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Investigating reflex behaviour in an invertebrate organism

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Tom Gowing 10A - Biology practical coursework - Investigating reflex behaviour in an invertebrate organism The main point of this is to investigate how an invertebrate organism responds to certain stimuli in a controlled environment. A reflex is a response to certain stimuli. The main difference between this and any other movement is that the impulses from the receptor travel straight to the effectors before going to the brain, whereas most impulses go to the brain first, where it can decide what to do. Reflex behaviour is often for safety reasons, for example if you touch a hot stove, it would take longer for the impulse to travel to the brain and then to the effectors than it would for the impulses to travel straight from receptor to effector. This means that it takes less time for the effectors to respond, meaning less damage is done. Woodlice will be used for this experiment. Woodlice are not actually insects at all, but a form of crustacean, found commonly in gardens, they thrive in dark, damp places. They feed on almost anything, including wood, plant life and decaying objects. Woodlice have a flattened body with seven pairs of legs. Their respiratory organs (gills) are completely enfolded by perforated plates. The species vary in colour from grey to black. They evolved from sea-based life forms as opposed to insects, which evolved from land-based life forms. ...read more.

Middle

If any woodlice remain then its because there is a prime source of food. Results table for preliminary control experiment Experiment No. After _ minutes Amount in left side Amount in right side 1 1 4 6 2 6 4 3 4 6 4 6 4 5 5 5 Experiment No. After _ minutes Amount in left side Amount in right side 2 1 2 8 2 4 6 3 2 8 4 3 7 5 2 8 Experiment No. After _ minutes Amount in left side Amount in right side 3 1 5 5 2 5 5 3 4 6 4 4 6 5 4 6 Experiment No. After _ minutes Amount in left side Amount in right side 4 1 4 6 2 4 6 3 5 5 4 5 5 5 4 6 Experiment No. After _ minutes Amount in left side Amount in right side 5 1 6 4 2 4 6 3 5 5 4 6 4 5 6 4 Experiment No. After _ minutes Amount in left side Amount in right side 6 1 5 5 2 5 5 3 6 4 4 6 4 5 5 5 Experiment No. After _ minutes Amount in left side Amount in right side 7 1 4 6 2 6 4 3 5 5 4 5 5 5 5 5 Experiment No. ...read more.

Conclusion

it to gain access to the food source on the dark side, so it would go over to the light one in search of food. From this I think that they also have a reflex action to do with the need for food. It would be interesting to do a follow up experiment to investigate this. The preliminary experiments showed that the way the graphs were presented needed adjusting to make them clearer to read and easier to understand. I think this was done successfully. The only real problem that cropped up in performing these experiments was the method of getting the woodlice into the test chambers, but this was all about technique, and soon became easier. The easiest way to do it is the method I wrote after performing the preliminary experiments (see preliminary test results section). This experiment was perfectly suitable for investigating the reflex behaviour of woodlice, and no animals were harmed in the process of this experiment. The evidence produced by this investigation is enough to support my original predictions, and to provide a firm conclusion that woodlice do show reflex behaviour to light levels. I could also do further investigations on the effect of food sources, dampness and temperature. Combinations of experiments could also be preformed. For example testing two variables at once. This would tell us which reflexes are strongest, and therefore which conditions woodlice rely on most and are most necessary for their survival. ...read more.

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