Heredity and Hormones
The way that we as human beings, behave and react to situations is shaped by many factors, heredity and hormones being the most prominent. Heredity is the foundation upon which human behavior is built. Human behavior can be influenced by genes that are already present in the framework of the person. Genes are inherited when they are passed down from parent to child. The environment can cause our genes to change, or mutate. The way that heredity influences behavior over time may change and it may not always have an influence in the future.
The endocrine system is a vital part of coordinating and integrating the many complex reactions that make up the human psyche. Hormones are chemicals released by the endocrine glands. After being released from the endocrine glands, hormones then travel to the rest of the body via the blood stream. Hormones carry messages and ...view middle of the document...
Thyroxin is a hormone that controls the body’s metabolism, how alert or energetic a person is, and how fat or thin that they tend to be. Too much of the hormone thyroxin, and it can result in insomnia, overexcitablity and a reduced attention span. At the other end of the spectrum, a person with too little of the hormone can result in feeling fatigued. Within the thyroid gland are the parathyroids. These four tiny glands are responsible for the control of the levels of calcium and phosphate, which in result affect excitability.
The pancreas is an organ that is between the stomach and small intestines. The pancreas secretes insulin and glucagon. These two hormones regulate blood sugar levels. Insulin and glucagon work against each other to keep the blood sugar levels balanced. If there is an underproduction of insulin can lead to diabetes and an overproduction of the hormone can result in hypoglycemia.
The two endocrine glands that are located above the kidneys are known as the adrenal glands. The adrenal glands are each made up of two parts the adrenal medulla (inner core) and an outer layer called the adrenal cortex. These two parts affect the way that the body reacts to stress. When the adrenal cortex is stimulated by the autonomic nervous system, it releases several different hormones into the bloodstream. Two of the hormones released are epinephrine and norepinephrine. Epinephrine is the hormone that activates the nervous system. Norepinephrine constricts the blood vessels to lower the blood pressure. Norepinephrine is also carried by the bloodstream to the anterior pituitary where it triggers the response to stress.
The gonads are human sex organs, in men testes and women the ovaries. These organs secrete androgen and estrogen hormones that have many roles in developing human behavior. Testosterone is the “masculine” hormone that is released by both sexes; however it is in a higher amount in males. Testosterone in high levels may reduce empathy and it has been linked to aggressive behaviors. \
Morris, C. G., & Maisto, A. A. (2010). Understanding psychology (9th ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall.