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Chapter 17 Biopsychology of Emotion, Stress & Health

Chapter 17 Biopsychology of Emotion, Stress &...

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Chapter 17 Biopsychology of Emotion, Stress & Health 17.1 Biopsychology of Emotion: Introduction The mind-blowing case of Phineas Gage Why would an iron rod through the skull lead to dramatic changes in personality? Damage to medial prefrontal lobe – site of planning & emotion Early landmarks in the biopsychological investigation of emotion Darwin’s Theory of the Evolution of Emotion Three main ideas of the theory (Darwin, 1872): a) Expressions of emotions evolve from behaviours that indicate what an animal is likely to do next b) If emotional signals are beneficial, they will evolve to more effectively communicate & may lose their original meaning c) Opposite messages are often signalled by opposite movements – “principle of antithesis” Threat displays, for example, are beneficial – intimidate victims without the costs & risks for fighting James-Lange and Cannon-Bard Theories James-Lange (1884) o Stimulus triggers autonomic/skeletal response which triggers emotion o Autonomic/skeletal response necessary for emotion Cannon-Bard (1915) o Stimulus triggers autonomic/skeletal response & emotion o Autonomic/skeletal response independent of emotion Modern biopsychological view o Three principles factors in an emotional response: a) Perception of emotion-inducing stimulus, b) autonomic & somatic responses to the stimulus c) and the experience of the emotion – influences the other two Sham Rage Decorticated (cortex removed) cats exhibit extreme & unfocused aggressive responses (Bard, 1929) Hypothalamus must be intact for sham rage, If removed no more sham rage Perhaps hypothalamus is needed for expression of aggression & cortex serves to inhibit & direct responses Limbic system & emotion Papez (1937) proposed emotional circuit (limbic system) that includes hypothalamus 1
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Kluver-Bucy Syndrome Rare cerebral or neurological disorder Major symptoms – urge to put objects into mouth, memory loss, extreme sexual behaviour, placidity, visual distractibility Aspect of inhinibition affected Results from bilateral damage to anterior temporal lobes First seen in monkeys, then in other species (including humans) Emotions & autonomic nervous system Two important questions o Which patterns of ANS activity are associated with specific emotions? o Are ANS measures effective on polygraph (“lie detector- only measure physiological response”)? There is no separate ANS profile for each emotion Emotional specificity of ANS James-Lange theory: different emotional stimuli induce different patterns of ANS activity & that these different patterns product different emotional experiences Cannon-Bard theory: all emotional stimuli produce the same general pattern of sympathetic activation, which prepares the organism for action (i.e., increased heart rate, increased blood pressure, pupil dilation, increased flow of blood to the muscles etc) Evidence suggests that specificity lies somewhere between the two extremes Polygraph Lie detection is really emotion detection
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