Flashcards in Biology and Personality Part One Deck (49):
What is the relationship between the brain and its environment?
The relationship between the brain and its environment works in both directions: biology affects environment and environment (learning, experience, context) changes biology
How is Understanding the brain and behavior connected?
Understanding the brain can help us understand behavior, but understanding behavior can also help us understand the brain
What does the Amygdala do?
Links perceptions and thoughts with memory and emotional meaning
What is the amygdala's role?
Role is assessing whether a stimulus is threatening (possibly if it is rewarding, this is less clear)
The Amygdala: Relevant Traits Include...
anxiety, fearfulness, sociability, sexuality, optimism
What is something the amygdala has relevance to?
Relevant to Motivation Example
Whitman murders at University of Texas in 1966: had a malignant tumor next to the amygdala, which may have caused his motivation to murder his wife, mother, himself, and 14 others without understanding why he wanted to do this
What is the function of the frontal lobe and neocortex?
Higher cognitive functions: abstract reasoning, ethics, hypotheticals
How are emotions sorted in your brain?
Pleasant emotions (left) and unpleasant emotions (right) (sort of—anger seems more of a left FC thing. But complicated because of inhibition, excitation, and processing functions make it difficult to interpret brain activity/behavior relationships. Plus, the right hemisphere in general appears to handle processing of emotional stimul
Which side of the brain is approach and which side is withdrawal?
Approach (left) and withdrawal (right)
Which side of the brain is inhibition of reactions to unpleasant stimuli
What do the The Frontal Lobes and Neocortex do?
Lateral specialization and integration
What is the Somatic marker hypothesis
idea that the bodily (or somatic), emotional component of thought is a necessary part of problem solving and decision making (the prefrontal and especially the orbital cortex important in integrating emotion and cognition— critical to self concept and to problem-solving and decision-making
Give Examples of Social Understanding and Self-Control
Phineas Gage (1848): personality changed in a negative way (fitful, irreverent, impatient, obstinate), less emotional, could not hold a job, made unwise decisions
Someone with brain damage might not be able to...
to understand others’ emotions or regulate own impulses and feelings (disinhibition), unable to make appropriate decisions (compromised judgment and executive functions
What is Negative emotions and cooperativeness
People prone to negative emotions have an especially high level of activity in the prefrontal cortex; People who are cooperative have high activity when interacting with others
What is the Role in Self-enhancement?
when this area was temporarily shut-off, self-descriptions were less positive than in a control condition
Cognition and emotion are...
mutually reliant and defining
What is the capgras syndrome?
belief that loved ones have been replaced, follows injury to right frontal lobe; possible explanation is that people fail to respond emotionally to their loved ones and therefore conclude they must not be the same people
Where is the The Ascending Reticular Activating System
Connected to cerebral cortex and rest of brain
What does The Ascending Reticular Activating System do?
Regulation of balance between arousal and calming by allowing information into the brain
•Believed to be the basis for the distinction between extraversion
•Introverts are chronically overaroused (too much information is let in) and extraverts are underaroused (not enough information is let in)
What is some supporting evidence for the Ascending Reticular Activating System?
• extraverts had less activity in three areas of the brain while working on a memorization task
• the lemon juice test: introverts salivated more
What does recent research say about the Ascending Reticular Activating System?
More recent research is contradictory: different parts of the brain can show different levels of arousal (so the ARAS does not control everything)
What is The Anterior Cingulate Cortex important for?
Important for experiencing emotion; helps regulate the amygdala through inhibition (implicated in OCD and PTSD)
What does the anterior cingulate cortex do?
Controlling emotional responses and behavior impulses
•Charles Whitman (tumor interfered with the anterior cingulate-amygdala circuit)
What are possible implications for extraversion and neuroticism:
stronger response to positive and neutral words among extraverts than introverts; more activity among neurotics when a stimuli did not match an expectation (mismatches may trigger negative emotions associated with neuroticism)
What is important to remember about the brain system?
Important to remember that the brain is a system: nearly everything in the brain is connected to everything else
•networks and circuits may be more important than areas or structures
What is the Neural context effect:
it’s important to look at more than one area of the brain to understand complex processes
What is Persistence?
two areas of frontal cortex and part of the striatum
What is the C-System?
involved in effortful reflective thought about self and others: lateral prefrontal cortex, hippocampus, medial temporal lobe, and posterior parietal cortex
What is the X-System?
effortless, reflexive social thought: ventromedial prefrontal cortex, the amygdala, and lateral temporal cortex
What is the Low Road?
What is the Hight Road?
What are traits associated with the low road?
Impulsive, Spontaneous, faster processing,fast learner, non-thinking, parallel processing,not affected my mental load
What are traits associated with the high road?
intentional, controlled, slower processing, slower learner, thinking, serial processing, affected by mental load
The Hidden Brain is
X-System,Amygdala, Habitual routine behaviors, Reptilian brain structure, Dopamine receptors pleasurable
What is the C-system or System 2
The prefrontal cortex, new information storage and evaluation, neocortical structure, High energy needs, painful
What was the Prefrontal leucotomy (by 1937):
damages small areas of white matter behind each frontal lobe with intention of decreasing pathological levels of agitation and emotional arousal
What is the prefrontal lobotomy
remove or destroy whole sectors of the frontal lobes
What are some facts/lessons of psychosurgery
Observations of patients consistent with brain damage
•Very popular (despite high mortality rates) from the ‘30s up to the early ‘50s (replaced with use of neuroleptic medications)
What is a research method for studying the brain?
Difficulties with imaging techniques include
The radiator analogy •May indicate inhibitory activity •All parts of the brain are always active to some degree
• Blood oxygenation level dependent (BOLD) imaging signals and
•Brain activity in response to a stimulus does not mean the same psychological process occurs every time that area is active
Additional difficulties with imaging techniques include
Most researchers only look at small areas
•Difficult to detect the neural context effect
•The technology is difficult to use and theory not always “up to” interpreting results.
– connected to just about everything else; secretes several hormones
– important role in emotion (this is discussed more later)
important in processing memories
outer layer of the brain
– outermost layer of the cortex – most distinctive part of the human brain