Recent Posts

Brief Mood Introspection Scale
I knew I wanted to use the BMIS, I just needed to know what it was exactly. The BMIS uses series of adjectives such as "happy" and "sad" to provide a better quantitative measure of overall mood that the PSS. I used this in my proposal to determine the overall moods of vegans and non-vegans.     Mayer, J. D., & Gaschke, Y. N. (1988). The experience and meta-experience of mood. Journal of personality and social psychology, 55(1), 102. read more ❯
Vegans forever
A study from Medical Hypotheses found that a low-methionine diet can increase longevity, especially when coupled with a low calorie diet, which is also proven to slow the aging process. However, it can be kind of hard to limit the intake of a specific amino acid. UNLESS you're a vegan, in which case, it's pretty much a breeze. I found this article really interesting from a nutritional standpoint, and I plan to use it as background information on the health benefits of a vegan diet. McCarty, M. F., Barroso-Aranda, J., & Contreras, F. (2009). The low-methionine content of vegan diets may make methionine restriction feasible as a life extension strategy. Medical Hypotheses, 72(2), 125-128. read more ❯
Glowin' Hormones
I used an excerpt from this book to learn about chemiluminescent assays for cortisol. It had easy to follow steps and some great pictures. Basically, serum samples are treated with certain proteins and enzymes that bind to cortisol and that cause it to break away from plasma proteins. Then an electrode is inserted into the sample and a charge is run through it. The brighter the chemiluminescence, the less cortisol is in the same   Nussey, S. S., & Whitehead, S. A. (2001). Endocrinology: An Integrated Approach. United Kingdom: Bios Scientific Publ read more ❯
100 ways to Measure Cortisol
OK, so it may be slightly less than 100 ways, but this article provides a wide variety of assays to measure cortisol levels. It also provides great background on the hormone itself. This article also tells how precise an assay could be, what the environmental impacts are, and most importantly, what everyone else is doing. For my proposal, the differences in the measurement abilities of different tests are significant due to the fact that I'm measuring both salivary and serum cortisol levels. Kirschbaum, C., & Hellhammer, D. H. (1994). Salivary cortisol in psychoneuroendocrine research: recent developments and applications.Psychoneuroendocrinology, 19(4), 313-333. read more ❯
The Rosary and Decreased Anxiety
Published 11/6/2014 in Neuroanthropology: The Course
Author Lauren Nolan
One study, by Anastasi and Newberg, was extremely relevant to my research interests because it dealt with the rosary and anxiety.  They hypothesized that recitation of the ritualized rosary would lower anxiety compared to simply being exposed to a religious video.  Although, their sample size was very small the results were promising and the rosary group reported decreased anxiety.  I thought that it was important that they were interested in the ritual of the rosary having the effect on the test subjects rather than other variables I had read about elsewhere. Anastasi, M. W., & Newberg, A. B. (2008). A preliminary study of the acute effects of religious ritual on anxiety. The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine, 14(2), 163-165. read more ❯
PSS - everybody's doing it
I noticed another blog post about the PSS, and I'm not surprised but it may be the greatest tool. The perceived stress scale (PSS) has been shown to provide significant representation of stress individuals, while providing quantitative data to researchers. This is super useful in my proposal, as provides a more cultural perception of stress, rather than just a blood or saliva biomarker.   Cohen, Sheldon, Kamarck, Tom., Mermelstein, Robin. 1983 A Global Measure of Perceived Stress. Journal of Health and Social Behavior 24(4):385-396 read more ❯
Stress and Cortisol responses in Adults
Published 11/6/2014 in Neuroanthropology: The Course
Author Lauren Nolan
Since salivary cortisol measurements are such an important part of my research proposal I tried to find multiple sources to get an idea of methodology.  This study used salivary cortisol to test the stress levels in students who had lost a parent and perceived their surviving parent to be more or less caring.  Those that had a parent they perceived as less caring had higher salivary cortisol levels after doing something stressful than those with a more caring parent.  I thought this study was interesting and maybe slightly helpful when designing my methods section. Luecken, L. J. (2000). Parental caring and loss during childhood and adult cortisol responses to stress. Psychology and Health, 15(6), 841-851. read more ❯
Galvanic Skin Response Information
Published 11/6/2014 in Neuroanthropology: The Course
Author Lauren Nolan
I will be using galvanic skin response as part of my data collection for my research and found one article particularly helpful.  It detailed both methods and materials.  They were simply interested in testing whether they could detect stress through GSR but that is all I really need for my purposes as well so it was useful to me.  I would recommend this for someone interested in using GSR. Villarejo, M. V., Zapirain, B. G., & Zorrilla, A. M. (2012). A stress sensor based on Galvanic Skin Response (GSR) controlled by ZigBee. Sensors, 12(5), 6075-6101. read more ❯
Salivary Cortisol in Yoga and Depression
Published 11/6/2014 in Neuroanthropology: The Course
Author Lauren Nolan
Since the link between meditative and mindful practices like yoga and the rosary clearly exist, albeit weakly, I decided to take a look at the mitigating effects yoga has on stress.  One study “A Yoga Intervention for young Adults with Elevated Symptoms of Depression” by Woolery et al. (2004) was particularly helpful because the young adults self-reported their symptoms before and after the intervention and the researchers took salivary cortisol samples throughout the study to look at stress reduction.  I didn’t see how the article was particularly clear on the results of the salivary cortisol but I hope to use salivary cortisol in my methods as well to measure stress and the possible mediating affect the rosary service may have on stress. read more ❯
An Ethnographic study of Grief and Coping Mechanisms
Published 11/6/2014 in Neuroanthropology: The Course
Author Lauren Nolan
I found the article by Doran and Downing Hansen (2006) “Constructions of Mexican American Family Grief After the Death of a Child: An Exploratory Study” to be very interesting as it a more relevant ethnographic overview of grieving practices than I had read anywhere else.  Although the people in the study were Mexican-American and not the population I intend to study they do belong to the same religious group and therefore follow some of the same or similar religious customs when it comes to grieving.  The article mostly covered how the families dealt with their grief including incorporating their faith, Catholicism, into the process.  For many Mexican Americans this includes the novenario, a nine day period of mourning and prayer, similar to what I would like to study with the rosary service but not the same.  The entire article reminded me the grieving process differs depending on religious and cultural... read more ❯

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