To study the effect of the environment on different factors and hormones such as with PTSD patients, mirror neurons, and the effect of light on hormone levels
Paragraph 2 (Rosenzweig, Bennet, & Diamond 1972)
Aim: To test the role of the environment factors on brain plasticity in rats
Procedure: The rats were placed in separate groups. One group had an enriched environment with a lot of food and toys. The other group had a deprived environment. The rats stayed in their groups for about 30 to 60 days
Findings: The rats in the group that had the enriched environment had a thicker level of neurons compared to the deprived group of rats
Critique: Hard to generalize with humans, small sample size
Paragraph 3 (Bremner et al 2003)
Aim: To measure the structure and function of the hippocampus in women with or without childhood sexual abuse.
Procedure: Thirty three women participated in the study that had or had not suffered abuse. They were given verbal memory tasks which were measured with a PET scan.
Findings: The women with PTSD and had abuse in the past had a 16% smaller hippocampus compared with the ones without
Critique: Gender bias, cultural bias, small sample size
Paragraph 4 (Gallese et al 1996)
Aim: To see the effects that the environment has on the mirror neurons
Procedure: The subject was monkeys, who were first given time to familiarize itself with its environment. It was then given food, and asked to grasp the food.
Findings: After a period of 6-8 months, the monkeys could perform at least 80 % of the tasks correctly.
Critique: Hard to generalize to humans
Paragraph 5 (Rosenthal 1987)
Aim: To see the effect of melatonin in the ability to fall asleep
Procedure: A group of people with seasonal affective disorder were given light lamps, while the others were not.
Findings: Reduced light leads to the form of depression and higher levels of melatonin contribute to seasonal affective disorder