Abnormal Psychology Chapter 2

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Biological perspective
focuses on underpinnings of abnormal behavior and the use of biologically based approaches, such as drug therapy, to treat psychological disorders
Medical model
used by people who believe that abnormal behaviors represent symptoms of underlying disorders or diseases
Mental illness
disorders or diseases with biological root causes
Nervous system
the network of nerve cells and fibers that transmits nerve impulses between parts of the body.
Neurons
nerve cells that transmit signals throughout the body
Action potential
the change in electrical potential associated with the passage of an impulse along the membrane of a muscle cell or nerve cell
Dendrites
a short branched extension of a nerve cell, along which impulses received from other cells at synapses are transmitted to the cell body.
Axon
the long threadlike part of a nerve cell along which impulses are conducted from the cell body to other cells.
Axon hillock
a specialized part of the cell body (or soma) of a neuron that connects to the axon, the last site in the soma where membrane potentials propagated from synaptic inputs are summated before being transmitted to the axon.
Axon terminal
The somewhat enlarged, often club-shaped endings by which axons make synaptic contacts with other nerve cells or with effector cells
Myelin sheath
The insulating envelope of myelin that surrounds the core of a nerve fiber or axon and that facilitates the transmission of nerve impulses, formed from the cell membrane of the Schwann cell in the peripheral nervous system and from oligodendroglia cells.
Nodes of Ranvier
a gap in the myelin sheath of a nerve, between adjacent Schwann cells
Terminal buttons
small knobs at the end of an axon that release chemicals called neurotransmitters
Neurotransmitters
a chemical substance that is released at the end of a nerve fiber by the arrival of a nerve impulse and, by diffusing across the synapse or junction, causes the transfer of the impulse to another nerve fiber, a muscle fiber, or some other structure.
Synapse
a junction between two nerve cells, consisting of a minute gap across which impulses pass by diffusion of a neurotransmitter.
Refractory period
a period immediately following stimulation during which a nerve or muscle is unresponsive to further stimulation
Receptor site
A specialized cell or group of nerve endings that responds to sensory stimuli. A molecular structure or site on the surface or interior of a cell that binds with substances such as hormones, antigens, drugs, or neurotransmitters
Reuptake
the absorption by a presynaptic nerve ending of a neurotransmitter that it has secreted.
Serotonin
involved in regulation of mood states, satiety, and sleep, irregularities are implicated in depression and eating disorders
Acetylcholine
involved in control of muscle contractions and formation of memories, reduced levels found in patients with Alzheimer’s disease
Dopamine
involved in regulation of muscle contractions and mental processes involving learning, memory, and emotions, overutilization in the brain may be involved in the development of schizophrenia
Central nervous system
consists of the brain and spinal cord, the body’s master control unit responsible for controlling bodily functions and performing higher mental functions, such as sensation, perception, thinking, and problem solving
Peripheral nervous system
made up of nerves that (a) receive and transmit sensory messages (messages from sense organs such as the eyes and ears) to the brain and spinal cord and (b) transmit messages from the brain or spinal cord to the muscles, causing them to contract, and to glands, causing them to secrete hormones
Brain stem
the central trunk of the mammalian brain, consisting of the medulla oblongata, pons, and midbrain, and continuing downward to form the spinal cord
Medulla
the continuation of the spinal cord within the skull, forming the lowest part of the brainstem and regulates heart rate, breathing, blood pressure, and motor movements
Pons
The part of the brainstem that links the two hemispheres of the cerebellum. Transmits information about body movement and is involved in functions related to attention, sleep, and respiration.
Cerebellum
The part of the brain at the back of the skull. Its function is to control motor skills, balance, and coordination. Injury can impair one’s ability to coordinate one’s movements, causing stumbling and loss of muscle tone
Reticular activating system
A web-like network of neurons that play important roles in regulating sleep, attention, and states of arousal. Starts in the hindbrain and rises through the midbrain into the lower part of the forebrain.
Thalamus
part of the forebrain that relays sensory information (such as tactile and visual stimulation, smell does not go though the this region) to the higher regions of the brain. It, in coordination with the RAS, is also involved in regulating sleep and attention
Limbic system
made up of the hypothalamus, hippocampus and amygdala. Plays important roles in emotional processing and memory. It also serves important functions regulating more basic drives involving hunger, thirst, and aggression
Hypothalamus
Part of limbic system that controls pituitary gland, plays a key role in feeding behaviors, reproductive behaviors, regulation of body temperature
Hippocampus
Part of the limbic system responsible for storing memory
Amygdala
Part of limbic system involved with the experiencing of emotions, especially fear and aggression, hunger and feeding behaviors and weight gain/loss, memory of emotional events
Basal ganglia
lie at the base of the forebrain and are involved in regulating postural movements and coordination
Cerebrum
responsible for higher mental functions, such as thinking and problem solving
Cerebral cortex
the outer layer of the cerebrum, composed of folded gray matter in two halves and four lobes and playing an important role in consciousness and processing/thinking
Cerebral hemispheres
each of the two parts of the cerebrum (left and right) in the brain of a vertebrate, separated by the cerebral fissure
Frontal lobe
part of the cerebral cortex, lies immediately behind the forehead, including areas concerned with behavior, learning, attention, concentration, higher resoning, personality, and voluntary movement
Motor cortex
he part of the cerebral cortex in the brain where the nerve impulses originate that initiate voluntary muscular activity
Prefrontal cortex
the gray matter of the anterior part of the frontal lobe that is highly developed in humans and plays a role in the regulation of complex cognitive, emotional, and behavioral functioning
Parietal lobe
part of cerebral cortex, the middle division of each cerebral hemisphere that contains an area concerned with bodily sensations (sensory cortex)
Somatosensory cortex
either of two regions in the postcentral gyrus that receive and process somatosensory stimuli
Prosopagnosia
a form of visual agnosia characterized by an inability to recognize faces caused by damage to parietal lobe of cerebral cortex
Unilateral neglect
a symptom of parietal lobe damage in which a person is unaware of one side of his body and of anything in the external world on the same side
Temporal lobe
area of patietal lobe that deals with auditory information and language
Occipital lobe
part of the parietal lobe, the posterior portion of each cerebral hemisphere, concerned with the interpretation of visual sensory impulses
Somatic nervous system
the part of the peripheral nervous system associated with the voluntary control of body movements via skeletal muscles. The SoNS consists of afferent and efferent nerves
Autonomic nervous system
the part of the nervous system responsible for control of the bodily functions not consciously directed, such as breathing, the heartbeat, and digestive processes
Sympathetic nervous system
part of the autonomic nervous system that serves to accelerate the heart rate, constrict blood vessels, and raise blood pressure
Parasympathetic nervous system
part of the autonomic nervous system that serves to slow the heart rate, increase intestinal and glandular activity, and relax the sphincter muscles
Psychopharmacology
the branch of psychology concerned with the effects of drugs on the mind and behavior.
Antianxiety drugs/anxiolytics
a medication that treats anxiety
Benzodiazepines
anxiolytics, very addictive
Valium
Treats anxiety, muscle spasms, seizures, and other medical conditions. This medicine is a benzodiazepine
Xanax
Treats anxiety and panic disorder. This medicine is a benzodiazepine
Ativan
Treats anxiety, anxiety with depression, and insomnia (trouble sleeping). This medicine is a benzodiazepine.
Tolerance
state of reduced sensitivity of drug to the body at given regular (normal) dose. It is characterized by a lower threshold to the normal pharmacologic action of a drug
Rebound anxiety
the emergence or re-emergence of symptoms that were either absent or controlled while taking a medication, but appear when that same medication is discontinued, or reduced in dosage
Antipsychotic drugs/neuroleptics
a class of psychiatric medication primarily used to manage psychosis, in particular in schizophrenia and bipolar disorder, lots of side effects
Phenothiazines
class of neuroleptics
Thorazine
Treats mental disorders, severe behavior disorders, severe hiccups, severe nausea and vomiting, and certain types of porphyria. Also used before and after surgery to relieve anxiety. Belongs to a class of drugs called phenothiazines.
Mellaril
Treats the symptoms of schizophrenia. Belongs to a class of drugs called phenothiazines.
Prolixin
Treats schizophrenia and different types of behavior problems. Belongs to a class of drugs called phenothiazines.
Clozaril
Treats schizophrenia. Also lowers the risk of suicidal behavior in patients who have schizophrenia or schizoaffective disorder. Class of drug-benzodiazepine
Agranulocytosis
a deficiency of granulocytes in the blood, causing increased vulnerability to infection
Leukopenia
a reduction in the number of white cells in the blood, typical of various diseases.
Tardive dyskinesia
side effect of anti psychotics, a neurological disorder characterized by involuntary movements of the face and jaw.
Antidepressants
drugs used for the treatment of major depressive disorder and other conditions, including dysthymia, anxiety disorders, obsessive compulsive disorder, eating disorders, chronic pain, etc.
Tricyclics
any of a class of antidepressant drugs having molecules with three fused rings
Tofranil
Treats depression. May also be used to treat bedwetting in children. This medicine is a tricyclic antidepressant
Elavil
(amitriptyline) a tricyclic antidepressant
Sinequan
(doxepin) Treats depression, anxiety, and sleep disorders. This medicine is a tricyclic antidepressant (TCA).
Monoamine oxidase inhibitors
any of a group of antidepressant drugs that inhibit the activity of monoamine oxidase (so allowing accumulation of serotonin and norepinephrine in the brain).
Tyramine
a compound that can cause dangerously high blood pressure in people taking a monoamine oxidase inhibitor, found naturally in aged foods (cheese, wine, etc)
Nardil
Treats depression. This medicine is a monoamine oxidase inhibitor (MAOI)
Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor
a class of compounds typically used as antidepressants in the treatment of depression, anxiety disorders, and some personality disorders
Prozac
(fluoxetine) an SSRI that treats depression, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), and other disorders
Zoloft
(sertraline) an SSRI that treats depression, anxiety, and other disorders.
Serotonin norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor
a class of antidepressant drugs used in the treatment of major depressive disorder and other mood disorders
Effexor
(venlafaxine) Treats depression, generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), panic disorder, and social anxiety disorder. This medicine is a serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor (SNRI).
Lithium
Treats mania that is part of bipolar disorder (manic-depressive illness)
Anticonvulsant medications
used to prevent or reduce the severity of epileptic fits or other convulsions
Electroconvulsive therapy
a procedure in which electric currents are passed through the brain, intentionally triggering a brief seizure, seems to cause changes in brain chemistry that can quickly reverse symptoms of certain mental illnesses
Psychosurgery
brain surgery, such as lobotomy, used to treat mental disorder
Prefrontal lobotomy
A lobotomy in which the white fibers that connect the thalamus to the prefrontal and frontal lobes of the brain are severed, performed as a treatment for intense anxiety or violent behavior
Deep brain stimulation
a nonsurgical treatment to reduce tremor and to block involuntary movements in patients with motion disorders. Small electric shocks are delivered to the thalamus (especially in the treatment of multiple sclerosis) or the globus pallidus (especially in the treatment of Parkinson’s disease), rendering these parts of the brain inactive without surgically destroying them
Nature v nurture
whether heredity or the environment most impacts human psychological development (behavior, habits, intelligence, personality, sexuality, aggressive tendencies, and so on)
Epigenetics
the study of changes in organisms caused by modification of gene expression rather than alteration of the genetic code itself
Clozapine
antipsychotic drug that is not a phenothiazine
Categories: Abnormal Psychology