Important Neurological Concepts

Post your response to the following: What are the most important concepts you have learned in this course? How can you apply them to your life? What difference can these concepts or tools make in your everyday life?

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Two of the most important concepts I have learned in this class are the settling-point theory of eating and hunger and the adaptive nature of the sleep-wake cycles. I found the settling-point theory of hunger to be very interesting. This theory does better explain my life experience than the set-point theory of hunger. I had always assumed that I got hungry because my body needed food. I had no idea that I got hunger because my body knew that I was about to eat. I was even more amazed that I could change this hunger cycle by slowly changing when and how much I eat every day.

The concept that has really affected me is the adaptive nature of the sleep-wake cycle. I have, just like everyone else, felt the effects of not enough sleep the day after. I have been groggy and red-eyed, etc… However since I have read about the adaptive nature of sleep I have indeed engaged in sleep reduction. Used to I would go to sleep between 9 and 11 and wake up at 7 in the morning. My ideal time to go to sleep every night was at 9 and I was able to do that about half of the time. So every time I would go to sleep at 10 or 11 I would feel groggy in the morning. I think part of this was due to the anxiety I would feel about going to sleep past the time that I wanted to go to sleep. On the other hand, part of it was because I was departing from my usual schedule of going to sleep at 9. Since I read that chapter though, I have started going to bed at 11 every night. After about a week I did not feel groggy anymore. I have been going fine on 8 hours of sleep every night for some time now. That chapter really helped me.

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Pinel, J.J. (2007). Basics of biopsychology. Boston, MA: Allyn & Bacon.

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