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If we have biological rhythms, then is there some sort of biological clock ? In the brain, the hypothalamus, which lies above the pituitary gland, is a main center of homeostasis. Homeostasis is the tendency to maintain a balance, or optimal level, within a biological system.

The brain’s clock mechanism is located in an area of the hypothalamus known as the suprachiasmatic nucleus (SCN)    . The axons of light-sensitive neurons in the retina provide information to the SCN based on the amount of light present, allowing this internal clock to be synchronized with the outside world (Klein, Moore,&Reppert, 1991; Welsh, Takahashi,&Kay, 2010) ( [link] ).

In this graphic, the outline of a person’s head facing left is situated to the right of a picture of the sun, which is labeled ”light” with an arrow pointing to a location in the brain where light input is processed. Inside the head is an illustration of a brain with the following parts’ locations identified: Suprachiasmatic nucleus (SCN), Hypothalamus, Pituitary gland, Pineal gland, and Output rhythms: Physiology and Behavior.
The suprachiasmatic nucleus (SCN) serves as the brain’s clock mechanism. The clock sets itself with light information received through projections from the retina.

Problems with circadian rhythms

Generally, and for most people, our circadian cycles are aligned with the outside world. For example, most people sleep during the night and are awake during the day. One important regulator of sleep-wake cycles is the hormone melatonin    . The pineal gland    , an endocrine structure located inside the brain that releases melatonin, is thought to be involved in the regulation of various biological rhythms and of the immune system during sleep (Hardeland, Pandi-Perumal,&Cardinali, 2006). Melatonin release is stimulated by darkness and inhibited by light.

There are individual differences with regards to our sleep-wake cycle. For instance, some people would say they are morning people, while others would consider themselves to be night owls. These individual differences in circadian patterns of activity are known as a person’s chronotype, and research demonstrates that morning larks and night owls differ with regard to sleep regulation (Taillard, Philip, Coste, Sagaspe,&Bioulac, 2003). Sleep regulation refers to the brain’s control of switching between sleep and wakefulness as well as coordinating this cycle with the outside world.

Disruptions of normal sleep

Whether lark, owl, or somewhere in between, there are situations in which a person’s circadian clock gets out of synchrony with the external environment. One way that this happens involves traveling across multiple time zones. When we do this, we often experience jet lag. Jet lag is a collection of symptoms that results from the mismatch between our internal circadian cycles and our environment. These symptoms include fatigue, sluggishness, irritability, and insomnia    (i.e., a consistent difficulty in falling or staying asleep for at least three nights a week over a month’s time) (Roth, 2007).

Individuals who do rotating shift work are also likely to experience disruptions in circadian cycles. Rotating shift work refers to a work schedule that changes from early to late on a daily or weekly basis. For example, a person may work from 7:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. on Monday, 3:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. on Tuesday, and 11:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. on Wednesday. In such instances, the individual’s schedule changes so frequently that it becomes difficult for a normal circadian rhythm to be maintained. This often results in sleeping problems, and it can lead to signs of depression and anxiety. These kinds of schedules are common for individuals working in health care professions and service industries, and they are associated with persistent feelings of exhaustion and agitation that can make someone more prone to making mistakes on the job (Gold et al., 1992; Presser, 1995).

Questions & Answers

It becoems intersted to know of perception
Edward Reply
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Roselle
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Ashraf
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Bang
Edward Ashraf?
Roselle
Mr. Edward Ashraf?
Roselle
hey this is hari
Hari
No, I'm not Edward Ashraf
Ashraf
Do you mean people's Mind set towards something
Felix
hi
Mupenzi
my name is George
george
Very interesting and indeed
Edward Reply
sir
nisha
I believe psycology courses are often required for so many programs due to the many issues it covers.
Ashley Reply
Dueto the fact it is not easily studied. One can not study the mind hands on because its not matter or energy.
Ashley
The science of studying.
Ashley
psyche: meaning soul
Ashley
psychology: the scientific study of mind and behavior
Ashley
how one behaves
Ashley
I never knew psyche referred to your soul
Shawnte
I have to say I've always been somewhat interested in psychology
Shawnte
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Rafael
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Rafael
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Rafael
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Rafael
suppose you are at a dinner party with your friend.The fork, spoon, knife and glasses all produce noisy sounds.What psychological factors influence the discussion between you and your friend?
Vava Reply
It may give me an impression to the other person that the person who makes the noise is nervous or either ill-mannered.
Indefatigable
I would think that people at the table are not comfortable which could be because of the environment or the topic of discussion or the thoughts working in their minds.
Ritu
depending how loud and frequently the sound are made the discussion can change
David
Maybe the noise is to distract the discussion between my friend and I or the discussion I'm supposed to have with my friend is confidential and that's the only way we can talk freely
Naomi
why functinalism?
philip Reply
which question is important in this chapter
Mahi Reply
what is the difference between retention and application and what can be done to improve the connection between the two
frederick Reply
Clues should be developed and associations be formed
philip
what is the study of personality?
Yonatan Reply
psychology
Racheal
individual traits
Utkarsh
Personality psychology
Riya
personality psychology is a branch of psychology that studies personality and its variation among individuals
Swapnil
what are the basic statistical concepts in psychological research ?
Pawanjeet Reply
mean ,median ,NPC ,t ,z test
Soumyashree
what is the NPC?
Fouad
Maen median mood stander daviation
Janat
Percentile also
Janat
NPC stans for normal probability curve
Janat
Normal probability curve (NPC)
Janat
yez
Soumyashree
Yhn koi b questione kr skta h?
Janat
is there any scale for measuring post COVID Anxiety?
Richard Reply
I'd like to know if there's any?
Zino
I've heard about Coronavirus Anxiety Scale (CAS). It works as a mental health screener but I'm not sure anyone can do the test except psychologist
divani
Thanks !
Zino
no
Hausa
Thanks Divani zahra
Mohd
explain the function how intelligence and learning function together
Truvanie Reply
Learning comes before intelligence Learning could be the process of acquiring knowledge. Or the ability to gain knowledge Whereas intelligence is the display of acquired knowledge.
Felix
I love it
Teena
Jade Baccus, this is kind of hard "to me" it is the root of living altogether, without both how can we live in a world like this? how can we make new discoveries?
Jade
intelligence: can be nourisht and remain indipendent from how much knowledge we aquire. But can be displayed thru use and application of knowledge itself
fabio
Hey, is there any classes by psychology grp
Smitha
Hlw Every0ne
Khalilur
learning can be work together with intelligence like a partner with the thinking of life
James
schools of psychology
Onogwu Reply
hi
giri
hi
Swapnil
hi
Munir
hello
Imsekar
hai
Tu
Hi
piya
hello
kajal
Hello
Mohamed
hii
grace
hi
george
hi
Anuja
hi
kajal
gud night
grace
Good night everyone
Anuja
good night 😴🌃
Swapnil
hello
Ananya
What's the point of this chat section?
Mohamed
to say hello and to feel solidarity.
Tu
the early childhood can reference the emotions?
Sammi Reply
Our early childhood experiences are important in the development of our personalities. It kind of shapes our behaviour and mannerism.
Debarpita
Especially in choosing career
Felix
😅Well that's complicated. It differs from person to person.
Debarpita
The early childhood or let's say your upbringing plays a vital role in driving your emotions. If one did not have a pleasant childhood it's highly likely they are more vulnerable to depression or some other psychological condition.
Indefatigable
how to change the emotion?
Sammi Reply
change the thought at hand .
Shawnte
Then I'm assuming the mind will begin to let go of the prior emotion.
Shawnte
Yes right. Think about something else, then emotion will follow.
Annie
then join life
Munir
I don't understand about this
Munir
Emotions run hand in hand with the mind and environment. A person can be sad or angry on a certain things going on in their mind then something can happen in the environment around them that m adds keys them happy.
Douglas
how has the new legalization of marijuana effected the anti drug programs
Summer Reply
how to change the emotional ?
Sammi

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Source:  OpenStax, Psychology. OpenStax CNX. Feb 03, 2015 Download for free at https://legacy.cnx.org/content/col11629/1.5
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