The purpose of the writing assignment is to critically evaluate an assigned article, which is recently published journal article in the field of Behavioral Neuroscience. The essay should begin by introducing the topic of the assigned article (e.g., depression, epilepsy, drug addiction, etc), the hypothesis of the assigned article, the experimental methods that were used, the results, and the interpretation of the findings.
Once the article has been carefully reviewed, make comments on specific aspects of the article (e.g., the critical evaluation). Remember, a critical evaluation does not necessarily need to be negative reviews; commenting on the positive aspects of the article is also appropriate. Once the critical evaluation is complete, provide discussion about the article and include references.
Some key topics & questions that need to be addressed include:
1. Is the introduction appropriate? Does it clearly define the problem or experimental question?
Do the authors provide a clear rationale for doing the experiment?
2. Are the methods appropriate and well described? Is enough detail provided so that the
experiment could be replicated by another lab?
3. Are the results clear and properly presented? Statistics seem appropriate?
4. Does the discussion adequately address the data?
5. Are the conclusions justified by the data? This is a common flaw of articles.
6. Does the paper make an important contribution to the field? You will need to refer to other papers published on this topic to answer this question.
Article Critical Evaluation
Length: 8 pages (2200 Words)
ARTICLE CRITICAL EVALUATION
SYNERGISTIC EFFECTS OF DIET AND EXERSICE ON HIPPOCAMPAL FUNCTION IN CHRONICALLY STRESSES MICE: A CRITICAL EVALUATION.
High levels of chronic stress have a negative effect on the brain. They affect the plasticity, neurogenesis, memory and mood. They lead to several psychological disorders including major depression. The number and duration of depressive episodes is associated with loss of hippocampal volume and memory function. There are triggers or factors such as exercise and dietary antioxidants that when induced upregulate neurogenesis. The effects of the synergy of both being more beneficial than the application of one of the factors independently. An experiment was carried out to see the effects that supplementary diet and exercise had on the hippocampal function in stressed mice and apply it to the effects of both in human beings. The mice were exposed to the necessary conditions required to reach an authoritative conclusion, they included: a control environment, a stressed out environment, a stressed out environment with the mice being exposed to exercise, a stressed out environment with the mice being supplied with supplementary diet and a stressed out environment with both factors(Glassman &Shapir 1998). The combination of both factors had multiple beneficial effects such as increased levels of hippocampal BDNF messenger ribonucleic acid and serum vascular growth factor levels. In human beings diet and exercise affect biochemical processes and signalling pathways that are also altered in age related cognitive decline.
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