2 Genes, Environments, and Development Study Tip: I’ve noticed many students reading textbooks with iPods or similar devices plugged into their ears. I assume they think it will make the studying more enjoyable, but they’re deceiving themselves badly if they think that they are assimilating what they read with anything near the level that they need in order to pass an exam on the reading. I would not be as concerned about this as I am except that I have talked with several of my colleagues who have noticed the same trend that I’ve seen: performance on exam questions that come from reading has dropped off significantly in the past few years. In most cases we see this for the same questions on the same reading. I don’t know for sure what may be going on, but here’s my hypothesis: more students are reading with half of their brain, or more specifically, reading with only half of their attention. We have known from decades of research in cognitive psychology that there is only so much attention to go around, especially in the language domain. When you are listening to someone sing, your brain’s language systems are processing that input. Unfortunately these are the same systems that you need to read, which is, of course, a language process. You may think you can do both, but you can’t. When you have two or more demands on the same system, you go back and forth between them. But in doing so, you miss a lot. All this is more likely if you have the music loud. So my recommendation is this: Turn it off, find a quiet place and read without the distractions. It will take less time and will be much more effective. Key Terms and Concepts oGene oAllele oHomozygous oHeterozygous oEnvironment oGene expression oReaction norm oGene-environment interaction oPhenotype oDNA oDNA bases oRNA oTranscription oTranslation oMutation oDifferentiation oIdeological systems Lesson 2 17
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