First Impression Post #6- Option 1

For this weeks blog I decided to do option one and discuss my study habits. My study habits now have gotten a lot better than they were in high school. Previously in high school I wouldn’t put much effort into studying or just would not study at all. That would still get me through high school at the time, but once I got to college the content was much more challenging so I began to change my study habits. I would rewrite notes, use flashcards, and reread my notes and presentations. Most of these habits worked for me, except reread my notes tended to be less effective than actually handwriting the content. I focused more on rewriting and understanding the content rather than memorizing notes. My exam grades last semester got better as the semester progressed, so it seemed like the change in study habits really helped.

For our first exam I did the same study method and relied heavily on flashcards to understand terms and psychologists since that was a big part of the content. It worked well, but it would have been useful to take more time with the presentation notes and be able to apply what I knew to some of the not so straight forward questions on the exam. I plan to try to study different ways to try to cover all the content in the book and in the presentation notes. Quizlet could be a useful source and taking notes from the book will be helpful for the next exam in addition to using flashcards on the information given in class and reviewing the content that will most likely be on the exam from the notes and book.

First Impression Post: Week 4 Neuroscience


I chose to view the TED talk “The Real Reason for Brains” looking to learn some insight to the brain’s function and reason for each of those functions. Daniel Wolpert gives his theory of the brain’s primary function being movement. Every sensory that is controlled by our brain such as vision and touch are thought to be supporting factors of our body’s overall movement. Also, emotional feelings such as love, anger, and passion are all motives by our brain to drive movement to reproduce which is the lifelong goal of most organisms on the planet.

What I found most interesting about the talk was his theory on how our brains judge anticipated movement. His formula for anticipated movement was the movement command given by our brain(which would be our prior knowledge and memory) subtracted by our sensory input( such as pain, sense of touch, and feelings). This would equal to be our anticipated movement or anticipated force. An example that Wolpert used would be hitting a tennis ball. As your brain processes the movement and velocity of the ball coming towards you as well as muscle memory from previous knowledge, it sends a movement command to the muscles to begin swinging your arm (this would be the movement command portion of the formula). Next, when you make your swing the original force from the movement command is interrupted or in some cases increased by sensation from internal feelings of intensity, control of your arms follow-through, and also the initial impact of the ball to your racket. This would be the sensory input portion of the formula which decreases the force of the movement command in order to control the return of the tennis ball across the court.

I found that Daniel Wolpert was very reliable and trustworthy with his information. He used simple examples to support his evidence and supplied supporting evidence from his own conducted experiments.

To conduct an experiment to support this I would observe the difference between a baseball player hitting a baseball in an attempt to hit the ball as far as possible and then the same player attempting to hit the ball to land in a specific location far under his maximum range of hitting distance. The experiment would have to be repeated by at least ten other players in order to gain a sufficient sample size. The player going for distance would have a much greater force exerted by his muscle movement in order to hit the ball showing that there is no sensation that will restrict his movement command force. In the player aiming for accuracy, his force exerted by his movement would be much less due to his follow-through sensation and movement control taking away from the initial movement command. The force exertion could be measured by distance traveled by the ball or if given the opportunity to use real life laboratory equipment, sensory detectors could be placed on the player to directly measure the force of his swing.

Extra Credit Blog: Miguel

Beginning with a psychodynamic perspective, Miguel may be feeling overly stressed due to the increasing amount of coursework, which could lead to his darker unconscious thoughts to begin to show as he often shows anger towards classmates and roommates regularly. From a behavioral perspective, Miguel seems to show frustration within himself due to his difficulties. This could be a result of early childhood experiences where parenting situations of either reinforcement or punishment had failed to give him any confidence in later life. Humanistic psychology, suspects that Miguel may not be pursuing goals he is truly passionate about and instead is trying to force himself to be someone he is not. Therefore, as a perfectionist, making mistakes and not feeling confident in the coursework is breaking his state of mind and causing him to feel unaccomplished in his work. From a cognitive perspective, Miguel’s mental processes are becoming very chaotic, as he doubts his ability to do anything right his mental stability is very damaged. Not only are his problem solving and mental processing abilities damaged, but his social abitlties seem to be affected as well. If he is constantly fighting with his peers, then his cognitive abilities to function within society are under great stress. Biologically, he may be lacking neurotransmitters and hormones that allow the brain to problem solve and perform quick and accurate analysis of his coursework. An obvious reasoning for the loss of neurotransmitters would be his lack of sleep. Without adequate sleep, Miguel’s brain function is greatly depleted which would make him exhausted and irritable through the day, and stressed throughout the night not allowing him to recover. Also, he may not have adapted to the college life, which could be due to cultural reasoning. For many people college is a completely different lifestyle than their previous culture. Some go through culture shock during their first few weeks and gradually begin to adapt to their given lifestyle. Miguel’s previous background may have been completely different from his current situation. It may be troubled parenting, lack of reinforcement, high standards and expectations, or certain ideals and values of his that no longer have the same meaning now that they did in the previous culture. College culture is highly demanding and incredibly stressful however, it leads to better problem-solving skills and urges students to go out of their normal traditions to enforce teamwork and friendship that can endure through hardships, with Miguel continually having a negative personality he is isolating himself from a large network of similar students who can help him to adapt his mindset.