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Biological Rhythms

Biological Rhythms- regular patterns of physiological, cognitive and behavioural activity occurring
as circadian, ultradian and infradian rhythms

Circadian Rhythms- bodily cycles occurring every 24 hours
Infradian Rhythms- bodily cycles occurring less than once a day
Ultradian Rhythms- bodily cycles occurring more than once a day
Endogenous Pacemakers- internal…

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Exogenous Zeitgebers
Light is a dominant zeitgeber in humans. Light can reset SCN and other oscillators in the body as
protein cryptochrome (CRY) is light sensitive. Campbell and Murphy (1998) shined light on back of
pp's knees and shifted circadian rhythms supporting the role of exogenous zeitgebers. The main

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It seems unlikely that humans have evolved with a faulty biological clock running every 25
hours. Animal studies show a 24-hour cycle and it makes more sense for humans to follow
this pattern
Isolating participants from the environment without controlling their behaviour may be
insufficient to reveal the activity of…

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Research into SAD led to effective therapies, such as phototherapy. This uses very strong
lights in the evening and/or early morning to change levels of melatonin and serotonin. SAD
sufferers have reported that daily use is enough to relieve them of their symptoms. There
are questions about whether this may…

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Some studies have found that 70% of participants report dreams during NREM sleep. Foulkes
(1967) attributed this to vague, dream-like experiences or muddled thoughts being
incorrectly categorised as dreams
The artificial surroundings of sleep laboratories with all the electrodes that have to be worn,
suggest that sleep findings may lack…

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appeared healthier, more content and output was up, showing how psychological research can lead
to practical applications incurring positive outcomes
-Cooligan et al (1978) found that workers with shift rotations had more accidents than workers on
set shifts. They also drank more alcohol, took more sleeping pills, had digestive disorders,…

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related to bodily restoration, which took place during `relaxed wakefulness'. Sleep does not provide
any repair function in humans, except for the brain

-Shapiro et al (1981) found that long-distance athletes, slept for longer, suggesting that sleep aids
restoration. However, Horne and Minardi (1985) found that after physical activity we…

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stay out of the way of predators when they are most vulnerable, for example staying still or sleeping
in the darkness


Bently (2008) points out that snoring is a difficult phenomenon to explain, as it is likely to
increase vulnerability to predation by attracting attention while sleeping
Problems with…

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90% of their time in active sleep- greater need for REM sleep for premature babies

-Puberty marks the onset of adolescence and sexual and pituitary growth hormones are released in
pulses during SWS
-Males experience wet dreams and both sexes may experience erotic dreams
-Circadian rhythm also changes so…

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Practical Applications- schools opening later due to teenagers being biologically
programmed to wake up later
Sleep labs include objective measures and thus is falsifiable supporting the is psychology a
science debate. However artificial environments are used so it is not applicable to daily life

Disorders of Sleep
-Narcolepsy is…


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