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Psychology AS stress lesson 2

The body's response to stress

Amanda Lane

on 21 January 2014

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Transcript of Psychology AS stress lesson 2

Unscramble these groups of letters to make 4 separate words
(Hint: the words all relate to one another!)
To understand the physiological response of the body to acute stress.
Lesson Objective
Acute Stress = immediate stressors where its perceived that there will be imminent danger or severe consequences.
Chronic stress = Stressors that are ongoing over an extended period of time.
Imagine for a moment that you are about to be attacked by the scariest creature imaginable to mankind....
a) Point and laugh and roll around on the floor uncontrollably?
b) Pee ya pants and call for a responsible adult?
c) Punch it in the face?
d) Run and hide coz you are not sure if it will eat you or crush you with its man sized meatballs?
Will you......
Well, according to your ANS your response will be either punch it in the face (fight) or run and hide (flight).......
The ANS is actually made up of 2 structures....
and the
This is activated by the stressor in preparartion for a fight or flight response
This system reverses the effects of the SNS and calms the body down
So in response to immanent death, the role of the ANS is make sure that your body is able to cope with the demand of tackling man sized meatballs...
Activates fat and carb reserves and releases them into the bloodsteam (by converting them into sugars and fatty acids)
How does your body prepare?
Acute stress response
Sends messages via the brainstem to the ANS
Vital organs prepared for fight or flight response
Body returns to a relaxed state
Parasympathetic system activated
Activates the adrenal Medulla to release ADRENALINE &
The role of Adrenaline is to increase the supply of oxygen and sugar (glucose) to the brain and muscles. To do this the body diverts blood away from non-essential organs such as the stomach and intestines to the heart and lungs. Adrenaline suppresses the digestive process which is why you feel sick/get tummy ache before a stressful event.
Its a Flying spaghetti monster!
Increased heart rate and blood pressure
Sweat glands are activated
Digestion is slowed down
Sympathetic adrenal medullary system (SAM)
(Sympathomedullary Pathway)
Complete the clues and find the missing words in the grid!
Can you find a seven letter word such that:

The first two letters are a man.
The first three letters are a woman.
The first four letters are a great man.
The whole is a great woman.
To understand the Pituitary-adrenal system as a response to chronic stress
Lesson Objective
(and this time he is REALLY mad and wont go away)
The flying spaghetti monster is back!
Once the situation has been interpreted as being 'stressful' the brain orders the hypothalamus to release a chemical called
(CRF for short!)
And on to the Pituitary gland!
To the batmobile!
Pituitary... release the ACTH!
ACTH is released into the bloodstream
It the travels to the Adrenal CORTEX which stimulates the release of CORTICO-STERIODS or CORTISOL into the bloodstream
The effects of Cortisol can be both positive and negative reactions to the stressor.
•A quick burst of energy for survival reasons
•Heightened memory functions
•A burst of increased immunity
•Lower sensitivity to pain
•Helps maintain homeostasis in the body
•Impaired cognitive performance
•Suppressed thyroid function
•Blood sugar imbalances such as hyperglycemia
•Decreased bone density
•Decrease in muscle tissue
•Higher blood pressure
•Lowered immunity and inflammatory responses in the body, slowed wound healing, and other health consequences
•Increased abdominal fat, which is associated with a greater amount of health problems than fat deposited in other areas of the body.
While cortisol is an important and helpful part of the body’s response to stress, it’s important that the body’s relaxation response is activated so that the body’s functions can return to normal following a stressful event.
Unfortunately, in our current high-stress culture, the body’s stress response is activated so often that the body doesn’t always have a chance to return to normal, resulting in a state of chronic stress.
The hypothalamus and the pituitary gland are able to monitor and regulate the levels of cortisol in the bloodstream by reducing the levels of CRF and ACTH until levels are returned to normal.
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