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Biopsychology Midterm Chap Paper

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Paper type: Essay , Subject: Intellectual Disabilities

Psychology 150: Midterm Exam Chapter 1-9Melissa Gonzalez

Contra Costa Community College

Midterm Exam Chapter 1-9If you were to become a biopsychologist, in what division of biopsychology would you like to specialize and why? Then discuss the advantages and disadvantages of humans as subjects in biopsychological research.

If I were to become a biopsychologist, I would specialize in psychopharmacology. The reason why I would like to specialize in psychopharmacology is because I have always had an interest on how drugs affect the brain and behaviors. Their main focus is to find a therapeutic drug and to decline drug abuse, which is another reason why this would be my specialization (Pinel & Barnes, 2018). Many of my friends and some family member abuse drugs, recreational and prescription, just to feel a high, without acknowledging the major effects that it could do to your body. Specializing in psychopharmacology will be my way of helping those who suffer from mental illness and abuse of their drugs.

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Having a psychopharmacology specialization as a biopsychologist, I would mainly conduct my experiments on laboratory animals instead of humans, unless the ethics of the experiment are acceptable. One advantage of conducting experiments on humans would be an accurate representation of how the drug affects them. This is an advantage because human’s brain and non-human’s brain size and development differs from one another (Pinel & Barnes, 2018). Another advantage is the ability to adjust the drug for best end results. One disadvantage of conducting the experiment on humans would be how the drug could possibly have many negative side effects that can harm one’s body. Another disadvantage would be the inability to find subjects who are willing to take drugs with consent, therefore, it may not be an accurate representation of the population since there will not be enough of a sample size. One last disadvantage would be the possibility for the subject to be addicted to the drug and would contradict their purpose. Although most of the experiment will be conducted on animals, I will choose to still specialize in psychopharmacology as a biopsychologist.

Describe the conditioned taste aversion phenomenon and how it changed how researchers thought about learning.

Conditioned taste aversion phenomenon was an experiment that challenged three wide views of learning. occurred with mice who were given food that would cause an illness. The researchers came to conclusion that mice were able to learn quickly the correlation between taste and the subsequent illness. This increased the mice’s chances of survival by obtaining food in a natural setting in under one trail (Pinel & Barnes, 2018).

Conditioned taste aversion phenomenon was an experiment that challenged three wide views of learning. The first challenge was view of animal’s taste conditioning is a gradual step-by-step process, which means that the taste can only be shown in one trial. The second challenge that researchers was how the taste aversion showed that temporal contiguity is not necessary for the condition to occur several hours later even when the taste and distress were separated. The third challenge is how it view that the interaction between any two stimuli are fairly simple to learn, which is known as the principle of equipotentiality (Pinel & Barnes, 2018). These challenges allowed researchers to continue to explore and think critically about learning.

There has been many experiments conducted after the discovery of conditioned taste aversion, such as the radial arm maze, Morris water maze, and conditioned defensive burying. The radial arm maze involved a maze where rats are studied to see how quickly they can get through their environment to get to where food and water are likely to be located. Morris water maze is another experiment that was designed to student the spatial abilities of rats. The Morris water maze assessed the navigational skills of brain lesioned or animals that are on drugs (Pinel & Barnes, 2018). Lastly, the conditioned defensive burying experienced allowed researcher to study rats who have been received one aversive stimulus from an item that was on the wall. Very quickly, the mice learned that the object on the wall is a threat and the mice would respond by burying the object with the cage bedding (Pinel & Barnes, 2018).

Discuss the human genome project and its major findings. What research has been stimulated by the major findings of the human genome project?

According to Pinel and Barnes (2018), there has been a debate in how our behaviors come from how much it is inherited through genetics or how much of it is from experience and the environment, which is the nature versus nurture issue. Many behavioral geneticists have worked to support their belief of heritability estimates. One of their beliefs believe that heritability is passed on throughout generations. There has been studies on multiple sets of monozygotic and dizygotic twins, ages 19 to 68, who lived apart, and the researchers were focused on intelligence and personality. In results, the researchers concluded that monozygotic twins were similar to one another even if they have lives apart and realized they no results in genetics and their experience to the development of individuals (Pinel & Barnes, 2018)

Describe Williams syndrome and its genetic and neural correlates. How does it differ from Autism Spectrum Disorder?

 William’s syndrome is an intellectual disability and had heterogeneous pattern of abilities and disabilities. Those with William’s syndrome struggle with activates, such as drawing and puzzles, and do very well with activities that involve language, music, and learning by repetition (Pinel & Barnes, 2018). People with William syndrome have amazing language skills, despite of their low IQs. According to Pinel & Barnes, there was a study of children with William’s syndrome. The researchers asked the children to name as many animals as they could in under a minute. When the children were asked to tell a story about the animals, the children would engage the audience by changing their pitch, volume, rhythm, and vocabulary of their story. People with William’s syndrome also can be musically talented without having the ability to read the music notes (Pinel & Barnes, 2018). Although being an enthusiastic story teller and being musically talented sound ideal, people with William’s syndrome struggle with severe attentional problems, which is why they struggle with remembering location, drawing, and puzzles and suffer from many heart problems. Pinel & Barnes (2018), mentioned how a “heart disorder was found to result from a mutation in a gene on chromosome 7 that controls the synthesis of elastin, a protein that imparts elasticity to many organs and tissues, including the heart.”

William’s syndrome has many similarities to autism spectrum disorder (ASD), such as being a genetically based neurodevelopmental disorder and the presentation of different social characteristics (Pinel & Barnes, 2018). Although ASD and William’s syndrome have some similarities, people with William syndrome are more sociable, empathetic, and talkative. Individuals with ASD tend to lack social cues, unable to distinguish emotions, and some may be non-verbal (Pinel & Barnes, 2018).

There are several kinds of glial cells in the nervous system. Describe them and their functions. How is our understanding of glial cells currently changing?

According to Pinel & Barnes (2018), there are four major types of glial cells in the nervous systems: Oligodendrocytes, Schwann cells, Microgila, and Astrogila. Oligodendrocytes are extensions (myelin) that go around axons in the nervous systems. Schwann cells are similar to oligodendrocytes, except in the peripheral nervous system. Schwann cells also can regrow axons after they are damaged. Both the Oligodendrocytes and the Schwann cells, form myelin sheaths, which increases the speed of the conduction. Microgila focus on the immune system of the brain, such as cell death, synapse formation, and synapse elimination. Microgila are responsible to react to injuries or diseases that negatively affect the cell. Astrogila allow chemicals from blood gain access into the central nervous system nervous, and it also blocks certain chemicals. Astrogila has control of the blood flow in some brain regions. For many years, we thought glial exchange chemical signals, form connections, control the blood-brain barrier, restore damage, and regulate cells, etc. There has been more research on glial cells and researchers continue to find more information about the cells (Pinel & Barnes, 2018).

Discuss three ways that drugs produce agonistic effects and three ways that they produce antagonistic effects. Provide specific examples.

There are many ways drugs can influence neurotransmitter action in many way. There are two different effects a drug can influence the neurotransmitter action: agonistic drug effects and antagonistic drug effects. Agonistic drug effects usually facilitate the neurotransmitter, therefore, causes the neurotransmitter to heighten and increase the normal effect. When a drug increases the effect of the neurotransmitter it will also increase the amount of molecules (Pinel & Barnes, 2018. Agonistic drugs also will increase the amount of neurotransmitters molecules that are being released, which causes the neurotransmitters to be released into the synapse more rapidly. Typically in a neurotransmitter action process, a neurotransmitter molecule is deactivated, but when an agonistic drug is taken, the drug has blocked the deactivation process. Three examples of agonistic drugs, would be nicotine, and opium (Pinel & Barnes, 2018).

Antagonist drugs have the opposite effect on the neurotransmitter action than agonistic drugs. Antagonist drugs inhibits and decreases the activity of the action.  Since it will decrease the activity of the action, it will destroy the synthesizing enzymes, It can also block the receptors without stimulation. Antagonistic drugs can also affect the neurotransmitter action by activating the autoreceptors, which are in charge of binging neurons with neurotransmitters, and preventing the release of the neurotransmitters. Three examples of an antagonist drug are caffeine, Botox, and Thorazine (Pinel & Barnes, 2018).

Discuss the concept of central sensorimotor programs. Describe and discuss three of their important features.

The main concept of the central sensorimotor programs are create patterns of activity that are programmed into the sensorimotor system (Pinel & Barnes, 2018). One important feature of the central sensorimotor program, is the suggestion of low levels of contained in programmed activities. According to Pinel & Barnes (2018), when you “want to look at a magazine, your association cortex will activate high-level cortical programs that in turn will activate lower-level programs, for walking, bending over, picking up, and thumbing through.” Another important feature is how the right combination is activated when complicated movements are produced. Lastly, the execution does not require higher level oversight once it is activated and each level is on the basis of current sensory feedback (Pinel & Barnes, 2018).

Discuss and compare photopic and scotopic vision. Discuss four of their differences being sure to include convergence and spectral sensitivity in your discussion.

Cones and rods are often mentioned when talking about vison. Cones are cone shaped receptors and rods are rod shaped receptors (Pinel & Barnes, 2018). After conducting research, researchers had a theory about species, such as animals and humans, retina’s are cone-shaped during the day and their retinas were rod-only during the night. After the theory of when cone-only and rod-only retinas being used, photopic vison and scotopic vision was concluded. Photopic vision is known as cone-mediated vison and is used in lighting and supplies a high-acuity of the perception of the world with color (Pinel & Barnes, 2018). Photopic vison tends to be low convergence and has a low sensitivity with few receptors to combine at the next level . Since the photopic vision uses only cones, it’s main area is in the fovea. Photopic vision requires only a few cones to meet on a retinal ganglion cell at a time (Pinel & Barnes, 2018).

In contrast of photopic vision, scotopic vision is rod mediated vision and is used in dim or dark lighting. Unlike the photopic vision, scotopic vision has low-acuity and high convergences. Therefore, the perception of the world is not as detailed and the view of color like photopic vision (Pinel & Barnes, 2018). Scotopic vision is predominately in the periphery, whereas the photopic vision is in the fovea. Overall, the main difference between scotopic and photopic vision is the way they function and the noticeable difference in convergence. Scotopic requires many rods to be meeting on one single ganglion cell; therefore, when dim light is present many rod can manage the firing of the cell of the retinal ganglion cell where it can produce convergence from the stimulated rods (Pinel & Barnes, 2018).

According to Pinel and Barnes (2018), “lights of the same intensity, but of different wavelengths can differ markedly in brightness.” In other words, bright lights can appear different and be recorded as a spectral sensitivity curve. As we know cones and rods are a huge part of vision, humans and other species also have two sensitivity curves. One of the sensitivity curve is a photopic spectral sensitivity curve, which is recorded by the judgment of brightness of a variety of wavelengths on the fovea from the subjects (Pinel & Barnes, 2018). When the subjects would use their cone-mediated vision, they view the color and detail of the image more intensity compared to when they would use their scotopic vision. When they would use their rod-mediated vision, scotopic vision, they would be experience sensitivity to the same wavelength that was presented to them when using their photopic vision. In conclusion, the photopic and scotopic have many differences and functions of vision (Pinel & Barnes, 2018).

ReferencesPinel, J. P. J., & Barnes, S. J. (2018). Biopsychology (10th ed.). New York: Pearson.

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