more permanent neuronal networks in the cerebral cortex

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Hippocampus (STM-->LTM)

Records context / content of memory ) place and time

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Amygdala (STM-->LTM)

Determines object associations (people and positions) and positive / negative emotional impressions

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Anterograde amnesia

Transient impairments of reinforcement (black-out drunk) prevents new info storage, yet old memories remain (Ethanol shuts down the function of the hippocampus)

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Each region of the cerebral cortex specializes in...

Long-term memory storage
-Highly compartmentalized
-Info stored relates to function of that cortical area

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Where is sound remembered?

Wernicke's area

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Where are faces remembered?

Visual association areas of left hemisphere

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Amygdala (Emotional side of limbic memory systems)

Association of stimuli with rewards, punishments, severe threats to well-being
-Dynorphins
-Enkephalins

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Other functions of amygdala

-Regulates strength and duration of consolidated memories(more emotional will be better remembered)
-Mediates emotions of fear, anger, distress, anxiety

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A hypersensitivity in mediation of negative emotions leads to...

Anxiety, PTSD, and OCD

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SSRIs

(Selective serotonin repute inhibitors)
Calm things down, allows logic from cerebral cortex to prevail over the primal, irrational fear

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Amygdala, if triggered...

Has direct line to sympathetic nervous system.. stress hormones flood the system

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Cingulate gyrus

"Gear-shifter", plays a key role in protecting you from potentially harmful outcomes

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Functions of cingulate gyrus

-Key role in decision making since it anticipates possible outcomes
-Talks to the rest of prefrontal cortex involved in the planning of behavior

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Functions of cingulate gyrus

-Key role in decision making since it anticipates possible outcomes
-Talks to the rest of prefrontal cortex involved in the planning of behavior

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Brainstem Neuromodulatory Systems

-Small populations of neurons that send fibers to large areas of the brain

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Function of the Brainstem neuromodulatory systems

Sleep and wake cycle
Arousal levels
Attention (motor and sensory)
Mood
Memory

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Reticular activating system

Regulates arousal levels (sleep / wake cycles) and attention or alertness when awake

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RAS receives inputs from...

1. Cerebral (cognitive)
2. Limbic (emotional)
3. Sensory (external
4. Hypothalamic (internal)
...systems

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RAS sends..

Outputs to thalamus (sensory pathway arousal) and reticulospinal pathway (motor pathway arousal)

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Neurotransmitters involved in sleep / wake cycle and mood

Seratonin, norepinephrine and dopamine

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Seratonin

A neurotransmitter derived from the amino acid tryptophan, binds seratonin receptors expressed throughout CNS

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Norepinephrine

Neurotransmitter (and hormone in ANS), binds adrenergic receptors expressed within the CNS (not just in the peripheral ANS)

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Dopamine

Neurotransmitter produced in a few select (scattered) brain regions (also seen in motor systems)

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All receptors of sleep / wake cycle and mood neurotransmitters...

Are G-protein coupled receptors that activate PKA or PKC pathways in target cells

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Depression

Pathological feeling of fatigue, helplessness, not alert
-Involves chronic disease in 5-HT (seratonin) or NE

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How do anti-depressants work?

Increase brain levels of 5-HT / NE

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SSRIs examples

Prozac, zooloft, etc

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SNRIs

Seratonin / norepinephrine RIs
Other classes of antidepressants

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Electrophalogram (EEG)

Record brain's electrical activity, electrical potentials sensed by scalp electrodes

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What is the sleep / wake cycle regulated by?

Cyclic changes in RAS activity (NE / 5-HT)

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Stage 4 (Slow-wave sleep)

Deepest sleep, associated with very low RAS activity

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REM

RAS relatively active (particularly motor)

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Vivid dreaming occurs..

During REM sleep which is a relatively "alert" state of sleep when people can sleep walk
(Sleep scientists think this helped us from being eaten during sleep)

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Prevention of REM sleep can result in..

Psychotic behavior (hallucinations, delusions)

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REM sleep (memory consolidation)

Procedural (process) and spatial (environmental) memories

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SWS (memory consolidation)

Memory of facts and knowledge
(If you truly want to learn something, you need to SW sleep on it)

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Dopamine (DA) regulates..

Motor behavior

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Excessive DA release leads to...
Also cocaine and amphetamines

Hyperactivity
-Cocaine inhibits DA re-uptake
-Amphetamines cause DA release
*Both give perception of physical energy

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Decreased DA release leads to...
Also Parkinson's disease

Death of DA neurons (lack coordination)

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Bipolar disorder

Caused by dysregulated DA release
-Excessive DA > Mania!
-Insufficient DA > Depression

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"Feel good" drugs all cause ..

Increased DA release which stimulates reward systems
ex: alcohol, nicotine, opiates, cocaine, ecstasy

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Summary of dopamine pathway functions and location

Frontal cortex
-Reward (motivation)
-Pleasure
-Motor function
-Compulsion
-Perseveration

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Summary of Serotonin pathway functions

-Mood
-Memory processing
-Sleep
-Cognition