• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Describe and Evaluate Research into Infradian Rhythms

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

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. ...read more.

Middle

Again, this shows that women who live together are more likely to menstruate around the same time every month. McClintock & Stern, however, also admitted that they were unsure as to how the pheromones actually trigger the menstrual-cycle changes - as it was rubbed on their upper lips, it could be through the skin, from inhalation, through mucus membranes, or through tiny pits in the nose, so we know that pheromones do work, but we still aren't sure about how. So what is menstruation like when there are no zeitgebers to work from? Reinberg (1967) studied a woman who spent three months in a cave relying on only the dim light of a miner's lamp. Her day lengthened to 24.6 hours but her menstrual cycle shortened to 25.7 days. Back in the regular world following this study, it was a year before her menstrual cycle returned to normal. According to Reinberg, the level of light in the cave was what had influenced the menstrual cycle. He also found that with 600 girls from northern Germany, the onset of menstruation which occurs at puberty ("menarche") ...read more.

Conclusion

Empson (1977) studied 21 male participants - their body temperatures and their moods were recorded over periods varying from 49-102 days. The study found evidence that there are variations of body temperature and their own ratings of "morning alertness", with a peak at around every 20 days. However, results such as these are difficult to generalise, for example, the Inuit Eskimos and their Infradian rhythms. Seeing as during the winter, there is no sunlight at all, and while this is going on, menstruation stops, we can see a link between sunlight and melatonin: when it is permanently dark, melatonin levels are permanently high and this has an effect on the menstrual cycle, causing it to stop until those levels drop again. As most of the studies are done in laboratories, we can say that most of the factors were very controlled and that any extraneous factors were non-existent - however this also means that the experiments were very unlike real life (for example, rubbing pheromones on one's upper lip) and therefore it is difficult to generalise these results to real life - the results may not have shown such a strong result if it were done, instead, as a field study. ?? ?? ?? ?? Psychology - Block 3 19/11/08 Polly-Anna Piercey ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level Physiological Psychology section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Here's what a teacher thought of this essay

3 star(s)

Summary

This essay includes quite a lot of information and includes some of the relevant studies. It could be improved by making a better plan before writing which includes a good introduction and conclusion. Also some of the terms used need explaining in more detail so it is clear that the writer understands what these terms mean.

3 *

Marked by teacher Linda Penn 24/09/2013

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level Physiological Psychology essays

  1. Marked by a teacher

    Discuss research into stress-related illness and the immune system

    5 star(s)

    We can also conclude that the research which provides us with evidence that stress effects the immune system negatively may not be representative of all types of stressors, or the duration or timing at which they occur, it is a reductionist argument that this research presents.

  2. Marked by a teacher

    Describe and Evaluate Bowlbys theory of attachment. (12 marks)

    3 star(s)

    Lorenz found that there was a certain critical stage soon after hatching where the animals had to imprint; otherwise they would not at all. This study supports the evolutionary theory of attachment and the idea that attachment is an innate process, not a learnt one.

  1. Marked by a teacher

    Outline and Evaluate the Biological Treatments of OCD

    3 star(s)

    Therefore these studies improve the internal validity of the treatments as the studies that the drugs did treat the cause and therefore it shows a casual relationship between the two. However, it could be argued that this treatment is not as effective due to the presence of contradictory evidence.

  2. Peer reviewed

    Compare and contrast two explanations of depression.

    3 star(s)

    depression who are adopted and it occurs after a stressful event when with the adopted family therefore triggering the depression. (AO1) An alternative explanation to that of the biological explanation is that of the cognitive explanation. Unlike the biological explanation that suggests that depression is due to genetics causing the

  1. Outline the social factors that may influence gender roles

    Another town was called Unitel which only had TV channel available. Multitel had access to US channels. Williams found that children in Notel and Unitel had weaker sex-typed views than the children in Multitel. Two years after the introduction of TV in Notel, it was found that the children?s views had become significantly more sex-typed.

  2. Discuss Biological Therapies for Depression.

    Electrodes are then attached to the scalp and a small electric current is passed through the brain for a fraction of a second, causing seizure which last for about one minute. After this procedure, the patient normally has no recollection of the treatment.

  1. Discuss the role of endogenous pacemakers and exogenous zeitgebers in the sleep/wake cycle, and ...

    The word ?zeitgeber? is German for ?time-giver? which is exactly what zeitgebers do, make our bodies aware of the time. Exogenous zeitgebers are a vital part of keeping us synchronised with the outside world. Studies have shown that although the SCN can function without the stimulation of light, the cycle

  2. Unit 1 psychology revsion notes (memory, attachment, research methods)

    reading aloud * Could do both easily simultaneously * STM must have different components that can process more than one type of information Baddeley et al STM must have different components * Dual task * Tracking task and visual imagery task * Poor at the dual task performed alone *

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work