Using Brain Imaging Technologies In Researching The Relationship Between Biological And Behavioral Factors In Schizophrenia

1460 words - 6 pages

Evaluate the use of brain imaging technologies in investigating the relationship between biological factors and behavior in terms of the presentation of schizophrenia

Brain imaging techniques allow psychologists and doctors to analyze the human without direct surgery. Schizophrenia is a mental disorder that causes hallucinations, delusions and disorganization in the human brain. Through the many brain imaging technologies, such as position emission tomography (PET) and functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), the biological factors and behavior of schizophrenia can be discussed and evaluated.
In order to outline and evaluate the use of brain imaging in schizophrenia, it is important to be well informed about the causes and symptoms of the mental disorder. Schizophrenia affects the cognition processes and emotional responses of people which can be seen when they find it difficult to identify the line between real and imagery and show distress. It is significant to know that schizophrenia should not be confused with split personality. Some common symptoms of schizophrenia are hallucination, thought and movement disorder, delusion, lack of emotions and senses, and problems with memory. There are many theories about the causes of schizophrenia but it is still not clear about the exact cause of this brain disorder. The most notable factors that explain schizophrenia are brain structure and genetics.
Scientists found that the disease tends to be more prominent in families that had schizophrenia before. Schizophrenia is presented in 1 percent of the world’s population and 10 percent in people who have relatives that had the disorder. The highest possibility can be seen in monozygotic twins. This can be developed by the twin study of genetic predisposition to schizophrenia1. The study of Irving Gottesman & Shields (1991) showed that there is a possibility of 46% of having schizophrenia if both of the parents have the disorder and 48% if the identical twin has developed this disorder.
In addition, the biological structure of the brain, such as imbalance of chemicals like excessive dopamine, affects schizophrenia. Dopamine plays an important role in nerve systems and researchers believe that people with schizophrenia produce more dopamine than needed in the brain. These neurotransmitters affect people’s reactions to stimuli which explain why people have difficulty processing sensory information and lead to delusions. Other studies also show that people going through puberty have risks of schizophrenia as the brain changes and cause psychological symptoms.
Positron emission topography, a brain imaging technique, scans and detects radioactive material to monitor functional processes in the brain, specifically glucose metabolism. This imaging technique is often used to compare brain structures of schizophrenia by identifying and recording brain activity. Because blood flow and metabolism in patients happen in the frontal lobes, researchers...

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