Biopsychology | Psychology homework help

Week 4 Discussion: BiopsychologyDiscussion TopicTask: Reply to this topic Due April 13 at 11:59 PM Ends Apr 13, 2021 11:59 PM

Within the field of biopsychology many researchers dedicate themselves to the task studying the brain and the multitude of neurochemicals, brain structures, hemispheres, and communication pathways among different brain regions.  Their work contributes to our evolving understanding of the role the brain plays in behavior, cognition, and emotions.

For this week’s discussion we will employ our analytical skills to evaluate four case studies. Through our evaluation of the case studies, we will apply our knowledge of the nervous system, brain structures, and events that can disrupt healthy functioning.

Your Task

Part 1: Case Reviews:  Review the four case studies provided below. Answer four of the presented questions following each case study. You will need your answers for your main post and your peer follow-ups.

Part 2: Main Post:  In order to create a focused community of learning this week we will conduct an analyses exchange. This will be achieved as follows:

 According to the first letter of your last name, you have been assigned a case study to analyze and address for your main post this week.  Once you’ve identified your assigned case study, carefully compose your responses to four of the assigned questions.

Last Name Ending in…

Maine Post Study

Peer Follow-Up Studies (pick 2)

A-F

Study 1: Bill

Studies 2, 3, 4

G-L

Study 2: Jill

Studies 1, 3, 4

M-R

Study 3: Jarrod

Studies 1, 2, 4

S-Z

Study 4: John

Studies 1, 2, 3

Part 3:  Peer follow-up:  Respond to two of your classmates’ postings, selecting two who were assigned a different case study from your own. Provide constructive, thoughtful feedback designed to build an engaging dialog.  To achieve this, comment on your classmate’s post AND share your answers to an assigned question not addressed in your classmate’s main post.  This will contribute to a broader analysis of the case study. 

Study 1:  Bill (Drugs for good gone wrong…)

Your roommate Bill has had chronic pain issues since he broke his jaw in a mountain biking accident about a year ago. You know that he finished his prescription pain killers four months ago, but you’re concerned he’s been taking something else. Quite frequently you find Bill passed out in his room, and when he is awake, he doesn’t seem to care about much. He stopped volunteering at the animal shelter and says his pain is way better than it was a few months ago. Today you find on the bathroom sink a syringe and your landlord sends an email to say Bill did not pay his share of this month’s rent. What drug is Bill on?

Questions:  Answer question 6.  Choose at least 3 additional questions to discuss.

1. What drug has the individual in this case been using? What led you to believe this? 

2. What are the subjective effects of the drug (i.e., what would a person taking this drug report feeling after using the drug)?

3. What receptors, transporters, or neurotransmitters could be involved? How does the drug affect these receptors, transporters, or neurotransmitters?

4. Provide at least one relevant website concerning the drug in question.

5. Is this drug addictive? What are the consequences of continued use of this drug?

6. Putting yourself in the role of a professional counselor or biological psychologist, what advice do you have for concerned family or friends of someone using this drug?

– – – –

Mini Cases in Psychoactive Drugs and Their Effects on the Brain by Darlene Mitrano. Case copyright held by the National Center for Case Study Teaching in Science, University at Buffalo, State University of New York. Originally published September 2, 2011. 

Study 2:  Jill (Let the smoke clear…) 

It has been a long day and you are glad it is Friday.  Earlier you called and made plans with your friend, Jill, to order delivery from your favorite sandwich shop and to start a movie marathon around 6PM.   When you arrive at Jill’s condo you smell a distinctive odor in the hall. You knock and she opens the door.  A smoky cloud lingers in the kitchen. Jill has invited her cousin Shelly over and they seem to have been smoking something. Their eyes are red, they seem extremely relaxed, and there are food and candy wrappers all over the place. Jill says that she totally forgot you were coming over, but you should stay and hang out anyway. What have Jill and Shelly been smoking?

Questions:  Answer question 6.  Choose at least 3 additional questions to discuss.

1. What drug has the individual in this case been using? What led you to believe this? 

2. What are the subjective effects of the drug (i.e., what would a person taking this drug report feeling after using the drug)?

3. What receptors, transporters, or neurotransmitters could be involved? How does the drug affect these receptors, transporters, or neurotransmitters?

4. Provide at least one relevant website concerning the drug in question.

5. Is this drug addictive? What are the consequences of continued use of this drug?

6. Putting yourself in the role of a professional counselor or biological psychologist, what advice do you have for concerned family or friends of someone using this drug?

– – – – –

Mini Cases in Psychoactive Drugs and Their Effects on the Brain  by Darlene Mitrano. Case copyright held by the National Center for Case Study Teaching in Science, University at Buffalo, State University of New York. Originally published September 2, 2011. 

Study 3:  Jerrod (Split My Brain)

The following case study addresses the experienced of a young boy.  The author provides a well-developed sequence of observations and dialog among the parties included in the study.  Because it entails a longer script, Study 3 is provided to you as a PDF document.  Please click on the following link to access the case study: http://sciencecases.lib.buffalo.edu/cs/files/split_brain.pdf 

Questions:  Answer Question 7 or 8, then respond to at least 3 of the remaining questions:

1. What is Rasmussen Syndrome (what are its history, symptoms, prognosis, etc.)?

2. What structures or abilities of the brain are concentrated in the areas of the left hemisphere that would be removed in the hemispherectomy?

3. Other than reducing his seizures, how else might Jerrod’s thinking or behavior be affected by losing these parts of his brain?

4. What types of abilities would he still retain, because the brain structures would remain intact?

5.  What might the family do to help Jerrod recover after such a surgery?

6.  If Jerrod had the surgery, would his level of functioning get better, worse, or stay the same over time?

7.  What other kinds of questions would you have about the surgery? Can you find the answers, i.e., provide a website, etc.?

8. What decision do you recommend to the family? Why or why not go ahead with surgery?

– – – –

Split my Brain:  A Case Study of Seizure Disorder and Brain Function by Julia Omaruz.  Copyright held by the National Center for Case Study Teaching in Science. Originally published September 19, 2004. http://www.sciencecases.org/split_brain/split_brain.asp

Study 4: John (Speak up!)

John is a 32-year-old right-handed man who was recently found sprawled on the back patio by his buddy, Fred. When he woke, he had a right facial droop, was dragging his right leg, and did not appear to understand anything said to him. After being rushed to the ER, the doctors diagnosed a dense right hemiparesis (weakness). Doctors also noticed that while his speech was rapid and fluent, he was quite unintelligible. He showed no stilting or slurring of speech, and his overall articulation was fine. John had absolutely no trouble getting words out—the problem was that once they were out, they made no sense!

During his neuropsychological assessment, his doctor asked him to repeat sentences such as “will you answer the telephone?” More often than not, he would answer the questions (“yes I will” or “no, it’s on the ground”) rather than repeat the sentence. His spontaneous speech was filled with neologisms (made-up words) and jargon. In fact, one of his doctors commented that John’s speech was reminiscent of the “Jabberwocky” poem by Lewis Carroll (i.e., “Twas brillig, and the slithy toves … Did gyre and gimble in the wabe”). 

John was unable to comprehend written text or write coherently (his written work read much like his spoken words sounded; fluent but empty).  And, to all intents and purposes, John seemed completely unaware of his condition.

Questions:  Answer Question 5, then respond to at least 3 of the remaining questions:

1. What condition or conditions (there may be more than one possibility) are being described in this case? Let us know why you think this is the case, and provide one website that might justify your position.

2. What brain area or area(s) may be involved (be sure to consider which language functions are compromised too, and be specific as to which hemisphere)? How should they function normally?

3. What could be causing this dysfunction?

4. What do the patient’s symptoms tell you about his/his language abilities and how they may be impaired?

5.  Putting yourself in the role of a professional counselor or biological psychologist, what advice do you have for concerned family or friends regarding the management of their responses to / engagement with John?

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