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Describe and evaluate research on ultradian and infradian rhythms.

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Introduction

Describe and evaluate research on ultradian and infradian rhythms. Ultradian rhythms are those that span less than every 24 hours an example is bi-daily (temperature rhythm). An Infradian rhythm is one that lasts more than 1 day but less than 1 year such as the menstrual cycle. Sleep stages is also an example of an ultradian rhythm. Sleep stages are the different phases in sleep. There are 5 different stages in sleep. 4 NREM stages of sleep and the fifth is REM sleep. ...read more.

Middle

In stage 5 REM sleep is called 'paradoxical sleep' because brain and eyes are active but the body is paralysed. One issue with REM sleep is the assumption that it is dreaming sleep. This is supported by research Dement and Kleitman (1957), were first to demonstrate this link they woke participants up during REM and found high levels of dreaming, however they also found that pp's were dreaming in NREM sleep. Also when awoke they were not always dreaming. This is important of the REM/dream link as it potentially provides a way to identity when someone is dreaming and therefore might provide theorist with a way to explain dreaming - for example Hobson and McCarley (1977) ...read more.

Conclusion

This is called basic rest-activity cycle (BRAC) Friedman and Fisher (1967) observed eating and drinking behaviour in a group of psychiatric patients over a period of 6 hours. The detected a clear 90 minute cycle in eating and drinking behaviour. This would make sense as it would ensure all biological processes run in unison. There have been other people to research into BRAC that have supported Friedman and Fishers findings. Infradian Rhythms are such as the female menstrual cycle. These are driven by fluctuations in hormone levels. The fluctuation of the menstrual cycle is to regulate ovulation. The pituitary gland releases hormones FSH and LH ...read more.

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