Cravings Out of Situation

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tumblr_lytirgVKm11r6hkry.jpgThe topic of learning as it relates to the physiological responses that occur when paired with triggers has been the most interesting to me. In our text it was most related to drug use and how triggers such as settings or rituals that accompany the physiological changes that using the drug causes trains the body to anticipate the drug when a trigger is presented. This is commonly experienced as withdrawal or to a lesser degree cravings. We used the examples of more severe or illegal drugs in class but when you think about it we consume lots of different drugs as a society. How many people start their day off with a coffee or need that cigarette when stresses pile up? We are probably dooming our selves to be sleepy at the wheel if we routinely have that energy drink before drives. Our bodies CRAVE homeostasis. Sorry to anthropomorphize a bit here, but our bodies like to run within the same conditions and they learn remarkably well; you would be surprised what the little devils pick up on. So when we introduce a substance to upset that base line we create an imbalance in our bodies which we feel as the "high" or what ever the effect the drug is supposed to have. Over time our bodies begin to anticipate the effects of the drug based on the conditions that are present to our senses before we take the substance.
8510837-comic-book-drawing-of-an-intense-race-car-driver.jpgWe are taking the unconditioned stimulus of taking the drug having the effect of the unconditioned response of the "high" and pairing it with the conditioned stimulus of driving. Basically we are training the situation of driving with the expectation of the high. Our bodies say to themselves, "oh i remember this, when ever this happens I know to expect an energy drink." The problem with this is the body also wants to be in a homeostasis condition so it says further, "Since I know I get the energy drink I also want to be a bit more tired so that as the "high" of the drink kicks in I still maintain my operating conditions. This all works well until we stop giving our body that drink. When we do and our body realizes we are not getting that "high" it has already started us down the path of maintaining homeostasis. It responds, "well you normally give me a drink, not sure why you didn't, but I already started the "chill out" procedure so we are going to super tired now. Way to screw up the plan." And now we have to deal with what our body expected. dring sleep.jpg
I have related this to drugs and energy drinks, but I am left wondering what other things our bodies figure out. Does our body expect more than we think. If we go to the gym a lot and smell sweat do we kick into a work out mode? If we are constantly learning in a class room would we be more receptive to a calm well listened to conversation about a controversial topic in that room? We habituate to so much all the time I am left to wonder what really controls our reactions to things how we see it currently our how our body relates the stimulus to its experiences. Are we in control of our bodies or do our bodies dictate our perception and actions? Can we anticipate this and use ot to our advantage?


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This was a really interesting application of the information from this particular topic. I never realized how important it is for our bodies to maintain homeostasis, and what an effect drugs or energy drinks can really have on us. I am also curious if there is even more that our body can figure out, other than anticipating the effect of a drug or energy drink.

this is a really cool post. I like how you connected multiple ideas and used graphics that fit the conversation. I also like the questions held at the end because, our psychology really is still full of answers waiting to be found.

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This page contains a single entry by wittm045 published on April 30, 2012 10:02 AM.

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