Saturday, June 2, 2012

Friday, June 1, 2012

Due Today: Crossword
Monday: Finish all previously assigned UP pages, QUEST on Monday, FINAL on WEDNESDAY

Toady in Class:
-Finished reflex labs UP p. 67-79
-Watched video on "The Secrets of the Mind"

Reflex Labs:
Pages 67-70 of the UP can be completed at home. In class today we worked on pages 75-77: Investigaing Senses. FIrst we stood 20 feet away from an eye chart and covered one eye and read down the rows of letters until the letters became uncertain. Then you recorded the number next to the line you stopped at. Repeat this for the other eye.

Next for the taste part of the lab. Your partner would go up to the front of the room and secretly select one of the three candies: peppermint, butterscotch, or cinnamon. The person taking the test would have their eyes shut, one hand plugging their nose, and their mouth open. The parter would then place the candy into the mouth of the test taker and see if they could distinguish what type of candy it was. Record your data. I was not able to detect that the candy in my mouth was cinnamon.

Determining concentrations of touch receptors in the skin. follow the steps on the lab to determine where touch receptors are most concentrated on the body. These are my results:

          Back of Hand-12mm
          Palm of Hand-10mm
          Back of Neck-7mm

Video: "Secrets of the Mind"
This video was about Phantom Limb Syndrome where amputees can feel the presence of a limb after it is gone. Dr. Ramachandren is tries to understand why this is happening, and why these amputees feel "phantom pain". Derek who had the lowed part of his left arm amputated, can feel pain in his missing limb.

Dr. Ramachandren say that understanding the human brain is one of the ultimate challenges in science. The brain is the most complexly formed form of matter in the universe. In the brain there is a complete map of the body. Every point on the body surface (of the brain) has a corresponding point on the body map.
Because of Derek's missing arm there is a part of the brain that isn't being used anymore. The part of the brain that controls the left arm is next to the control of the face. When Derek shaves he feels pain in his phantom left arm. This is because the hand part of the brain that isn't being used anymore is hungry for information and is creating neurological pathways to the control of the face.
The pain that Derek, and other Phantom Syndrome patients, feel is a construct of the mind.  The brain is deluding them to pain that isn't there.
There can be solutions to relieving phantom pain. One method that Dr. Ramachandren used was setting up a box that was divided in the middle by a mirror. The amputee would place there intact arm into one side of the box and that arm would be reflected into the other side of the box, giving the illusion that there were 2 intact arms. This would trick the mind into thinking that there were 2 arms and the amputee could relive the pain in his phantom arm by moving and stretching his "phantom" hand.

Next scribe: Sean