Which factors influence our motivation and how do you explain the cognitive dissonance theory?
With Dr. Tarry Ahuja you have the expert on your side to learn everything about the biological and psychological factors that influence behavior and which will be relevant for your MCAT preparation. According to the subjects of the Foundational Concept 7 (Content Category 7a) you will get to know the following topics:
Biological Bases of Behavior
Personality and Psychological Disorders
Motivation and Attitudes
Quiz questions will be placed at the end of each lecture so you can test your learning progress. Attached scripts and matching magazine articles will deepen your understanding of the content.
The nervous system serves the regulation and adaptation of the organism to changing conditions of the environment and the internal body. It is a communicating and controlling organ which innervates all organs of the body. The nervous system can be subdivided into an anatomic (CNS and PNS) and a functional (SNS and VNS/ANS) part which, however, are intrinsically tied to each other. The following article will give you detailed insight into the structure, functionality and pathology of the vegetative/autonomic nervous system (VNS or ANS).
While the brain and the spinal cord make up the Central Nervous System (CNS), the Peripheral Nervous System (PNS) is comprised mainly of nerve fibers and ganglion cells. The two systems cannot be clearly distinguished from one another as they are functionally closely interlinked. The PNS conducts information from the CNS, via numerous nerve fibers, to the effector organs and vice versa. The cranial and spinal nerves belong to the PNS. In this article, we address the spinal nerves and the nerve plexuses that supply the extremities, namely the cervical and brachial plexus.
The amplitude of mood and energy level is different in every individual – sometimes a bit higher, sometimes lower, sometimes changing, and for some people rather stable. However, if the mood drops to a very deep low and there is an almost complete lack of energy, this person might be experiencing a depressive episode. Or to the contrary, if a person experiences excessive energy and feels extremely positive, this might be a manic episode. These kinds of episodes are characteristic of a type of psychiatric diseases called mood or affective disorders.
Are you able to name the six basic human emotions? Happiness, sadness, anger, fear, surprise, and disgust. How do emotions arise and how can they be measured? What anatomic correlations should you know? What are the most important theories about emotions? The following article answers all of these and even more questions. Moreover, you will learn important clinical connections: anxiety disorders and depression are common diseases that you will encounter in your clinical routine. Make yourself familiar with the basics so that you are perfectly prepared for preclinical exams and your "Physikum".
What motivates you to study for the preliminary examination in medicine? Why do you stay in the library instead of having a nice afternoon? For whatever motives and with what degree of intensity we pursue our goals, is what the psychology of motivation deals with. The term motivation derives from the Latin word motivus = „triggering movement“. In the following article, read all about the topic motivation that closely follows the study guide for the preliminary examination and has been optimally edited.
Development: a dynamic process that begins with conception and ends with death. Developmental psychology deals with the changes that occur during the course of a human life. In this article, we are going to discuss developmental processes and primary/secondary socialization as well as present the psychosexual theories of Freud and Erikson. With this, you will be optimally prepared for tricky questions about developmental psychology in your medical exams.
How and why are we different from other people? Many scientists have addressed the answer to this question and developed various models of personality. All models mainly focus on the differences between people, which lead to the term “differential psychology." Here, you will learn about the principal models of personality, personality disorders as well as behavioral styles, and you will be optimally prepared for exams, the preliminary examination and the medical practice.
The special field of endocrinology deals with the hormonal system. This includes, among other things, the function of hormones, the anatomy and physiology of endocrine glands and the feedback mechanisms of hormone regulation. This article explains the physiology of the endocrine system and provides graphical illustrations. The physiology of the endocrine system is a vast field that plays a role in all medical specialties, and it demands a lot of medical students to master it.
The human nervous system weighs “only” about 4.5 pounds, which accounts for approximately 3% of the entire body. It is a small and complex body system that consists of an intricate network of nervous cells (or neurons) and even more glial cells. How many nervous cells does a human have? Billions, is the simple answer. However, from a medical point of view, the more important questions are: how does the nervous system work, and what does its structure look like?
Somatoform disorders are a group of psychological conditions where the physical symptoms are present in the patient and it cannot be attributed to any medical condition or substance abuse. The term somatoform disorder has been replaced by a newer term in DSM 5 namely the somatic symptom disorder. The cognitive behavioral therapy constitutes the main mode of treatment of this disorder. The antidepressant has shown beneficial effect in the pain of the somatoform disorder. This disorder would be described in detail in this article.
The notion that human behavior could be affected and predetermined by genetic basis started to emerge in the 20th century. Unfortunately, during that time, the eugenics movement was associated with the emergence of this theory which played a part in discrediting it. Recently, several twin studies showed similar behavioral tendencies in monozygotic twins even if separated at a very early age, again signifying the role of behavioral genetics. Our current understanding of genome-wide associations with different behavioral, psychiatric and medical problems allowed us to confirm that behavioral genetics is a true science and behavior can be affected by genetic, biologic and molecular determinants.
Your Educators of course Individual Influences on Behavior
Tarry Ahuja, MD
Dr. Tarry Ahuja is currently a senior medical real-world evidence scientist for a major pharmaceutical company for Europe and Canada and is a lecturer at Carleton University teaching “Biological Foundations of Addictions” and “Health Psychology”.
He graduated with a PhD in Neuroscience with a specialty in electrophysiology and pharmacology from Carleton University, Ottawa, Canada.
He has worked for over 10 years in the hospital setting in sleep disorders clinic working with patients and trying to better understand sleep patterns and sleep disorders. Additional, he has done over 10 years of clinical research in the areas of Alzheimer’s, stroke and ischemia with the National Research Council of Canada.
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