250 Words a Page Term Paper


250 Words a Page Term Paper

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Term Paper Sample

Shapiro believes that the theory for spatial inhibition tested in connection with this single perceptual anomaly has much wider implications. These can best be described by quoting his own account '...it seems that the general theory which was tested in the experiments reported in this paper has some general explanatory value, and a number of observations found in the literature on the psychological effects of brain-damage can be linked together. For example, Patterson and Zangwill quote Schilder and Goldstein on a "notable tendency to react to a very limited aspect of the perceptual field, and a visual incapacity to relate perceived objects to their wider settings" in cases with a profound degree of mental confusion.'

Another example is the apparently contradictory observation that brain-damaged patients are both more rigid and more distractible than normals. We can assume that when a patient is paying attention to a task, a certain set of cortical arrangements is being stimulated and is in a state of excitation. According to the principle of exaggerated negative induction the surrounding arrangements will, in the case of the brain-damaged patient, be in a relatively intense state of inhibition. If now a new and different stimulus reaches another set of cortical arrangements, the threshold will be much higher than would normally be required for excitatory processes to develop into conscious processes and this new stimulus will have no observable effect. Hence the patient will appear to be 'rigid'. Should, however, the stimulation be strong enough it will reach consciousness, and because of the exaggerated negative induction effect, it might completely inhibit the excitatory processes in the cortical arrangements which were previously in a state of excitation. Thus the patient would appear to be 'distractible'.

The educational methods developed by Strauss and Lehtinen are also explainable in these terms. It will be remembered that they advocate that the brain-damaged child should be taught to read under conditions which minimize distracting stimulation. They recommend that the child should face a plain wall, that the material to be learned should be broken up and presented within a framework and that teachers should not wear too bright clothing or jewellery. Equally relevant is the practice of some doctors of giving brain-damaged patients excitatory drugs to lessen their 'rigidity'. Much of the general explosiveness and impulsiveness reported of patients suffering from diffuse brain damage also becomes explainable in these terms. The excitation of any feelings would result in the inhibition of sentiments and attitudes which should normally have a controlling effect.

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