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The Potential Impact of Central Nervous System

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The experiment I have designed is intended to observe the potential impact of central nervous system (CNS) depressants on basic reading comprehension. CNS depressants come in many forms and categories, however for the sake of accuracy, the experiment would focus on one category such as benzodiazepines like diazepam (Valium) or alprazolam (Xanax) (“Sedatives”). Essentially, these medications slow down the central nervous system in an attempt to either calm an individual down or to relieve tension within the body. We know these are often prescribed for their anti-anxiety effects (Olsen and DeLorey). This can be achieved with a low dose of a CNS depressant, but if given more, an individual may experience high levels of drowsiness among other side effects. The intent of using these in an experiment is to determine whether there is a significant change in the way a person interprets a passage when on a CNS depressant compared to when not on one.

The null hypothesis is that when administered CNS depressants, the subject’s interpretation of a reading passage will not significantly change. The alternative hypothesis is that when administered CNS depressants, the subject’s interpretation of a reading passage will significantly change. The point of having a null hypothesis here is important in the fact that if the alternative hypothesis fails, there is still a hypothesis that is being supported so that the experiment does not lead to a dead end. For this experiment, while a double-blind is the best way to avoid bias, we must seek people who are already taking CNS depressants. This is due to the fact that people who are not already prescribed these medicines may become addicted. If not needed, it is possible for a person to feel a high as this category of medicines increases gamma-aminobutyric acid activity in the brain (“Prescription CNS Depressants”).

There is also a period of adjustment that must happen in the body for the first few days that someone takes these as there are almost always side effects that someone will experience. These effects can include sleepiness and problems with coordination (“Prescription CNS Depressants”). These would be variables that could skew the results of the experiment. The only variable we want to change is the independent variable, which is the CNS depressant. The dependent variable here is whether or not there is a significant change in the reading interpretation. We would call for volunteers who are at least 18 years of age, and have been on benzodiazepines for at least 30 days. Because of the nature of the experiment, it should be in a clinical setting with a doctor present for basic safety reasons. All of the participants will read a short passage and answer a short series of multiple choice questions that would reflect how they interpreted the passage. After a waiting period of four hours, half of the participants would get a small dose of a CNS depressant, and the other half would get a placebo pill.

One hour after taking the pill, the participants will read the same passage and answer the same questions. The people taking the placebo should expect to answer the questions the same as they did the first time, as nothing should be impacting their brain function. The experimental group who received the CNS depressant may or may not answer the questions differently. We would need to figure out how many questions would need to be answered differently do be considered statistically significant. If the experimental group overwhelmingly changed their answers from the first test, and the change was statistically significant, that would support the alternative hypothesis. Should the alternative hypothesis be supported, that could open an opportunity to do more research on why CNS depressants made the participants change their interpretation of a reading passage. If it changes the way someone interprets something, could it change how they perceive other things? It opens up a lot of questions that could also be looked into with further experiments. I would be curious as to how it could change a person’s behavior or decisions in larger, more important situations, or if there would be a change at all.

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The Potential Impact Of Central Nervous System. (2019, August 27). GradesFixer. Retrieved August 16, 2022, from https://gradesfixer.com/free-essay-examples/the-potential-impact-of-central-nervous-system/
“The Potential Impact Of Central Nervous System.” GradesFixer, 27 Aug. 2019, gradesfixer.com/free-essay-examples/the-potential-impact-of-central-nervous-system/
The Potential Impact Of Central Nervous System. [online]. Available at: <https://gradesfixer.com/free-essay-examples/the-potential-impact-of-central-nervous-system/> [Accessed 16 Aug. 2022].
The Potential Impact Of Central Nervous System [Internet]. GradesFixer. 2019 Aug 27 [cited 2022 Aug 16]. Available from: https://gradesfixer.com/free-essay-examples/the-potential-impact-of-central-nervous-system/
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