In chapter 10, I read one concept which I think it's pretty attractive. It's Prematurity. My mother told me I was a preterm birth baby, so I have more interesting on this content. Premature infants are those born at fewer than 36 week's gestation. There is a positive correlation between infant survivability rate and gestation week, and it's negative between odds of fetal survival and the odds of developmental disorders. Unfortunately, babies who under 21 weeks are 0% survival rate now. According to the
Assignment 2: March 2012 Archives
After Tiger Woods had the scandal involving his sex addiction, car crash, and divorce his image was obviously suffering. As a fan of golf, especially American golf, I was devastated to see one of my idols name being dragged through the mud. I was, therefore hopeful that Tiger would be able to get his life back on the right track and return to golf. Therefore, when I saw this Nike commercial it probably affected me more than the average person, but I still think the commercial does an excellent job of trying to reconstruct Tiger's image.
The voice is of Tiger's father who died several years ago. He was Tiger's largest mentor, and Tiger was devastated when he died. This is meant to evoke a response of empathy for Tiger. Earl's appeal to Tiger is the US, and our empathy is the UCR. The conditioned stimulus is Nike and Tiger, and the CR then is feeling that Tiger has rehabilitated himself, and therefore people will continue to buy Nike. It appears that Nike's gargantuan advertising budget has avoided a crisis through classic conditioning.
We've all had those moments where we forget where we've just put our keys, or walk into a room just to forget why we went in there in the first place. These forgetful moments are a normal part of everyday life. But what if your brain constantly committed these memory "slip ups"? What if you could never remember where you put your keys? Or be unable to remember the face of a family member.
That is the reality for a person suffering from Alzheimer's disease. Alzheimer's disease (AD) is a form of dementia, and is characterized by memory loss, severe changes in emotional behavior or personality, changes to thinking and judgment, and eventual language loss.
AD is caused by the build up of plaques and tangles in the brain. These structures cause the brain cells to slowly die off. It is also believed that patients with AD have a deficiency in the levels of some vital brain chemicals which are involved with neurotransmitters.
Unfortunately, there is no cure for AD. Drugs do exist that are believe to help slow the progression of AD but the most common treatment is helping to cope with the effects of the disease. To prevent Alzheimer's disease, it is recommended that adults stay mentally and socially active, eat a low fat, high protein diet and have a healthy blood pressure.
My boyfriend's grandmother suffers from this disease, and I have seen how devastating it is for people who suffer from it and their families. Watching a loved one slowly lose mental function, the ability to speak, and there memory is a terrible experience. Our best hope is that one day a cure will be found, so that no one else will have to suffer from Alzheimer's disease.
I came across the video below a bit ago, and thought it was relevant to languages of different animals, but rather in children too young to formulate true sentences.
Click here to get to the link for the video (The video itself was formatted to prevent embedding)
In the video, it features two twin brothers having what appears to be a conversation, but without any true words. They are merely speaking to each other in sounds, and it brings the question, are they really talking, and can they truly understand what the other is saying? From the video, it does appear that there is some sort of established communication going on between the two, and they are able to converse with one another about things that others cannot comprehend. As cute as it is to see, it's strange to think that they have something important to tell one another, and we have no idea what they could possibly be saying. Although some can deem it twin telepathy, as they do seem to have the ability to sense what the other is thinking more than other siblings would, it appears to just be some form of language that the two made up and are able to understand. There are plenty of other videos in which the same can be seen by other twins.
Comparable to the songs of birds or the other sounds that animals make, the incoherent noises that the twins are making are examples of language, and how the brain allows for different individuals and different species to come up with their own efficient way of communication, whether it be the low frequency noises of the elephants or the screeching of one twin boy attempting to tell the other something about the refrigerator. It can ultimately be seen as some sort of language.
Have you ever wondered what it would be like to wake up one morning and forget everything about yourself? Pretty scary when you think about it, huh? But for some people, amnesia is very real and for those who suffer from it, it can have a huge impact on their life. Hollywood tends to use this condition and dramatize it to make compelling movies about people who forget who they are. One of my personal favorites is The Bourne Identity.
For those of you unfamiliar with the story, Jason Bourne is a CIA agent who was once a contract assassin who is found lost at sea with no recollection of who he is. The plot of the movie revolves around him trying to reclaim his memory and find out his true identity, with lots of action scenes mixed in. Bourne's amnesia would be classified as "general amnesia"; however, this is very rare. More common cases of amnesia are retrograde amnesia, losing memories from the past, and anterograde amnesia, being unable to form new memories. In these cases, people do not completely lose everything, as the case with Bourne, but it is quite difficult to recall or create memories.
So Hollywood may have embellished on the realities of amnesia, but in all honesty, who cares. It makes for an exciting movie and it is at least close enough to be somewhat realistic (his traumatizing past may play a role, increasing his chances for general amnesia). Below is one of my personal favorite scenes in the movie that illustrates Bourne's condition.
Memory is a placebo, controlled by our personal bias. We unconsciously implement certain aspects of a memory and manipulate it to make it interesting or memorable. Personally, I remember up to the age of twelve, a memory that made Mariah Carey my biological mother. The memory was simple; I was six and my mother and I were driving in a red Honda Civic singing along to a Mariah Carey song. My mother had a slight facial resemblance to Mariah Carey and this combined with the singing prompted me to begin remembering her as Mariah Carey. It was a comfortable haven that made my mother distinct and important to me, despite her abandoning me. My memory was false and my sister corrected it because she was present during that moment in time. We had never owned a red Honda Civic and my mother abandoned me at age four. I had created this memory due to my mother's absence during my childhood. Mariah Carey's presence, vocally, made it seem that my mother was present, even though she wasn't. Memories are expected to be true and genuine and this false memory proves that they are indeed malleable. So, do we create in order to understand? If and when we gain this understanding, do we solidify the memory as true and genuine, thus creating false memories?
As a first year college student, I have been introduced to many new things that I had never really experienced before. You always here of athletes trying to better their performance through illegal substances such as steroids, but what about students? Is there such thing as a performance enhancing amphetamine? Surveys have shown that up to twenty-five percent of college students have used drugs such as Adderall, Ritalin, or Concerta, with the expectation that they will increase their studying and retention capabilities. For those unaware of what these drugs are, Adderall, Ritalin, and Concerta are all drugs that are commonly associated with Attention Deficit Disorder and Hyperactivity Disorder and are thought to help one focus and concentrate while studying or taking an exam. However, are these drugs really considered "performance enhancing amphetamines"? Researchers did a study comparing students taking the SAT. Some students believed they were taking Ritalin and the others believed they were taking a dummy pill. The students who believed they were taking Ritalin reported having better mental functioning and attention; however, their SAT scores were no higher. Many researchers are saying that the pill is simply a placebo effect that makes the students feel like they are more focused. Similar to the controversy surrounding performance enhancing amphetamines is that of a product called Ginkgo, a supposed memory enhancing drug. Although Americans spend hundreds of millions of dollars every year on this product, studies have once again shown that when comparing the drug to a placebo, the increase in memory is minimal if not nonexistent. Yet, we will still go on to spend whatever it takes to get that extra edge on our competition.
About 10 years ago my grandmother was diagnosed with Alzheimer's. It started out with little things, like her forgetting short term memory things such as where she put her keys or what she needed from the grocery store. But as the years progressed it has gotten worse and worse. It has gotten to the point where she still remembers the name of her kids names but she doesn't remember my name or any other of her grandchildren's names. That's why I am going to inform some of you on what and how Alzheimer's effects lives.
Alzheimer's begins to develop 20 years before before symptoms emerge. Alzheimer's affects many parts of the brain such as the Amygdala, the Brain Stem, the Frontal Lobe, the Hippocampus, the Parietal Lobe and the Temporal Lobe. It is a type of dementia that begins to slowly get worse over time beginning with short term memory and eventually affecting the individuals long term memory. Changes in the brain include expanding of the ventricles and also significant loss in the cortex areas. These areas manage language and memories. I have personally been a witness to the affects Alzheimer's disease and it's not a walk in the park. Alzheimer's is a serious condition and shouldn't be taken lightly.
We are required as college students to learn a second language during our short period of time here at the U and the choices are limitless. Many of us take the 4 required semesters and then we stop and our language skills fall out of use. But what about the ones who don't stop and keep learning another language and another and another. Meet the polyglot, a person who is able to speak multiple languages fluently. Take the extraordinary man known as Emil Krebs born in 1867 in Germany. By the end of his lifetime he could speak and write(supposedly) in 68 other languages. I don't know about you but I can't even name 68 languages. What makes Krebs interesting is that his brain was studied by German neuroscientists Karl Zilles and Katrin Amunts in 2002 and they found that his Broca's area was arranged differently than a monolingual man's. Which begs the question, are we born with this difference in the Broca's area or will training the brain in a certain way change the brain?
Now its your turn to see if you can become a polyglot, click here and see how many languages you can learn to say hello in.
One boring Saturday afternoon I was scrolling down the CNN page I ended up in their video gallery. Eventually, a video came up talking about Vladimir Putin and his bid for re-election in Russia this weekend and it featured this ad. Although psychological conditioning and its uses in marketing were covered over a week ago, I found this advertisement to be relevant to our age demographic this year. The political ad begins with a college age girl asking a fortune teller who it will be her first time. Then the fortune teller flips a card with Vladimir Putin's photograph on it and then ad concludes with the girl walking to a voting station.
The ad uses classical conditioning to form "affection" for Vladimir Putin and ultimately a vote. The ad plays on arousal, affection, and the nostalgia of the "first time." The ad also is geared towards our age demographic and poses the question if first time voters will be specifically targeted in the coming United States presidential election and what kind of advertisement techniques will be used. The original advertisement is provided below with english subtitles.
With the stress of midterms setting in, do you find yourself forgetting some of the most basic things? Things like meeting times or plans for the week can be harder to remember as more and more things get put on our academic plate and increase our levels of stress. For a while now, researchers have known that severe stress lasting months can have harmful effects on our cell's communication with themselves. A study from the University of California, Irvine however shows that short term stress can have similar effects on our body. Researchers found that short term acute stress activated selective molecules called corticotropin releasing hormones, which disrupted the process by which the brain collects and stores memories. Learning and memory take place at synapses in our brain. Through rat and mouse studies, it was found that an increase in corticotropin led to the rapid disintegration of dendritic spines, which then in turn, led to a decrease in the ability of the synapses to collect information. The news isn't all bad however, once the corticotropin was removed, the spines seemed to grow back as if nothing happened. So while short term stress does harm your short term memory, the damage doesn't seem to be permanent.
Are you one of the many in our world that speaks two languages, better known as bilingualism, or furthermore are you a polygot and speak multiple languages? It turns out that over 75 percent of Americans claim to be fairly good at or they are fluent in Spanish, so chances are that many of us in Psych 1001 are bilingual, or atleast working towards it. I'm not saying that Spanish is the only language that people master as a first or second language, especially considering that Mandarin Chinese is the most spoken language in the world. It's just becoming more common for people to be bilingual in our world today with all the opportunities a second language entails, though there are some negatives to bilingualism as well.
First, we will begin with the positives, learning a second language is a plus in one's life. It's best to learn at a younger age, as stated our text book that "the earlier, the better", for children have an easier time grasping a second language than do adults. The drop off for older teens or adults learning a second language is gradual, so one shouldn't lose all hope when it comes to learning a second language. Once one was mastered or close to mastered a second language they will most likely encounter numerous advantages in their life, such as being able to communicate with people of multiple cultures and ethnicites. They will be able to translate information between the two cultures of the languages they know. They can showoff their bilingualism when traveling abroad or maybe even trick their friends into saying some sort of phrase in their other language without their friends knowing what they are saying. Also more job offers would be open to hiring those who are bilingual, especially in business affairs internationally. The list goes on and on, but there are also some not so positive aspects to bilingualism. Learning a second language can be quite costly, especially if children start out at a young age in immersion school. Many minority-language speakers feel they will lose their identities with another language, usually English, and fear the thought of assimilation. Bilingualism in one could also be difficult if they have a speech impediment, for the speech impediment will need to be treated separately in both languages, which could get tricky.
I think overall though, that bilingualism has more advantages than disadvantages, especially in our society where it's almost more common for one to speak two or more languages than not to. I'm actually working towards my fluency in a second language, Spanish that is. I hope to minor in it, like many of the students here at the University, for I see the job oppotunities that a second language could give me as well as just the fact of speaking another language. I really wish I attended an immersion school for Spanish, for I have some friends who did and they are fairly well English and Spanish speakers. I have improved my Spanish speaking skills from, well the obvious, speaking it, but really trying to grasp the language as I speak it and learn from those who are native Spanish speakers. I actually had two Colombian exchange students stay with me during highschool and that really accelerated my Spanish speaking. I plan on traveling abroad to Spain as well, which I have heard from Spanish majors and minors that it really expands one's vocabulary and gets us that much closer, if not already, to fluency. The opportunities with bilingualism are endless, having the motivation to keep at will only further our success in the world.