Hormones and Behaviour

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What are biological rhythms?
Phasic secretion of hormones and other chemical bio-regulators in distinct, predictable periodic patterns.
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What is melatonin used for?
Regulating cyclical functions (sleep).
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What are some properties of melatonin (4)?
Released almost exclusively at night, tracks length of day and season, controls timing of onset of sleep, controls breeding condition in seasonally breeding animals
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What is ghrelin?
A hormone produced the stomach epithelium which stimulates feeling.
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What is ghrelin used for?
Ghrelin-secreting neurons in the brain are involved in control of feeding. Also stimulates release of growth hormone (GH) from the pituitary.
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What are some properties of ghrelin (3)?
Powerful appetite stimulant, circulating levels rise prior to mealtime and at night, treatment with exogenous ghrelin provokes increased appetite.
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How does the ghrelin system differ in obsese people?
They have a ghrelin system that is unresponsive to eating.
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What is reproductive behaviour caused by?
Cyclic patterns of gonadotropin secretion originating from the hypothalamus surge centre present only in females.
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How is the oestrus cyclic different in non-human mammals?
Females only sexually active during the oestrus phase, oestrus is generally obvious in non-human mammals.
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What is oxytocin?
A mammalian hormone that acts on the CNS. Generally associated with uterine muscle contraction at birth and milk let-down in females.
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How does oxytocin affect parental care?
Female mammals with high levels of maternal behaviour exhibit higher levels of oxytocin receptors in the amygdala. Blocking these receptors inhibits maternal behaviour.
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How does oxytocin affect alloparental care?
Neonate females injected with oxytocin are less likely to attack the young of others. Neonate males injected with oxytocin antagonist show reduced alloparental care.
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How does oxytocin affect affliative behaviours?
Rodents given supplementary oxytocin spend more time with others. "Knocking out" oxytocin gene of male mice made them unable to recognise scent of previously met females.
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What can increases in oxytocin cause in humans?
Higher levels of trust, generosity and social awareness.
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What is stress?
A circumstance that upset homoeostatic balance and leads to a physiological response controlled largely via HPA axis.
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What three stages are involved in stress response?
Alarm stage, adaptation stage, exhaustion stage.
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What is cortisol?
A steroid hormone produced in the adrenal gland.
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What are the primary functions of cortisol (3)?
Increases blood sugar level, suppresses the immune system, aids in metabolism.
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What is cortisol used for (2)?
Facilitating memory of short-term emotional events, chronic exposure damages hippocampal cells which impairs learning and memory retrieval.
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What is epinephrine (adrenaline)?
An amine hormone produced by the adrenal medulla and some CNS neurons.
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What are the primary functions of epinephrine (3)?
Regulating heart rate, blood vessel and air passage diameters, changes in metabolic rate.
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What side effects can epinephrine have (6)?
Palpitations, arrhythmia, anxiety, headaches, hypertension, acute pulmonary oedema.
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How can mammals become immune to stress?
Rats handled by humans early in life secreted lower cortisol levels when in stressful situations as adults. Offspring of mothers who exhibited higher grooming rates were more resilient to stress as adults.
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Card 2


What is melatonin used for?


Regulating cyclical functions (sleep).

Card 3


What are some properties of melatonin (4)?


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Card 4


What is ghrelin?


Preview of the front of card 4

Card 5


What is ghrelin used for?


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