Two discussion questions with three paragraphs each and APA format references

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Discussion 1: Stress and Cognitive Functions

Consider the work of an air traffic controller or an emergency room physician. Both jobs require alertness, quick thinking, and sound judgment in the making of a constant stream of life-or-death decisions. This process occurs with every worker’s shift, day after day. Imagine the impact of such an ongoing responsibility on cognitive functioning.

Stress has profound effects on cognitive functions, such as decision making, occasionally altering the brain in surprising ways. Stress symptoms may lead to prominent clinical characteristics, which often go beyond anxiety and fear. Stress hormones can affect neurotransmitter systems in the brain, causing physical changes in some cases. The hippocampus, for example, can atrophy as a result of chronic stress.

For this Discussion, consider effects of stress on cognitive functions. Then think about a time when stress affected your cognitive functions.

With these thoughts in mind:

Post by Day 3 a brief explanation of how stress affects cognitive functions, including the roles of the amygdala and the prefrontal cortex. Then provide examples of situations when stress affected your attention, memory, problem solving, or decision making. Finally, explain how you might mitigate the effects of stress on cognitive functions.

Be sure to support your postings and responses with specific references to the Learning Resources.

Read a selection of your colleagues’ postings.

Respond by Day 5 to at least one of your colleagues’ postings in one or more of the following ways:

  • Offer and support an opinion.
  • Expand on your colleague’s posting.

Return to this Discussion in a few days to read the responses to your initial posting. Note what you have learned and/or any insights you have gained as a result of the comments your colleagues made.

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Discussion 2: Attentional and Interpretive Bias

Think back to the period of time following the attacks on New York’s World Trade Center on September 11, 2001. If you happened to travel by airplane during that time, did you experience a higher degree of anxiety than you might normally have? If you did not fly during that period, imagine how flying might have felt in terms of anxiety levels.

How might anxiety affect the way that you and your fellow passengers view one another within the context of a situation involving such attacks? Do you think that you would pay more attention to other travelers? Might certain behaviors seem more suspicious? These are examples of attentional and interpretive bias. These examples demonstrate how mood can affect memory and learning.

For this Discussion, consider additional examples of effects of mood on memory and learning. Consider how anxiety or depression can influence attentional and interpretive bias.

With these thoughts in mind:

Post by Day 4 two ways mood might affect memory and learning and explain how. Explain one way that anxiety or depression can influence attentional and interpretive bias. Provide examples to support your response. Justify your response using the Learning Resources and current literature.

Be sure to support your postings and responses with specific references to the Learning Resources.

Read a selection of your colleagues’ postings.

Respond by Day 6 to at least one of your colleagues’ postings in one or more of the following ways:

  • Ask a probing question.
  • Share an insight from having read your colleague’s posting.
  • Make a suggestion.
  • Expand on your colleague’s posting.

Return to this Discussion in a few days to read the responses to your initial posting. Note what you have learned and/or any insights you have gained as a result of the comments your colleagues made.

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