The Secret Life of the Brain
Exploring the brain website was pretty interesting. I am not much of a science person, but I found the brain tour to be interesting. Although I am not very knowledgeable in the science area, the development of the mind and psychological development is truly fascinating. According to the site, until a baby reaches age one, she uses her entire brain to respond to language. As she ages, language shifts to the left side of the brain in an attempt to actually learn the language. This makes me think of learning foreign languages. Many parents have their children learn foreign languages when they are younger because this will help them retain the information as their minds are still being molded. I often wish that my parents introduced French to me earlier in life. Luckily, I started learning French in kindergarten, not knowing the impact it would have on my life.
I would not say that viewing the brain anatomy has persuaded me to change any behaviors to improve brain function. Rather than teach me to change any behaviors, this 3D brain tour simply showed me how the different parts of the brain function. Clicking around the website on the different parts of the brain definitely helped me understand how the brain works. As I previously stated, I am not much of a science person, which means I am ignorant of much of the terminology. This tour used laymen’s terms and easy to understand phrasing so that anyone could understand how the brain functions.
While I would say that the brain tour itself does exemplify the idea that “the truth can be made visible,” the idea that optical illusions can still fool our brains concerns me. While I love trying to figure out optical illusions, it seems strange that we cannot trust our own eyesight. This idea seems to go back to the function of photography as a means of recording history, since both eyesight and brain function seems to deteriorate with age.
Pharmaceutical Advertisement: NuvaRing
This is an advertisement for the birth control alternative NuvaRing. It shows three seemingly young girls watching the old commercial for the product. NuvaRing is a vaginal ring as a replacement for everyday birth control pills. Women are intended to insert this ring for three weeks out of the month, take it out, and re-insert it after one week. As birth control does, there are no real symptoms to birth control. I know many women take birth control to regulate their menstrual cycles as well as help prevent pregnancy.
This advertisement shows NuvaRing as a huge convenience. The women in the commercial look seemingly young and therefore always on the go. This new form of birth control gives them the convenience of not having to remember the pill everywhere they go. Under the ideology of consumerism, women are meant to associate birth control with freedom and convenience. “It’s small and comfortable; plus you don’t have to take it every day.”
This product, like most medications, has certain side effects. NuvaRing can cause serious blood clots and high blood pressure, which are the most common side effects. Furthermore, there are also chances of heart attack and stroke while on this birth control. It has also been known to cause cancer to women’s reproductive organs. I am not sure that the costs outweigh the benefits. While women would no longer have to remember to take the pill every day, this convenience factor does not seem to balance out with the side effects. I mean, regular birth control is one pill per day. Is that not enough to prevent the extreme inconvenience (for some) of getting pregnant?
Saturday Night Live actually made a spoof of NuvaRing with NuvaBling, critically emphasizing this convenience factor by adding fashion.