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Kendra's picture

Oneself as a Biological Entity: Reacting

Kyree Harmon

Kerlyne Jean

Kendra Sykes

We began our experiment hoping to determine whether the distance of the stimulus from the response button affected the response time. We hypothesized that the farther away the touch was from the button, the longer the response time would be. We performed one trial for a touch to the head, the arm, the knee, and the toe for each member of our group. We were sure to always touch on the left side for control purposes.

The results of our experiment were such: ND stands for Neural Delay, MD for Muscle Delay, and RT for response time.

Head ND MD
KH .04s
KS .207s
KJ .109s


Arm(standard) ND MD


Knee ND
KH .30s


Toe ND


According to our observations, the further away the touch, the longer the reaction time was generally. HOWEVER, our times were not the slowest for the touch that was farthest away. Though the times for the toe test were slower than those of the arm test, they were not the slowest of all though the toe was the farthest of all. These findings do not support our initial hypothesis, but we were still able to make several other interesting observations.

Firstly, KJ had the fastest reaction time for every test except the arm which happened to be the first test and the test that we were the most preoccupied during. KS had the slowest reaction time for every test except the arm also. We believe that this may have something to do with the fact that KJ is an athlete and athletes frequently are trained and drilled to improve response time. We also noticed that KH had one of her slowest response times during the arm test where she was barely awake. This suggests a connection between mental state and reaction time, and we would like to run further tests including on tired students, preoccupied students, and caffeine stimulated students.


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