What is stress appraisal?
- The events of our lives flow through a psychological filter
- How we appraise an event influences how much stress we experience and how effectively we respond
What is the Lazarus and Folkman Model of Appraisal?
What was the experiment done to test if cognition defines emotion?
- Inject 2 groups w/ epinephrine (adrenaline)
- Tell one group to expect side effects; tell the other there are none
- Send them to waiting room which has one other person (a confederate) who is acting either euphoric or irritated
- Observe the subject
What were the predictions for the experiment testing if cognition defines emotion?
- Subjects told to expect effects from the injection such as racing heart, body flush, rapid breathing felt little emotion
- Subjects told that the injects would have no effect 'caught' the apparent emotion of the person in the room... happy w/ the euphoric person, testy from the irritated person
What was the take-home conclusion from the cognition/emotion experiment?
The exact same physiological arousal was experienced as VERY different emotinos depending on how it was interpreted and labeled
What is the highest risk factor for CHD?
- Those w/ personality type A
- More than smoking, high cholesterol levels, and overweight people
Who developed the theory that people w/ personality type A are at greater risk for CHD?
- Cardiologists in the 1950's
- Meyer Friedman and R.H. Rosenman
What is type A personality?
- Low self-esteem
- Hard time relaxing
Who really discovered that people with type A personality develop CHD?
- Upholstery guy noticed he was replacing the chairs in the cardiology unit the most
- Noticed wear and tear on the edges of the seats and arm rests
What is CHD?
- Coronary Heart Disease
- Disease in which lipid depositions, called plaque, builds up inside the coronary arteries
- These arteries supply oxygen-rich blood to your heart muscle
- Develop atherosclerosis
- Narrows and restricts the passage of blood
What is atherosclerosis?
A condition when plaque builds up in the arteries
How quickly does plaque build up in the arteries?
Occurs over many years
What is the mortality rate of individuals with high hostility compared to those with low hostility?
- High hostility = high mortality
- Vice versa
What is the relationship between pessimism and heart disease?
Pessimistic adult men are twice as likely to develop heart disease over a 10 year period
How do the effects of predictable stressors compare to those of unpredictable stressors?
- Predictable stressors tend to have less impact than unpredictable ones
- Especially when the stressors are intense and occur for relatively short periods
How does the perception of control affect the effects of stressors?
- Perception of control mediates the effects of stressors
- The belief that a stressor is controllable can reduce the impact of the stressor
- Health consequences of a loss of control
What experiment was done to test the effects of perceived control on stress?
- 3 rats: Executive, Subordinate, Control
- Executive: Shocked, but Escapable stress (ES) - Control
- Subordinate: Shocked, but Inescapable stress (IS) - No control rat
- Control: No shock - No stress rat
What were the results for the experiment modeling controllability in an animal model (3 rats)?
- Rats exposed to IS, but not ES:
- Later fail to learn to escape in a different context
- Less active in the presence of aversive stimuli
- Less agressive and less dominant
- Less interactive socially with both adult and juvenile conspecifics
- Eat and drink less
- Neophobic (afraid of new things/novelty)
- ES and IS induce the same magnitude and duration HPA axis response (at the level of corticosterone, ACTH, and CRF)
How do you test the question: What happens when you lose control?
- Want to know whether previous experience with a stressor can influence learning
- Previous experience with shock vs. No previous experience
- Similar experiment as rats but w/ dog where there is escapable stress, then becomes inescapable
So what happens when you lose control (dog experiment)?
- Affects ability to learn
- Uncontrollable bad events -> Perceived lack of control -> Generalized learned helpless behavior
What is learned helplessness?
A disruption in motivation, affect, and learning following exposure to noncontingent (uncontrollable) outcomes
What does learned helplessness refer to?
A constellation of behavioral changes that follow exposure to stressors that are not controllable by means of behavioral responses
What are the three crucial elements to the definition of learned helplessness?
What is contingency?
Refers to the objective relationship between actions and outcomes
How is contingency relevant to learned helplessness?
For helplessness to occur, there must be no relationship between a person's actions and the outcome he or she experiences
What is cognition?
Refers to how individuals perceive the contingency, explain it, and extrapolate from this understanding
How is cognitition relevant to learned helplessness?
- The perception of uncontrollability (noncontingency) may be accurate or inaccurate, but once it occurs individuals attempt to explain it.
- From this explanation they make extrapolations about the future and, when learned helplessness occurs, they expect that their behavior won't influence future outcomes
What is behavior?
Refers to the observable effects of being exposed to uncontrollable outcomes
What kind of behavior is often seen with learned helplessness?
- Most often, the effects of learned helplessness on behavior involves a sense of giving up, a behavior incompatible with new learning
- The response is also accompanied by negative emtions such as anxiety and sadness
What is meant by "giving up"?
Weaker attempts to control the situation or even failure to do so at all
What was Carol Dwek's experiment on kids in 6th and 7th grade?
- Gave them one age-appropriate and one hard math test
- Documented their response patterns to failure- Learned helpless and Mastery oriented
What was seen in the learned helpless pattern in Carol Dwek's experiment?
- Involved criticizing their abilities upon encountering failure
- Overestimating the number of problems they did not solve
- Expressing considerable self-doubt
- Negative feeling (anxiety, sadness, etc.)
- Performance deteriorated
- They were less likely to solve problems after experiencing failure even when the problems were identical to those solved before the failure
What happened to the kids in Dwek's experiment that showed mastery oriented patterns?
- Mood remained positive
- Maintained the belief in their ability to perform well
How did the mastery oriented kids in Dwek's experiment explain failure?
- Learning opportunity
- Not as indictment of their ability
What is modulated by the degree of behavioral control that an organism has over an aversive stimulus?
The behavioral and neurochemical consequences of exposure to the event
What kind of experience alters how an organism responds to current and future aversive events?
Experience of control over a potent stressor
The stress resistance induced by control is dependent on what kind of brain activation?
Control-induced activation of ventral medial prefrontal cortical (vmPFC) inhibitory control over brainstem and limbic structures
How does the degree of control affect plasticity of the vmPFC?
- Experience of control alters vmPFC in such a way that later uncontrollable stressors now activate the vmPFC circuitry
- Leads to inhibition of stress-responsive limbic and brainstem structures
- Ex. Stressor resistance
What is the DRN and where is it located?
- Dorsal Raphe Nucleus
- Largest serotonergic nucleus
- Located in brainstem
What does the DRN do?
Provides a substantial proportion of the serotonin (5-HT) innervation to the forebrain
What does the mPFC do in terms of stress?
- Mediates stress control
- Inhibits stress response
What happens when the neuronal projections from vmPFC synapse with GABAergic interneurons in the DRN?
Results in inhibition of 5-HT release
What is eustress?
Describe positive stress
- Motivates, focuses energy
- Short term
- Perceived as within our coping abilities
- Feels exciting
- Improves performance
How is stress graphically represented?
- Upside down curve
- Eustress located at peak of behavioral efficiency
What is a stress buffer?
Something that mitigates the stress effects
What is stress resilience?
Resilience can respresent an active, adaptive process and/or the absence of pathological responses that occur in more susceptible individuals
How can stress affect health?
- Studies have shown that people who believe stress is having an adverse effect on their health suffer more serious health problems
- Another study found that those who believed stress affected their health "a lot or extremely" had 50% greater risk of dying from heart attack
Describe the neural correlates of appraisal
How does the dmPFC regulate during alert, non-stress conditions?
- Reality testing
- Error monitoring
How does the dlPFC regulate during alert, non-stress conditions?
Top-down guidance of attention and thought
How does the rlPFC regulate during alert, non-stress conditions?
- Inhibition of inappropriate actions
How does the vmPFC regulate during alert, non-stress conditions?
- Regulating emotion
How is dendritic remodeling after stress different between young and old animals?
- Following stress in young animals, there is reversal/recovery of the dendritic remodeling
- Following stress in aged animals, there is no recovery of the dendritic remodeling effects