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Hello. I'm doing my EE on Biology and I'm focusing on memory storage (from a neurological point of view, obviously). I have three possible questions; however I'm not sure which to pick. Here they are:

 

-How can episodic acute stress affect the long term memory of males between the ages of 14 and 18?

- How can exteroceptive sensations affect the long term memory of females between the ages of 14 and 18?

- How can deprivation of foods high in Zinc affect the learning processes of hamsters?

 

Which one do you think I could work on the most? Suggestions are more than welcome.

 

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Hello. I'm doing my EE on Biology and I'm focusing on memory storage (from a neurological point of view, obviously). I have three possible questions; however I'm not sure which to pick. Here they are:

 

-How can episodic acute stress affect the long term memory of males between the ages of 14 and 18?

- How can exteroceptive sensations affect the long term memory of females between the ages of 14 and 18?

- How can deprivation of foods high in Zinc affect the learning processes of hamsters?

 

Which one do you think I could work on the most? Suggestions are more than welcome.

I've actually initially been thinking of doing my Extended Essay last year on biology. I had similar ideas to you but my supervisor and other teachers said that they are not "ethical". In your case, for the first two questions, how can you measure the long term memory of the males and females? The third one wouldn't probably be a good one as it's not really ethical to experiment on animals such as hamsters. Have you discusses your questions with your supervisor?

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Guest Sonia

I also think it will be hard to conduct the experiment, cause well the first two questions seem very complicated and advanced for a high-school level experiment. It's a very cool topic, but it seems hard to make an experiment. Unless you do a data-based, in which case it's harder to get full points. Maybe go with something easier? :)

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The difficult thing is indeed trying to make any of these into an experiment that you can conduct and call the results legitimate. How long is long term memory? How can you reliably test it? How can you put people under 'episodic acute stress'? Is it ethical to do so? Are the stresses equal for all participants? Is it ethical to nutritionally deprive hamsters (probably not...)?

Your second question is also FAR too broad. 'Exteroceptive sensations' I actually had to look up - maximum you should test one of the senses. Otherwise it's not a good experiment because you can't compare like with like. Basically try asking yourself all these questions and really nailing something very specific where you've got excellent control of variables and a very valid way of measuring the outcome.

 

You might be able to do something along these lines, but you'll have to put a lot of thought into how you could construct a valid and most importantly ethical experiment, given what you've got to work with. How are you going to control for everything else going on? How are you going to measure the final outcome?

 

One of my friends did a similar experiment to this, but using age as her variable and testing problem solving, and ended up with a C. Obviously part of it is the write up, but also the experiment wasn't sound enough.

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