IA Report - Biology Internal Assessment: Age vs. Reaction...

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Biology Internal Assessment: Age vs. Reaction TimeTierson WoodIntroduction:Purpose:My interest in human reaction time began when I first learned about reaction times in my Sports,Exercise, Health, and Science class. So, when I was given the opportunity to gain moreknowledge about reaction times through the human physiology topic in biology, I took theopportunity and learned that the reaction times for adolescents were expected to be less than thereaction times of adults. This interested me so much that I decided to base my internalassessment on how age affects reaction time.This particular study is significant for athletes because as athletes get older, their reaction timechanges. It’s important for some athletes to know the changes in their reaction times in order forthem to train and improve their reflexes, especially if they play sports that rely heavily on thereaction times of the athletes; such as softball, boxing, and fencing. I am an athlete, so it wouldbe interesting to learn about how my own reaction time could change. This could allow me toimprove my reaction time and my reflexes in the future as I continue to participate in sports.Research Question:How does age affect reaction times of adolescents and adults?Background Research:There are billions of neurons in the nervous system, a network of neurons that use the senses inorder to detect information about the environment (Stanford University, 2007). Then, the nervoussystem conducts a motor response based on the information that the sensory neurons receive. Thesensory neurons in the peripheral nervous systems of the humans send messages to the neuronsin the brain by using synaptic transmission and passing through the spinal cord (StanfordUniversity, 2007). The different lobes of the brain interpret the messages in order to gaininformation. The motor cortex, the area of the brain that controls all voluntary movements, sendsmessages to the spinal cord which sends messages to the muscle about how to move in responseto the person’s surroundings and their goals. Before it does this, the motor cortex must receiveinformation from other lobes of the brain. For example, it receives information about the body’sposition from the parietal lobe and it receives information about the memories of past strategiesfrom the temporal lobe (“THE BRAIN FROM TOP TO BOTTOM,” n.d.).
The cerebral cortex also plays a major role in the motor response. The forward portion of thefrontal lobe plans the movement. Area 6 decides which muscles to contract. Then, Area 4activates those specific muscles through the motor neurons in the spinal cord. From here, themuscles contract in order to carry out the specific movement or set of movements (“THE BRAINFROM TOP TO BOTTOM,” n.d.).The brain does this in order to produce a reaction or reflex. A reflex is an action that someoneperforms in response to a stimulus. The reaction time is the amount of time that someone takes inorder to provide a muscular response in response to the presentation of a stimulus. So, when anindividual’s reflex improves, their reaction time also improves because they have a directrelationship (Jasmin, n.d.).

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Term
Spring
Professor
Stacey Pagliaro
Tags
Biology, RNA, Jasmin

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