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FSU PSB 2000 - Emotion and Aggression (part 2)

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Emotion and Aggression (part 2)What are some behavioral/cognitive consequences of damage to the amygdala? • People can still feel emotions• Impairment in focusing on emotional details as opposed to other details• Impairment in processing emotional info when it is complicated or subtle or ambiguouso Difficult to recognize fearWhat do twin studies and adoption studies tell us about the role of heredity in aggressive behavior? What about when we look at certain genes, like that for MAO?• MAO-breaks down monoamines (such as dopamine and serotonin)o MAOA status matters a little; huge interaction w/ environmento Low MAOA activity and childhood mistreatment  antisocial behavior• Fraternal and identical twins were equal in adolescent delinquent behavioro Means it is more environmental than genetic• Fraternal twins < identical twins in adult crimeso Meaning more genetico Adults have more control over their environment, therefore magnifying the influence of the genetic contribution• Adopted children show the most aggressive behavior when biological parents have a criminal tendencies AND there is dysfunction in the adoptive familyWhat is the potential contribution of (1) smoking while pregnant, (2) low serotonin turnover, and (3) high testosterone to aggressive behavior? Is testosterone working all by itself to alter aggressive behavior? Is testosterone important in terms of aggression in males, females, or both?• Smoking during pregnancy is correlated with increased likelihood of son to be arrested for violent criminal activities in adolescence and early adulthoodo Effects are magnified when combined with issues during deliveryo Animal studies show that prenatal nicotine exposure impairs brain development• Serotonin turnover-amount of serotonin used and replacedo In mice = less serotonin turnover means more aggressive behavior When mice were isolated for 4 weeks their overall aggressiveness increased and serotonin turnover decreasedo Male monkeys in natural environment: lowest serotonin turnover = most aggressive, most injured, earlier death Female monkeys with low serotonin turnover also more likely to get injured and die earlier• Testosterone/aggressiono Animals: males fight over mates, females fight to defend their youngo Men fight more than women; 15-25 years of age is most common for male violence Also the time when testosterone is highesto interacts with other chemicals to alter behavior Alcohol along with testosterone seems to increase aggressiveness  Balance of testosterone, serotonin (which decreases impulses) and cortisol (a decrease of which decreases inhibitions) is importantIs the role of testosterone due to organizational or activational effects of the hormone?• Testosterone acts BOTH organizationally and activationally in both males and femalesWhat are some aspects of a face that are important in recognizing the emotion it is expressing?• eyes and mouth/teethWhat is different about the normal brain compared to the psychopathic brain?• Normal brain vs. psychopathico Paired pictures of men’s faces w/ a painful stimulus (to establish a conditioned emotional response)o NORMAL SUBJECTS = (left) Autonomic signs of emotional conditioning, activation in amygdala, insula, & part of prefrontal cortexo PSYCHOPATHIC SUBJECTS = (right) no signs of emotional conditioning, little to no brain activityBy the way, evolutionarily, what is the general role of aggression? In other words, what is the most common cause of aggression (think of intermale aggression, specifically)?• Evolutionary reasoningo Selects for intermediate aggressiveness (bad to have too much fear but also bad to have too much aggression)o High risk/high payoff = there is a high risk dying young but also a high payoff of becoming the dominant male (which allows them to mate more) or the dominant female (allows them to get more food for herself and her offspring)Stress and HealthWhat is a stressor?• Anything that throws the body out of allostatic balanceo Acute physical stressors- lions, physical threatso Chronic physical stressors- famine, drought, parasiteso Psychological and social stressors-traffic, relationships, careers, mortgage, etc.What is allostasis?• A range of measures appropriate for a situationo Ex.]sleep vs. bungee-jumpingo As opposed to homeostasis (maintenance of one optimal level)What are the 3 stages of a stress response?• 1-Alarm-sympathetic nervous system activates• 2-Resistance-decreased SNS activity, increased immune functions• 3-Exhaustion-person is tired, inactive, vulnerable to illnessWhat is the role of the sympathetic NS in the stress response? • Sympathetic nervous system is activated during the alarm stage• SNS decrease leads to increased HPA activity  cortisol & other hormones for maintaining prolonged alertness & increased immune function (to fight infections & to heal wounds)What is the HPA and what is its role in the stress response?• HPA = hypothalamus, pituitary gland, adrenal cortexo Hypothalamus makes CRH  Pituitary makes ACTH  adrenal secretes cortisol  increase in blood sugar & metabolism• Activated with prolonged stressorso Beneficial in the short-term, detrimental in the long-termWhy do you feel terrible during finals week?• Powerful, inescapable, temporary stress  body reacts like illness, w/ increased immune activity• The body increases production of natural killer cells (a type of white blood cell for fighting infections) and cytokineso Cytokines help fight infections, but they are also the body’s way of telling the brain you are sick, so you have “sickness syndrome” (fever, exhaustion, decreased appetite) This also tires your immune system, so when challenged with an actual bacterium or virus, it will be ill-equipped to handle itWhat are some factors that affect the stress response?• Individual’s perception of their own ability to cope with stress• Intensity of the stressor (novel environment vs. life-threatening situation)• Individual’s control over the stressor• Duration of stressor• Personality traits (individuals with high anxiety) are more likely to show impaired memory after stressor• Sex (males more affected than (young) females)• Age (older more vulnerable to deleterious effects of stress than younger; early stress might not show cognitive effect until later in life)What are some effects of long-term stress?• Hippocampal damage• Decreased libido in


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