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Continue your investigation of the effects of stress on brain function and behavior. Read more about the hippocampus, amygdala, and prefrontal cortex in these articles:
“How to Prevent Stress from Shrinking Your Brain” in Psychology Today
“Stress Effects on Structure and Function of Hippocampus,” by the Rockefeller University
Instructions: Answer the following questions in paragraph format to write an essay about the findings reported by these articles:
First, do some research on how the amygdala, hippocampus, and prefrontal cortex communicate and result in normal behavioral response. You will begin your reading on the amygdala by following the previous link. After reading this section, click on the following link: several other structures in the brain to read about the interactions between these three regions. Briefly describe this pathway and the behavior that results from the interaction of these regions, using 2-3 sentences. This will help you to introduce the content that you will address in the sections below.
Body Paragraph 1
Summarize the effects of glucocorticoids on the hippocampus and prefrontal cortex reported in the article How to Prevent Stress from Shrinking Your Brain.
Body Paragraphs 2 and 3
What effect on hippocampal cells have stress hormones had in recent studies described by Stress Effects on Structure and Function of Hippocampus? What effect have they had on the amygdala in studies? What are the implications of these effects? HINT: What are the functions of the regions and how might they be affected by changes in their structure?
Body Paragraph 4
What is neurogenesis and where does it occur in the brain? What effect on the regeneration of hippocampal cells is reported in the previous article? What is the mechanism?
Conclusion Paragraph 1
Summarize the effects of cortisol on this pathway by describing how PTSD can result from perpetuated cortisol release and how this can result in depression by activating and/or reinforcing depression pathways.
Conclusion Paragraph 2
Describe the methods proposed to counteract the negative effects of chronic stress in How to Prevent Stress from Shrinking Your Brain.