CH 05A.docx - Hormones and the Brain Crafting a Personality Through Hormones \u2014 iVnen she was 13 Mary Lou spent a whole summer in the intensive care

CH 05A.docx - Hormones and the Brain Crafting a Personality...

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Hormones and the Brain Crafting a Personality Through Hormones — iVnen she was 13, Mary Lou spent a whole summer in the intensive care ward of a hos- pital with a grave illness that doctors could not diagnose. When she finally got out of the fospital, she assumed that her life would be short, so Mary Lou pursued it with gusto, .•. ;'king as an artist, playing in a band, working on a PhD in electrical engineering at an . _eague school. But by her early 20s, Mary Lou's medical condition was deteriorat- ing. She was sleeping 20 hours per day, coping with constant headache and repeated omiting, and periodically wheelchair bound, but the worst part for Mary Lou was that, x the first time in her life, she felt stupid. Then doctors finally detected a slow-growing brain tumor that had disrupted function : I a oea-sized structure called the pituitary gland. The tumor was removed, but the pitu-•3'V was damaged beyond repair. As we'll learn in this chapter, the lack of a functioning . :ary means Mary Lou fails to make a host of hormones, some of which are crucial :' survival. Fortunately, pharmacies can provide many of these missing hormones, so in e 20 years after surgery, a recovered Mary Lou has been able to found several technology start-ups and has headed projects, first for Google then Facebook, where she has ~z efforts in virtual reality. Taking hormones saved Mary Lou's life. But in the process of tinkering to get the right : ;es and combinations of hormones, Mary Lou learned that hormones influence not inly her physical health and intelligence, but also her moods and personality. As she aays, "It took me years to craft a better 'me' after my personality was essentially killed >y the effects of the tumor and surgery" (Jepsen, 2013). What are these hormones that Lou must tinker with, and how can they have such a large effect on her brain and cehavior? cells in your body use chemicals to communicate, including an extensive array f hormones. Alterations in hormone levels can produce striking changes in brain ion. Cognitive abilities, emotions, our appetite for food or drink or sex, our aggressiveness or submissiveness, our care for children—the scope of hormonal in- fluences on behavior is vast. Furthermore, hormones do more than influence adult ichavior. Early in life, thyroid and sex hormones regulate brain development. Later n life, the changing outputs of endocrine glands and the body's changing sensitivity 3 hormones are prominent aspects of adolescence and aging. In this chapter we consider the major hormones, their anatomical sources, their slogical actions, and their effects on behavior. This discussion sets the stage for apics in later chapters, such as hormonal effects in reproductive behavior (Chapter ! >: feeding, drinking, and body maintenance (Chapter 13); and stress and emotion Liter 15).
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