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Describe and Evaluate Research into Infradian Rhythms

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  • Essay length: 1197 words
  • Submitted: 05/01/2009
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AS and A Level Physiological Psychology

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Describe and Evaluate Research studies into Infradian Rhythms (24 marks)

Infradian Rhythms repeat themselves over a greater period of time - rhythms that last longer than a day. For example, they may repeat themselves weekly, monthly or even annually (known as a circannual rhythm), for example, hibernation, bird migration and many reproductive cycles. As an example of a human biological Infradian rhythm, take the menstrual cycle.

Several research studies have been done into Infradian rhythms, and how to regulate them. As we know, they are governed by endogenous pacemakers (internal cues) and exogenous zeitgebers (external cues). One zeitgeber that helps regulate Infradian rhythms is the release of pheromones (biochemical substances produced in the endocrine system and distributed throughout the blood, which is then released into the air. It often affects other individuals). Russell (1980) used pheromones to synchronise women's periods within a small group. He took the pheromones of one woman and applied them to a group of sexually inactive women by taking cotton pads that had been in the woman's armpit (on a daily basis), dissolving them in alcohol to remove any bacteria, and rubbing the cotton pads onto the group of women's upper lips. The

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