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

Discuss Environmental and Physiological Effects on Cognition

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

´╗┐In the past, people primarily related physiological processes to be influenced by genetics only and therefore it was largely believed that the brain was fixed. Now, it is said that certain effects of the environment can affect physiological processes. It can be induced that the there is a bidirectional relationship between both the environment and physiology as cognition can affect biology and vice versa. The two effects of the environment on physiological processes that will be discussed include the enrichment of certain environments on brain plasticity and that higher levels of melatonin contribute to seasonal affective disorder. In Rosenthal?s experiment, he hypothesized that seasonal depression is due to high melatonin in the body was due to a lack of light. He therefore conducted light therapy to help patients suffering from seasonal affective disorder (SAD). There was a selected 29 patients of 2000 who reported suffering from depressions in fall and winter who contacted Rosenthal?s team to be a part of this treatment. ...read more.

Middle

In Rosenzweigs and Bennets (1972) study, rats were placed in two different environments. The independent variable was the type of environment the rats were exposed to. One environment was stimulating which contained enrichment items such as toys and the other was deprived with no form of entertainment. These rats spent about 30-60 days in their respective environments and were killed at the end for a post-mortem study. This allowed researchers to dissect and measure the cortexes. The results were that rats that lived in the stimulating environment had a thicker cerebral cortex and heavier frontal lobe than the rats that lived in the deprived environment. This experiment, while demonstrating that a rat?s brain is literally shaped by the environment, is not 100% conclusive as it lacks ecological validity. Even though rats may be mammals, the findings cannot be wholly generalized to humans as the brain and environmental inputs differ between humans and animals such as rats. ...read more.

Conclusion

Correlation may not be causation in this bidirectional ambiguity problem. To fully confirm her findings, Maguire would theoretically have to take 40 guys and force 20 of them to learn ?the Knowledge? test and measure the hippocampus before that. This form of longitudinal study would not be time efficient, as it would take an incredibly long time of 1 to 2 years. It is simply something that could be expanded upon in order to further develop Maguire?s original study. Despite this limitation, Maguire?s experiment is convincing as she also conducted other tests by looking at the brain scans of bus drivers and trainee taxi drivers to vary her subjects so that it wouldn?t be limited to only a certain group. In the end her study was groundbreaking as her finding showed that physiological processes do affect human brain plasticity. In conclusion, the two discussed effects of the environment on physiological processes are enrichment on brain plasticity and climate effects on melatonin and behavior. With evidence provided by supporting studies and theories, it can be stated that there is a bidirectional relationship between the environment and physiological processes. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our International Baccalaureate Psychology section.

Found what you're looking for?

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

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 International Baccalaureate Psychology essays

  1. IA stroop effect

    I plan to conduct a Stroop Test and would like to use Mrs Carter's Year 12 psychology class as a sample group for the test. In the Stroop Test, students are given a list of words to read. Each word is printed in a different colour.

  2. Testing the effect of different types of music on memory.

    now aware that listening to music does not help memory and revising school work. Another strength in the experiment was the broad range of culture differences. In Tang's psychology study (2006) he noticed brain differences between English and Chinese readers affecting other task.

  1. Stroop Effect

    reading congruent colour of the ink of the words through indivuidal's reaction time. Stroop Effect is the test of delay and interruption while reading a colour ink itself written in different colour letter. For example, red, written in the colour blue, Red.

  2. Internal Assessment on Stroop Effect

    For the conduction of the experiment, each experimenter (or pair of experimenters) was allocated two subjects, which were again chosen at random. This group remained constant for both trials of the experiment. Apparatus/Materials For this experiment, we required a signed consent form from each participant, a standardized briefing and debriefing

  1. Where does Schizophrenia Lie in the Spectrum of Nature vs Nurture?

    Furthermore, in most cases, schizophrenics ?develop delusional ideas to explain hallucinations? (Symptoms of Schizophrenia). In some cases, schizophrenics have delusional ideas that they are being followed or persecuted. In addition to delusions and hallucinations, confused thoughts are symptoms associated with positive symptoms.

  2. An experiment to investigate whether word connotation truly does have an effect on memory

    After these tasks were given, they were asked to retrieve memories about what they remembered from the house. Then, one of the groups were asked to change schemas (from house buyer to thief or vice versa), while the second group remained with their first schema.

  1. Discuss the effect of the environment (light) on one seasonal affective disorder (SAD)

    The success of this therapy in getting rid of the symptoms was so successful that it is widely accepted that light is a key external zeitgeber that causes SAD. Melatonin is not just linked to the circannual rhythm of SAD but also other bodily rhythms like the menstrual cycle.

  2. Neuroplasticity is the brains ability to change and lay down new neuron pathways as ...

    experience-expectant behaviors, the idea that the brain assumes you will encounter the natural experiences such as seeing things and learning in general. Experience-dependent learning, unique cultural experiences, is what enhances brain growth to a further extent. Hence, one can learn that the more exposure to learning stimulation, the more development

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