Find an article in the newspaper that reports the results of some research (hint: check the science section). For that article, try to identify as many “scientific method details” about the research as you can.

For example: what was the hypothesis of the research? What methodology was used? How were the participants recruited? What were the key findings of the study? And feel free to be critical – what were the limitations of the study? How convinced are you of the study’s results?

Finally, please make sure you at least give the name of the article and the newspaper it came from. Bonus points if you give the citation in proper APA format!

31 thoughts on “SQ2”

  1. An article from The New York Times called “Sedate a Plant, and It Seems to Lose Consciousness. Is It Conscious?” describes the findings of an experiment published in the Annals of Botany journal. The research suggests that plants can be frozen in place with the use of anesthetics. Since plants literally have a life of their own and move with the sun, the researchers hypothesized that, just like human beings, anesthetics would be useful in sedating plants. The method to conduct this experiment included trapping pea plants in glass chambers with ether and soaking the roots of the sensitive plant and seedlings in lidocaine. The researchers also measured the electrical activity of a Venus flay trap’s cells. After about an hour, the experimenters noticed that the plants became “unresponsive.” The seedlings and the Venus fly trap did not move or react to stimuli. When the anesthetics wore off, the researchers found that the plants began moving once again. Through this experiment, the scientists have discovered a way to sedate plants from moving, ultimately deeming them unconscious. The intention of this study was for doctors to better understand the variety of anesthetics that are used in surgeries; after completing this experiment, the new findings allowed researchers to conclude that the unconsciousness of the plants from the use of anesthetics suggests that plants are conscious otherwise.

    Klein, J. (2018, February 2). Sedate a Plant, and It Seems to Lose Consciousness. Is it Conscious? The New York Times, Retrieved from http://www.nytimes.com

    1. Hi Afifa,

      What an interesting article! It’s so cool how science is experimenting on plants to learn the effects of anesthetics on people. I wonder what else they can do to learn from the effects on plants in regards to humans. And i wonder if it could take place for some experiments that are done on mice or other lab animals.


  2. I found an article in the New York Times science section that caught my attention called Elephants Are Very Scared of Bees. That Can Save Their Lives. The hypothesis that I got out of the article was that bee swarms can help keep elephants from eating farmers crops to prevent killing strategies. The methods used in the study took place in Africa and Asia to see if elephants differ in behavior towards the bees. Beehives were strung every 20 meters alternating with fake hives. The key findings in Africa showed that they could keep 80 percent of elephants away from farm land. Asia elephants behaved differently than Africa elephants, who shake their heads or shower themselves with dust which the Asia elephants didn’t do, but they did show other signs of fear like noises, backing away, touching each other for comfort. An idea the article expressed for the difference in behavior was that Africa bees are more aggressive than Asia bees which could have different impacts on fear levels of the elephants. Participants recruited were farmers in African and Asia, and Dr. King who conducted the study really had to persuade them at the beginning of the study, but were willing to do it for the free beehive. But now participants are more interested and are volunteering. The limitations I found were that it has not yet been studied in other countries that have elephants, so we don’t know if it would be an effective study for all elephants. Another limitation is that elephants are very smart and learn quickly and could eventually out smart the bees. And also farmers have to be willing to work with the bees too, and use strategies like dog barks, or other strategies that do not cause harm to the elephants. Am I convinced? I would say that I am definitely interested in this study. Not only because elephants are endangered, but the strategy of hiring poachers to kill the elephants to stay out of the crops is just HORRIBLE. I am not so convinced that it is a permanent result to keep elephants out of crops, especially if Asia elephants are already less scared of bees than Africa elephants. But I do think it is a great start to more humane crop barrier strategies, that can also be beneficial to nature, like the bees which also help pollinate. I would be interested in the long term results of this study.

    Weintraub, Karen. (2018, January 26). Elephants Are Very Scared of Bees. That Could Save Their Lives. The New York Times. Retrieved from http://www.nytimes.com

    1. Hello, Kaitly,

      I have to say that, like you, I find your article very interesting. However, what I like the most was how you point out the possible limitations of this study. I completely agree with you that, since there are many other locations where there are elephants, it is risky to assume that their behavior would be the same everywhere. I also agree with you in that elephants are, if not the most, one of the most intelligent animals; therefore, the result of this study may differ if conducted again over time.

      Nice job!


  3. Hello, everyone!

    I found an article in the New York Times called “Heart Stents Are Useless for Most Stable Patients. They’re Still Widely Used.” The hypothesis in this article is that instead of being the heart stents what provides temporary relief to patients suffering from angina (severe chest pain), is the placebo effect what is making them feel better. To test this hypothesis, in 2012, researchers conducted a study in which they had two groups of individuals (all suffering from severe angina). On the one hand, the individuals in group one underwent surgery and had heart stents placed. On the other hand, the individuals in group two, who thought they were to undergo the same medical procedure, were sedated for 15 minutes, but no heart stent was placed. Six weeks after the study, the researchers checked upon the participants. They asked the participants to run on a treadmill to see if there was any difference in performance between those with the heart stents and those without them. It resulted that there was no difference between the groups. Both the individuals in group one and group two began to experience severe chest pain and suffocation.

    Before being carried out, this study encountered significant opposition because it was considered unethical and dangerous for the patients/participants. I also have mixed feelings about this study. I personally believe that anything that involves medical procedures should be clearly stated to the participants. Also, this study has been conducted only once. Therefore, I am not convinced of its reliability.

    Carroll, A. E. (2018, February 12). “Heart Stents Are Useless for Most Stable Patients. They’re Still Widely Used.”. The New York Times . Retrieved February 12, 2018, from


  4. In her New York Times article, “Starfish See Pretty Well in the Deep Ocean. By the Way, Starfish Have Eyes”, Joanna Klein describes the scientific breakthrough made about starfish. The purpose of this was to determine two things: first, which species of starfish had eyes, and second, among those, how well are they able to see? Researchers collected starfish in the waters of Greenland’s coast. The collected 13 species of starfish, with the intention of having specimen representative of the various ecologies. They discovered that only one species did not have eyes. The eyes are located on the underside, at the tip of each fish arm. Furthermore, many starfish can create their own light, and this light is useful for multiple purposes. For example, light may be used to hide from potential threats, find food, or even for breeding purposes. This study was very useful to the scientific community but there are reasons to question its validity, or at least, the extent of its validity. It is stated that thirteen species were studied– but that thirteen is in comparison to how many other species? Who is to say that those selected species are even fully representative of the various ecologies? It also goes unmentioned how many of each species was collected. It’s possible that a small quantity of each species may have resulted in findings that were not wholly accurate. In addition, it is said in the article that the starfish were taken from waters off the coast of Greenland, but there is no evidence that the results from the Greenland starfish can be generalized to starfish, as a whole, from other regions of the world. Overall, the study was a good contribution to research, and although it had its imperfections, further results can be found should the experiment be replicated.

    Klein, Joanna. “Starfish See Pretty Well Deep in the Ocean. By the Way, Starfish Have Eyes.” New York Times, 7 Feb. 2018, http://www.nytimes.com/2018/02/07/science/starfish-

  5. In the New York Times article called “A Brain Implant Improved Memory,” Benedict Carey described the effect that a brain implant had on the memory of people with epilepsy. The hypothesis for this study was that researchers wanted to see whether the implantation of a device that sends timed electrical pulses will help enhance memory, aid recall, and improve cognitive functioning.

    The methodology that was used for this study was: People who have epilepsy were evaluated before their operation by having electrodes thread into the brain while doctors waited for the seizures to occur in order to determine if surgery would prevent them. Scientists informed patients prior to the evaluation and used this period to give memory tests and record their findings. Scientists asked the patients to memorize a list of words and after distracting them, asked them to recall as many as they could. The researchers kept track of how many words people memorized with the brain stimulation system turned on, and others were done with it turned off. The research team tested the memory aid in 25 people with epilepsy who were being evaluated for an operation.

    The key finding of this study was that when the device was turned on, it improved word recall by 15 percent.

    The limitations of this study were: The participants did not know if the stimulation was turned on or off or if it influenced their memory. Additionally, some peoples’ memory may be better than others without the device which can skew results.

    I think that this study’s results contributed to the discussion of how technology can aid in recall and enhance memory. I think that this study will serve as a catalyst to other researchers in terms of creating less invasive procedures to improve memory.

    Carey, B. (2018, February 6). A Brain Implant Improved Memory, Scientists Report. New York Times. Retrieved from http://www.nytimes.com

    1. Hi Simona,

      I found your article very interesting! I know someone who had epilepsy as a child, who naturally outgrew this disorder, but has a hard time remembering things from the past. It’s sad to see how much of an effect the seizures had on the brain and its memory recall. This new technology is a great start especially if epilepsy is diagnosed at its early stages, because it can prevent future nerve damage, thus improving memory and cognitive skills. Do you think is was ethical for those under the experiment to not know if the stimulation was altering their memory?

  6. I found an interesting article on the New York Times titled “Being Antisocial Leads to a Longer Life. For Marmots.” The article talks about the research of marmots and what helps them live a long life. In the research, with the hypothesis evidently being the title itself, marmots were tagged and their social activities were tracked. The method researchers used to conduct this study was by keeping marmots in 11 different colonies and observing various social activities such as sitting next to each other, foraging, playing, and grooming together. It was then concluded that the reason why an antisocial life for marmots may prove to be in their favor is because they might be spreading diseases within each other or even cause disturbances during hibernation. It was also said that marmots by nature like to live solitary lives. For example, if the marmot population grows too large, a female marmot will ask her daughter to live nearby, but often only half of those daughters actually end up doing so. Although the idea was tested, there wasn’t a clear and concise result. Researcher’s also believe that this study can be looked further into and can have many more possible explanations. I personally think that this study didn’t really prove much or pose as an extraordinary finding for science. It is interesting to see that being antisocial is actually helpful for certain animals but I didn’t find much of a legitimate conclusion to this research. As I am sure the reasons mentioned in the article could conform to the hypothesis, “the findings warrant further study into the social habitats of seemingly antisocial animals.” All in all, the study is quite distinctive but requires more research and maybe a clearer answer as to why marmots prefer being antisocial which helps them live longer.

    Quenqua, D. (2018, January 17). Being Antisocial Leads to a Longer Life. For Marmots. The New York Times. Retrieved from https://www.nytimes.com/2018/01/17/science/marmots-antisocial-lifespan.html?rref=collection%2Fcolumn%2Ftrilobites

  7. PTSD is Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, which is a disorder caused by prior horrific experiences which people have difficulty getting over. In the article, “Pregnant women with PTSD have higher levels of stress hormone cortisol,” composed by the University of Michigan, researchers looked at cortisol levels in pregnant women to determine whether high cortisol levels would have a detrimental effect on the development of a fetus. A study was preformed with 395 women, which was broken into four groups: “those without trauma, those with a trauma but no PTSD, those with classic PTSD and those with dissociative PTSD,” (University of Michigan 2017). The hypothesis among the researchers was that those with PTSD would have higher levels of cortisol, thus be more stressed. For the study, saliva samples were taken from the women at different times of the day and the cortisol results that derived from the samples were compared. Studies stated that within the dissociative group of pregnant women, cortisol levels were significantly higher, especially in the beginning of their pregnancies. In addition, 8% of women with PTSD had symptoms associated with anxiety and high cortisol, whereas 14% of the women had chronic PTSD with high cortisol levels as well. All in all, the results drawn from the experiment were shocking to the researchers as their hypothesis was slightly negated.

    A few limitations I found in the article are listed in the following: participant background information, missing location, unmentioned baby effects/testing, unmentioned environmental factors, unmentioned additional health issues, etc. There are many factors that were not mentioned in the article. Foremost, there was not a lot of information about where the participants were from and how they began to take part in the study. Also, the University of Michigan researchers did indeed conduct the experiment, but the participants locations were not identified. Although the mothers were tested throughout the pregnancy, researchers followed the mothers until six weeks after the baby was born and no experimentation was done to the baby to see if the high cortisol levels indeed had an effect on the baby in any way of development. Furthermore, besides PTSD, no other outside factors were mentioned such as living background, location and if the mothers had any other health problems.

    University of Michigan. (2017, December 5). Pregnant women with PTSD have higher levels of stress hormone cortisol. ScienceDaily. http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/12/171205130121.htm

  8. An article in the New York Times titled “Cancer Risk from Cellphone Radiation is Small, Studies Show” is written as a discussion on the findings of two government studies conducted on rats and on mice. The studies were done to find whether or not prolonged exposure to radiation from cellphones can be hazardous to the wellbeing of a human. The hypothesis of these studies was based off of popular belief that, to some extent, radiation from phones definitely had its adverse affects and could lead to organ damage and eventual death; the scientists hypothesized that there was a correlation between incidence of disease caused by radiation and increased use of cellphone. The participants of this study were animals who were exposed to radiation at a rate of almost 9 hours a day for two years. The results of the study showed that male rats/mice were more prone to getting heart tumors, whereas the female rats/mice were unaffected for the most part. The proposed explanation for this phenomenon was given as the male rats/mice supporting a larger mass and bigger size which may have led for them to absorb more radiation then their female counterparts. Another finding of the study was that the rats who were exposed to the cellphone radiation actually lived longer than the control group; this may have been due to the proposed explanation that radiation may aide in easing inflammation and therefore decreasing the likelihood of chronic kidney disorder which common kills rats. In my opinion, the results of this study are rather limited because the body size of rats/mice is so comparatively tiny to humans that the extended exposure to cellphone radiation (9 hours a day, for 2 years) may have been too much. An average human does not use their cellphone on a consistent basis for 9 hours and they have a larger body mass which may cause them to lessen the effects of the radiation (but that’s just my theory). I feel like the scientists could have been more critical in exposing the rats/mice to a number of radiation set to their body mass so that the results could have been more precise and helpful, in my opinion.

    Grady, D. (2018, February 2). Cancer Risk from Cellphone Radiation is Small, Studies Show. The New York Times, Retrieved from http://nytimes.com

    1. Well this was an interesting read mainly because I do use my phone alot and we are surrounded by technology everywhere that almost everyone everywhere absorbs some sort of radiation. But to what effects it harms us I do not know because it probably is dependent on each person and how much their body can tolerate. I’ve read a few articles on radiation and how alot of people are constantly on their phone, but so far I don’t think I have found concrete evidence as to why it’s so bad to like use your phone 24/7. This could probably be a reason as to why some radiation doesn’t affect humans that much due to their size.

    2. Faiza,
      This article was really interesting to me because especially in today’s age, people from 8-80 are using cell phones and a study like this is more prevalent today than it was 10 years ago. I agree with you on the fact that the size of the rats and how long they were exposed to radiation for was a limitation. I’m curious to know how cell phone radiation impacts people across generations. As we are using our phones and other devices more frequently, are we more prone to the negative effects of radiation or are we becoming more resistant to it?

  9. In the New York Times article, “How To Make A Killer Whale Say ‘Hello’”, several researchers at the Pontifical Catholic University of Chile went to France to conduct a study on two captive Killer Whales, named Wikie and Moana, which was its calf. Their purpose was to observe how important it was for these whales to be able to communicate with others of its own kind. To do so, the researchers selected Wikie to repeat certain phrases to Moana, such as “Amy” and “one two three”. In the past, scientists were aware of the Killer Whales’ intelligence, being able to develop dialects for their languages. What’s more is the ability for them to adapt to new dialects my mimicking what they hear, including that of other animals. This proved to be true when Wikie was able to copy the words to a certain degree of accuracy, as detected by human judges and electronic software. It was especially surprising that the orcas were able to imitate human noises, since the vocal structure of the species is drastically different compared to a human’s. Although Wikie can mimic the sounds of other animals, it would fail to survive in the wild since it never learned the languages of other orcas. This promotes the fact that orcas can only thrive in the wild. However, they are also considered to be endangered, forcing them to be held captive. As of now, they are stuck between a rock and a hard place. One flaw in this study of course is the really small sample size, being one killer whale. Wikie on represents a small minority, which can be further investigated on other whales.

    Yin, S. (2018, January 31). How to Get a Killer Whale to Say ‘Hello’. Retrieved February 14, 2018, from https://www.nytimes.com/2018/01/31/science/killer-whale-hello-mimicry.html?rref=collection%2Fcolumn%2Ftrilobites

    1. Hey Jimmy,

      This was not only interesting but eye-opening. Orcas are incredibly intelligent animals and us humans keep them captive and do not let them flourish out in the wild where they belong. It’s interesting that they get to better understand the intelligence of an orca by doing studies like such. I feel like we can still study these animals while keeping them in the wild where they belong and not captive.

    2. Hi Jimmy,

      This study is interesting and important to help us see the relationship between humans and animals. Animals are different from us in many ways, yet also similar. They do not talk like humans, but they have a way of communicating with one another. They communicate with humans in their own language and this study showed that they can also imitate human sounds. It is fascinating how fast they can learn these noises and respond in the same way that the researcher asked them to. I wonder how long they trained them in this study and I also hope that these studies are conducted in a cruelty-free way although they are kept captive. This study relates to our class squirrel experiment and shows us how animals behave in environments with humans in them.

  10. The article stalking squirrels for science was written by Bethany Brookshire. Talks about a curious man named Bill Bateman who moved to New York. One thing he was very curious and noticed were the squirrels, he noticed these squirrels everywhere and realized that these furry creatures aren’t scared of humans. He wanted to know how close can he get to squirrels before they realize to move. He decided to run an experiment where he hypothesized that squirrels used certain cues from people to know when to run away. They would move away from someone when the person does something different. For example a kid running toward them, or when someone stares at them, etc. So he tested his hypothesis with 4 different methods. The 4 methods were walking on the sidewalk but not looking at them and staring at them, the other 2 were leaving sidewalk not looking at them and also looking at them. He walked slowly in all of them and dropped colored pen lids to see how far he had gotten to them and measured the distance. His results showed that squirrels 40 percent of the time would run when Batemen would stare at them and 90 percent of the time they would go away when scientists left the sidewalk to chase them. Due to these tiny cues from humans squirrels are able to live in the city alongside them.

  11. “A Before-School Exercise Program May Help Children Thrive” is an article, by Gretchen Reynolds, that discusses the benefits of exercising for children. The news article claims that exercise programs in school help young students live more happy and fulfilling lives however the benefits will vary depending on the students amount of participation. This could be the hypothesis of the study. The method involved a popular school program, where parents host a exercise routine for 1 hour before class, was used to conduct the study. Students ranging from kindergarten to eighth grade was selected for control and experimental group. Students that didn’t participate were in the control group and those that did participate where in the experimental group. BMI and interviews were recorded after 12 weeks. The results seems to support the idea that exercise is beneficial because BMI and happiness improved for the experimental group. While the control group had no change. I think the results of the study is valid because there are many other studies done that shows the benefits of exercise. This experiment can be reproduced which will improve the reliability and validity.

    Reynolds, G. (2018, February 14). A Before-School Exercise Program May Help Children Thrive.

  12. The article I chose to write on is called ‘Eating Leafy Greens Each Day Tied to Sharper Memory, Slower Decline’ by Allison Aubrey. In this study, the goal was to find if seniors (who were the chosen subjects of this study) who ate more vegetables such as spinach and kale, had a slower rate of cognitive decline. This was a 5 year prospective study of 960 participants of ages 58-99 years who were apart of the ‘Memory and Aging Project’. Every year, scientists would give the participants food questionnaires that asked about their diet and also ran separate tests in order to properly assess their memory. Furthermore, the participants were separated into 5 groups according to their vegetable intake in their diet. As the years went on, the scientist continued testing the participants on their diet and memory. It turned out that those who were in the group that had the highest count of green vegetable intake rate of decline was about half the decline rate of the group that barely ate greens. With that being said, the scientist concluded that the consumption of approximately 1 serving per day of green vegetables and leafy may help to slow cognitive decline with aging.
    I found this study to be intriguing since I am particularly intrigued by the memory aspect of the brain. It is nice to see that we are scientifically advanced enough to find information that can help for the greater good and for the future of people. Our memory is something that should be precious to all of us since it is very distinct to that of those around of us. People say that you should always listen to your mother, well now you can thank mom for making you stay extra time at the dinner table because little did you know it’ll help your memory when you’re older.

    Aubrey, Allison. “Eating Leafy Greens Each Day Tied to Sharper Memory, Slower Decline.” NPR, NPR, 5 Feb. 2018, http://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2018/02/05/582715067/eating-leafy-greens-daily-may-help-keep-minds-sharp.

  13. There is an article in the New York Times titled “A Brain Implant Improved Memory, Scientists Report” was a very interesting read. Scientists have developed an implant that they hypothesized will improve memory. Although it is still in the experimental stage, the test they conducted gave results of better word recall of about 15%. This is equivalent to the amount that Alzheimer’s disease takes in 2.5 years. Scientists are hoping to make this implant a new way of treating things like dementia, and brain injuries that impair memory. It has only been tested in individuals with epilepsy, so its applicability is unknown for now. 25 people with epilepsy that were in the process of being evaluated for surgery were the individuals chosen to test out this new device. The evaluation consisted of doctors placing electrodes in the patient’s brain, specifically in areas that relate to memory. They then waited to see if the patients had seizures, which would prevent them from being able to have the surgery. The waiting period was said to have lasted weeks. The researchers used this to their advantage and conducted word memory tasks on the patients while they were waiting for their results. They were asked to memorize a list of words. They were then distracted and later asked to recall the list from before. Each patient went through many memory tasks, sometimes with the stimulation system turned on, other times with it turned off. This was done so the researchers would be able to compare the two. The author stated that this experimental device has both opportunities and risks. The risks involve the fact that it is a highly delicate operation to place the electrodes on the brain. I think that if this device is proven to be 100% successful, will be a major step in the scientific community. Being able to treat injuries that result in memory damage is an amazing thing that will help an immense amount of people. I really hope that this implant will succeed.

    Carey, B. (2018, February 6). A Brain Implant Improved Memory, Scientists Report. Retrieved February 14, 2018 from https://www.nytimes.com

      1. Farzana,

        It did not specify if the patients had a seizure. What the author said about it was that they “wait for seizures to occur to see whether surgery might prevent them.” After that, the author did not go into any more detail about seizures. Hope this helps!

  14. The article that I chose is titled “When It’s Playtime, Many Kids Prefer Reality Over Fantasy” by Bruce Bower from Science News. Young children are creative in so many ways, with fantasy play being one of them. Kids always find a way to entertain themselves, either with toys, household items, or their imaginative abilities. They know how to create characters, give them names, and create scenarios. However, recent studies have shown that kids prefer realistic activities and helping, rather than fantasy play. A study was conducted by psychologist Angeline Lillard from the University of Virginia in Charlottesville to see if children preferred realistic daily activities or fantasy-world play. The hypothesis of the research was that children would prefer real activities over pretend ones. The participants that were recruited were 100 white, American middle-class preschoolers all ranging from age 3 to age 6. The experimenter would show the children a picture of an activity being done by a child and a photo of a child pretending to do the actual action. Some of these actions would be cutting vegetables, riding a horse, feeding a baby, and washing dishes. The results proved the researcher’s hypothesis. One key finding of the study was that the preschoolers preferred the real activity over the pretend one. They would prefer the real actions because some of these children haven’t experienced them and would like to learn. Another finding of the study was that as the children got older, they preferred the real activities over the pretend one. Compared to a 6-year-old, a 3-year-old preferred the pretend action. Lillard believed that kids prefer real experiences and need these experiences in order to learn and grow in society. I am convinced of this study’s results and believe that it helps researchers follow learning patterns in children and their preferences. However, there are a lot of limitations to this study. One of these limitations are that the children that were picked were all white and came from the middle-class. Another limitation was that these children were from the United States, a Western country. Children from other countries are already predisposed to these actions and chores at a young age due to their environmental circumstances and social background. Another limitation is the age range, perhaps the researchers could have started at a younger age and followed up with them later at an older age, older than the age 6. Lastly, the experimenters only showed them pictures and we cannot fully conclude a child’s behavior based on them picking from a limited selection of activities and cards. Overall, this was an interesting study to read about and I believe that studies like this one can help us to better understand developmental psychology.

    Bower, B. (2018, February 07). When its playtime, many kids prefer reality over fantasy. Retrieved February 14, 2018, from https://www.sciencenews.org/article/kids-play-fantasy-reality?mode=topic&context=49

  15. In Steph Yin’s article “Do Lefties Have an Advantage in Sports? It Depends” a study conducted by Florian Loffing, a sports scientist at the University of Oldenburg in Germany, has recently found that left handed players have an advantage in sports requiring limited time for a person to react. Dr. Loffing analyzed lefties from several sports including baseball, cricket, table tennis, badminton, tennis and squash. The methodology used for racket sports was done by noting the time between racket and ball contact. Similarly, in baseball and cricket it involved the time between ball release and bat contact. Dr. Loffing tallied the number of lefties from each sports top 100 players from 2009 to 2014. His hypothesis gives credit to the nature versus nurture argument as to why lefties have a slight edge. The nature hypothesis explanation is based on the fact that the right brain coordinates the left side of the body as well as visual-spatial awareness. The nurture hypothesis explanation suggests that opponents will be less likely to predict movements as they are accustomed to for example hitting balls towards the right.
    I am very skeptical of this study because it was not specified in what part of the world the left handed individuals were recruited from, this could be a limitation. Left handedness and right handedness as well as being ambidextrous can be learned but the ability is also influenced by genetics. It can be possible that Dr. Loffing was conducting the experiment in a country that has a higher prevalence of left handed individuals than does most of the population in other countries or on Earth. Therefore the sample would be reflective of the population demonstrating a higher ratio of left handed individuals than average. Results would then be skewed and inaccurate. I am not too convinced with this study but I do feel that the nature versus nurture theories as to why lefties may have an advantage are both reasonably strong arguments.

    Yin,S (2017, November 21) Do Lefties Have an Advantage in Sports? It Depends. The New York Times.
    Retrieved on February 14, 2018 from

  16. An article from The New York Times titled “How Cockroaches Crash Into Walls and Keep Going” by Douglas Quenqua explains how cockroaches can run into walls due to their exoskeletons. The researchers found that cockroaches are one of the most fastest insects however they collide into walls many times. Out of curiosity, researchers sought out to find whether crashing into walls were used as a strategy or was just accidental for the roaches. Hence the research began. From what I read, it seemed to be that the hypothesis of the research study was that cockroaches strategically run into walls. The method consisted of using “high-speed videography” to record 18 male American cockroaches running constantly on a acrylic track. The videos were then viewed in slow motion to study the cockroaches. Researches discovered that 80 percent of the time, the roaches crashed into the walls with their heads, the rest of the time they were angling their head up. The researches concluded that the roaches liked to run full speed because their exoskeleton is strong enough. Their hypothesis was proved wrong. The limitations of the study obviously is that cockroaches are hard to identity so if the 18 cockroaches were studied it would be hard to solely follow each one. Another limitation was that there were only 18 roaches studied; cockroaches are infested everywhere, how can just one very small portion of the roaches be generalized? Another limitation of the study is that the cockroaches were only studied in an acrylic track, which possibly could have interfered with the results. For example, maybe the cockroaches acted the way they did because they were in an environment they were not familiar with? To resolve this, the cockroaches should have been studied in different environments, to insure that the environment is not a confound and or interfering with the results. Overall, this article was very interesting and easy to read, however they could have done a better job in describing the method and giving more details of the results. I found it very interesting that the research can lead to further research on robots. This article talked about how the research found on cockroaches can be used on robots. It can help scientists create robots that can be built with simple bodies and equipment similar to the exoskeletons of the roaches, so that they could be better at the tasks at hand and create less damage. This in turn, would save money for many companies because they would no longer need to use expensive and big equipment.
    APA citation:
    Quenqua, D. (2018, February 13). How Cockroaches Crash Into Walls and Keep Going. Retrieved February 14, 2018, from https://www.nytimes.com

  17. Hello Everyone,
    I found this article in the New York Times called “Some Songbirds Have Brains Specially Designed to Find Mates for Life” by Joanna Klein it was an interesting read. This article talks about how songbirds that form lifelong mating partners have brain systems tuned to fit together perfectly. This article grabbed my attention because over the past decade the researchers looking into the chickpea-sized brains of finches have discovered that each sex uses what’s called its sound control system to convert sound waves to social messages and then use them to find mates, kind of how humans use vocal sounds to communicate. And while these systems are well-developed and finely tuned in both sexes of songbirds, the wiring is different. I believe the hypothesis of this article is that how well a bird learns songs depend on the genetic predisposition to tune into sounds specific to their species. But experience is important too. The researchers show how female’s song, memorizes it and then stores it as a template for evaluating a mate’s song. The researchers also prove how female tends to elaborate songs better with more syllabus. I find it interesting how the researcher from the article Dr. Woodley believes how by understanding more about how songbirds use their brains to make sense of sound, she can learn more about how humans use theirs to develop a spoken language early to communicate later in life. Dr. Woolley’s lab has been looking into the acoustic systems of zebra, Bengalese, and long-tailed finches to see how their brains take in and process sounds, learning, performing and analyzing different parts of them to make sense of songs. She found out how a males’ system is designed to recognize songs of other males and copy the father. The studies also have found if they don’t memorize within 90 days especially when their brains are malleable, then they can never recognize the songs. Overall, I believe this article was an easy read and it was very interesting to find out how songbirds use their brain to interpret sound, scientists can uncover how humans learn spoken the language from a young age. I wanted this article to talk more about their methods and the technologies they used to examine the birds over the decade research.

    APA Citation:
    Klein, J. (2018, February 13). Some Songbirds Have Brains Specially Designed to Find Mates for Life. Retrieved February 15, 2018 from (https://www.nytimes.com).

  18. Taili Gasso
    SQ 2

    An article that I found in the New York Times science section is called, “Sedate a Plant, and It Seems to Lose Consciousness. Is It Conscious?” This article speaks about the intelligence of plants and how they react to different stimuli and tranquilizers. The plants in this study were infused with a of variety of anesthetics. This experiment was set to help doctors gain a better understanding of anesthetics in surgeries but this experiment also informs about the complexity of plants as living organisms. The researchers measured the results from pea plants and Venus Fly Ttraps and found that sedating them was a success. Using lidocaine, in a glass sealed chamber, allowed for the plants to become unresponsive within the next hour. Something that the experiment lacks is the clear hypothesis of plants that this article is trying to make. I believe that the effect on plants should be further studied with a clear hypothesis and not just for the understanding of medicine.

    Klein, J. (2018, February 02). Sedate a Plant, and It Seems to Lose Consciousness. Is It Conscious? Retrieved February 15, 2018, from https://www.nytimes.com/2018/02/02/science/plants-consciousness-anesthesia.html?rref=collection%2Fcolumn%2Ftrilobites&action=click&contentCollection=science®ion=stream&module=stream_unit&version=latest&contentPlacement=10&pgtype=collection

  19. The article I read titled “How Cockroaches Crash Into Walls and Keep Going” which I came across in the New York Times was very interesting. In the article the researchers were attempting to figure out whether or not the fact that cockroaches crash into objects as they scamper is a flaw in the design or an elaborate strategy of theirs (speed over accuracy). The researchers had observed the behaviors of cockroaches and from those observations formulated the hypothesis that cockroaches were aware that their exoskeleton could take the hit and were also aware that no loss in momentum would occur. The way the researchers tested this hypothesis was by using high speed videography to record cockroaches as they scampered across the floor and attempted to scale a wall vertically. What they found was that most of the cockroaches did not slow down as they approached the wall and they also did not lose any momentum and were able to scale the wall perfectly at the same speed from which they were running across the floor.

    APA Citation : Quenqua, D. (2018, February 13). How Cockroaches Crash Into Walls and Keep Going. Retrieved February 15, 2018, from https://www.nytimes.com/2018/02/13/science/cockroaches-crash-robots.html?rref=collection%2Fsectioncollection%2Fscience&action=click&contentCollection=science®ion=rank&module=package&version=highlights&contentPlacement=4&pgtype=sectionfront

  20. I found an article in the New York Times time called “Shooting in the Dark” That describes an experiment in which researchers studying the effects of violent video games on behavior. Researchers Hypothesized That violent video games would cause aggressive behavior. The method used in this study was a comparative test where one set undergrad students were told to play violent video games, and another were given nonviolent games for 15 minutes where the arousal states were measured. After gaming both sets of students were told dole out hot sauce to a fellow student who supposedly did not like spicy food. The key findings from the experiment show that players of violent videogame gave significantly higher portions of hot sauce. I Believe this was a great well conducted experiment because it shows a link between the game and peoples logic and decision making. However, the researcher constantly referred to violent crimes like the columbine shooting for comparison. While I feel the researcher proved these video game provides a slight increase in aggressiveness; they do not prove any link between video games and real world violent crimes.
    Carey, B. (2013, February 11). Shooting in the Dark. Retrieved from http://www.nytimes.com/2013/02/12/science/studying-the-effects-of-playing-violent-video-games.html

  21. The article I chose from the science section of the NYTimes called “ From the Mouths of Babes and Birds”. The study was about looking at how songbirds learn new songs by changing the order of “syllabes”. The researchers were teaching young zebra finches by putting them in soundproof boxes and piping the song of an adult male zebra finch then piping in a new song that required the birds to switch the order of syllables. The participants were young zebra finches and it was unclear how the researchers acquired them. The key findings from the study was that the birds could only learn the new song after practicing very often for weeks. Then by analyzing recordings of infant babbling the researchers found that babies would introduce a new syllable and repeat it by adding it to the beginning or end of a string of syllables like the birds would when learning a new song. The main finding being that learning language or a new song is a process that is slow and repetitive with integration into already known syllables. The article points out that there are many similarities between humans and birds; we share similar brain structures crucial for song in birds and speech in humans. I think it is limiting because birds and humans are very different but there is evidence that we share specific genes and brain structures at least in regards to speech. I think I’m pretty convinced of the research but I wonder if we share similar developmental benchmarks and whether that plays a role in why baby speech development is similar to a song bird learning a new song.

  22. Hello Everyone,
    I found this article from the New York Times under the science section called “Some Songbirds Have Brains Specially Designed to Find Mates for Life” by Joanna Klein and it was an interesting read. In this article researchers looked into the chickpea-sized brains of finches have discovered that each sex uses what’s called its sound control system to convert sound waves to social messages and then use them to find mates, kind of how humans use vocal sounds to communicate. The researcher and neuroscientist in the article Dr. Sarah Woodley talks about how the biggest difference between male and female brains of the same species is found in songbirds. Dr. Woolley’s lab has been looking into the acoustic systems of zebra, Bengalese, and long-tailed finches to see how their brains take in and process sounds, learning, performing and analyzing different parts of them to make sense of songs. In the researched, they measured that a male’s system is designed to recognize songs of other males and copy his father’s. They observed that they are supposed to memorize and recognize songs within 90 days of life when their brains are malleable or else they won’t be able to do so ever. But when a female’s brain is young and malleable, she tunes into her father’s song, memorizes it and then stores it as a template for evaluating a mate’s song later.Based on the researcher’s interest of the experiment I believe, the hypothesis of the article is that how well the birds learn depends on a genetic predisposition to tune into sounds specific to their species and especially social relationships are important. Researchers have concluded that understanding more about how songbirds use their brains to make sense of sound, she can learn more about how humans use theirs to develop a spoken language early to communicate later in life. I think one limitation of this research is that they do not specifically talk about how the research was organized they briefly mention what the purpose of the research was. The researchers should have used a clear method to record The idea of how songbirds use their brains to interpret sound, scientists can uncover how humans learn spoken language from a young age.
    APA format:
    Klein, J. (2018, February 13). Some Songbirds Have Brains Specially Designed to Find Mates for Life. Retrieved February 15, 2018, from The new york times.

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