Flashcards in Week 1 Chapter 2 Current Paradigms in Psychopathology CF Deck (69):
What is a paradigm?
A paradigm is a conceptual framework or set of assumptions that defines how to conceptualise & study a subject; how to gather & interpret relevant data, even how to think about a particular subject
What are 3 paradigms that guide the study & treatment of psychopathology?
3 paradigms that guide the study & treatment of psychopathology are
paradigms. For most disorders, each paradigm offers some important information with respect to aetiology & treatment, but only provide part of the picture
What are 2 other factors that cut across all the paradigms and are significant in terms of the description, causes, and treatment of all the disorders?
2 other factors that cut across all the paradigms are socio-cultural factors and emotional factors
What does Shenk (2010) say of genes?
Genes do not, on their own, make us smart, dumb, sassy, polite, depressed, joyful, musical tone-deaf, athletic, clumsy, literary or incurious. Those characteristics come from a complex interplay within a dynamic system. Every day in every way you are helping to shape which genes become active. Your life is interacting with your genes.
What are the 2 key aspects that make up the genetic paradigm?
1. almost all behaviour is heritable to some degree (i.e. involves genes)
2. genes do not operate in isolation from the environment. Instead, through the lifespan, the environment shapes how our genes are expressed, and our genes also shape our environment
What does it mean to think about genes and the environment as 'nature via nurture'?
We are considering how environmental influences, such as stress, relationships, & culture (nurture), shape which of our genes are turned on or off & how our genes (nature) influence our bodies & brain
What are genes?
*Genes are the carries of the genetic information (DNA)
*Genes makes proteins that in turn make the body & brain work
*It is the sequencing, or ordering, of these genes as well as their expression that make us unique
What is gene expression?
*Gene expression is the process where proteins switch genes on or off
*Gene expression is related to how your genes interact with your environment
Psychopathology is polygenic. What does this mean?
Several genes, perhaps operating at different times during the course of development, are turning themselves on & off as they interact with a person's environment - this is the essence of genetic vulnerability & establishes that we do not inherit mental illness from our genes, rather, we develop mental illness through the interaction of our genes with our environment
What does heritability refer to?
Heritability refers to the extent to which variability in a particular behaviour (or disorder) in a population can be accounted for by genetic factors.
What are 2 important considerations to be aware of with regard heritability?
1. heritability estimates range from 0.0 to 1.0 - the higher the number, the greater the heritability
2. Heritability is relevant ONLY for populations not a particular individual. Thus it is incorrect to talk about any on person's heritability for a particular disorder. Knowing the heritability for ADHD is 0.7 does not mean 70% of James' ADHD came from his genes & 30% from the environment. It means that in a population, the variation of ADHD is understood as being attributed to 70% genes & 30% environment. There is no heritability in ADHD (or any disorder) for a particular individual
Other factors that are just as important as genes in genetic research are environmental factors.
What are Shared environments?
Shared environment factors include those things that members of a family have in common such as family income level, child-rearing practices, and parents martial status and parenting quality.
Other factors that are just as important as genes in genetic research are environmental factors.
What are Non-Shared or Unique Environments?
Non-Shared environmental factors are those things believed to be distinct among members of a family, such as relationships with friends, or events specific to an individual (e.g. car crash or athletic club membership). These are believed to be important in understanding why 2 siblings from the same family can be so different.
What are two broad approaches in the genetic paradigm?
Two broad approaches in the genetic paradigm are *behaviour genetics and
What is behaviour genetics?
Behaviour genetics is the study of the degree to which genes & environmental factors influence behaviour, rather than HOW genes or the environment determine behaviour
What is a genotype?
*Genotype is the total genetic make up of an individual, consisting of inherited genes
*the physical sequence of DNA
*The genotype cannot be observed outwardly
What is a phenotype?
*The phenotype is the totality of observable behavioural characteristics, such as level of anxiety
*The Phenotype changes over time & is the product of an interaction between the genotype and the environment
What did Turkheimer & colleagues find in 2003 when they studies how genes and environment may interact to influence IQ?
*They found that heritability depends on environment
*among low SES families 60% of variability in children's IQ was attributable to the environment
*among high SES families the opposite was found
*Thus, variability in IQ was more attributable to genes than the environment
What do molecular genetics studies seek to identify?
Molecular genetics studies seek to identify particular genes and their functions
How many chromosomes does a human being have?
*A human being has 46 chromosomes (23 pairs)
*Each chromosome is made up of hundreds of thousands of genes that contain DNA
What is an allele?
*Different forms of the same gene are called alleles.
*The alleles of a gene are found at the same location or locus of a chromosome pair
What is a genetic polymorphism?
A genetic polymorphism refers to a difference in DNA sequence on a gene that has occurred in a population
Tell me a little about DNA and Gene expression & how they relate to the study of molecular genetics & psychopathology
*The DNA in genes is transcribed to RNA,
*In some cases, the RNA is then translated into amino acids, which then form proteins, & proteins make cells
*Gene expression involves particular types of DNA called promoters which are recognised by particular proteins called transcription factors
*Promoters & transcription factors are the focus of much research in molecular genetics & Psychopathology
In the past 10 years, molecular genetics research has focused on identifying differences between people in the sequence of the genes and in the structure of their genes.
What are single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNP's - pronounces snips) & how are they important to molecular genetics research?
*A SNP refers to differences between people in a single nucleotide (A, T, G, C).
*SNP's ae the most common type of polymorphisms in the human genome, with nearly 10 million different SNP's identified thus far
*SNP's have been studied in schizophrenia, autism, & the mood disorders
What are Copy Number Variations (CNVs)?
*CNVs are an abnormal copy of one or more section of the DNA within the gene(s).
*These abnormal copies can be additions (extra copies) or deletions (missing copies)
*as much as 5% of the human genome contains CNVs, which can be inherited from parents or can be spontaneous mutations, appearing for the first time in individuals
*CNVs have been studied in schizophrenia, autism & ADHD
What are knockout studies?
*Knockout studies are where researchers actually manipulate specific genes& then observe the effects on behaviour
*Specific genes can be taken out of mice DNA e.g. the specific gene responsible for neurotransmitter serotonin (5-HT1A) has been knocked out of mice before birth; as adults they show an anxious phenotype.
*Another study temporarily knocked 5-HT1A out & found its restoration early in development still produced anxious behaviour in adult mice
What is a gene-environment interaction?
*A gene-environment interaction means that a given person's sensitivity to an environmental event is influenced by genes
Give an example of a research study which provided evidence for gene-environment interaction involving depression
*A longitudinal study with a large sample in New Zealand followed children from the age of 5 years - mid 20's assessing a number of variables including: early childhood maltreatment & depression in adults
*They also measured a polymorphism gene: 5-HTT called the serotonin transporter gene.
*People can have short-short, short-long or long-long alleles of 5-HTT
*Having the gene was not sufficient to predict depression, nor was experiencing childhood maltreatment. Rather, it was the specific combination of at least one short allele on 5-HTT & reports of a stressful life event
*Findings have been successfully replicated
What is epigenetics & what does the term epigenetics mean?
*Epigenetics is the study of how the environment can alter gene expression or function
*The term epigenetics means 'above or outside of the gene' & refers to the chemical 'marks' that are attached to & protect the DNA of each gene.
*These epigenetic marks are what control gene expression & the environment can directly influence the work of these marks
Darlene Francis studied rats parenting behaviours. What did he find?
*Parenting behaviours can be passed to offspring in a non-genetic way.
*Parenting style was transmitted across 2 generations after an adoption
*The adoptive parent's behaviour was what was transmitted across generations, NOT the biological parent's behaviour, which would suggest an environmental effect
*The transmission of good mothering was due in part to the fact that it triggered an increase in the expression of a certain gene among adoptive offspring
*The environment (mothering) was responsible for turning on (or up) the expression of a certain gene.
*Once it was on, mothering style seemed to continue across generations
What is a reciprocal gene-environment interaction?
*A reciprocal gene-environment interaction is where genes may predispose us to seek out certain environments that then increase our risk for developing a particular disorder
*e.g. a genetic risk for alcohol use disorder may predispose persons to life events that put them in high-risk situations for alcohol use such as being in trouble with the law.
In what way are genes important in psychopathology?
*in how genes may promote certain types of environment
*Genetic vulnerability to depression may promote certain life events that can trigger depression
*People seem to select environments that increase the likelihood of certain kinds of stressful life events, at least in part based on their genes
Why is an understanding of genetics important in the study and understand of psychopathology?
*Genetics might be involved in many aspects of psychopathology
*We are still trying to understand exactly how genes and the environment reciprocally influence one another
*findings have illuminated the ways in which genes and environments exert their influence via the brain
*Some of the most exciting breakthroughs in genetics have involved a combination of methods from genetics & neuroscience
What does the Neuroscience Paradigm believe about mental disorders?
The Neuroscience Paradigm holds that mental disorders are linked to aberrant processes in the brain
Give some examples which support the Neuroscience Paradigm in relation to mental disorders
*Some depressions are associated with neurotransmitter problems within the brain
*anxiety disorders may be related to a defect within the autonomic nervous system that cause a person to be too easily aroused
*Dementia can be traced to impairments in structures of the brain
What are the key neurotransmitters that have been implicated in psychopathology and how is each thought to be involved?
*Dopamine & *Serotonin may be involved in depression, mania, & schizophrenia
*Norepinephrine is a neurotransmitter that communicates with the sympathetic nervous system, where it is involved in producing states of high arousal & thus may be involved in the anxiety disorders & other stress related conditions
*Gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) inhibits nerve impulses throughout most areas of the brain and may be involved in the anxiety disorders
Early theories linking neurotransmitters to psychopathology sometimes proposed that a given disorder was caused by either too much or too little of a particular transmitter. What has more recent research uncovered?
Later research has uncovered the details behind these overly simple ideas.
Neurotransmitters are synthesised in the neuron though a series of metabolic steps, beginning with an amino acid. Each reaction along the way to producing an actual neurotransmitter is catalysed by an enzyme. Too much or too little of a particular neurotransmitter could result in an error in these metabolic steps. Problems can also arise from alterations in the usual processes by which transmitters are deactivated after being released into the synapse
What has other research into neurotransmitters focused on?
The possibility that the neurotransmitter receptors are at fault in some disorders.
*If the receptors on the post-synaptic neuron were too numerous or too easily excited, the result would be akin to having too much transmitter released.
*The delusions & hallucinations of schizophrenia, for example, may result from an over abundance of dopamine receptors
When a cell has been firing frequently, second messengers are released by the receptors, which help the neuron adjust receptor sensitivity when it has bee overly active. How does this relate to current research on depression?
Current research on depression suggests that antidepressant medications may be effective in part due to their ability to impact second messengers.
What is an agonist and an antagonist, (give examples)?
*An agonist is a drug that a particular neurotransmitter's receptors. e.g. a serotonin agonist, is a drug that stimulates serotonin receptors to produce the same effect that serotonin does naturally.
*An antagonist, by contrast, is a drug that works on a neurotransmitter's receptors to dampen the activity of that neurotransmitter. e.g. many drugs used to treat schizophrenia are dopamine antagonists that work by blocking dopamine receptors.
What is another type of brain cell that along with neurons & neurotransmitters, have been implicated in disorders?
*Glial cells interact with neurons and help control how neurons work.
*Glial cells have been implicated in types of dementia and schizophrenia
*Examples of glial cells are astrocytes, oligodendrocytes & microglial cells
One important area of the cortex is the prefrontal cortex. What does it do?
The prefrontal cortex, in the very front of the cortex, helps to regulate the amygdala, and is important in many different disorders
Why is the amygdala one of the key brain structures for psychopathology research?
The amygdala is embedded in the tip of the temporal lobe and is an important area for attention to emotionally salient stimuli & memory of emotionally relevant events. For example, people with depression show more activity in the amygdala when watching pictures of emotional faces than do people without depression
How much of our gene expression is thought to occur in the brain and why is this important?
*About a third of our genes are thought to be expressed in our brain, with many of these genes being responsible for laying out the structure of the brain.
*Any errors in the development & migration of cells to the appropriate layers of the cortex can compromise functioning
*It is thought that schizophrenia along with other disorders, may begin in problems during early developmental stages
What are some of the differences in brain structure associated with particular disorders?
*People with schizophrenia have been found to have enlarged ventricles in the brain
*The size of the hippocampus is reduced among some people with PTSD, depression & schizophrenia (perhaps due to over-activity of their stress responses)
*Brain size among children with autism expands at a much greater rate than it should in typical development
The neuroendocrine system has been implicated in psychopathology. What is the HPA axis particularly relevant?
NB: HPA axis: Hypothalamus, Pituitary, Adrenal cortex
*The HPA Axis is central to the body's response to stress, and stress figures predominantly in many disorders.
*Rats & Primates exposed to early trauma, e.g. separation from mother, show elevated activity in the HPA axis when they are exposed to stressors later in life
The autonomic nervous system comprises the sympathetic (fight or flight response) and parasympathetic (calming) nervous system. Which disorders does the autonomic nervous system feature most prominently?
*The anxiety disorders, such as panic disorder & PTSD
*people with these disorders often misinterpret normal changes in their nervous system
Why is it important to consider biology & environment together?
*Biology may create increased reactivity to the environment, & early experiences may influence bioogy.
*e.g. Chronic stress & its effects on the HPA axis are linked to disorders as diverse as schizophrenia, depression & PTSD
When considering the neuroscience paradigm, we need to be cautious of reductionism.
What is reductionism and why do we need caution?
*Reductionism is the view that whatever is being studied can be and should be reduced to its most basic elements.
*When considering mental disorders, reductionism happens when scientists try to reduce complex mental and emotional responses to biology, asserting that psychology & psychopathology are nothing more than biology.
*Whilst a complex behaviour like a hallucination, necessarily involves the brain & nerve impulses, it is not likely that we can fully capture this by knowing about specific nerve impulses.
What class of drug is Prozac and what disorder can it be effective in the treatment of?
*Prozac is an antidepressant which increases neural transmission in neurons that use serotonin as a neurotransmitter by inhibiting the reuptake of serotonin
What class of drug is Xanax and what disorder can it be effective in the treatment of?
Xanax is a benzodiazepine which can be effective in reducing the tension associated with some anxiety disorders, perhaps by stimulating GABA neurons to inhibit other neural systems that create the physical symptoms of anxiety
What class of drug is Olanzapine and what disorder can it be effective in the treatment of?
Olanzapine is an anti-psychotic drug, used in the treatment of schizophrenia. Anti-psychotics reduce the activity of neurons that use dopamine as a neurotransmitter by blocking their receptors and also impact serotonin.
What class of drug is Adderall and what disorder can it be effective in the treatment of?
Adderall is a stimulant which is often used to treat children with ADHD. Adderall operates on several neurotransmitters that help children pay attention.
What are some other treatments for disorders that can have positive, measurable effects on brain activity
Psychotherapy can teach a person how to stop performing compulsive rituals. This is an effective & widely used behavioural treatment for Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder.
a. What influences are reflected in the cognitive behavioural paradigm?
b. Name an influential cognitive behavioural therapist
a. Behavioural therapy & cognitive science are influential on the cognitive behavioural paradigm
b. Aaron Beck is an influential cognitive behavioural therapist
What are some of the treatment techniques still used in the cognitive behavioural paradigm today?
Treatment techniques designed to alter consequences or reinforcers of a behaviour, such as time out and exposure, are still in use today.
*e.g. research on implicit memory promoted acceptance of the ideas of unconscious influences on behaviour.
*cognitive behaviour therapy uses behavioural therapy techniques & cognitive restructuring.
Which concepts form part of cognitive behavioural theories and treatments of psychopathology?
Cognitive science focuses on concepts such as schemas (a set or network of accumulated knowledge), attention, memory, and the unconscious
why is it not surprising that disturbances in emotion figure prominently in many different forms of psychopathology?
Emotions influence how we respond to problems & challenges, they help us organise our thoughts & actions, and guide our behaviour.
What is the difference between an emotion and a mood?
*Emotions are believed to be fairly short-lived states, lasting for a few seconds, minutes, or at most, hours
*Moods, on the other hand, are emotional experiences that endure for a longer period of time
Emotions are comprised of a number of components, for instance, expressive, experiential and physiological components. When we consider psychopathology, it is important to consider which aspects of the emotional component is effected.
Give some examples of disorders where one or more component of emotion is disrupted.
*People with schizophrenia do not readily express their emotions outwardly, but report feeling emotions very strongly
*People with panic disorder experience excessive fear & anxiety when no actual danger is present
*People with depression may experience prolonged sadness & other negative feelings
*A person with antisocial personality disorder does not feel empathy
What is the concept of 'ideal affect'?
the concept of ideal affect refers to the kinds of emotional states that a person ideally wants to feel. This can differ across culture with Western cultures valuing happiness and Eastern cultures valuing calmness
What other factors can influence psychopathology?
Sociocultural factors, such as gender, race, culture, ethnicity and socio-economic status can all influence the development of psychopathology
Environmental factors can trigger, exacerbate, or maintain symptoms that make up different disorders
How does gender influence different disorders?
*depression is nearly twice as common among women as among men
*Antisocial personality disorder & alcohol use disorder are more common among men than women
*childhood disorders such as ADHD affects more boys than girls
Whilst this could be a bias in the diagnostic criteria, further research is uncovering father-to-son genetic transmission as a risk factor in the development of alcohol use disorder & sociocultural standards of thinness may be a risk factor in the development of eating disorders in women
How does poverty influence different disorders?
Poverty can have a major influence on antisocial personality disorder, anxiety disorders, and depression
How do cultural & ethnic factors influence different disorders?
*no country or culture is without psychopathology
*Some disorders appear to be specific to particular cultures
*There are a number of profound cultural influences on the symptoms expressed in different disorders,the availability of treatment, & the willingness to seek treatment across cultures
*NB ethnic bias can also be present - schizophrenia is more often diagnosed among African Americans than Caucasians.
What is social neuroscience attempting to understand?
Social neuroscience seeks to understand what happens to the brain during complex social situations.
*Gene-environment interaction studies are uncovering the ways in which the social environment in combination with certain genes can increase the risk for disorders.
Name some other issues that have been shown to influence psychopathology
*The quality of relationship(s)
*Serious Life Event
have all been found to influence psychopathology
When functioning effectively, Interpersonal relationships have been found to be important buffers against stresses & have benefits for physical and mental health.
What types of support can be used to improve a person's interpersonal relationships?
Social psychologists use the 'relational self' (drawn from object relations & attachment theory) to emphasise the importance of interpersonal relationships