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Contents:
  1. Development of the Child’s Brain and Behavior
  2. The Influence of Emotional Deprivation on Growth and Behaviour | SpringerLink
  3. Diagnosis or Overdiagnosis? ADHD, Autistic Disorder, and Asperger’s Disorder
  4. Explanations of Abnormality

Vandenberg, S. Bayley, N. Reppucci, C. Unpublished doctoral dissertation. Harvard University Garai, J. Child Devel. CrossRef Google Scholar.

Development of the Child’s Brain and Behavior

Horowitz, F. Department of Human Development, University of Kansas Lewis, M. Oetzel, R. In: The development of sex differences , Macco-by, E. Kagan, J. Cameron, J. Science , Watson, J.

Hull, E. Although these drugs mimic the brain's own chemicals, they don't activate neurons in the same way as a natural neurotransmitter, and they lead to abnormal messages being sent through the network. Other drugs, such as amphetamine or cocaine, can cause the neurons to release abnormally large amounts of natural neurotransmitters or prevent the normal recycling of these brain chemicals by interfering with transporters.

This too amplifies or disrupts the normal communication between neurons. Drugs can alter important brain areas that are necessary for life-sustaining functions and can drive the compulsive drug use that marks addiction.

The Influence of Emotional Deprivation on Growth and Behaviour | SpringerLink

Brain areas affected by drug use include:. Some drugs like opioids also affect other parts of the brain, such as the brain stem, which controls basic functions critical to life, such as heart rate, breathing, and sleeping explaining why overdoses can cause depressed breathing and death. Pleasure or euphoria—the high from drugs—is still poorly understood, but probably involves surges of chemical signaling compounds including the body's natural opioids endorphins and other neurotransmitters in parts of the basal ganglia the reward circuit.

When some drugs are taken, they can cause surges of these neurotransmitters much greater than the smaller bursts naturally produced in association with healthy rewards like eating, music, creative pursuits, or social interaction. It was once thought that surges of the neurotransmitter dopamine produced by drugs directly caused the euphoria, but scientists now think dopamine has more to do with getting us to repeat pleasurable activities reinforcement than with producing pleasure directly.

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Our brains are wired to increase the odds that we will repeat pleasurable activities. The neurotransmitter dopamine is central to this. Whenever the reward circuit is activated by a healthy,. This dopamine signal causes changes in neural connectivity that make it easier to repeat the activity again and again without thinking about it, leading to the formation of habits.

Just as drugs produce intense euphoria, they also produce much larger surges of dopamine, powerfully reinforcing the connection between consumption of the drug, the resulting pleasure, and all the external cues linked to the experience. For example, people who have been drug free for a decade can experience cravings when returning to an old neighborhood or house where they used drugs.

Like riding a bike, the brain remembers.

For the brain, the difference between normal rewards and drug rewards can be likened to the difference between someone whispering into your ear and someone shouting into a microphone. Just as we turn down the volume on a radio that is too loud, the brain of someone who misuses drugs adjusts by producing fewer neurotransmitters in the reward circuit, or by reducing the number of receptors that can receive signals. As a result, the person's ability to experience pleasure from naturally rewarding i. Now, the person needs to keep taking drugs to experience even a normal level of reward—which only makes the problem worse, like a vicious cycle.


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Also, the person will often need to take larger amounts of the drug to produce the familiar high—an effect known as tolerance. Long-term drug use impairs brain functioning. While these feelings are outside of awareness, they are still believed to influence conscious actions. Therapists who take this approach believe that by analyzing memories, behaviors, thoughts, and even dreams , people can uncover and deal with some of the feelings that have been leading to maladaptive behaviors and distress.

Diagnosis or Overdiagnosis? ADHD, Autistic Disorder, and Asperger’s Disorder

In behavioral therapy, the focus is on reinforcing positive behaviors and not reinforcing maladaptive behaviors. The behavioral approach targets only the behavior itself, not the underlying causes. When dealing with an abnormal behavior, a behavioral therapist might utilize strategies such as classical conditioning and operant conditioning to help eliminate unwanted behaviors and teach new behaviors.


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Medical treatments are often pharmacological in nature, although medication is often used in conjunction with some type of psychotherapy. Cognitive treatments typically focus on helping the individual change his or her thoughts or reactions. Some of the categories of psychological disorders include:.

Explanations of Abnormality

Substance use disorders Mood disorders, such as depression and bipolar disorder Anxiety disorders, such as social anxiety disorder, panic disorder, and generalized anxiety disorder Neurodevelopmental disorders, such as intellectual disability or autism spectrum disorder Neurocognitive disorders like delirium Personality disorders, such as borderline personality disorder, avoidant personality disorder, and obsessive-compulsive personality disorder.

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