Biology and Behavior Worksheet
Respond to the following questions in 150-200 words each.
1. Select a hormone and describe how it affects the mind and body. Describe a situation where you experienced this effect.
Cortisol is released when an individual is mentally stressed. Research has confirmed that cortisol can cause anxiety and depression, and contribute to higher chances of anxiety attacks. This hormone can have a powerful effect on your brain, anything that increases cortisol production or decreases cortisol reduction can cause anxiety. Increases of the hormone cortisol can cause chronic stress and chronic stress can damage an individual’s brain structure and connectivity. Also, chronic stress, depression and anxiety can cause lack of appetite, high blood pressure, decrease in muscle tissue, decreased bone density, lowered immunity and inflammatory responses in the body and slow would healing. These can cause eating disorders, heart attack or stroke, easily broken bones, and much more body issues. All these are negative effects that increased levels of cortisol can cause to an individual’s mind and body. The increased amount of cortisol in my body has caused me to suffer from anxiety disorder therefore I suffer from lack of appetite, high blood pressure, and it takes my body longer to heal.
2. Select an action you perform on a daily basis. Outline which parts of the nervous system are involved and how they work together to perform this action.
Unfortunately, a daily action for me is commonly known as “panic attacks” and the Parasympathetic Nervous System (PSNS) is associated with such action. The PSNS works as a calming process in our body whenever we are under stress or taken away from Homeostasis. When the Parasympathetic Nervous System acts in this way it decreases the heart rate and blood pressure, increases saliva and contracts the pupils, speeds up peristalsis, slows down the breathing, digestion starts again, and commences with only mild emotional reactions. An example of when the PSNS kicks in during this process is, let’s say, when someone practices the Alexander Technique Lying Down Procedure, you will often hear a gentle tummy-rumble, which is a welcoming sound as it indicates that this part of the nervous system has kicked in and is starting to calm the person down (meaning that their gut can function again). Each and every person's PSNS has a distinct role when we have panic attack disorder and without it our body would not