Classmate Responses

This response is very detailed and full of specific information about the functions of the brain. I took a different approach in how I answered the questions, and discussed the two sections of the brain in more general terms, and noted the difference between humans and the development of the cerebral cortex and how that differentiates them from the majority of vertebrates that only have the basic structure of the central core. It is the cerebral cortex that handles process related to cognition, higher emotional functions, and other processes that are not common among all vertebrates. This response does not specifically address those same issues, but that does not mean it is an ineffective response. This student chose to discuss in greater detail the specific sub-components of the brain and what functions and processes are handled by each of them. Where I only mentioned the basic divisions of the hemispheres and the lobes, this response offers details about what each lobe does in terms of processing information, while also making it clear that the central core and the cerebral cortex are both important structures of the brain, as they work together to handle and control all the different functions of the body.

This is a very effective response to the question and makes it clear that the student understands the differences between sensation and perception. The student describes sensation as a “physical response,” and quotes the book by describing perception as “the sorting out, interpretation, analysis, and integration of stimuli by the sense organs and brain.” This response also notes that there are more to the senses than just the five basic senses of touch, taste, hearing, sight, and smell. This response focuses on the example of touch in particular and notes that this sense can differentiate between pressure, pain, and temperature change. That is a helpful way to discuss the sense of touch and to make it clear what “sensation” means. By using the example of two people looking at a cloud and seeing different things, this also helps make it clear what “perception” means. Perception is the function and process of the brain that takes in the stimuli offered by the senses and interprets and analyzes it to make it into useful information. Light waves are converted into the shapes of recognizable people and objects, sound waves are sorted into music, sensations of touch tell us whether something is hot or cold, smooth or rough, and so on. This response helps the reader understand the differences between sensation and perception very clearly.

The right brain/left brain thing is interesting and gives some insight into how the mind works and what things we are best at doing or better suited for. This response indicates that the student is not dominated by either side of the brain, which is both good and bad, depending on what field or career this person is in or plans to enter. This response demonstrates that the student has a clear understanding of the right brain/left brain theory, and how the dominance of one side over the other can determine if you are a more analytical and logical person, or if you are a more intuitive and creative person. It also shows that this student recognizes the benefits of both sides of the brain, and how being in the middle of these two sides can be helpful for the specific career fields of counseling and psychology. The only details that are missing from this response are some mentions of which side is associated with each set of traits, but that is not actually necessary to understand where the student is coming from in this response and does not detract from the fact that the student understands the importance of the functions of each side and how they can be useful in certain types of careers.

This response is good in terms of describing the amount of sleep the student gets, and how it affects the student’s abilities to function. This answer also discusses the fact that some people need more sleep than other people, and that it is also not always easy to get the ideal amount of sleep. But the response does explain what happens to your body and your brain when it does not get enough sleep, and how your mood, your ability to think, and your ability to function physically can all be affected negatively. This response does not offer any information about REM sleep, though, and about the importance of REM sleep. Most of our dreams that we can remember when we wake up happen during REM sleep. It is believed that the brain and body rejuvenate themselves during REM sleep, which makes it significant. During REM sleep the voluntary muscle actions are so restricted that the body is practically paralyzed, but the brain functions show brain wave activity that is almost the same as when we are awake. Most people cycle through the different stages of sleep over the course of the night, and REM cycles happen four or five times on average.

This response is very detailed and offers a lot of accurate and useful information about REM sleep and about the student’s personal experiences regarding sleep. This response describes REM sleep as taking up about 20% of total sleep time, which is not always the same for everyone, but is an average. The response also describes some of the physiological functions that occur during REM sleep, such as the way that heart rate, blood pressure and breathing all increase. Also, the activity of rapid eye movement that happens during this stage of sleep is mentioned, which is what gives REM sleep its name. The response also describes the student’s personal experiences with sleep and what happens when sleep is lacking I a way that everyone can relate to. The feelings of being forgetful and feeling uneasy are common, and this student tries to find time to take a nap when it is possible. That is probably a good idea for most people because a brief nap can leave a person feeling refreshed and recharged. It is not always easy to find the time to get enough sleep or to take a nap when life keeps us so busy, but we all function better when we get enough sleep.

This response offers information about dream sleep and non-dream sleep. The student describes the sleep stage of REM sleep as the period when we dream. I am not sure that this is entirely accurate, as I believe that humans dream during other stages of sleep as well. If I recall correctly, the dreams we have during REM sleep are usually the most vivid ones, and we recall them the best when we wake up. But I think it is possible that we dream during other sleep stages as well, although we might not recall those dreams as easily as the ones during REM sleep. The response does accurately describe REM sleep as being about 20% of our total sleep, and that non-REM (NREM) takes up the other 80%. Brain waves taken by EEG during NREM sleep typically show less brain wave activity than what occurs during REM sleep, and this response also accurately described how blood pressure, breathing, and other bodily functions and processes are slowed during NREM sleep as compared to REM sleep. This response has made me want to read about sleep stages again to make sure I understand correctly about how and when we dream during different stages of sleep.

This response is very informative and detailed, and it is clear to me that the student has a solid understanding of how the different parts of the brain function, and how they are responsible for different processes. The student notes that damage to the central core would be catastrophic because the basic processes of life are handled by this part of the brain. If the central core were damaged, the brain would possibly be unable to control and regulate breathing, pulse rate, and other involuntary activities that are essential to life. If the cerebral cortex were damaged instead, the results would be very different. The basic functions of life would probably continue, but since the cerebral cortex is responsible for functions such as cognition and higher emotional functions, damage to this part of the brain would affect the ability to think. The response also includes a link to a website that contains more information about brain injuries and how they can affect the ability to function. I decided to check out that website, and it contains a lot of very useful information for people who have suffered traumatic brain injuries.

This was one of the most interesting responses I read, because the student discussed the state of hypnosis, and compared the definition and explanation of hypnosis from the tutorial to the student’s own ideas about what hypnosis is. The student thought that hypnosis was something that was used to bring out memories that a person has forgotten or repressed, which is understandable because there are always shows on television and other sources about using hypnosis this way. So it is easy to see that the student actually got some valuable educational lessons from reading and studying about hypnosis. The student also discusses the dream state of consciousness and compares the information offered in the tutorial to things this student used to believe about dreams. The specific information about REM sleep, and what that stage of sleep is like, gave the student new information about the dream state. This student used to think that dreaming only happened during very deep sleep, and learned from the tutorial that REM sleep is not really as deep as some other stages of sleep, but that is when the dreams we remember the best take place.

This response provides a good example of what perception means. The difference between sensation and perception is that sensation is the information we receive as stimuli to our senses, and perception is what the brain does with that information. This response uses the example of the smell of smoke from a fire and the smell of smoke from something that is cooking. This example made me think about how we use our senses together to form our perceptions. If all we could do was smell the smoke from a fire, it might be hard to tell if it was from a fire because something was burning or if it was smoke from something that was cooking. By using our other senses, we can see if the smoke is coming from the kitchen stove or is coming in through the window, and can use our perception to decide if something is safe or if it is dangerous. If our perception tells us that the smoke is coming from the stove we can decide if it is from the smell of something cooking or if something has caught on fire. Our perception is how we make sense of the world around us.

It is interesting to consider whether one side of the brain is dominant over the other and if this really does determine how we think and whether we are more analytical and logical, or if we are more intuitive and creative. This response makes the argument that having a balanced brain is probably the most beneficial for long-term success, but I am not entirely sure if I agree with this. It might depend on what sort of career or future path an individual plans to pursue. For some roles, it may be useful to have a balanced brain. I can see how the field of psychology could be good for people with balanced brains, because they could think analytically about the theories and science related to the field, but could also make intuitive connections and come up with ideas and responses related to the range if human emotions. Someone who is planning to be a nuclear physicist might be better off with a more analytical brain, but someone who is an actor or a musician or some other type of artist might be better off with a more intuitive approach to seeing the world.

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