article summary instructions W2022 (1) x
PSYC2275 – article summary assignment
Your assignment is to write two article summaries over the course of the semester, selecting your articles from the list below. The final due date for both summaries is the last day of classes. I encourage you to submit at least one assignment earlier in the semester so that you can apply any feedback you receive to your second assignment.
· After completion of these assignments, students should have: gained a deeper understanding of biological psychology research; further developed their technical reading and comprehension skills; cultivated their ability to write about the brain in a way that demonstrates their understanding.
1. Each summary should address the following questions about the article (this is not an outline):
· What is the main purpose of the study described in the article? (i.e. what question(s) were the authors attempting to answer by doing the study and why? Generally, you’ll need to provide a small amount of background so that the purpose makes sense.)
· What experiments or tests were performed in the study and why? (it is possible that you will have to exclude less important experiments due to assignment length restrictions)
· What were the results of the experiments/tests and what did these results suggest?
· What were the authors’ conclusions?
· Provide your own critique and/or suggest future directions for research.
**Note: When you are writing your summary, consider not following the organizational structure of the article. Instead, think about addressing each experiment from the study (including the rationale, method used, the findings, and the implications) in a single paragraph. For example, “In order to examine the effect of X, the authors performed Y. They observed that Z, suggesting W.” In other words, you may want to organize each body paragraph around a particular question the researchers were asking and combine the methods and results used to answer that question into one paragraph. This can be a more effective and efficient way of presenting this information compared to separating the methods, results and implications into distinct paragraphs.
2. Imagine that you are writing your summary for one of your peers. You are trying to give them a thorough and clear summary of the paper. You will need to work hard to make sure that each sentence is important as space is limited. **There is no room for “filler”.
3. Your article summary should be between 2 – 2.5 pages, typed and double spaced, with 12pt font. Please use complete sentences and paragraphs that flow in a coherent manner. Please include a title page and a reference page. Your assignment will be graded out of 20 points using the rubric below.
List of articles (choose two):
· Cho, J.-W., Jung, S.-Y., Lee, S.-W., Lee, S.-J., Seo, T.-B., Kim, Y.-P., Kim, D.-Y. (2017) Treadmill exercise ameliorates social isolation-induced depression through neuronal generation in rat pups. Journal of Exercise Rehabilitation 13(6), 627-633.
· Davalos, D., Grutzendler, J., Yang, G., Kim, J. V., Zuo, Y., Jung, S., Littman, D. R., Dustin, M. L., & Gan, W. B. (2005). ATP mediates rapid microglial response to local brain injury in vivo. Nature neuroscience, 8(6), 752–758.
· Dewall, C. N., Macdonald, G., Webster, G. D., Masten, C. L., Baumeister, R. F., Powell, C., Combs, D., Schurtz, D. R., Stillman, T. F., Tice, D. M., & Eisenberger, N. I. (2010). Acetaminophen reduces social pain: behavioral and neural evidence. Psychological science, 21(7), 931–937.
· Richards, S., Mychasiuk, R., Kolb, B., & Gibb, R. (2012). Tactile stimulation during development alters behaviour and neuroanatomical organization of normal rats. Behavioural brain research, 231(1), 86–91.
Fully complete and thorough discussion of the article. The student has identified and discussed all the important elements of the article demonstrating a deep understanding of the study.
Relevant and adequate description of the article. Only minor gaps in content.
Describes the main points of the article with some gaps in content. Some unnecessary repetition or redundant information is present.
Major gaps in content and/or pointless repetition in discussion of the article.
Are your ideas clearly and concisely expressed?
Is your essay clearly organized and do you use transitions between ideas?
Are there grammatical errors or typos in your essay?
The essay is exceptionally well organized and connected with no misspelled words or grammatical errors. Ideas are clearly and concisely expressed.
Material is well organized. The writing could occasionally be clearer or benefit from some transition words but communication is not impaired. Writing style is fairly concise but could be tightened in some sections of the paper. Some minor error of punctuation, spelling, or grammar.
Some lack of organization; re-reading required for clarification of ideas. Ideas tend to be disconnected from each other and the essay is missing structures such as an introduction or conclusion. Some elements of the paper could be rewritten to improve conciseness. Errors of grammar, spelling, or punctuation are fairly frequent.
Individual ideas may be clear but it is very difficult to deduce the connection between them. The paper is missing an organizational structure and cohesive purpose. Conciseness of the writing needs major revision and development. Frequent errors in vocabulary, grammar, spelling, and/or punctuation.
Example article summary x
Brain and Behavior assignment 2: Exposure to light at night article discussion
Fonken, Kitsmiller, Smale, and Nelson performed a study on the impact of nighttime exposure to dim light in diurnal rats (2012). The purpose of this study was to test the impact of exposure to light at night (LAN) in species that sleeps at night, as we do. This is relevant because humans have become increasingly exposed to LAN due to advancements in technology which allow light exposure after the sun sets. This study examined the possible behavioral and physiological maladaptations that may occur in a species that only had daytime light exposure during their evolution. Previous studies have shown that LAN has been linked to increased risks of cancer, heart disease, and metabolic dysfunction due to circadian disruption. Additionally, LAN exposure may cause problems with learning and memory and increase the risk of developing depressive disorders. Here, researchers tested the impact of night exposure to dim light on the cognitive abilities, depression-like behaviours, and hippocampal neuron morphology in a diurnal species of rat. The experimental group, dim LAN (dLAN), was exposed to 10 hours of dim light at night while the control group was exposed to darkness.
In order to test the impact of LAN on spatial learning and memory, the Barnes Maze was used. This maze consisted of a large circular elevated platform ringed by 18 holes. 17 of these holes simply led to a large drop, however one hole contained a dark hiding space suspended below the platform. This was a desirable place for rats as they experience anxiety on the exposed platform of the elevated Barnes maze. Over 4 training days the rats were supposed to learn which hole led to the hiding place, and to remember the position of this hole in future trials. When the researchers assessed the time it took the rats to find the correct hole, they found that the control group improved their time every day, whereas the dLAN rats consistently took longer to find the target hole, and their time never improved. In addition, the researchers found that the dLAN rats consistently made more errors (~ 10 more errors) during each trial than the control rats. In fact, the dLAN rats continued to make errors at the same high rate throughout all the days of the trial. Finally, 24 hours after training in a probe trial, where the target hole was covered, dLAN rats spent less time probing the target hole than control rats. Together these data argue that spatial learning was impaired in the dLAN exposed rats.
The forced swim test was used to determine whether dLAN increased depression-like behaviours in the rats. In this test the rats were placed in a clear cylinder of water while their movements were tracked. Rats alternated between actively trying to escape and simply keeping their heads above water. When a rat stops trying to escape it is thought to reflect behavioural despair as (Can et al., 2012, p. 1). The researcher mesaured the amount of time before the animals stopped trying to escape the cylinder, and they observed that dLAN rats took less time to reach this behavioural despair state than the control rats, suggesting that dLAN can increase depression.
The hippocampus is a critical brain region for spatial learning and depression, therefore the researchers examined hippocampal neuron morphology in control and dLAN exposed rats. In the CA1 and DG region of the hippocampus the basilar dendrites of the dLAN rats are shorter. The hippocampus has a high degree of plasticity which accounts for the structural changes resulting from the light exposure and it plays a crucial role in learning and forming memories, therefore changing its structure could impact these cognitive abilities (Anand & Dhikav, 2012, p.1).
In conclusion, this study demonstrated that depressive like responses and memory and learning problems can result from exposure to dLAN, and this may result from structural changes to hippocampal neurons. This study demonstrates that exposure to dim light at night has adverse effects and therefore its impact on human health should be further investigated.
Anand, K. S., & Dhikav, V. (2012). Hippocampus in health and disease: An overview. Annals of Indian Academy of Neurology, 15(4), 239–246. doi:10.4103/0972-2327.104323
Can, A., Dao, D. T., Arad, M., Terrillion, C. E., Piantadosi, S. C., & Gould, T. D. (2012). The mouse forced swim test. Journal of visualized experiments : JoVE, (59), e3638. doi:10.3791/3638
Fonken, L.K., Kitsmiller, E., Smale, L., Nelson, R.J. (2012) Dim Nighttime Light Impairs Cognition and Provokes Depressive-Like Responses in a Diurnal Rodent. Journal of Biological Rhythms 27(4), 319-327.
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