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Response Time An Introduction to the Nervous System

By Darrell Cox,2014-05-10 08:09
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Response Time An Introduction to the Nervous System

    Response Time: An Introduction to the Nervous System

Student Content Outcomes

    ; Summarize the organization of the nervous system

    ; Trace the sensory and motor pathways in a reaction to a stimulus

    ; Explain the effects of distractions on somatic motor response

Process outcome

    ; Evaluate individual reaction time

Model 1: Exploration of Stimulus-Response Time

Directions:

     1. Collect a meter stick and find a desk.

     2. Support your arm on the edge of a desk so that you cannot move it down.

     3. Make sure your hand extends over the edge of the desk.

     4. Hold your thumb and index finger approximately 2.5 cm apart.

     5. Have your partner hold the meter stick so that the 0 end of the meter stick is even with the

     top of your index finger and thumb.

     6. Have your partner drop the stick (Do not countdown or say anything).

     7. Catch the stick without moving your arm and hold so that you can measure the distance.

     8. Measure and record the distance to the top of your index finger in data table #1.

     9. To approximate the reaction time in seconds, divide the distance in cm by 22.1 and record

     calculated reaction times in table #1.

     10. Repeat this procedure two more times for each student in the group, then determine an

     average for both distance and reaction time.

     11. Repeat the process with each of your partners, and record their data in their Table #1.

     12. Complete Table #2 by sharing data with your partners in your group.

    Table #1 Table #2

    Trial # Distance (cm) Reaction time (sec) Name Average distance Average reaction

    (cm) time (sec)

     1

     2

     3

     Average

Use the data in Table 2 to answer the following questions:

    Answers to all questions should not be taken literally. Teachers may delve deeper into answers per course requisites. For example, teachers may wish to cover auditory, visual or other CNS centers and pathways, spinal cord pathways, introduction of left/right cross over points along with damage (stroke, physical trauma, etc.). Further extension could include autonomic, action potentials, neuromuscular junction, etc.

    1. Within your group, who had the fastest average reaction time? Slowest reaction time?

Answers based on student data

    2. Calculate the difference between the fastest and slowest reaction times in your group.

Answers based on student data

    3. Why do you think there was a difference between the individual with the fastest average reaction time and the individual with the slowest average reaction time in your group?

    Subject anticipation, athletic ability, distraction, lack of sleep, etc. A good website for further research on reaction times is: http://biology.clemson.edu/bpc/bp/Lab/110/reaction.htm

    4. A hundred dollar bill measures 15.6 cm long. Would anyone in your group be able to grab a dollar bill before it slips through their fingers? Cite evidence from your data above in your answer?

Answer based on student data, most likely no.

    5. List 3-5 basic processes of the nervous system that occur in your body when you complete step 7 of the procedure.

    Answer should focus on the pathway from visual stimulus to central processing to skeletal muscle response.

Model #2: Basic organization of the nervous system:

     1. Draw arrows on Figure 1 that indicate the direction of the flow of information you observed in

     the reaction time activity.

     2. Color the central nervous system red.

     3. Color the peripheral nervous system blue.

     4. What part of the nervous system carries sensory information from the somatic sensory

     division to the information processing center?

PNS

     5. What part of the nervous system carries motor information to the muscles?

PNS

     6. What organ(s) make up the information processing center?

    spinal cord and brain

Model #3Distracted Reaction Time

Directions:

     1. Support your arm on the edge of a desk that you cannot move it down.

     2. Make sure your hand extends over the edge of the desk.

     3. Put your thumb and index finger approximately 2.5 cm apart.

     4. Have your partner hold the meter stick so that the 0 end of the meter stick is even with the

     top of your index finger and thumb.

     5. Sing “Happy Birthday” out loud.

     6. Have your partner drop the stick (Keep singing!)

     7. Catch the stick without moving your arm and hold so that you can measure the distance

     8. Measure and record the distance to the top of your index finger in data table #1

     9. Determine your reaction time using the formula: Reaction time= distance (cm)/22.1 cm/sec

     10. Repeat process two more times, then determine an average for both distance and reaction

     time

     11. Repeat the process with each of your partners

    Table #1

    Trial # Distance in cm Reaction time

    in sec

     1

     2

     3

     Average

    Table #2

    Name Average time Average time Difference in reaction time * CONTROL (sec)DISTRACTED (sec) (CONTROL DISTRACTED)

*Copy the average times from your data chart in Model 1

1. Who had the fastest average reaction time? Slowest reaction time?

    Answers based on student data

    2. Calculate the difference between the fastest and slowest reaction times in your group. Answers based on student data

3. Explain why differences exist between individuals in your group.

    subject anticipation, athletic ability, distraction, lack of sleep, etc.

    4. Speculate as to why there was a difference between the average reaction time in this activity and the first activity where there was not a distraction.

    interruption of the pathway from stimulus to response

    5. Are there instances in your group where reactions will actually decrease during this activity? Explain why this may happen.

    yes/noability to multi-task, too much time playing video games

Application

    1. What variables might a driver experience that could alter reaction time when required to brake suddenly? List as many as possible.

    Eating, texting, reading the newspaper, talking on the phone, distracting passengers, playing with the radio, intoxicants, outside distractions, lack of sleep, etc.

     Pick one example from your list and describe the point at which the reaction was interrupted. Answers will vary with the situationintoxicants slow down the central nervous system, etc.

    The following data chart shows the results of two separate drivers under various driving conditions. The two drivers performed the tests at 35 mph (miles per hour) and at 70 mph. Use the following data to answer the questions below

     35 mph 70 mph

     Driver I Driver II Driver I Driver II

    Baseline: .45 sec. .57 sec .39 sec. .56 sec.

    Alcohol impaired: .46 sec. .64 sec .50 sec. .60 sec.

    Reading text message: .57 sec. 1.36 sec .50 sec. .91 sec.

    Texting: .52 sec. 1.44 sec .48 sec. 1.24 sec.

    (Source: Car and Driver. June 25, 2009)

Note: “Baseline” represents reaction times under normal driving conditions.

2. Should the laws for texting while driving be as severe as the laws for driving under the influence of

    alcohol? Provide anatomical and physiological evidence for your argument in addition to the data above.

    Before question #2 teacher can play the video from:

    http://jalopnik.com/5302414/drunk-driving-safer-than-texting-while-driving

    **May not be appropriate for all audiences**

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