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Flashcards in lecture 30 Deck (22):
1

What is an absolute requirement of social behaviour?

- that we can tell people from one another
- activation of the inferior temporal gyrus and facial recognition
- recognition of individuals and we keep information about those individuals in our memory e.g. what they've done in the past, behaviour, predicting future behaviour
- necessary to behave in a sophisticated social context

2

What guidessocial behaviour?

- seems to be how we feel about things
- e.g. activation of amygdala during judgements of trustworthiness

3

With what is the prefrontal cortex synonymous?

- our mind
- we seem to live in the prefrontal cortex in terms of what we spend our conscious lives thinking about

4

Are the criteria of social cognition set?

- no
- somewhat arbitrary set of criteria
- as well as innate dispositions to our interactions with others, the rules or concepts that shape our social expectations, and form the norms of social behaviour, are a continuously evolving cultural inheritance

- the norms of behaviour are very plastic e.g. acceptance of nudity or gay marriage

5

What maintains social norms?

- powerful forces
- a particularly important aspect of our social competence is the development of the so-called "self conscious" emotions
- these emotions are experienced when an individual is able to internalise social constructs and evaluate their performance in relation to them

6

What are features of shame?

- usually keep mouth closed - don't want to speak
- drop their head
- body collapses

7

What is a skill that underlies adult behaviour?

- hiding telling body language
- e.g. shame
- disguise manifestations in body language

8

How could you attempt to determine what controls social behaviour?

- "non-cognitive" emotions
- simple self referential emotional responses
- complex self referential emotional responses

9

Are there fundamental emotions?

- probably but how many ?
- surprise, interest, joy, anger, sadness, fear, digust
- some present almost at birth, some about 6 months

10

What do we see at end of second year of life?

- self recognition
- consciousness as in self-referential behaviour
- embarrassment (nonevaluative), envy, empathy

11

What do we see at three years?

- complex self referantial emotional responses
- embarrassment (evaluative), pride, shame, guilt

- acquisition and retention of standards and rules

- i.e. comparing performance to what is expected so you must be comparing to a model in your head

12

Do animals understand signs of social behaviour?

- yes
- manipulation of cognitive dispositions
- e.g. polar bear and dog
- monkeys

13

How do we detect lies?

- the abilities to "lie" and to detect lies are crucial to human interaction
- e.g different control pathways for forced or natural smiles

Volitional movement
- descending "pyramidal" and "extrapyramidal" projections from motor cortex and brain stem
//--> voluntary facial paresis
--> "pyramidal smile"
--> motor neuron pools in facial nucleus
--> activation of facial muscles

Neural systems for emotion
- descending "extrapyramidal" projections from parts of the ventral forebrain and hypothalamus
//--> emotional facial paresis
--> duchenne smile
--> motor neuron pools in facial nucleus
--> activation of facial muscles

14

How do we know about the prefrontal cortex?

- a great deal of information on the function of the prefrontal lobes in humans derives from the fact that head injuries from frontal impacts characteristically damage the prefrontal cortex
- gage - railway worker
- concious very soon after accident
- medical help
- memory, speech, comprehension, movement fine
- everything seem reasonably intact
- mostly a midline injury
- after accident: "considered change in his mind so marked that they could not give him his place again"
- equilibrium/balance between intellectual and animal tendencies seemed to be destroyed
- fundamental change
- undoubtedly exaggerated
- became more like a young child
- tenacious, stubborn, emotionally labile, don't like being told what to do

- at the height of enthusiasm, psychiatric neurosurgery was recommended for curing or ameliorating schizophrenia, depression, homosexuality, childhood behaviour disorders, criminal behaviour and uncontrolled violence
- it is estimated that over 50,000 procedures were performed int he US alone between 1936 and the mid-1950s (chlorpromazine was developed in 1954) and much of the controversy surrounding psychiatric neurosurgery may relate to its overzealous and sometimes indiscriminate application during this period

15

Where is the drive of language?

- in our mind
- even if ability is intact no prefrontal connections lessen our desire to communicate

16

What are features of "acquired sociopathy"?

- distractibility
- emotional lability
- tactlessness
- a tendency towards outbursts
- extravertness/impulsiveness
- slight euphoric states

Phineas Gage: before his accident - serious, industrious, energetic (responsible)
- after he "recovered" - childish, irresponsible, thoughtless and tactless
- unable to carry out plans, made poor decisions in his dealings with people
- gage made a "full recovery", but "gage was no longer gage"

17

What does clinical data say about prefrontal cortex?

- provides evidence of a crucia role of prefrontal cortex in being able to cognitively represent emotional states
- Maclean (1990) cites a case of a nurse, who after prefrontal lobotomy, commented that she was no longer able to sympathise with her patients
- people with prefrontal lobotomies have reported that "something inside them has died" and that they "can neither feel real happiness or deep sorrow"

18

What do animals with prefrontal lesions exhibit?

- abnormalities in temperament, emotion and social behaviour
- monkeys with lesions of the orbital-ventromedial prefrontal cortex exhibit an often profound indifference to their physical environment and to other monkeys in their social group
- in social contexts they are often timid, fearful and withdrawn
- grooming and all other forms of affiliative behaviour, including maternal behaviour, are diminished and anecdotal evidence suggests that, after frontal lesions, female monkeys become poor sexual partners and bad mother s
- the results of orbital prefrontal lesions on monkeys are variable but most commonly the conclusion is that all emotions appear obtunded
- prefrontal monkeys show a reduction in facial expressiveness, no longer vocalise or othwerise communicate
- "the [orbital prefrontal] animal is obviously a social cripple - incapable of social interaction and therefore of securing a place in the social order" (Meyers 1978)

19

What neural substrates could we expect to mediate social cognition?

- internalisation and learning of rules
- linked to affective experiences
- the ventral and medial prefrontal cortex, and subcortical structures with which it is associated (particularly the medial dorsal thalamus, and the amygdaloid complex) are the main centres for complex social recognition
- the bodily sates associated with emotional experiences are selective activations of the autonomic nervous system, mediated (at least in part) through the amygdala, hypothalamus and brainstem autonomic control centres

- must be a link between rule following and what it feels like to follow or not follow the rules

20

What force shapes social compliance?

- the capacity to "feel bad"
- socially salient stimuli (or thoughts) evoke visceral activation and the associated emotional experiences ("we know this in countless ways")
- these experiences can be very unpleasant
- somatic marker hypothesis - "gut feelings" are detected and used to guide social judgements

21

What are the three principle zones of the hypothalamus?

- lateral and medial: behavioural patterns
- periventricular: neurosecretory

22

Summary?

- these regions are also areas involved in production of emotional experiences
- this we know perfectly well from our own experience
- that social situations can evoke all sorts of emotions, from terror to elation

- these regions receive input, directly from the spinal cord and via the medial frontal thalamus from enteroceptors (sensory nerves of the internal organs) and also cutanous nociceptors
- project to autonomic control centres
- these connections mediate the body changes that accompany emotional experience and may, through their activation by prefrontal cortex, serve as the driving force behind social compliance