Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Brains & How Studies are Done

Cognition: A Cog in a machine is the gear part. And when your brain does things, it works similar to a series of machine Cogs. The "wiring" of brain cells in your brain works via Synapses. The Synapses are your brain firing off electro-chemical signals. Ex: If you have ever smoked Marijuana, THC attaches to your brain and fires these, but they are always firing. And like Cogs, one moving will move one next to it. A Dendrite is the branch between Neurons/Brain Cells that tied them together.
Recognition: This is the best way to explain the process of Cognition. For Example, when you see a person you know, you Recognize their face. The word "Recognize" is explaining how the Cognition in your brain is going back to a place in the Synapses where it stored the information of that persons face. And because of how Cognition works, when you Recognize their face, you will automatically remember other things. This is why certain songs remind you of people, and why certain smells remind you of like the first time you did something.
Schema: A Schema is a Cognitive grouping. For Example, the known "Schema" around the word for Marijuana is: 4/20, Bob Marley, Jamaica, Amsterdam etc.
Classical Conditioning: This is what Pavlov's Dogs had done to them, but it happens to all of us. If you need a cup of coffee before you can do anything in the morning, you have conditioned yourself to associate drinking coffee with being awake.
Control Group: If you were going to do an experiment on something, the Control Group would be the group that didn't get whatever the experiment was. For example, if you wanted to see how smoking hash effected someone's ability to do something, you would have a group of people who didn't smoke any hash do the same thing so you could see the difference.
Single Blind: A Single Blind study is like the ones they do in commercials, where they have someone eat like Yogurt or something, and the person giving them the Yogurt knows what brands they are, but the person eating it does not know what brands they are. Sometimes Placebo is used on the control group in Clinical trials, so everyone thinks they took the medicine.
Double Blind: Double blind is where the researchers and the people being researched don't know who is who. For example, you could have people eat hash capsules before doing something. And in 1 groups capsules you would put real hash, in the other groups capsule you would just put something like Vitamin C. Then, you would bring people in to watch them and not tell them which people took which capsules. This way there is 0 bias.
Independent Variable: This is the thing that you are keeping from the controls. If you are testing the effects of stress on something, Stress is the independent Variable. If you are testing the effects of Hash on something, Hash is the Independent variable.
Dependent Variable: This is the things that changes, which would be whatever the test is. For example, if you wanted to test the effects of hash on the heart rate, heart rate would be the dependent variable. The dependent variable is the event studied and expected to change whenever the independent variable is altered.

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