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How The Environment Can Have Effects On Physiological Processes

790 words - 4 pages

The environment is an extremely powerful factor when it comes to physiological processes. The environment in which we are in is able to have surprising impacts on humans, as well as other animal’s physiological processes. Rosenzweig et al. conducted an experiment on mice to find out how the environment has an effect on the size of our brain. Another psychologist, George Brainard researched on the effects blue light has on humans. Both studies were able to show outstanding results on how the environment can have effects on physiological processes. Although the results seem to a point believable, there are always questions if there could have been other extraneous variables, which could be the reason for the results concluded in the experiments.
In 1972, Rosenzweig et al. conducted an experiment with mice to explore the effect that environment has on the size of the brain. Rosenzweig structured the experiment by having three different sets of mice, each with a different environment. The first set, was the control in the study, in which there were a number of mice with food and water. The second set of mice were in the impoverished set in which a single rat was with food and water, and the last set of mice, was the enriched set in which there were a number of mice, water food and different exercise machines and toys for the mice. At the end of the study when they looked at the brain size of the mice from each of the three sets, the ones in the enriched set had the thickest and heaviest cerebral cortices. They also found that the same set of mice had an increased activity of enzyme acytlcholinesterase, also that they had larger neurons and a greater RNA to DNA ratio, which is important for cell growth. Therefore, this experiment was one example, which showed how the environment could have an effect on our physiological process.
Neurologist George Brainard has been studying about the effects of our physiological process when “light hits the retina”. In a New York Times article, he stated “Light works as if it’s a drug, except it’s not a drug at all. Any kind of light is able to suppress melatonin,” but researchers have found that there is one light in particular which suppresses melatonin significantly more than any other light, the blue light. You are able to find blue light in electronic gadgets and...

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