Essay on Body Temp and Reaction Time

1848 Words Oct 27th, 2013 8 Pages
Can Your Body Tell the Time of Day? (NOTE: If you have thought of a statistics project that you would prefer to tackle instead of the one described below, contact me. I’ll try to make an equivalent project using your particular topic of interest.) Objective: You will measure how body temperature and reaction time vary throughout the course of a day, as well as related questions. In particular, you must address each of the questions below.  Question 1: At what time of the day is the body temperature highest? When is it lowest? How much difference is there? Are body temperatures between midnight and noon significantly different than body temperatures between noon and midnight? Question 2: At what time of the day does reaction time peak? …show more content…
Introduction: In order to stay healthy and to function efficiently, living things must coordinate their internal processes with the external world. The most obvious feature of our environment that most creatures have to respond to is the daily cycle of light and dark. Biological processes that follow this 24-hour cycle, such as our sleep-wake cycle, are said to follow a circadian rhythm. One of the best-known circadian rhythms in humans is the daily change in body temperature. We tend to be at our coolest in the early morning and at our warmest in the late afternoon and early evening. Other circadian rhythms include hormone levels, alertness, muscle strength, and heart rate. The controlling regulator for these cyclic processes within the body is thought to be the hypothalamus, which is in the brain.

Figure 1. Overview of circadian cycles in humans. This diagram depicts some of the circadian patterns that occur in humans. Note that the clock is on a 24-hour cycle, so that 3:30 p.m., for example, is noted as 15:30. The hormone melatonin, which is a key regulator of the internal circadian clock, peaks in concentration at 21:00 (9:00 p.m.). (Wikipedia, 2008.)

Data Collection Requirements: You need to collect both measurements of temperature and reaction time throughout the day. Variables of interest must include (but are not limited to): age of participant, gender of participant, time of day measurement is