Biological Rhythms

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How often does a Circadian rhythm take place?
One cycle per 24 hours (per day)
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What does our Circadian rhythm control?
Things like our sleep-wake cycle and our core body temperature.
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Describe Siffre's cave studies (Circadian Research Example)
He went into a cave with no external cues of time to find out how long will his sleep-wake cycle would last. In two experiments lasting 2 months and 6 months it was found that a ‘free-running’ clock will run to around 24-25 hours of sleep.
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Describe Aschoff & Weaver (1976) experiment (Circadian Research Example)
Participants were put in an underground bunker without external or social cues and found that their circadian rhythms ran to around 24 hours, although some run much over this.
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Name an application of Circadian rhythms
Can be applied to shift work and has explained why people find it difficult to adjust to night shifts.
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Name an application of Circadian rhythms
It has been found these changes in bodily processes can be used to better understand how the body absorbs drugs. Pharmacokinetics can apply this to improve drug treatment.
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Name 2 research limitations of Circadian rhythms.
Most of this research is case study or small sample research. Also the often used artificial light which is now believed to interrupt pacemakers.
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What is a theory limitation of Circadian rhythms?
There are large individual differences in peoples circadian rhythms, including age, therefore, this cannot explain everyone’s behaviour.
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How often does an Ultradian rhythm take place?
More the 1 cycle per day. They take less the 24 hours to complete.
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What does our Ultradian rhythm control?
Our sleep stages-We follow a 90minute cycle every time we sleep. We begin in stage 1 and pass through all the stages to 4, we then move back through from 4-1 until we move into REM (rapid eye movement) sleep.
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Explain Aserinsky, Kreitman & Dement and Kreitman (1953+1997)
Through the use of EEG, periods of sleep where the brain appeared to be active were discovered (REM)
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What was found when people were woken during REM sleep?
80% would report that they were dreaming.
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Give some research support of Ultradian rhythms
Replications of of Dement and Kleitman (1997) study have consistently supported the existence of the distinct sleep stages, therefore supporting the idea of sleep cycles behaving ad Ultradian rhythms.
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What is an application of Ultradian rhythms?
They can help people with sleep disorders to find out what areas of sleep are a problem. E.g. sleep walking occurs in REM sleep.
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What is a research limitation of Ultradian rhythms?
Dement and Kleitman (1997) research is criticised for a small sample size. This research has relied on the use of EEG and sleep laboratories, these are highly artificial and may disturb natural sleep behaviour.
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Explain the reductionist point for Ultradian rhythms.
The research takes a biological approach. It does not look at cultural influences.
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How long does an Infradian rhythm take?
These are rhythms that take longer than 24 hours to complete.
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What does our Infradian rhythm control?
The menstrual cycle (28 days) and Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD)
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Explain what Stern and McClintock (1998) did? (Infradian experiment)
Used a sample of 29 women and collected their sweat. They applied the sweat to the upper lip of other women. Overtime, women's period synced.
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Explain what McClintock (1971) did? (Infradian experiment)
He studied 135 women living in all female halls at university. She found that women who lived together reported their menstrual cycles had become synchronised.
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What is an opposing argument to Infradian rhythms?
Evolutionary theory could explain synchrony. Females reproduce together, sharing of time and energy, however, it also makes a greater competition for resources.
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What are 2 research limitations of Infradian rhythms?
There are issues with small samples and confounding variables. + Yang and Schank (2006) found in a sample of 186 Chinese women that there was no evidence of synchronisation beyond that of chance.
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What is an application of Infradian rhythms?
Research into SAD has lead to effective treatments such as light therapy, however studies have found large placebo effects.
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What is a theory limitation of Infradian rhythms?
The work to support synchrony is based on animal studies (Do pheromones have the same impact on humans?)
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Other cards in this set

Card 2

Front

Things like our sleep-wake cycle and our core body temperature.

Back

What does our Circadian rhythm control?

Card 3

Front

He went into a cave with no external cues of time to find out how long will his sleep-wake cycle would last. In two experiments lasting 2 months and 6 months it was found that a ‘free-running’ clock will run to around 24-25 hours of sleep.

Back

Preview of the back of card 3

Card 4

Front

Participants were put in an underground bunker without external or social cues and found that their circadian rhythms ran to around 24 hours, although some run much over this.

Back

Preview of the back of card 4

Card 5

Front

Can be applied to shift work and has explained why people find it difficult to adjust to night shifts.

Back

Preview of the back of card 5
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