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Section 1

What part of the brain is responsible for remembering the important information that will be on the exam? Describe that part of the brain and its purpose.

The hippocampus is located within the brain’s medial temporal lobe hence forming a critical part of the limbic system and it hence regulates emotions. This organ is mainly associated with memory especially long-term memory. Additionally, it is the most studied part of the brain. The origin of the name hippocampus finds its roots in Greek; where hippo means horse while kampo means monster. The part is given the name for its shape mimics that of a seahorse (Meichenbaum, 2017).

The hippocampus assists people to retrieve and process different kind of memories namely spatial and declarative. The spatial relationship memories are stored in the right hippocampus and it involves the mastering of routes and pathways. On the other hand, declarative memories is much related to gathering facts and statistics. In essence, the hippocampus part of the brain is responsible for remembering the important information that will be on the examination (Vorster & Born, 2017).

Section 2

The human mind can wander from an activity. Therefore, the ability to dedicate full concentration to an activity is doing becomes critical for success. Many individuals find it difficult to focus on what they are engaged in at any particular time. According to a Harvard university research, at least 47% of waking hours are never spent on what somebody had planned. Distractions can hence emanate from either sensory of emotional distractors. For the 17 year old, she can improve her attention by meditating; that is, mental training of her attention. Meditating will enable brain to stay focused for longer periods of time.  She can also exercise regularly. Exercises do not only improve physical fitness but also play a crucial part in improving the concentration power of an individual. Other ways of being focused include asking questions, staying hydrated, listening to music, drinking some tea, taking notes by hand, and chewing gum (Myers, 2017).

Section 3

As a person ages, some cognitive functions gets weaker while some improve tremendously. More importantly, some brain areas such as the hippocampus shrink while the myelin sheath surrounding and protecting nerve fibers wears down. These reduces the speed of communication between neurons. Further, the ability of the person to encode new information into the memory and retrieve information that is already in storage is reduced (Meichenbaum, 2017).

Age also happens to be the biggest risk factor for many brain diseases some of which affect the functioning and structure of the brain. Abnormal proteins can clump together thus forming plaques that damage the brain tissues. However, to improve the cognitive ability of an older person, it is important to exercise regularly. Exercising does not only improve the physical fitness but also significantly increases brain activity. Eating a healthy diet is also one way of ensuring that the brain is supplied with the right amount proteins and nutrients to continue functioning properly (Meichenbaum, 2017).

Practice and repetition may help minimize the decline of memory as well as other cognitive abilities. Research from renowned researchers has proven that with only a few hours of training adults can improve on their performance in assorted tests of mental abilities.

Section 3

Operant conditioning commonly referred to as instrumental conditioning is therefore defined as a form of learning that is executed through punishments and rewards for behavior. Therefore, there is association between behavior and a consequence for that behavior. Operant conditioning does not just take place in experimental labs but also plays a critical role in everyday learning. In the natural setting, punishment and reinforcement occur regularly even in settings that are more structured including therapy sessions and classrooms. Learners can be given rewards for good performance to motivate them to work harder while dismal performance met with a punishment. Additionally, bad behavior can be corrected by dispensing punishment on the offender so as to discourage one from repeating the same mistake. In essence, actions that are preceded by positive or desirable outcomes are hence more likely to become repeated whereas those followed by undesirable outcomes will be less likely to be repeated (Myers, 2017).

Section 4

Doing well in examinations requires one to remember the material learned hence demonstrate a clear understanding of the knowledge acquired. The human brain can perform sub-optimally under intense pressure situations such as when a student realizes he or she has not learned enough and exams are just the following morning. Cramming, which is considered a form of shallow processing of information can allow the brain to encode information that is based on the simple characteristics of the words rather than the meaning. The information will only be retained for a short period of time because the information is stored in short-term memory stores (Vorster & Born, 2017).

Encoding of information is therefore the processing of information to derive the deeper meaning of any information. Further, the connections between concepts can be linked together and understood in an elaborate manner. Understanding information for the long-time takes time to elaborate and assign meaning to any information an individual reads for ease of retrieval. Sometimes, when the brain is forced to process and store a huge chunk of information over short period of time, it cannot perform deep processing. Essentially, cramming is a short-term study technique and therefore information will not be recalled over the long-term as it will be lost rapidly (Vorster & Born, 2017).

The human brain is designed in a unique way such that it can comprehend and better encode information permanently when the process of encoding is spread across a long interval of time. This intervals of time that is required by the brain to encode perfectly is effectively called spacing effect by psychologists who have studied the subject for a long time. Cramming as a form of mass practice is less effective in retention of everything that is learned. It is obvious that the distributive practice of learning becomes the most effective plan to retain and retrieve information over the long-term (Bamber & Schneider, 2016).

It is the goal of every student to perform exceptionally well in final exams to demonstrate comprehension of the knowledge acquired over the study period. In preparing for final examinations, students have to say no to cramming and study in intervals of 30 to 50 minutes and giving themselves a break of five or ten minutes. Distribution of learning over a given period of time benefits long-term retention of information.

Section 5

Stressful situations increase the level of stress hormones such as cortisol and adrenaline in the body of a person. In the traditional society, our body reacts through fight and flight to protect us from any form of bodily harm. In the modern society, harm can be remedied by flight and fight response but through engaging in physical activity or exercise can be used as surrogates to metabolize the excessive stress hormones and restore one’s mind and body to a more relaxed state (Bamber & Schneider, 2016).

Besides engaging in physical activity, a stressed individual can also attempt to get more sleep because lack of enough sleep can significantly cause stress. Before going to sleep instead of relying on medication, one’s aim should be to maximize relaxation. In that regard, one should avoid addictive substances like caffeine prior to going to sleep. Additionally, it is important for one to avoid engaging mentally demanding work for several hours.


Myers, D. (2017). Psychology (4th ed.). Asheville, NC: Soomo Learning. Available from hMp://www.webtexts.com.

Vorster, A. P., & Born, J. (2017). Sleep supports inhibitory operant conditioning memory in Aplysia. Learning & Memory24(6), 252-256.

Meichenbaum, D. (2017). Stress Inoculation Training: A preventative and treatment approach. In The Evolution of Cognitive Behavior Therapy (pp. 117-140). Routledge.

Bamber, M. D., & Schneider, J. K. (2016). Mindfulness-based meditation to decrease stress and anxiety in college students: A narrative synthesis of the research. Educational Research Review18, 1-32.


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