The sleep/wake cycle

What is the sleep/wake cycle largely controlled by?
endogneous pacemakers
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What is the main endogenous pacemaker?
the SCN
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What does the SCN do?
the SCN produces a protein for a number of hours before the level inhibits further production.
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what does the protein produced do?
it activates the pineal gland.
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what does the pineal gland do?
the pineal gland produces melatonin.
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what are the effects of melatonin?
melatonin causes drowsiness
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What inhibits the production of the protein in the SCN?
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what is light?
light is an exogenous zeitgeber
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What detects the light?
light sensitive cells in our eyes.
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What is a relevant IDA point for this explanation?
Biologically determinist and also environmentally determinist
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Why is it biologically determinist? (IDA)
because it suggests that endogneous pacemakers such as the SCN are key in determining our sleep/wake cycle.
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why is it environmentally determinist? (IDA)
it states that the zeitgebers can affect and reset our sleep cycle.
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overall what does the explanation suggest? (IDA)
that we have very little control over our sleep/wake cycle. the only way we can affect our cycle is by using zeitgebers such as alarm clocks.
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Name two pieces of research
Morgan and Michel Siffre (+blind man)
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What did the research by Morgan find?
when he removed the SCN from hamsters their circadian rhythms disappeared. and when he placed the SCN of a hamster with a mutant rhythm the new hamster adopted the mutant sleep/wake cycle.
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How does Morgans research support the explanation?
it shows how the SCN influences our sleep/wake cycle, it demonstrates the theories idea that this is the main element in control of our sleep/wake cycle as without it the hamsters cycle completely disappeared.
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What was the case study of Michel Siffre?
he was a man who spent 2 months living in a dark cave, he developed a 25 hours sleep/wake cycle.
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What was the case study of the blind man?
a man blind from birth maintained a 24.9 hour sleep pattern despite his exposure to external cues such as clocks and radios.
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What do these case studies show?
they suggest our natural sleep/wake cycle is around 25 hours, they show that zeitgebers have less influence on our circadian rhythms than pacemakers. however they show that with pacemakers alone you can still have an active circadian rhythm.
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What is an AO3 point regarding the research by Morgan?
the study used animals, this means that there is a chance that the hamsters SCN could be different from a humans SCN. although the fact that both parties have an SCN would suggest that they perform similar roles. overall it uses an unethical method.
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What is an AO3 point regarding the two cases studies by Miles?
these are fairly reliable, therefore the poor sample size may be overlooked as a result of the biological measure. according to the theory it should apply to everyone so can be generalised.
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What are the practical application of the explanation? (Wider evaluation)
it shows you how to influence your sleep/wake cycle. pacemakers seem to have the most influence on your cycle but you could use alarms.
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Other cards in this set

Card 2


What is the main endogenous pacemaker?


the SCN

Card 3


What does the SCN do?


Preview of the front of card 3

Card 4


what does the protein produced do?


Preview of the front of card 4

Card 5


what does the pineal gland do?


Preview of the front of card 5
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super helpful!

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