stress- SAM and PAS

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  • Created by: alex
  • Created on: 28-05-13 23:29


SAM- sympathetic adrenal medullary system

is acute (immediate) response to stress

Ensures the body is ready to use energy

  • Brain perceives a stressor
  • activales SNS
  • adrenal medulla releases adrenaline.
  • initiates FOFR
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FOFR= Fight or flight response

increase heart rate

increase blood pressure

increase breathing rate

strong emotions

dilation of pupils

decrease of saliva

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PAS= Pituitary- Adrenal System

PAS is a response to chronic stress (on going stress)

Takes upto 20 mins to complete

Self regulating system

If cortisol levels rises CRF + ACTH production reduces

  • Brain perceives a stressor
  • CRF released into the bloodstream
  • CRF causes Pituitary gland to release ACTH (adrenocorticotrophic hormone) into blood
  • ACTH stimulates adrenal cortex
  • It releases corticosteroides (cortisol)
  • Causes Liver to release glucose into blood leading to production of energy
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Consequences of the stress response

1) chronic stress involves repeated episodes of increase heart rate and blood pressure- formation of plague in cardiovascular system

2) Adrenaline and Nor- Adrenaline contributes to increasing in blood cholesterol levels- leads to blood clots and artery walls become thinckened

3) Repeated episodes of FOFR leads to raised heart rate is linked to more rapid build up of cholesterol

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Individual differences (Taylor et al)

Taylor et al: gender differences

Men react to stress with a FOFR whereas women react with a "tend and befriend response"

Gender differences seen in many species

Women protect and nurture their young (tend) and seek social contact and support from other females (befriend)

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Individual differences (oxytocin)

  • High levels of oxytocin is associated with reduced cortisol levels and faster recovery to acute stress response.
  • Male hormones reduce effects of oxytocin
  • Female hormone (oestrogen) amplifies effect of oxytocin
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