The Biological Approach + Psychosurgery

  • Created by: chlopayne
  • Created on: 10-04-19 15:25
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  • The Biological Approach
    • Key assumptions
      • Evolutionary influences
        • Change of a species over time. Charles Darwin - natural selection.
        • Small proportion of each generation survives to reproduce. Each generation has a degree of variation in order to survive.
        • Natural sexual - characteristics evolve that increase ability to survive
      • Localisation of brain functions
        • Two halves of the brain are called hemispheres.
        • Key areas of the brain.
          • Wernicks and Broca's area = language development.
          • Parietal, occipital, frontal lobe and temporal. (POFT)
          • Limbic system, amygdala, hippocampus, angular gyrus, corpus callosum + right hemisphere.
      • Neurotransmi-tters
        • neutrons are cells which are found in the brain and nervous system.
        • They work by sending chemical and electric messages to each other.
        • Depoamine = pleasure. Serotonin = anxiety,  emotion. Oxytocin = love hormone
    • Psychosurgery
      • Surgical procedure for treating mentally disordered behaviour.
        • By removing or destroying part of the brain. Aim is to eradicate undesirable behaviour.
      • Early psychosurgery
        • Walter Freeman (1940/19500).  Transorbital loobotomy.
          • Shocked them to leave unconscious. Insert sharp instruments through eye.
            • Prefrontal lobe is damaged - thought to reduce aggressive behaviour.
        • Egas Moniz (1935). Prefrontal leucotomy.
          • Selective destruction of nerve fibres, performed on the frontal lobe.
            • Drill holes in each side of the skull, insert ice pick to destroy nerve fibres.
      • Evaluation
        • Effectiveness
          • Both had high success rates. Pippard (1955) = good results with 50% of mood disorders.
          • Severe side effects.
            • Comer (2002) found the fatality rate was 6%.
          • Modern psychosurgery
            • Cogrove and Rauch (2001) found cingulotomies effective in 56% of OCD patients and capsultomomies in 67%.
            • It helped major affective disorders; cingulotomies = 65% and capsulotomies = 55%.
        • Ethical issues
          • Freeman performed lobotomies without much  consultation - issue of consent.
            • Howard Dully case
          • Long term side effects and irreversible damage.
          • Used as a last resort today. OCD and depressed patients aren't in a right state of mind - issues of valid consent.
          • Better doing something than nothing.
      • Modern psychosurgery
        • Bilateral cingulotomy - burn away tissue by heating tip of electrode, non-invasive tool to focus beams of radiation at target site.
        • Capsulotomy- insert probes through top of skull down into capsule, heat tip of probes burning away tissue.
    • Evaluation of the approach
      • Strengths
        • scientific.
        • meta-analysis.
        • successful applications.
        • develop treatments.
      • Weaknesses
        • not always ethical.
        • nature, ignores environmental factors.
        • reductionist approach.
        • ignores free will.
    • All behaviours can be explained by genetics and physiology All thoughts, feelings & behaviour ultimately have a biological cause.


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