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The mind brain relationship

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The mind brain relationship

  1. 1. The Mind-Brain Relationship Brought to you by
  2. 2. The Mind-Brain Relationship • Biological Psychology is the study of the physiological, evolutionary and developmental mechanisms of behavior and experience. • A strong emphasis is placed upon brain functioning. Brought to you by
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  4. 4. The Mind-Brain Relationship • Brain functioning can be explained at a more microscopic level in terms of neuron and glia activity. Brought to you by
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  6. 6. The Mind-Brain Relationship • Biological explanations of behavior fall into four categories: – Physiological-relates a behavior to the activity of the brain and other organs. – Ontogenetic- describes the development of a structure or behavior. – Evolutionary- reconstructs evolutionary history of a behavior or studcutr4. – Functional- describes why a structure or behavior evolved as it did. Brought to you by
  7. 7. The Mind-Brain Relationship • Deep understanding of a particular behavior is tied to being able to explain the behavior from each of these perspectives. Brought to you by
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  9. 9. The Mind-Brain Relationship • Biological explanations of behavior raise the issue of the relationship between the mind and the brain also know as the “mind-body” or “mind-brain problem”. • The “mind-brain problem” has a variety of explanations. Brought to you by
  10. 10. The Mind-Brain Relationship • Dualism is the belief that there are different kinds of substance that exist independently. – Defended by French philosopher Rene Descartes. – Most common belief among nonscientists. – Rejected by most neuroscientists. Brought to you by
  11. 11. The Mind-Brain Relationship • Monism is the belief that the universe is only comprised of one type of substance. • Forms of monism include: – Materialism- everything that exists is physical by nature. – Mentalism- only the mind truly exists. – Identity position- mental processes and some brain processes are the same but described in different terms. Brought to you by
  12. 12. The Mind-Brain Relationship • Explanations of the mind-body relationship do not answer some fundamental questions: – Why is consciousness a property of brain activity? – What kind of brain activity produces consciousness? – How does brain activity produce consciousness? Brought to you by
  13. 13. The Mind-Brain Relationship • Because “consciousness” is not observable, its function is often difficult to define and/ or explain. • Solipsism- suggests that “I alone am conscious” – Difficulty of knowing if others have conscious experiences is known as the “problem of other minds”. Brought to you by
  14. 14. The Mind-Brain Relationship • Chalmers (1995) proposes two problems that must be distinguished when discussing consciousness: – “Easy problems” focus on differences in conscious states and their mechanisms. – “Hard problems” focus on why and how brain activity is associated with consciousness. Brought to you by
  15. 15. The Mind-Brain Relationship • Careers related to biological psychology fall into two categories: 1. Research 2. Therapy Brought to you by
  16. 16. The Mind-Brain Relationship • Insert table 1.1 Fields of specialization Brought to you by
  17. 17. The Genetics of Behavior • Both genes and environment interact to shape human behavior. • The fundamental issue is how much a role genetics play in shaping human behaviors. – Examples: psychological disorders, weight gain, personality, sexual orientation? Brought to you by
  18. 18. The Genetics of Behavior • 19th century monk Gregor Mendel demonstrated that inheritance occurs through genes. • Genes are basic units of heredity that maintain their structural identity from one generation to another. • Genes are aligned along chromosomes (strands of genes) and come in pairs. Brought to you by
  19. 19. The Genetics of Behavior • A gene is a portion of a chromosome and is composed of deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA). • DNA serves as a model for the synthesis of ribonucleic acid (RNA). Brought to you by
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  21. 21. The Genetics of Behavior • RNA is a single strand chemical that can serve as a template/ model for the synthesis of proteins. • Proteins determine the development of the body by: • forming part of the structure of the body. • serving as enzymes, biological catalysts that regulate chemical reactions in the body. Brought to you by
  22. 22. The Genetics of Behavior • Homozygous for a gene means that a person has an identical pair of genes on the two chromosomes. • Heterozygous for a gene means that a person has an unmatched pair of genes on the two chromosomes. Brought to you by
  23. 23. The Genetics of Behavior • Genes are either dominant, recessive, or intermediate. – Examples: eye color, ability to taste PTC • A dominant gene shows a strong effect in either the homozygous or heterozygous condition. • A recessive gene shows its effect only in the homozygous condition. Brought to you by
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  25. 25. The Genetics of Behavior • Types of genes include: – Autosomal genes - all other genes except for sex- linked genes. – Sex-linked genes - genes located on the sex chromosomes. • In mammals, the sex chromosomes are designated X & Y. – Females have two X chromosomes (XX). – Males have an X and a Y chromosome (XY). Brought to you by
  26. 26. The Genetics of Behavior • During reproduction: – Females contribute an X chromosome. – Males contribute either an X or a Y chromosome that determines the sex of the child. • If an X chromosome is contributed by the male, the off-spring is female. • If a Y chromosome is contributed by the male, the off-spring will be male. Brought to you by
  27. 27. The Genetics of Behavior • The human Y chromosome has genes for 27 proteins • The human X chromosome has genes for approximately 1500 proteins. • Thus, sex-linked genes usually refer to X- linked genes. (Example: Red-green color deficiency) • Sex-limited genes are genes that are present in both sexes but mainly have an effect on one sex (Chest hair, breast size, etc.) Brought to you by
  28. 28. The Genetics of Behavior • Almost all behaviors have both a genetic component and an environmental component. • Researchers study monozygotic (“from one egg”) and fraternal (“from two eggs”) twins to infer contributions of heredity and environment • Researchers also study adopted children and their resemblance to their biological parents to infer hereditary influences. Brought to you by
  29. 29. • Heritability refers to how much characteristics depend on genetic differences. • Estimates of hereditary influences are often difficult to infer and are prone to error. • Sources of error include the following: – The inability to distinguish between the effects of genes and prenatal influences. – Environmental factors can inactivate genes. The Genetics of Behavior Brought to you by
  30. 30. • Sources of error (con’t) – Multiplier effect – genetic tendencies that guide behavior will result in a change in the environment that magnifies the original tendency. – Traits with a strong hereditary influence can by modified by environmental intervention. • Eg. PKU The Genetics of Behavior Brought to you by
  31. 31. • Genes do not directly produce behaviors. • Genes produce proteins that increase the probability that a behavior will develop under certain circumstances. • Genes can also have an indirect affect. – Genes can alter your environment by producing behaviors or traits that alter how people in your environment react to you. The Genetics of Behavior Brought to you by
  32. 32. • Evolution refers to a change in the frequency of various genes in a population over generations • Regardless if helpful or harmful to the species. • Evolution attempts to answer two questions: 1. How did some species evolve? 2. How do species evolve? The Genetics of Behavior Brought to you by
  33. 33. The Genetics of Behavior • How species did evolve involves the tentative construction of “evolutionary trees”. • How species do evolve rests upon some assumptions: 1. Offspring generally resemble their parents for genetic reasons. 2. Mutations and recombination of genes introduce new heritable variations 3. Certain individuals successfully reproduce more than others do.Brought to you by
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  35. 35. The Genetics of Behavior • Artificial selection refers to choosing individuals with desired traits and making them parents of the next generation. Brought to you by
  36. 36. The Genetic of Behavior • Common misconceptions about evolution include the following: – Lamarckian evolution - “The use or disuse of some structure or behavior causes an increase or decrease in that behavior.” – “Humans have stopped evolving.” – “Evolution means improvement.” – “Evolution acts to benefit the individual or the species.” Brought to you by
  37. 37. The Genetics of Behavior • Evolutionary psychology focuses upon functional and evolutionary explanations of how behaviors evolved. • Assumes that behaviors characteristic of a species have arisen through natural selection and provide a survival advantage. – Examples: differences in peripheral/color vision, sleep mechanisms in the brain, eating habits, temperature regulation. Brought to you by
  38. 38. The Genetics of Behavior • Some behaviors are more debatable regarding the influence of natural selection. • Examples include: – Life span length – Gender differences in sexual promiscuity – Altruistic behavior- a behavior that benefits someone other than the actor • Explanations: reciprocal altruism & kin selection Brought to you by
  39. 39. The Use of Animals in Research • Animal research is an important source of information for biological psychology but remains a highly controversial topic. • Animal research varies on the amount of stress and/ or pain that is caused to the animal itself. Brought to you by
  40. 40. The Use of Animals in Research • Reasons for studying animals include: 1. The underlying mechanisms of behavior are similar across species and often easier to study in nonhuman species. 2. We are interested in animals for their own sake. 3. What we learn about animals sheds light on human evolution. 4. Some experiments cannot use humans because of legal or ethical reasons. Brought to you by
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  42. 42. The Use of Animals in Research • Opposition to animal research varies: – “Minimalists” favor firm regulation on research and place consideration upon the type of animal used and the amount of stress induced. – “Abolitionists” maintain that all animals have the same rights as humans and any use of animals is unethical. Brought to you by
  43. 43. The Use of Animals in Research • Justification for research considers the amount of benefit gained compared to the amount of distress caused to the animal. – No clear dividing line exists. • Colleges and research institutions in the United States are required to have an Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee. – Oversees and determine acceptable procedures. Brought to you by
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