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Pica Disorder

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Pica is a disorder that is characterized by an appetite for substances that are non-nutritive. An example of what one person might eat would be clay, metal, sand and dirt. It can go to even higher extremes and one might eat batteries, spoons toothbrushes. In my friends roommates case, she eats aluminum can tabs and the white strings that can come from your jeans. Pica can be seen in all ages, but is normally found in women and children. Either way, there are some very serious health hazards such as lead poisoning, bowel problems, intestinal obstruction and dental injury. The reasons for Pica can be linked to a mental disorder, or mineral and iron deficiency. Ways to treat Pica range from a lot of different approaches. If it is a child that keeps putting dirt in their mouth, its just a physical restraint that is needed to keep objects out of the mouth. For older women taking zinc as a supplement will help balance out the chemical imbalances. So todays lesson, don't eat random objects!!!

hypnosis and weight loss

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There's a section in chapter five that describes hypnosis because it's an altered state of consciousness. As Katherine Zeratsky, a nutritionist for the Mayo Clinic, says in a Q and A with an expert found at , "When you're under hypnosis, your attention is highly focused and you're more responsive to suggestions." Some suggestions that could be made are to lose some weight. Although there's no proof that hypnosis alone can cause any weight loss, probably the biggest obstacle for people who want to is just finding the motivation. That can be where hypnosis would be handy, because if you were in a kind of trace that made you more open to suggestions, subconsciously you could take the suggestion to become motivated to lose that weight that you wanted.

According to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the two top leading causes of death in the United States are heart disease and cancer ("Leading Cause of Death"). Lifestyle choices can greatly affect the causes of both diseases, including diet (Boyer 1). "An apple a day can keep the doctors away," is a common saying that everyone is familiar with. Can consuming something as cheap and ordinary as whole apples really keep the doctors away? Research findings show that the consumption of apples could reduce risk of chronic diseases such as various cancers and asthma, which can actually lead to a reduced chance of having to have to meet with doctors.

Based on various case studies, apples were found to have a positive effect on reducing asthma risks and improving lung conditions. In a recent study involving over 13,000 adults in the Netherlands shows that apples might positively affect lung function. Participants who consumed over 5 apples a week showed a much greater forced expiratory volume ("Asthma Facts and Figures"), which means healthier functioning lungs. The Australian and Netherland studies were able to show that apples can positively affect our lung function, as well as decrease asthma risks to help us keep the allergists at bay.

Apple peel in particular is the most beneficial part of an apple because it contains the greatest total antioxidant activity, which contributes to the prevention of cancer cell proliferation (Wolfe 609). Thus, it is most beneficial to consume whole apples where the skin is included. Increase in consumption of apples can lead to lower risk of chronic diseases, which leads to increase in chance of keeping the doctors away. So the phrase, "An apple a day can keep the doctors away." is not all myth after all.


"Asthma Facts and Figures." Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America, n.d. Web. 15 Nov. 2010.
Boyer, Jeanelle, and Rui H. Liu. "Apple phytochemicals and their health benefits." Nitrition Journal 3.5 May 2004: 1-15. Print.
Wolfe, Kelly, Xianzhong Wu, and Rui H. Liu. "Antioxidant Activity of Apple Peels." Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry

sleeping-student.jpg So how much influence does sleep actually have on our performance?
As a college student, I am short on sleep almost all the time. With work, school, student activities, and other events taking most of my time, it's hardly a surprise to live my life mostly on caffiene.
According to an article "College students' performance suffers from lack of sleep" posted on, poor performance has a lot to do with sleep. In the article it talks about how lack of sleep and pulling an all nighter can cut back on students' performance. Moreover, this article also does a great job providing the readers with scientific evidence. It says A study at St. Lawrence University in Canton, N.Y., indicated what may seem obvious to most: All-nighters are not an effective way to succeed in school."
Also the psychology professor who wrote the study says, "You can't do your best work when you're sleep-deprived" She studied the sleeping patterns of 111 students and then looked into see if there was any correlation with their GPA. To sum it up in a brief sentence, the result of this study showed that people who pull all nighter tend to have GPA that is slightly lower than average, and also the study indicated that short-term side effects of sleep deprivation include delayed reactions and tendencies to make mistakes.
I, as an college student, agree with the outcome of this study. When I pull an all nighter, my reaction definitely becomes slower. I once pulled an over nigh right before a midterm. I thought studying all night would help me review and remember a lot of the stuff we covered but it was no help at all. I ended up getting much lower score than I expected. It's the same with any physical challenge as well. At another instance, after pulling an all nighter, I went to play basketball with my friends. Normally, I am very attentive and can play with efficiency if I have gotten enough sleep. But because of my all nighter, my reaction was slow and at times I slipped the ball from my hands.
I understand it's hard to find time to sleep when you got things that are much better to do. But if more college students realized how important sleep is and how much it helps with their performance, I think a lot of people will be much happier with their grade and performance. So next time when you're about to pull an all nighter, think about how it'll affect your next day and your overall performance.

Placebo: Curing our Mind

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In the article, a man had cancer and thought he could beat it with a cure for cancer drug. The drug called, Krebiozen was thought to cure cancer and the man believed that if he took it, he would be cured from cancer. According to the article after getting a dose of Krebiozen, "Mr. Wright's tumors had shrunk by half, and after 10 more days of treatment he was discharged from the hospital" (Niemi 1). But the downside was the drug that was supposed to cure the cancer didn't work on anyone else in the hospital diagnosed with cancer.
There are many places placebo's can be found. One is at a stoplight. When trying to cross at a stoplight you would hit the cross to walk button. It makes us think that if we press the button the walk man light will come on soon after and the red hand will go away. But in actual truth, the walk man goes away when the light changes due to car traffic. Another placebo is in medicine. There are pills that are placebo's but we believe are the real thing. There are many other places that placebo's can be found and through our mind we believe that they actually affect and or help us.

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Sleep Cycles

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Sleep is one of the basic necessities, yet something that many college students are lacking. Most adults require anywhere from 7.5-9 hours of sleep per night. I personally receive an average amount of 6 hours of sleep due to the daily consequences of a busy schedule. I have recently been researching how to get more out of my sleep, to see if there was anything in my control to feel more awake during the day without the use of caffeine. I came across this website, which allows users to enter in the time at which they need to wake up and it will calculate when they should go to sleep according to sleep cycles in order to get the most out of their sleep. Feeling skeptical of this site, I looked for other evidence of the sleep/wake cycle timing and came across this site . It explains that if people wake up between sleep cycles (which usually last approximately 90 minutes) compared to in the middle of one, they may wake up feeling more refreshed because their brain and body is closer to wakefulness when their alarm goes off in the morning at the end of the sleep cycle. Upon going to sleep at the website's recommended time last night, I noticed being more awake this morning and not feeling as groggy as I usually would. That being said, I also got more sleep last night than I would have on a weekday so the wakefulness could be due to another factor. I will be trying this again in hopes that it will make getting out of bed in the morning just a bit less painful.


BBC Horizon: The Secret You

The experiment conducted in this video was measuring the difference of consciousness between sleeping and awake brains. Researchers hooked the subject up to monitors with a number of electrodes, and monitored their brain activity while they received a series of small electrical shocks. The shocks were administered during periods in which the subject was both awake and asleep. It was found that in the awake brain, activity could be seen throughout the brain, even in parts far away from the stimulated side, while in the sleeping brain, there was still some activity, but only in smaller, localized areas. It was as if certain parts of the brain were shut down during sleep. The experimenters believe that this is the key to consciousness, and therefore it can draw a lot of conclusions as to a person's sense of self. This relationship between consciousness and integrated thought is believed to play a major part in who a person is. This experiment offers the explanation of diversity and unity within the brain. These two aspects play a major role in consciousness and a person's thought process when they are working together. This is because the brain is a network that works together, and these connections are what help our brains to function properly. This experiment helped to answer a lot of questions regarding a person's level of consciousness as it compares to their self-awareness, and also made way for many more questions to be investigated in the future. This experiment has the potential to be modified in order to measure different things such as the degree of complexity within different species, or it may even be transformed to measure machines and whether or not they can overcome consciousness. Overall, this experiment helped researchers to learn a lot about consciousness, and it has paved the way for many studies in the future.

The Placebo Effect

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The placebo effect is a phenomenon in an experiment which occurs when the participant expects a treatment to result in improvement and therefore improvement occurs. To avoid the placebo effect researchers often use a sugar pill referred to as the placebo. Both groups then receive treatments of identical appearance and this then masks whether the participant is on the real or fake treatment. This is a crucial part of an experiment, without the placebo it would be questionable if the results where due to the actual treatment or just the expectations of the participants.

This relates to my life because on the college campus many people often consume alcohol. Without having a lot to drink people often tend to act differently. Shy and reserved people tend to be more outgoing. I often wonder whether this is the effect of alcohol or the placebo effect that acts upon these students. This Article states that 150 students thought they were drinking vodka and tonic with limes, and they showed signs of intoxication, however, there was no alcohol in their drinks. A principle of critical thinking that could be applied to this article is replicability. To ensure that this claim was just not a fluke with this group of people, another experiment could be conducted to further support this article.


Sleep Deprivation

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Sleep Deprivation
Jackie Yasgar

Sleep Deprivation is a condition that is caused by lack of sleep. It affects the cognitive functions of the brain and in turn results in body aches, headaches, irritability, depression, hallucinations, hand tremors and many more. WebMD outlines some short term and long term effects of getting lack of sleep. The short term effects listed are decreased performance and alertness, memory and cognitive impairment, stress relationships, poor quality of life, occupational injury and automobile injury. The long term affects include high blood pressure, heart attack, heart failure, stroke, obesity, psychiatric problems, attention deficit disorder, mental impairment, fetal and childhood growth retardation, injury from accidents, disruption of bed partner's sleep quality and poor quality of life. Another huge effect sleep deprivation causes is weight loss or gain. According to our Lilienfeld Psychology book, researchers believe sleep deprivation is the factor that has mainly caused obesity in the last few decades. This is such a significant problem, because sleeping patterns are a very important part in how the body functions. Writing about this topic is extremely interesting for me because, like most college students, I have definitely fallen victim to this problem. College and homework play an enormous role in why college students lose sleep. When we did the sleep inventory test in our psych discussion last week, every student's results that we recorded in our averages reflected a typical college student. They all proved that sleep deprivation was an issue in their lives. Another thing I found interesting was that sleep deprivation was more common in females. We hypothesized that this is because most females stress a lot more about school, relationships, and what people think about them. Also, females need to set a lot more time aside for getting ready in the morning, which might be a reason why they are getting less sleep. A vocab word that our book used when talking about sleep deprivation is insomnia. Insomnia is difficulty falling and staying asleep (Lilienfeld 171). I have really experienced this in my life, and more specifically, in my college career. When I end up staying up late doing homework and studying, I reach a point where when I lay down to go to sleep, I am so over tired that it is actually hard for me to fall asleep. Also, when I worry about school and upcoming tests, I often continue to wake up and fall back asleep throughout the night, which definitely effects how I feel the next day. I always feel fatigued and groggy during the day. The worst feeling is not being able to stay awake during class; I can definitely admit to letting sleep deprivation be a part of my life.

Turkey and Sleepiness.jpg

It has been said that when people ingest turkey, usually on Thanksgiving Day, they get tired due to the chemical compound L- tryptophan. This has been an excuse for thousands of people to take naps and even go to bed early on days that turkey is eaten. The claim that turkey and L- tryptophan makes you tired has been a prevalent belief throughout the United States and Europe, but how truthful is this statement?
Through some of the principles of critical thinking, this statement can be evaluated. The most important principle for this claim is principle #2, which states that correlation does not equal causation. Even though there is a positive correlation between eating turkey and being tired, that does not mean that the consumption of turkey, and L-tryptophan, causes drowsiness. There is also the problem of the third variable. There could be an alternate variable that is causing the correlation between the consumption of turkey and tiredness. The alleged correlation could also come from people with confirmation bias that are unknowingly supporting their views by denying evidence, dismissing evidence, or even distorting it to fit their own theory. However, since this situation has a high replicability, it will be easy to test and uncover the truth. The principle of critical thinking that states that correlation does not equal causation is the most useful way to evaluate this claim.
Recent tests have come to find that L-tryptophan is not uncommon to most meats that are consumed. Turkey contains more than some of the other meats, however the amounts that are traceable are not high enough cause drowsiness. Even though turkey is most often consumed on Thanksgiving Day, where turkey is the main dish, it does not necessarily mean that it is the main cause for people being tired after the meal. The real cause for the correlation was a third variable. The consumption of large portions of food and alcohol is the true culprit for the correlation, and both of these things are common on Thanksgiving Day!

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