Neuro Midterm #3.5

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108 Terms

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Mentalizing

Ability to interpret/understand behavior (one’s own as well as that of others)

Understanding underlying intentions and mental states such as thoughts, feelings, wishes, and intentions

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Social Brain

Superior Temporal Gyrus

Insula

Medial Prefrontal Cortex

Posterior Cingulate Cortex

Amygdala

Fusiform Gyrus

Save innocent monkeys provide aid fast

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Kip Kinkel

Less active orbitofrontal and prefrontal area, causing the inability to follow a course of individual action and goal detection

Was Kip able to take full responsibility for his actions at age 15?

Richard Kunkel argued underdeveloped PFC in defense

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Laurence Steinberg

  • Neurocognitive Impairment

  • Susceptibility to External Pressure

  • Mismatch with Character

Adolescents should be held less accountable but not excused by reason of adolescence

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Adolescence

Period of development that begins with onset of sexual maturity (11-14) and ends with the beginning of adulthood (18-25)

  • Transition to identity apart from parents

  • More susceptible to peer influence

  • Seeking, rage, and fear peak as well as joy and play

  • Less sadness and care

Seen in mammals of all species (K-selected)

Nervous system distinctions lasting into 20s

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Pros of Adolescent Brains

  • Automatic low-level functions

  • Fast reactions

  • Detection of sensory stimuli

Skills begin to drop ~ age 18

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Cons of Adolescent Brains

  • Long-term planning (PFC)

  • Emotion regulation (PFC)

  • Impulse control (PFC)

  • Evaluating risk & reward (NAcc)

  • Integrating multiple sources of information

    • Explains prevalence of car accidents, correlated with # of people in the car

These reasons explain why we have “statutory crimes” legal for adults but not adolescents

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Prefrontal Development

  • Not fully developed until ~25

  • Increased amygdala reactivity in response to fearful faces

    • Good at “go” task; bad at “no-go”

  • Steeper delay discounting curves due to delayed maturation of frontotemporal cortex

  • Highly-active seeking system in order to discover identity (NAcc) but diminished executive functions (lateral PFC)

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White Matter

  • Increases rapidly until age 25

  • Made up of axons

  • Increased myelination facilitates transmission of signals

    • Ability to make integrated decisions

Connects hemispheres via corpus callosum

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“Use it or Lose It”

Increase of white matter fine-tunes brain connections, so unnecessary ones are pruned out

Connections that are used remain, so activities teens engage in affects the overall structure of their adult brain

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Gray Matter

Decrease in frontal gray matter, which is overproduced just prior to puberty and falls rapidly during/after adolescence

  • Somas & Dendrites

  • Loss of ~30,000 synapses

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Saccades

Rapid eye movements toward anticipated visual targets that improves after adolescence

  • Continues to improve into 20s and 30s

Anti-saccade test shows quicker reactions later in life (early 30s) because it involves PFC regulation

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Delayed Discounting

Subjectively discounting the value of something if it cannot be accessed until a later time

Frontotemporal cortex immaturity makes it more difficult for adolescents to override impulses

Greater/steeper delayed discounting curves than adults (i.e., would rather get $1 now than $5 later)

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Car Crashes

Adolescents crash cars more often in the presence of friends

  • Correlational increase depending on # of ppl in car

Activation of ventral striatum (reward seeking) makes risky choices more attractive and causes adolescents to pay little attention to downsides of actions

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Sense of Self

Awareness of:

  • Current mental state

  • First-person perspective

  • Autobiographical memory

  • Sense of agency

  • Self-concept

Involves medial frontal and posterior cortices

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Mechanistic Reasoning

Baseline emotional state that seeks to understand causal relationships in external world (i.e., what happens if I push this boulder)

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Mentalistic Reasoning

Social reasoning (i.e., how will someone react if I lie underneath them)

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Big Cortex

Neocortex is disproportionately large in humans (105:1)

Result of living in large, complex groups with a long juvenile period (K-selected species)

Helps us solve complex social problems due to more complex and larger group size

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Fusiform Gyrus in Social Brain

Determining social stimuli by how they look (biological form)

Extension of visual cortex (includes FFA)

Detects and processes specific categories of items

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Fusiform Face Area

Region of fusiform gyrus (runs along temporal lobes) specialized in detecting and recognizing individual faces

Innate face template tunes itself based on face input during early childhood (get better at discriminating human faces around 6-12 months and worse with monkey faces)

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What is a Face?

  • Combination of forms, pigmentation, and contours

  • Bilateral symmetry around the vertical axis

  • Canonical arrangement of features, including horizontally-positioned eyes above a nose or mouth within an oval

  • Symmetry makes faces more attractive due to ease of perceptual processing

    • Also evolutionary associations between symmetry and health

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First vs Second Order

First order relational information: is it a face

Second order relational information: whose face is it

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Prosopagnosia

Facial identity recognition is impaired due to developmental or acquired FFA deficits, which impairs processing second-order relations (with a typical person, inverting faces stimulates this_

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Super Face Recognizers

Can recognize a lot of faces, even those that are not super familiar, due to heightened FFA activation

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STG/STC in Social Brain

Region of temporal lobe involved in detecting and interpreting biological motion and social gaze

Sits between dorsal “where” stream and ventral “what” stream

Links features to identity and what the individual is doing

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Amygdala & Insula in Social Brain

“Can I trust him/her? Do I know him/her? How is he/she feeling?”

  • Amygdala gives meaning to social stimuli

    • Connects to hypothalamus and creates autonomic response

    • Evaluates social entities, including trustworthiness and familiarity

  • Insula generates affective representation

    • What is the individual feeling

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mPFC in Social Brain

Imputing mental properties

Self-referential processing and understanding the mental states of others

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PCC in Social Brain

Imputing mental properties

Integrating self-referential and social information

Default network

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Group Function

Basic requirement for mating and child-rearing

Protects young as well as entire group

Allows for specialization of function

Permits reciprocal altruism

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Prisoner’s Dilemma

Reciprocal Altruism

  • Defecting maximizes points in single rounds, but across multiple rounds results in retaliations such that defecting loses points across multiple rounds

  • Cooperation maximizes gain

  • If participants know the # of rounds left, cooperation tapers off at the end

  • NAcc and vmPFC activated

    • NAcc (dopamine)

    • vmPFC (tracks reward value of future actions and weighs decisions)

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Reciprocal Altruism

An altruistic behavior performed with the understanding that the recipient will reciprocate at some future date

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Value of Groups

We anticipate cooperation with group members to be rewarding

The extent to which we anticipate cooperating to be rewarding predicts behavior

Consistent cooperation requires persistence of group membership

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In-Group Favoritism

Tendency for members of a group to act and feel more positively toward other members

Stronger social brain responses to in-group

In the absence of conflict, in-group favoritism is present, but out-group derogation is not

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Out-Group Derogation

The tendency for members of a group to act and feel more negatively toward non-members

In the absence of conflict, in-group favoritism is present, but out-group derogation is not

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Groups and FFG

Increased processing of individual in-group faces (even when placed into random groups)

People are better at remembering people in their own groups

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Groups and Amygdala

Provides valence information and lower-level emotional processing of faces (familiar or threatening)

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Groups and mPFC/OFC

Use input from the amygdala to guide decisionmaking

Conscious awareness of decisionmaking (resulting in liking own group more)

Top-Down control increases biases

Amygdala reacts to fast stimuli and PFC reacts when stimuli are shown for longer

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Group Downsides

FFA/STG distinguish own group members from other group members

mPFC makes inferences (stereotypes) about individuals based on group membership

Amygdala implicated in prejudice, experiencing negative affect toward members of some groups

Behavior leads to discrimination when exhibiting differential behavior toward members of some groups

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Implicit Association Test

Differential amygdala reaction times reflect:

  • Stored associations in semantic memory

  • Possibly negative automatic evaluations

  • Possibly implicit attitudes towards certain social groups

  • High brain activity correlation with IAT (0.43)

Implicit (and especially explicit) biases have declined over time

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Reducing Bias

Gordon Allport - prejudice may be reduced by equal status contact between groups, especially if sanctioned by institutions (i.e., law, custom, etc) and if both groups believe that they have common interests and humanity

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Theory of Mind

The ability to infer others’ mental states

To children under 4, there is no difference between what they think and believe and what others think and believe

Changes around age 5, as seen in candle/crayon “False Belief” experiment

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Animacy Detection

Detecting social actions; 0-20 months

Living things make mechanically-unpredictable, self-propelled movements around articulated joints

  • Recognizable difference between animate and inanimate motion within days of birth

Implicates superior temporal gyrus

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Gaze Detection

Detecting social actions; 0-20 months

The eyes of living things make unpredictable and meaningful movements

Can directly gaze or avert gaze

Implicates superior temporal gyrus and amygdala (causes emotional response to being looked at directly)

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Pop-Out Effect

Gazes, even in a crowd, are very noticeable and “pop out” to us

Effect is even stronger in a circular shape

  • We read left to right, so effect is stronger when things are presented in a novel configuration

Also seen when finding things that are “not like the others”

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Explicit Face Recognition

Pathway from the primary visual cortex to the FFA, which then sends info to temporal cortex and links features to identity

Recognizing face and who it belongs to

Damage to this pathway results in prosopagnosia

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Implicit Face Recognition

Pathway from primary visual cortex to amygdala, which then sends info to hypothalamus (autonomic responds) and insula (representations of affect)

Leads to SCR increases in response to familiar faces leading to feeling of familiarity

Damage to this pathway results in Capgras Delusion

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Capgras Delusion

Disorder in which people believe that loved ones have been replaced by imposters, doubles, or aliens

Explicit recognition but no SCR response (familiarity) leading to belief that the person is an imposter

Very common in lewy body dementia and seen in schizophrenia

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Double Dissociation

Demonstrates differentiable effects in different brain regions (i.e., two pathways for facial recognition)

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Uncanny Valley

FFA is sensitive to experience, so when we see faces that are not quite “right,” we are uncomfortable (i.e., Polar Express; dolls)

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Gaze Following

Understanding social actions; 3-4 months

By following a living thing’s gaze, you can figure out what they are looking at

Seen in Milgram experiment in which a crowd of people looked at the sky, leading others to do the same

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Goal Detection

Understanding social actions; 5-15 months

Gazes provide meaningful info about internal states (i.e., goals and intentions)

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Mirror Network

Posterior Parietal Cortex generates representations of body in space and time

Inferior Frontal Cortex encodes the goal of the observed action

Network responds to personal actions and the actions of others

Doesn’t necessarily encode the action, but goal of the action

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Gaze Monitoring

Understanding social actions; 9-18 months

Paying attention to others’ eyes is a good way to get info

Helps children expand vocabulary

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Joint Attention

Understanding social actions; 18-24 months

What people are looking at is what they are paying attention to and this can be changed

Seen in chimpanzees as well

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Secondary Representations

Implicit acknowledgement that people are thinking about different things that you might be thinking about,

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Mentalism

Understanding mental processes; 18-24 months

Internal mental states are changeable and predict behavior

  • Charlie and the Chocolates task

    • A face encircled in candies is looking at a certain one, and the individual must infer what the face will choose to eat

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Mentalism in Brain

Cortical action (not amygdala)

Tempoparietal junction and vmPFC involved in inferring the goals of social actions (differs from mirror neuron network because it doesn’t require an action)

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Inferring Mental States

Understanding mental processes

Where eyes are directed forms new mental states (i.e., someone knows what is in a box if they look in it but not just if they hold it)

Tempoparietal junction and vmPFC involved in inferring the goals of social actions (differs from mirror neuron network because it doesn’t require an action)

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Belief Understanding

Understanding mental processes

3.5-5 years

Mental states can reflect the world inaccurately

False belief task about marbles in a basket

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Autism Spectrum Disorder

Developmental disabilities characterized by

  • Deficits in social communication and interaction

  • Deficits in verbal and nonverbal communication

  • Restricted, repetitive patterns of behavior, interest, or activities

  • Significant impairment in social functioning

  • Animacy detection is the only ToM aspect that is not impaired

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ASD False Belief

In ASD, massive cortico-cortical hyperconnectivity

  • More connectivity between regions but reduced behavior because of more gray and white matter (less pruning of gray matter and accelerated growth after birth)

Poor performance on false belief task

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Mentalizing Network

Medial PFC - represents one’s own mental states as well as the mental states of others

Posterior cingulate cortex - integration of self-referential and social information

Tempoparietal junction - attributes mental states to others and distinguishes between the self and others

Superior temporal gyrus - processing of social and linguistic information

Save them make progress

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Altruism

Voluntary, costly action performed to benefit another individual motivated by helping the other person

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Kin-Selected Altruism

Performed to benefit genetic relatives and therefore the altruist’s genes

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Care-Based Altruism

Voluntary, costly action performed to benefit another individual

Motivated by care and concern for another’s welfare (includes extraordinary altruism)

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Extraordinary Altruism

Care-based altruism performed to benefit strangers despite significant risks or costs to the altruist

Recognition of Distress → Care → Altruism

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Neural Roots of Care

BNST - densely populated with oxytocin receptors; connects hypothalamus and amygdala

Hypothalamus - produces oxytocin

Amygdala - densely populated with oxytocin receptors; CeA promotes active care

Oxytocin - care hormone

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ASD Social Impairments

  • Social & emotional reciprocity (i.e., initiating and responding to conversations)

  • Understanding and maintaining relationships

  • Deficits in peer relationships

  • May not recognize when others are looking at them

  • Theory of mind deficits (except animacy detection)

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Verbal Mental Age

12 year old children with Autism have a verbal mental age of 5.5

11 year old children with Down’s Syndrome have a verbal mental age of 3

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Leo Kanner

1943 - characterized Autism as the byproduct of the “refrigerator mother,” leading to affective contact, fascination with objects, desire for sameness, and non-communicative language before 30 months of age

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Hans Asperger

1944 - lack of empathy, little ability to form friendships, one-sided conversations, intense absorption in a special interest, clumsy movements

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Bruno Bettelheim

1971 - popularized the idea that Autism is caused by detached and frigid mothering

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Bernard Rimland

1994 - insisted that Autism is a biological disorder, not an emotional illness caused by trauma

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Andrew Wakefield

1998 - published a study suggesting that the measles-mumps-rubella vaccine caused Autism

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2000s Autism

2000 - US vaccine makers remove thimerosal from routine childhood vaccines

2004 - Institute of Medicine completes review and finds no link between vaccines and Autism

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Gennet Belay

First woman to receive a transplant (kidney) from a stranger (Harold Mintz)

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Rats and Care

When faced with the threat of shock, rats tend to freeze, including female rats in the absence of pups

With pups, female rates move around to protect them instead of freezing

However, injecting oxytocin antagonist caused female rats to revert to freezing, even with pups → oxytocin needed for motivation to care

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Altruist Brains

In a matched sample of kidney donors and controls, altruists found to have more gray matter in the amygdala and therefore more oxytocin receptors

Also more reactive amygdalae in response to fearful faces (not angry; recognized within 3000 ms)

Greater integrity of amygdala-PAG connections, explaining bravery despite fear sensitivity during caring decisions

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Empathy

Sharing or recognizing others’ emotional states and creating an internal representation

  • May leverage networks involved in experiencing those states firsthand

  • Stimulates insula, which simulates others’ pain

Distinct from theory of mind

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Empathic Accuracy Experiment

Couples simulate an argument in the lab after filling out questionnaires about depressive symptoms, health, and relationship satisfaction

Rate their own and partners’ emotions when rewatching conversation

Low accuracy signals social deficits while high accuracy leads to higher likelihood of depression if partner is depressed

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Alloparental Care

Caring for offspring other than one’s own

Those we care about extends beyond our families

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Self-Domestication Hypothesis

Modern humans were selected for reduced social fear and increased social tolerance, which enables cooperation, prosocial orientation, and altruism

We are more docile today because humans chose to reproduce with others who were more trusting and friendly

Example of silver foxes, which after 20 years of domestication have become more docile

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Social Threat

Perception of heightened social threat, particularly in between-group conflict, reduces cooperation and increases aggression

Reduction of social fear results in hypersociality, friendliness, and cooperative nature (i.e., Williams Syndrome)

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Minimal Group Paradigm

When people are put into groups, even arbitrary ones, they favor ingroup members more and believe they deserve better treatment

  • Henri Taifel separated people depending on which Impressionist paintings they preferred; group members had to make attributions about their group vs the other group

    • People wanted to reward members of their group over others

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Callous Unemotional Items

Characteristics showing lack of remorse/empathy

  • Lack of remorse

  • Lack of empathy

  • Shallow affect

    • Conning/manipulative

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Social Deviance Items

Characteristics showing parasitic relationships with others

  • Need for stimulation

  • Parasitic lifestyle

  • Irresponsibility

  • Impulsivity

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Items Assessing Psychopathology

  • Glib and superficial charm

  • Grandiose self-worth

  • Need for stimulation

  • Pathological lying

  • Conning and manipulation

  • Lack of guilt/remorse/empathy

  • Shallow affect

  • Callous

  • Parasitic lifestyle

  • Low behavior control

  • Sexual promiscuity

  • Early behavior problems

  • Irresponsibility and impulsivity

  • Lacking of long-term goals

  • Inability to accept responsibility

  • Short-term marriages

  • Juvenile delinquency

  • Revocation of probation

  • Criminal versatility

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Socialization

Acquisition of habits conforming to societal rules and expectations

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Sociopathy

Antisocial behaviors that reflect socialization failures rather than inherent temperament

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Psychopathy

Reflects failures of normal socialization processes (i.e., producing conscientiousness and avoidance of antisociality)

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David Lykken

Credited specifically with coming up with a way to distinguish between the causes of psychopathy and sociopathy'

Hypothesized that people with psychopathy are hard to socialize (even if people attempt to teach them social norms) whereas people with sociopathy aren’t inherently hard to socialize; they just haven’t had the opportunity to be properly socialized (raised by negligent parents)

Warm and responsive parents can dramatically improve outcomes for at-risk children

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Skin Conductance and Psychopathy

Psychopaths don’t have the SCR response that healthy individuals have in response to stimuli

Reduced amygdala, insula, and ACC activity in response to a CS

Self-reports of experiencing little fear or negative outcomes at all; understand fear as a concept but never feel it strongly

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Psychopath Amygdalas

Basolateral and Central nuceli are malformed (which are normally responsible for fear response)

Bilateral volume reduction; smaller amygdalas

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Psychopathy in Brain

Amygdala - lack of fear

mPFC - lack of reasoning how another person feels

STC - impaired processing of fearful expressions

Insula - lack of empathy (not a “heavy hitter”)

vmPFC - evaluates how much you care about emotions (not a “heavy hitter”)

Save A Million Innocent Victims

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Psychopathy and Violations

When presented with moral and conventional violations, psychopaths much more likely to refer to conventional rules and disregard moral violations

Not doing something because it ‘breaks rules’ is important; not doing something because it hurts others is unimportant

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Psychosis

Perceiving or interpreting reality very differently from those around you

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Schizophrenia

Distinguished by psychosis

  • Delusions

  • Hallucinations

  • Disorganized speech (frequent derailment/incoherence)

  • Grossly disorganized or catatonic behavior

  • Negative symptoms (diminished emotional expression/empathy)

  • Social cognitive impairments (mentalizing problems)

    • Worse theory of mind and empathic accuracy

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Social Cognition

Any process that helps people process, remember, and use information about other people and social situations

Schizophrenia this is a better predictor of functional outcomes than non-social cognitive deficits or psychosis

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Functional Outcomes

Ability to hold a job, maintain relationships, live independently, etc

Social cognition is the best predictor of this in Schizophrenia

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Frontotemporal Dementia Disorders (FTD)

Alzheimer’s - impacts memory

Behavioral Variant Frontotemporal Dementia (bvFTD) - socioemotional functioning

Number of subtypes

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