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SPECTRUM Journal of Student Research at Saint Francis University

Volume 4 (4) Spring 2014


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SPECTRUM: Journal of Student Research at Saint Francis University Faculty Editors: Balazs Hargittai Professor of Chemistry bhargittai@francis.edu

Grant Julin Assistant Professor of Philosophy gjulin@francis.edu

Student Editorial Board: Shannon Adams Cathleen Fry Eric Horell ’13 Amanda Johnson Jennifer Kirchner Lauren McConnell ’12 Sarah McDonald Steven Mosey Rebecca Peer William Shee

Allison Bivens ’12 Daniel Hines ’13 Paul Johns ’07 Timothy Keith Cecelia MacDonald Gabrielle McDermott Jonathan Miller ’08 Morgan Onink Aaron Rovan ‘09 Jennifer Yealy ‘13

Cover: “The Challenger” painting by Danielle R. MacMurtrie (please see page 17)


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SPECTRUM Table of Contents Organized Body, Organized Mind: The Association between Yoga and Cognitive Abilities Irene M. Boyle; Stephen M. LoRusso

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What is Google Doing to Us Kimberly A. Gronski; Grant A. Julin

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The Blending of Passions: Integrating Art into a World of Science Danielle R. MacMurtrie

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2013 Office of Student Research Awards for Research Excellence

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Call for papers

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(Student authors’ names underlined.)


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Organized Body, Organized Mind: The Association between Yoga and Cognitive Abilities Irene M. Boyle Physical Therapy Department School of Health Sciences ixb100@francis.edu

Stephen M. LoRusso, Ph.D. Physical Therapy Department School of Health Sciences slorusso@francis.edu

This review studies the effects of yoga interventions on cognition. Yoga is an alternative form of exercise that has been gaining enormous popularity over the last two decades, but has been in existence since 400 A.D. The physiological and psychological benefits of yoga have been widely accepted; however, the cognitive effects are still being understood. There are many aspects of cognition including memory, attention, perception, spatial cognition, and problem solving, which all play a role in the calculated intelligence quotient (IQ). It is important to assess the effects of yoga on cognition as it may offer a new form of nonconventional exercise and/or treatment for those who wish to improve cognition. The purpose of this paper is to evaluate the possible cognitive benefits which may result from the practice of yoga. I. Introduction The word yoga, in Sanskrit, means “union”; it is believed that yoga creates a “union” of the mind, body, and spirit. The origin of yoga dates back to 400 A.D. in the classic Hindu text, Yoga Sutra.1(pXXV) According to Yoga Sutra, there are eight limbs of yoga: yamas (restraints), niyamas (observances), asana (postures), pranayama (breathing), pratyahara (withdrawal of senses), dharana (concentration), dhyana (meditation) and Samadhi (absorption). These limbs can be considered steps, each one refining the one performing the yoga and the world until Samadhi, enlightenment, is reached.2(p13) The Western conception of the term yoga focuses primarily on the third limb, asana, the fourth limb, pranayama, and the seventh limb, dhyana3(p3). There are many styles of yoga performed in the Western world which incorporate these three limbs of asana, pranayama, and dhyana including Hatha yoga, Iyengar yoga which is a branch of Hatha yoga, Sahaj yoga, and forms of cyclic meditation. While each form of yoga has a different purpose, they all focus on “components of meditation, breathing, and activity or postures”.4 Hatha yoga focuses on the union of mind-body-spirit through a practice of asanas (yoga postures), pranayama

(yoga breathing), mudra (body gestures), and skatkarma (internal cleansing). Hatha yoga focuses on creating balance within our bodies. This is a balance between the active and the relaxing in the mind and between strength and flexibility in the body.5 Iyengar yoga, a branch of Hatha yoga, focuses on improving physical and mental wellbeing through stretching of all muscle groups for strength, flexibility, and physical balance. It consists of asanas performed in a circuit that use isometric contractions and relaxations of different muscle groups.4 Sahaj yoga is a simple technique which focuses primarily on dhyana-- meditation.6 A typical session of Sahaj consists of questions and assertions by the subject followed by silent meditation. The hands are placed in different positions throughout the session. The goal is to achieve a state of “thoughtless awareness”.6 Another common form of yoga is cyclic meditation. It is comprised of alternating cycles of asanas with periods of supine relaxation. It alternates an “awakening” and a “calming” of the mind and body.7 Research has shown that cyclic meditation can cause “reductions in heart rate, respiratory rate, and oxygen consumption”.8


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II. Yoga and Cognition Because yoga focuses on the union of mind, body, and spirit, could it be that the practice of yoga may have a positive effect on cognition, or mental activity? Cognition as defined by Matlin9(p24) describes the acquisition, storage, transformation, and use of knowledge. There are many different mental processes which make cognition possible such as memory, attention, perception, spatial cognition, and problem solving. Each mental process will be defined below followed by research which tested the effects of yoga on the mental processes. Various search engines were used to find the studies including PubMed, Google Scholar, JSTOR, World Cat, and the Saint Francis University Library database. Keywords used for the search included yoga, cognition, cognitive process, cyclic meditation, memory, attention, perception, spatial cognition, problem solving, and IQ. Of the 56 studies found, 22 studies were chosen based on content and validity. Most of the studies are experimental following a mainly qualitative paradigm due to the nature of the research topic. A few studies are retrospective or cross-sectional. All studies were completed between the years 1973 and 2012. A. Memory There are two basic forms of memory- working memory and long term memory. Working memory is an immediate memory that actively organizes a limited amount of material which is currently being processed. Matlin9(p100) explains that “your working memory needs to emphasize the kind of information that is useful to you right now, and it selects this material out of an enormous wealth of information that you possess�. Long-term memory can contain a vast amount of material and stores the experiences and information acquired during a lifetime. Eleven studies were found that investigated the effects of yoga on memory.4,6,10-18 All of these studies assessed working memory since it is easier to test. Of the eleven studies, seven of them found a significant improvement in memory after a yoga

5 intervention.6,11,13-15,17,18 No study was found that suggested a decrease in memory after yoga. There were five studies found which tested memory following a form of Hatha yoga or a similar version of Iyengar yoga.4, 11,12-14 Oken et al.4 conducted a study testing the cognitive improvements following a six-month period of Hatha yoga. The subjects were senior citizens between the ages of 65 and 85. Oken et al.4 found no relative improvement in cognition following Hatha yoga compared to the control group. Galantino et al.12 tested a slightly younger age group from 55-67 years of age. This study also found no significant improvement in cognition following Iyengar yoga; however, this study was only a case series study. A limitation of this study was the small subject size of only three participants. The remaining three studies used younger subjects and found a significant improvement in memory following the yoga intervention. Chattha et al.11 used a yoga technique known as Integrated Approach of Yoga Therapy (IAYT), which is considered a branch of Hatha yoga, as an 8 week intervention, with a population of 120 between the ages of 40-55. Udupa et al.13 performed a study using a six-month session of Hatha yoga as the intervention; the subject population had a mean age of 23 Âą 3.36 and found a significant improvement. A study done by Sridevi et al.14 also found a significant increase in memory after just 10 days of an asana and pranayama based yoga intervention among high school subjects. The results of these studies suggest that yoga can improve memory levels, but may not be as effective with an older population. Perhaps, the healthy seniors who were tested by Oken et al.4 and Galantino et al.12 were functioning near their best and may not have been able to demonstrate significant improvements during the six-month study. The study noted that the yoga was adapted for an older population through modification of poses and the use of props, such as blankets and chairs; perhaps the lessened intensity level, which was tolerated by the older population, was not effective in increasing memory levels.


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Two studies used cyclic meditation with a supine rest control group to determine if simple relaxation can achieve the same cognitive benefits as cyclic mediation.17,18 Subramanya and Telles17 found that “the movement as part of cyclic meditation may actually facilitate performance in attention and memory tasks more than an equal duration of time in supine rest”; on the other hand, Pradhan and Nagendra18 found that supine rest showed a greater improvement in memory than cyclic meditation as assessed by the digit-letter substitution test. Although overall performance improved, both relaxation techniques led to more wrong cancellation errors.17 Anxiety reduction during cyclic meditation and supine rest may have contributed to the overall improvement in performance, but possible drowsiness after the intervention period may have caused the increase in wrong substitution scores.17 Four studies used a form of breathing and/or meditation as the yoga intervention when assessing memory.6,10,15,16 The two studies which used unilateral breathing found no significant increase in memory score10,16; however, the studies which used Kapalabhati, which is a form of rapid diaphragmatic breathing, and Sahaj yoga interventions found significant increases in memory scores.6,15 The brain is split into a right hemisphere, which is associated with spatial aspects of cognition, and a left hemisphere, which is associated with verbal aspects of cognition. Werntz et al.19 stated that unilateral forced nostril breathing could increase the encephalographic activity amplitudes on the contralateral side of the brain. They predicted that right unilateral forced nostril breathing would improve verbal cognition and left unilateral forced nostril breathing would improve spatial cognition. Jella and ShannahoffKhalasa,16 however, did not prove this to be true in their study since verbal tests, which included aspects of memory, did not improve following right unilateral forced nostril breathing by the subjects. Joshi and Telles10 found similar results after performing a study with both left and right unilateral nostril breathing followed by spatial and verbal assessments respectively. Verbal cognition,

6 which incorporated memory, did not significantly increase after right unilateral nostril breathing. It is unknown why right unilateral nostril breathing did not increase verbal memory scores; however, it is noted that the effects which unilateral nostril breathing have on the central nervous system are not understood and could play a role.10 The two studies which found positive improvements in memory scores used Sahaj yoga and Kapalabhati.6,15 These forms of yoga focus on deep and controlled breathing with meditation. It is suggested that the overall enhancement of oxygen supply improves one’s performance on cognitive tasks including working memory.15 B. Attention Merriam-Webster dictionary defines attention as “the act or state of applying the mind to something”.20 Attention allows you to take in small amounts of information from the vast stream of information available from the sensory world and your memory. Attention can be simplified as a “gatekeeper”. If attention is not given to a particular item, then the item does not exist within your cognition. There are two categories of attention- divided attention and selective attention. Divided attention is when attention is given to two or more simultaneous messages. With divided attention, both speed and accuracy of the messages suffer. Selective attention requires the subject to pay close attention to certain types of information and ignore the rest.9(p71-72) Of the 13 studies found which assess attention, 11 of them reported a significant improvement in attention following yoga interventions.4,6-12,14-18,21,22 Hatha or Iyenga yoga was used in six of the studies.4,21,11,12,14,22 With the exception of “A Randomized, Controlled, Six-month Trial of Yoga in Healthy Seniors: Effects on Cognition and Quality of Life” conducted by Oken et al.4 which used an older subject population ranging from 6585 years, all the studies found a significant improvement in attention following Hatha/Iyengar yoga. As with memory, it is believed that the older population of healthy adults tested by Oken et al.4 had already reached their full potential prior to the


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study, or the lessened intensity level of the modified yoga intervention was not effective in increasing attention levels. The positive result of the five other studies suggests that yoga performance may improve attention. The asana and pranayama techniques can improve oxygen intake while dhyana brings about a sense of awareness.23, 24 The enhancement of oxygen and heightened awareness may produce changes in perception, attention, and cognition.24 It was found that the yoga group showed a greater improvement than an exercise control group which performed a stretching, walking, and supine rest intervention for eight weeks.11 The improvement of the yoga group could be attributed to the high levels of concentration on body posture and movement which yoga exercises demand.12 Four studies performed cyclic meditation as the intervention and all four found a significant improvement in attention compared to baseline.7,8,17,18 The results were also compared to a supine rest group. Three of the four studies found a greater increase in attention scores with cyclic meditation than with supine rest.7,8,17 It is suggested that the movement aspect of cyclic meditation is more effective at improving attention than an equal duration of supine rest.17 Only one study found supine rest to cause a greater improvement in attention, yet both techniques showed a statistically significant improvement. 18 A digit letter substitution task was used to assess the subjects. The author suggests sustained attention as the probable aspect of cognition which accounts for an improvement in score following cyclic meditation and supine rest. One study conducted by Sarang and Telles8 used P300 peak latencies to assess changes following the yoga intervention. After cyclic meditation, P300 peak amplitudes were higher compared to the baseline values. This suggests an increased attentional resource. Breathing and meditation techniques were used in three studies.6,15,16 As seen with memory, Kapalabhati and Sahaj yoga found a significant improvement in attention scores.6,15 Again, this is most likely due to the enhancement of oxygen supply resulting from the controlled and deep

7 breathing techniques used in these forms of yoga. Right and left unilateral nostril breathing produced no improvement in attention scores.16 It was predicted that right nostril breathing would have produced an increase in attention scores which takes place in the left hemisphere, but this was not shown in the study results. The mechanism is not understood due to the lack of understanding of the central nervous system activity in relation to unilateral nostril breathing. C. Perception Perception uses previous knowledge to gather and interpret the stimuli registered by the senses. Perception combines aspects of the outside world such as the visual stimuli and your own inner world, your previous knowledge. We have many perceptual systems including audition, touch, taste, vision, and smell. The following studies, however, focus primarily on the visual system and how we perceive information like size, shape, color, texture, and depth. This is termed object or pattern recognition.9(p35-36) Ten studies were found exploring the effect of yoga on perception.6-8,11,12,14,22,25-27 All ten studies showed a significant improvement in perception following interventions. Six of the studies used Hatha/Iyengar yoga-like interventions.11,12,14,22,25,26 All six studies found improvements in perception with yoga practitioners. Perception was tested by Ramana et al.25 using critical flicker fusion frequency (CFF). After 20 days, the subjects of the yoga group showed a statistically significant improvement in CFF scores. This improvement was not seen in the control group. It is stated that the mechanism underlying the increase is not known; however, a possible explanation may be the reduction of physiological stress, such as heart and breath rate, as well as oxygen consumption, which results from yoga techniques.25 One study compared a group who had been regularly practicing a form of Hatha yoga for the past two months to a group who had never practiced yoga.26 The findings revealed that the yoga participants showed significantly shorter visual reaction time as tested with an electronic chronoscope, suggesting


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an improvement in perceptual skills. The faster reaction time is accredited to the effect yoga has on human personality and performance such as reduced anxiety, increased alertness, and attention.28 Only two studies were found that explored the relationship between cyclic meditation and perception.7,8 Both studies found a significant increase in perception following cyclic meditation training. The study by Sarang and Telles8 used P300 as an assessment of cognitive processes. Not only was an increase in P300 peak amplitudes found, which suggests increased attentional resource, but so, too, was a reduction in peak latencies when compared to baseline. The reduction in peak latencies suggests efficiency and improved processing time. No significant changes were found for the control group which participated in an equal duration intervention of supine rest. Breathing and meditation, Sahaj yoga, was found in one study which assessed perception.6 This study found a significant increase in perception following the practice of Sahaj yoga. Perception, since it is closely associated with attention, may have improved due to the increased oxygen supply and circulation which occurs with the controlled and deep breaths; however, research regarding the effect of breathing and meditation on perception is lacking. D. Spatial Cognition Spatial cognition is a part of mental imagery. Mental imagery, specifically visual imagery, is the mental representation of stimuli when those stimuli are not physically present. Spatial cognition is concerned with the acquisition, organization, utilization, and revision of knowledge about spatial environments.29 Two studies were found comparing the effectiveness of a control group to a yoga group on spatial cognition.13,16 “Certain Studies on Psychological and Biochemical Responses to the Practices of Hatha Yoga in Young Normal Volunteers” by Udupa et al.13 tested 12 participants with the Alaxander’s Passalong Test and Kohs Block Design Test to assess spatial cognition. The

8 subjects took part in one hour of Hatha yoga daily for 6 months. The study concluded that “the practice of Hatha yoga appears to make an individual mentally more competent”. The improvement is attributed to the secondary neurophysiological changes which occur with the practice of Hatha yoga. The second study by Jella and Shannahoff-Khalsa, 16 performed unilateral nostril breathing to test the right-hemispheric performance which is associated with spatial tasks. Spatial cognition was tested using an adapted Shepard Metzler Mental Rotation. The study found that spatial scores significantly improved compared to baseline after 30 minutes of left unilateral forced nostril breathing, but no change was observed with right unilateral forced nostril breathing. These results are consistent with previous research which found a relationship between left nostril dominance and right-hemispheric ability.30 Increased oxygen to the right hemisphere may improve spatial cognitive function. More research is needed in this area of study to determine a definite correlation between left unilateral nostril breathing and an improvement in spatial tasks. E. Problem Solving Problem solving is used when a specific goal must be reached, but the solution is not immediately obvious. This could be because important information is missing and/or it is not clear how to reach the goal. Although these problems tend to be very different, they all have three components: the initial state, the goal state, and the obstacles. The initial state describes the situation at the beginning of the problem. The goal state is when the problem is solved. The obstacles describe the restrictions that make it difficult to proceed from the initial state to the goal state. With the other mental processes discussed, the answer is given and just has to be remembered or perceived. With problem solving, the goal state must be transformed from the gathered information.9(p371-373) Four studies were found that looked at the effect a form of Hatha yoga intervention had on problem solving skills.12,21,31,32 Only one study proved to have a strong correlation of increased


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problem solving with the practice of asana, pranayama and dhyana.32 This study used a subject population between the ages of 10 and 13. This greatly decreases the study’s ability to be generalized. The study used the Tower of London Test as a gauge of problem solving skills. After a month of yoga, the participants showed a significant improvement in planning time, execution time, and number of moves taken to complete a task. Since planning, which is a large part of problem solving in this test, is a frontal lobe function, the results suggest that yoga increases activity of the frontal regions of the brain due to an increase in cerebral blood flow.32 A study performed by Velikonja, et al.21 found no significant improvement in problem solving following a variation of Hatha yoga. The study had 20 participants between the ages of 26 and 50 with relapsing-remitting or progressive multiple sclerosis. The participants were randomly placed into either the Hatha yoga intervention group or the sports climbing intervention group. Both interventions were held once a week for 10 weeks. Problem solving was assessed by the mazes subtest of executive module from the neuropsychological assessment battery and the Tower of London Test. Neither intervention showed significant improvement on either test from baseline to the 10 week mark. The lack of improvement may be attributed to the underlying diagnosis of multiple sclerosis and cannot be generalized to the general public. In addition, the yoga intervention was only performed once a week; perhaps a more intensive yoga intervention is needed to cause substantial improvements. The two other articles had too many limitations for them to have strong creditability.12,31 One study had a yoga group and control group that were not adequately comparable.31 There was a drastic difference between the yoga group’s and control group’s baseline maze learning scores, which made analyzing any improvements occurring during the course of the study hard to interpret. Another article found was classified as a case series since it only tested three subjects.12 The small subject group limited the strength of the results. More

9 research needs to be conducted to explore the effects of Hatha yoga on problem solving skills. In addition, no studies were found that investigated the effects of cyclic meditation or breathing/meditation yoga interventions on problem solving skills. F. Intelligence Quotient While the studies above tried to use tests which focused on a particular cognitive process, the following study tested intelligence quotient (IQ). Each aspect of cognition may increase as seen in some of the studies, but this may not lead to an overall increase in intelligence as scored by an intelligence quotient test in an adult. IQ is the score given with the assessment of intelligence based on one of several standardized tests.14 The standardized tests are designed to measure general cognitive ability to solve problems and understand concepts. The score is “an index of intelligence defined as a person’s mental age divided by his or her chronological age and multiplied by 100”.33(p304) Intelligence quotient was originally created to predict academic success of children. It has been recorded that IQ scores normally do not significantly improve throughout the adult life.14 One study was found that specifically explored the effect yoga may have on IQ.14 IQ was calculated from the Culture Fair Intelligence Test (CFIT). The CFIT assesses individual intelligence minimizing the biases that verbal fluency, cultural climate, and educational level may present. Baseline scores were recorded for 107 high school students prior to a ten-day intensive yoga training program consisting of asanas, pranayama, kriyas, and meditation. A post-treatment assessment was given and recorded. A statistically significant improvement in IQ was observed. There is no full explanation regarding the influence yoga may have on cognitive functioning; however, hypotheses of increased oxygen availability and circulation as well as a correlation between the postural and mental stability have been proposed.14,15 Because the subjects were young, an increase in IQ is more likely. More research is necessary to determine if yoga can increase the IQ of adults.


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II. Overall Findings From the limited studies that were found, it is evident that the effects of yoga on cognition varied based on the aspect of cognition being tested, the form of yoga which is performed, and the demographics of the subject population. The studies collected can be used to make preliminary conclusions which will need to be studied further to validate. Overall, it can be concluded that yoga may have the most significant effects on perception compared to the other cognitive processes since all ten studies which tested perception showed a significant improvement following a yoga intervention. 6-8,11,12,14,22,25-27 The exact mechanism for this increase is not completely understood, but many researchers accredited the improvement to the reduction of stress, heart rate and respiratory rate, with an increase in oxygen consumption following the practice of yoga.8 Yoga seemed to have the least effect in increasing problem solving scores since only one of the four studies found showed a significant increase in that area; however, further research is needed to confirm these results due to the limitations of the studies.12,21,31,32 When comparing the three categories of yoga interventions-- forms of Hatha yoga, cyclic meditation, and form of breathing/meditation based yoga-- no one intervention seems to be the most effective. There are studies for each form of yoga which indicate a significant increase and studies which argue the effectiveness of yoga practice on the different aspects of cognition. Overall, forms of Hatha yoga and cyclic meditation showed a greater increase in cognition compared to breathing/meditation techniques. It is believed that the varying postures and movements performed with cyclic meditation and Hatha yoga help increase cognitive performance more so than breathing in a static position.17 This can be seen in unilateral nostril breathing which showed very limited improvements in cognition.10,16 The demographics of the subject population may also play a role in the effectiveness of the yoga intervention. The study performed by Oken et al.4 used the oldest subject population between the ages of 65-85. No significant improvement in cognition

10 was found following a six month trial of Iyengar yoga. Galantino et al.12 used a subject population between the ages of 55-67 with the mean age being 60. This study suggested very limited improvement in only a few cognitive processes. In contrast, three studies used a subject population under the age of 18.14,18,32 Between the three studies, memory, attention, perception, problem solving, and IQ were all tested and each showed significant increases following a yoga intervention. The additional studies included in this literature review tested an adult population, and recorded varying levels of improvement following yoga interventions. From this compilation of studies, it is suggested that yoga may be more effective in improving cognition in a younger population than an older population. III. Future Implications As the practice of yoga increases across the world, it is important to further study the possible benefits associated with it. Current research regarding the effect yoga has on cognition is limited, but each study is an important stepping stone for future studies. From the studies in this literature review, it is suggested that cognition may increase with the practice of yoga depending on the form of yoga used, the demographics of the subject population, and the cognitive process which is being assessed. Recommendations for further studies include: (1) compare the effects of one form of yoga versus another form of yoga on cognition, (2) compare the effects of the same yoga intervention on cognition between different age groups, and (3) compare the effects of a yoga intervention on cognition in individuals with pathologies associated with decreased cognition. If, through future studies, a proven direct correlation exists between yoga interventions and an increase in cognition, yoga programs could be implemented in schools and possibly nursing homes. Businesses and corporations may provide further opportunities for employees to take part in yoga programs. Within healthcare, yoga may be incorporated in the treatment of individuals with various pathologies associated with decreased cognition.


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Works Cited 1. Broad WJ. The Science of Yoga. New York: Simon & Schuster; 2012. 2. Liebers A. Relax with Yoga. New York: Bell Publishing Company, Inc.; 1960. 3. Burgin T. Yoga for Beginners: A Quick Start Guide to Practicing Yoga for New Students. United States: AdhiMukti Press; 2012. 4. Oken BS, Zajdel D, Kishiyama S, et al. Randomized, controlled, six-month trial of yoga in healthy seniors: effects on cognition and quality of life. Altern Ther Health Med. 2006; 12(1):40-47. 5. Yoga Poses. Yoga Journal Web site. http://www.yogajournal.com/. Published 2012. Accessed June 4, 2012. 6. Sharma VK, Das S, Mondal S, Goswami U, Gandhi A. Effect of Sahaj yoga on neuro-cognitive functions in patients suffering from major depression. Indian J Physiol Pharmacol. 2006; 50(4):375-383. 7. Sarang SP, Telles S. Immediate effect of two yoga-based relaxation techniques on performance in letter-cancellation task. Percept Mot Skills. 2007; 105:379-385. 8. Sarang SP, Telles S. Changes in P300 following two yogabased relaxation techniques. Int J Neurosci. 2006; 116(12):1419-1430. 9. Matlin, M. Cognition. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons; 2013. 10. Joshi M, Telles S. Immediate effects of right and left nostril breathing on verbal and spatial scores. Indian J Physiol Pharmacol. 2008; 52(2):197-200. 11. Chattha R, Nagarathna R, Padmalatha V, Nagendra HR. Effect of yoga on cognitive functions in climacteric syndrome: a randomized control study. BJOG. July 2008; 115(8):991-1000. 12. Galantino M, Cannon N, Hoelker T, Quinn L, Greene L. Effects of Iyengar yoga on measures of cognition fatigue, quality of life, flexibility, and balance in breast cancer survivors: a case series. ROJ. 2008; 26(1):18-27.

11 13. Udupa KN, Singh RH, Yadav RA. Certain studies on psychological and biochemical responses to the practices of Hatha yoga in young normal volunteers. Indian J Med Res. February 1973; 61(2):237-244. 14. Sridevi K, Sitamma M, Krishna Rao PV. Yoga training and cognitive task performance. Indian J Psychol. 1998; 16:34-39. 15. Jhansi RN. Effect of enhancement of oxygen supply through yogic procedure on cognitive task performance. Indian J Psychol. 2006; 24:1-6. 16. Jella S, Shannahoff-Khalsa D. The effects of unilateral forced nostril breathing on cognitive performance. Int J Neurosci. 1993; 73:61-68. 17. Subramanya P, Telles S. Effect of two yoga-based relaxation techniques on memory scores and state anxiety. Biopsychosoc Med. 2009; 3:8. 18. Pradhan B, Nagendra HR. Effect of yoga relaxation techniques on performance of digit-letter substitution task by teenagers. Int J Yoga. 2009; 2(1):30-34. 19. Werntz DA, Bickford RG, Bloom RE, ShannahoffKhalasa DS. Alternating cerebral hemispheric activity and the lateralization of autonomic nervous function. Hum Neurobiol. 1987; 6:165-171. 20. Merriam-Webster: An Encyclopedia Britannica Company. http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/attention. Accessed January 25, 2013.

Irene Boyle (’13, B.S., Health Science, Exercise Physiology; ’15 DPT) is a graduate student working towards her Doctorate of Physical Therapy. As an undergraduate, she was a member of the Honors Program and Delta Epsilon Sigma, as well as the Physical Therapy Organization, the Exercise Physiology Organization, the Deep Friar Ultimate Frisbee Team, and Campus Ministry.


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What is Google Doing to Us? Kimberly A. Gronski Physical Therapy Department School of Health Sciences kag101@francis.edu

Grant A. Julin, Ph.D. Philosophy and Religious Studies Department School of Arts & Letters gjulin@francis.edu

Google is one of the fastest and most relied upon search engines available to the public today (Jamali and Asadi). If we do not know the answer to a question, what is the next reasonable thing to do: Google it. This paper will explore the ways Google has changed the way we act as students, educators, and every day people. With the availability of countless amounts of information with just a few clicks of a computer mouse, it makes looking up information unbelievably easy. Why search through books at a library when you can easily find access to information online? Most of us would agree that this utilization of Google is great, but question if we are too dependent on this search engine. Also, it needs to be questioned if this accessibility has changed the way we attain and utilize information; has it changed the way our minds behave and think? This paper will explore the effects of Google on our utilization and processing of information. How Google works First, we need to understand how Google works. Google navigates the web by a process known as crawling. They follow links from page to page indefinitely. These pages are then sorted and put into the index, which is made up of over one hundred million gigabytes. Then, Google uses algorithms; algorithms are a compilation of programs and formulas. These algorithms pick up key words, or clues, from whatever you type in the search box of Google, and use these bits of information to find relevant documents in the index. Then these results are ranked based on relevance within the index and displayed to you accordingly. Finally, to ensure that the algorithms are providing seemingly safe and relevant information, Google blocks spam (“How Search Works”). Our Brains Are Evolving Neuroscientists believe that Google (along with other search engines) is changing how the brain works by changing the pattern of connections, introducing new ones and dispensing with old ones (Nicholas, Rowlands, and Williams). It had been

thought that once the brain had become developed, it could not rewire itself. This was then disputed by a Columbia University research study on the brain. In this study, led by Betsy Sparrow, Jenny Liu, and Daniel M. Wegner, the limits of neuroplasticity were tested: “For decades, the prevailing dogma in neuroscience was that the adult human brain is essentially immutable, hardwired, fixed in form and function, so that by the time we reach adulthood we are pretty much stuck with what we have” (Begley). However, this has been proven to be false. Our processing of information has changed in our brains. With the ability to “power browse” articles on the internet, we seem to be merely skimming articles for information instead of actually reading the article meaningfully. Our ability to deeply read and process the information in the reading is being overshadowed by this scanning. Maryanne Wolf, a developmental psychologist at Tufts University, states that “our ability to interpret text, to make the rich mental connections that form when we read deeply and without distraction, remains largely disengaged” due to the way we read on the internet (Carr). Wolf states that we have to teach our minds how to read,


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thus making neural connections to allow us to be able to understand text. However, she warns that “the circuits woven by our use of the Net will be different from those woven by our reading of books and other printed works” (Carr). And I believe this to be true. I think it is safe to say everyone is guilty of glancing over articles to find the information they need on either paper or digital medium. But the point is our brains are becoming rewired to do this; they are becoming rewired to act like computers, rather than human beings. We are adapting to this reliance on technology and I do not believe there is any way to go back. Once our brains are rewired to not retain information meaningfully, or be able to deeply analyze and comprehend a text, we will have lost some of the most important functions of the human brain. Many critics of our reliance on Google argue our ability to concentrate has been diminished, although there are no proven statistics (Carr). But, it poses an intriguing point; with the internet opening new pathways to hundreds of different websites, we are able to become side-tracked in a matter of seconds. I know I have certainly gone onto a website with the intent of reading an article for class, and then had become sidetracked by a link to a different article, which then lead me to a new webpage, and then thirty minutes later I am reading about something totally unrelated to the original article. This may prove to be one of the consequences of having so much information so readily at the click of a mouse. This needs to be taken into consideration and I believe many researchers will begin to test and conduct more experiments to see if our ability to concentrate has been declining due to the internet. Effect on Research The process of researching information has most certainly been changed by the utilization of the internet and search engines. Before Google and the computer, people had to go to libraries to find hard copies of books, articles, etc. It could take people days to find the information they needed whereas today it takes people a matter of minutes due to the processing capabilities of Google. I

13 cannot remember the last time I went to library to search for a research book. Google even has its own scholarly article finder: Google Scholar. Google Scholar is important because it is designed to retrieve scholarly literature via the web: “Compared to specialized citation indexes such as Web of Science, Google Scholar has shown more success in reflecting the quantity of citations in published papers and scholarly publications” (Jamali and Asadi). I use Google Scholar for every research paper I write; it is an easy, accredited way to find the research articles you need. I will sometimes go get the actual hard copy of an article from the library if the online full text (first discovered on Google Scholar) is not available. "Google has become the symbol of competition to the academic library”, and I agree (Jamali and Asadi). I can find hundreds of sources online, skim through their abstracts, and in a matter of a minute decide whether or not the source will be useful to me. At a library we have to first find the section the article would be in, and then look through them for hours trying to find one that is relevant. If I can find what I need in such a short amount of time on the internet, why would I spend hours at a library? With that being said, I do not believe we will ever completely abandon libraries. Personally, I like having a physical book in front of me when reading for pleasure, or when reading a textbook for a class. There is something about the smell and feel of a book in front of you that I do not think an electronic copy can give. However, in research I would much rather use the internet to locate my information. Google is truly a fantastic resource to have available to us; we can access documents and studies from around the world that we may never have been able to use prior to the internet. I think this access to worldly studies makes our research more relevant, reliable, and useful. There are so many great minds and studies around the world, and our ability to share these and access them is truly beneficial to the world of academia. However, this begs the question if we use these search engines just because of simplicity when the same articles could possibly be found in libraries?


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Faster Productivity In today’s fast pace world, productivity is key. No one can deny that deadlines and time constraints run the industrialized world. The rate at which we can get things done is remarkable, and this is one of the reasons our society is so technologically savvy. This is probably one of the most important reasons we use Google and other search engines: they are fast, efficient, and productive. Like mentioned earlier, we can find information in a matter of minutes by a few clicks of a mouse. However, Google can be difficult to find specifically what you want; you need to be extremely specific when searching for information. You can get a thousand hits, but probably ninety percent were not relevant to your inquiry and just happened to be interlinked with other websites. Everything is profit based, which is why efficiency is so important. “The efficiency of the Web reduces the cost of transactions needed for producing and distributing many products and services” (Sathyanarayana, India, and Reddy). With all of these facts, how can we not use Google? Not utilizing Google would be succumbing oneself to inferiority with the rest of the corporate and industrialized world. Although this may be a sad reality, it is the truth. The older generations were not brought up on Google, but instead on encyclopedias and printed journals. Their brains are wired to critically analyze written texts, since that was their only option to access and process information. But now in this technologically driven world, the older generation must learn to utilize this new technology. This means their neural networks in their brains must adapt and change to the type of networks the younger generation has developed, based off their use of the internet. If the older generation still wants to compete in the business world, or even to better understand technology, their brains will have to become accustomed to processing online information. Memory Impairment? Studies have shown that memory has turned into “transactive” memory; we no longer solely focus on remembering the information, but instead,

14 remember how to find the information (Johanson). In this case, we turn to search engines to remember bits of information. For example, a Colombia University study tested groups of people with their memory and recollection of certain statements of information. One group was told the computer would save the pieces of information they typed in, and the other group was told the computer would not save the information. The group that did not believe the computer would save their information remembered more of the information than the group that was relying on the computer (Sparrow, Liu, and Wegner). This study is one of many which demonstrate our reliance on technology is impairing our memory because we do not rely solely on ourselves anymore. Before search engines, if we did not know an answer, name, tune to a song, etc., we would just ask a friend, or family member, or not stop searching in our own minds for the answer. Now if we do not remember something, we can easily just ask the search engines of the internet. It is as if we are not challenging our minds anymore or testing our memory capability. I suppose Google could be compared to a friend (a high-speed, all-knowing friend), since either way you are asking for the information. However, at least when you ask a friend for help remembering something, it stimulates their neural connections, permitting someone to work their brain. “It has become so commonplace to look up the answer to any question the moment it occurs that it can feel like going through withdrawal when we can’t find out something immediately” (Sparrow et al). Never have truer words been spoken. At least from personal experience, when I do not remember something right away, I become increasingly frustrated. Normally, yes, I would Google it, succumbing to my frustration. But reflecting on past experiences, it is so satisfying and rewarding to finally remember that piece of information on your own. Often, this piece of information suddenly pops into your brain a few hours later, but that is the beauty of the brain. Even though after hours of not thinking about that piece of


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information you could not recall, the brain finds a way to emerge that information. Goodbye Intellect? With Google and all of those sources of information at our fingertips, we can know any answer we so desire. Does that mean without Google we are dumb? Are we decreasing our intellect by relying on Google to know the information for us? Nicholas Carr, author of “Is Google Making Us Stupid”, whom I have cited throughout this text, believes Google is lowering our concentration levels and making us lose our ability to remember information, thus making us less intelligent. I do not think our dependence on Google is making us lose our intellect, but instead we are training our brains to act and process differently. I believe our analyzing skills may be diminishing, but not our knowledge base. We can learn so much on the Internet, and I do not believe we utilize it to the best of our abilities. There is so much information available to us, we should be increasing our knowledge content. However, if we are not deeply reading this material, we are not going to retain the information like we should. Socrates was skeptical of the use of writing things down for he believed those who wrote things down would “be thought very knowledgeable when they are for the most part quite ignorant” (Carr). Socrates was afraid people would rely too much on these pieces of parchment, instead of using their minds for information. This is also a fair critique for our use of Google. I do believe that Google will make us more educated if utilized correctly; we can learn so much in such a short period of time due to the accessibility and high speeds of the internet. If utilized incorrectly (by just skimming the pages), I think it can make people ignorant. This type of ignorance is not so much from lack of factual knowledge, but ignorance by not being aware that our reliance on Google is changing our physiology of the brain and is affecting our comprehensive abilities. To further dispute Carr’s claim in his article, The Pew study found “In its survey of 895 experts… 76 percent agreed with this statement, ‘By 2020, people's use of the internet has enhanced

15 human intelligence; as people are allowed unprecedented access to more information they become smarter and make better choices’” (Weir). This makes sense; the more information available, the more one can become educated, and thus one can apply this new knowledge to live a better, smarter life. This is the hope of the internet: to allow its users to utilize its information to the best of their abilities. Final Thoughts I do not think it is fair to say that Google is making us stupid. Although I agree our memory may be diminishing by not remembering the information that was skimmed via the internet, I think our information finding abilities have dramatically increased. We can remember where we found an article, which will prove to be beneficial in the world of academia. We have access to countless sources of information which, as experts have said, will set the ground for an exponential accumulation of knowledge. We have all of this great information at our fingertips and it should be utilized. We just need to understand that with this access to information, we have to make ourselves keep our ability to deeply understand material. Google can be one of our greatest tools, so let’s use it accordingly. Works Cited Begley, Sharon. "The Brain: How The Brain Rewires Itself." Time Magazine. 19 Jan 2011: n. page. Web. Carr, Nicholas. "Is Google Making Us Stupid." The Atlantic. 01 Jul 2008: n. page. Web. "How Search Works." Google-Inside Search. Google. Web. Jamali, Hamid R., and Saeid Asadi. "Google and the Scholar: The Role of Google in Scientists' Information-Seeking Behaviour." Online Information Review 34.2 (2010): 28294. ProQuest. Web. Nicholas, David, Ian Rowlands, and Peter Williams. "Google Generation II: Web Behaviour Experiments with the BBC." Aslib Proceedings 63.1 (2011): 28-45. ProQuest. Web. Johanson, Mark. “Study: Does Google Change the Way we Think?” International Business Times.14 Jul 2011: n.page. Web. Sathyanarayana Rao, T., Vishal Indla, and Indla Reddy. "Is Digital Boom Spelling Cerebral Doom?" Indian Journal of Psychiatry 54.4 (2012): 301-3. ProQuest. Web. Sparrow, Betsy, Jenny Liu, and David Wegner. "Google Effects on Memory: Cognitive Consequences of Having


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Information at Our Fingertips." Science. 333.76 (2011): n. page. Web. Weir, David. "Experts Say Google Does Not Make Us Stupid." CBS Money Watch. CBS, 23 Feb 2010. Web.

16 Kimberly Gronski (‘15) is a Physical Therapy major with a minor in Spanish. She is a member of the NEC Saint Francis University Women’s Lacrosse Team, as well as the Phi Eta Sigma National Honors Society and Phi Sigma Iota, the National Language Honors Society. She will graduate with her doctorate in Physical Therapy in 2017.


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The Blending of Passions Integrating Art into a World of Science Danielle R MacMurtrie Physical Therapy Department School of Health Sciences drm100@francis.edu

As a physical therapy major at St. Francis University, I am surrounded by science majors: chemistry, biology, physics, and the health sciences. On the one hand, that is the reason I chose St. Francis. I love physical therapy and I have never doubted that it is the field I wish to pursue as a career. I enjoy the classes and am fascinated by all that I am learning. However, my heart has always belonged to the Arts – singing, painting, sketching, sculpting, poetry, theater, dance, I love it all. Though dissuaded from taking an art minor, I found an outlet in the fine arts classes I took with my elective credits. When I ran out of credits, I decided to use my Honors Thesis as an opportunity to continue to cultivate the talent I was beginning to realize. The other purpose I had in selecting painting as a thesis was to attempt to reconcile my two loves: my future career and my passion for art. I wanted to combine these two very different parts of myself: one very scientific and methodical, the other creative and vibrant. Although I always desired to be a physical therapist, I also wanted to be an artist; perhaps not an artist in the sense of a career, but an artist at heart. My dream was to combine these worlds to make one beautiful life. However, in order to maintain both interests throughout my life, I knew I needed to learn to balance them. I couldn’t put off painting until after I was finished graduate school or I would risk stifling the growth of a blossoming talent. I realized that in order for my loves to coexist peacefully, they were going to have to learn to get along, so to speak. When I first conceived the idea for this series, I had quite a romanticized notion of what it would be like. I had a fairly light academic workload and was

confident that, given the time I had designated for the project, the creative juices would flow onto the canvas. I wanted to find a style that captured human figure and its emotion as Lionel Smit and Toulouse Lautrec did. In retrospect, my expectations were a bit lofty. I had never used oil paints before and had only ever attempted painting people a few times in my life. As I began my thesis, I realized that this was going to be harder than I thought. Over the months that followed, I wrestled with my creations. I learned how to manipulate the colors and shape the figures. Some days it was easy, and I could paint for five hours straight and take pride in my work. Other days, I lay on the floor and slept out of frustration. However, despite every difficulty, it was a wonderfully rewarding endeavor. This experience taught me far more than just how to paint; I grew in ways I never anticipated. I expected that I would become a better artist and gain confidence developing talent, but the entire process taught me so much more. Everything from choosing subjects to painting the canvas to the array of emotions that accompanied each painting was part of a remarkable journey. This unexpected growth is the topic of this thesis. It archives the bounds I made both in my abilities and in my understanding of myself. I never imagined I would be capable of taking on a project like this. While I have always been creative, I had very little actual training in art. I took a few classes here and there growing up, but until I came to college, I was primarily self-taught. I didn’t realize the aptitude I had for paints until I took an acrylics class my freshman year. My early attempts at painting people in acrylic were nothing


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spectacular. It wasn’t until I took a drawing class my sophomore year that I fell in love with the human figure. When I decided to paint for my Honors Thesis, I challenged myself to take everything I learned and combine it with a new medium: oil paint. My journey began with a sketchbook full of ideas, scribbles, sketches, and lists. I found artists who inspired me and filled documents on my computer with images of their work. I brainstormed with myself and others in search of a theme that would serve as a structure for my series. My original idea was to paint a series that portrayed “the human condition” which, according to my definition, encompassed a wide range of emotion and feeling that expresses our humanity. I even took a course called The Philosophy of Human Nature to better understand what I was trying to depict. It didn’t take me long to realize that I had no desire to paint philosophers’ understanding of human nature and the human condition. Instead I dismissed the idea of a theme and focused on a list of words that I assembled. The words tied into my original definition of the human condition, but that definition became a springboard rather than a structure. I recruited models from friends and family to bring the concepts from my list to life, then sketched dozens of ideas for paintings. Some of them never met with a paintbrush, while other evolved into the eight final compositions. 1. I realized it was very important to capture my growth over time by taking pictures at different stages of each painting. This is the first piece I started and thus shows the most improvement from my original attempt to the completed painting. I never worked on one painting exclusively or tried to finish one before starting another. I would work on one piece, and if I lost momentum, I simply shifted my focus for a while. Upon returning to the troublesome composition, I incorporated styles and solutions I discovered in the other paintings. Due to this method of learning, elements from every painting—color, blending techniques, backgrounds, brush strokes, proportions—appear throughout the series. Every piece is connected.

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Beautifully Broken 2. One of the initial hurdles I had to face very early on in the thesis was working without an instructor or set class time. It is easy to show up to a class at an established time and work while your instructor is on hand to give immediate feedback. It is an entirely different matter when one’s schedule and assessment is in her own hands. While I had an advisor for my thesis, he was abroad for the semester and, due to the difference in time and schedules, essentially unavailable to me. I was on my own with a new medium and lots of blank canvases. I realized that I had to find my own motivation or I would never be able to paint beyond the confines of a classroom. At the time of this painting, though I had a total of four paintings underway, I reached a drought. I was trying to decide what to do with the background and how to blend the colors without muddying them, and I simply didn’t know where to go with the painting. I loved the idea, but I didn’t know how to execute it. I timidly experimented and branched out with my color choices as I tiptoed out of my comfort zone. I was working one night when I stepped back and realized that I was finished. I didn't need to add another stroke. In the past, I have always relied on my instructor to look over my shoulder and say,


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19

“Stop. It’s done, don’t touch it anymore.” This time, I recognized the merit of my creation and was proud of it. After this victory, my confidence escalated and I plunged back into my work with replenished zeal.

Nothing Else Matters

Consumed 3. I am a perfectionist. I have high standards of achievement for myself and I hate to struggle with things. I spent the first half of my thesis criticizing and reprimanding myself for making mistakes and not learning fast enough. Eventually, after wearing myself down, I realized I had no business being so hard on myself. I did not spend my life honing this gift as other artists have. It came rather easily to me, but I am still a neophyte in the world of art. I couldn’t expect myself to be as good as other artists or be envious of their styles. I needed to be gentler with myself, and I needed to trust my ability. Most importantly, I had to stop trying so hard to be perfect and just let myself paint. Up to this point, I was satisfied with the progress of each of my endeavors. I had no reason to doubt myself. After that, I gave myself the freedom to create from my heart instead of trying to measure up to the standards in my head.

4. Not every painting went well; I struggled with this one in particular. I tried to break out of my comfort zone and go with a different style. It didn’t work out. I was in a miserable mood the day I began this painting and slapped the paint on the canvas. To my disappointment, rather than experiencing anything therapeutic, I only frustrated myself further. I declared it a failure, and left it alone for several months. After I had gained more experience and confidence, I was motivated to try again. I painted for eleven hours straight until I was satisfied. Though I first considered ripping it in half, this piece is now a symbol of redemption. It is proof that problems once too vast to handle can shrink as we grow and learn ways to overcome them.

Reverie


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5. There were times I was convinced my paintings had minds and personalities of their own. It was as though they knew better than I did what form they were meant to take. I began with a completely different vision for this painting. I was inspired by the work of Lionel Smit, my favorite contemporary artist. His creations explode with emotion and power. I wanted to find a way to make my paintings command that same presence. When I started to paint, though, nothing seemed to go the way I planned.

20 When I finally stepped back from my easel, I couldn’t stop staring at what I had just made. I loved this painting. It is free and energetic, full of color and life. It grabs your attention and holds your respect. This is my style. It may not be Lionel Smit, but it is me, and that was a big step in the right direction. 6. Even after I found a style I liked, I sometimes fell back into my old habits. It was once my goal to paint lifelike figures, and I hadn’t yet let that desire go. Though I was learning to embrace a more colorful, expressive style in my other paintings, I remained trapped in the past with this piece. It started loose and fluid, but as the painting progressed, I fell back into tight, meticulous brushstrokes and careful color choices. I wish I had stopped when the painting was more exciting. I enjoyed her wild, blue hair and that fanciful, ladyof-the-lake quality about her, but I got caught up trying to fix her. I overworked her in pursuit of that realistic quality, and as a result she lost her magic. In the end, I painted a pretty, Cover Girl model with puffy lips; I am bored with her. She is too perfect to be interesting, but not perfect enough to be really exceptional.

The Challenger I picked the strangest color combinations and wasn’t sure why. By the time I finished his eyes, I had the feeling my creation and I had contrary ideas of what he should look like. I decided to go with the flow until the face was filled in. I stepped back, declared that I had painted a zombie, and left in frustration. When I finally returned a few days later, I had to laugh. In that light-hearted moment, I remembered that my brother, the model for this painting, was into a show about zombies called The Walking Dead. I decided to stop taking myself so seriously and have a bit of fun. With a smirk on my face, I loaded my pallet with red paint and turned my brother into a zombie slayer.

After the Storm


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While this is my least favorite painting, she taught me a valuable lesson. I got what I always wanted; this was the closest I ever came to realistic painting, but I was not satisfied. After this piece, I was finally content with my own style. I have been to the other side, and the grass is not greener. It is lovely, but it is not me. One day, I will try again with this painting. I will take a paintbrush to her pretty face and reclaim her as mine. 7. While I didn’t recognize and put into words what I learned about myself until the completion of the project, I could feel myself growing. Many of the difficulties I had when I first began faded with each painting I initiated. There were always new questions to answer and obstacles to overcome— how to paint jeans, how try to convey a reflection in a dark window, how to manage the textures of cloth and hair—but I was no longer intimidated by them. I studied other paintings and I experimented with different techniques. If something didn’t work out, I let the paint dry and tried again. I know there is still a world to discover about painting and that I have only scraped the surface. I will never stop learning. I want to take more art classes and try different media, subjects, and styles. I never want to settle with what I have or think I know it all. There will always be new challenges to confront, but I know that I have the ability to somehow conquer them all.

21 8. This is the last painting I began. There were two weeks left in the semester and I still had no idea what I was going to paint, let alone a model and photograph. The inspiration came without a moment to spare. In the midst of my exams and closing assignments, I dove into this final creation. Amazingly, with the exception of the time constraint, this was my least stressful painting. I finally understood what I wanted and how to get it. I wanted a loose, light, almost sketchy painting; it was not to be perfect or lifelike. I simply wanted to capture the essence of her. I had a style and I stayed true to it. This is my crowning creation. It is not my best or favorite of the series, but it is the culmination of everything I learned over the course of the project. It was painted without ceremony, without doubt or self-criticism, and without fear. This painting makes me smile. She gives me hope that, throughout my life, however hectic it gets, I will be able to find time to fill my world with color, beauty, and laughter.

Lighting up the World Clouded Eyes

The human body never ceases to amaze and fascinate me. As a gymnast growing up, I


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discovered what the human body is capable of. In school, I took chemistry, biology, anatomy, and movement science and learned what the body is composed of and how it works. Then I spent over a semester completely immersed in the human figure, exploring the color, feeling, form, movement: all that is artistic and beautiful about the body. This thesis was never a study of human anatomy; I didn’t try to paint as a physical therapist. Rather, I was trying to paint something more human than muscles and proportions. I believe the body can reveal much more about a person than a special test or diagnostic image. Of course those things are good and valuable and will be essential in my profession, but I wanted to understand something deeper. Through my paintings, I tried to reveal a person’s desire to be understood, to find meaning and love. I attempted to capture the struggle with despair, loneliness, and addiction. I wanted to honor that incredible determination to hope and find peace and joy in life. I tried to reflect just a glimpse of the beautiful brokenness that exists in so many people. I will be treating these broken people every day, and I want to make sure I see them for all that they are. If I am able to do that, and I am able to be a better physical therapist for it, then this project will all be worth it. My thesis gave me my freedom. It taught me that, not only do I have the ability to make art and,

22 specifically, painting part of my life, but also part of who I am. I don’t need a set class time; I don’t need an instructor to direct me. I can come up with my own ideas and bring them to life. I am an artist and I intend to remain one. I want a studio in my house and I want to keep painting, sketching, and creating art. I began this project with a dream to create a series of paintings, but by the completion of my thesis, I proved that I possess the ability to make it part of my life. That is exactly what I plan to do. My goal is to merge my two worlds into a wonderful life in which I can bring all of my creative energy and passion into whatever home, hospital, or clinic I set foot in. My life itself is a painting right now. Whatever happens is going to be beautiful, and I can’t wait. I am an artist. It is not a career I am choosing to pursue, but a life I choose to live.

Danielle MacMurtrie (’14) is a Physical Therapy major with a minor in Exercise Physiology. She has been actively involved in Campus Ministry through liturgical, music, and peer ministries. She is a member of the Honors Program, as well as the National Scholastic Honors Society, Delta Epsilon Sigma. She is also member of the Literary Guild and H.U.G.S. United.


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2013 Office of Student Research Awards for Research Excellence

The goal of the Office of Student Research is to foster the culture of student research at Saint Francis University. Student research has become an important part of the education of an increasing number of Saint Francis University students. Each year the Office of Student Research recognizes students who have shown exemplary effort conducting research at the University. The following four students were the recipients of the 2013 Office of Student Research Awards for Research Excellence, given out at the Third Annual Saint Francis University Research Day on November 21, 2013:

For research excellence in the School of Arts & Letters, Rose Klaiber, who conducted archival research on Pittsburgh journalist Cara Reese, the first woman to report from and sketch the great Johnstown Flood. Rose did a great deal of research in various archives to reconstruct Reese's life. She presented a paper detailing her research at a conference at Susquehanna University.

For research excellence in the School of Business, Caleb Brantner, who conducted research on personal debt in the United States. Caleb worked last summer as a research intern at the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland and had one of his research articles on consumer borrowing published in Trends. He has presented his research at a variety of venues including the Annual SFU Research Day, an undergraduate economics conference in Boston, and a professional academic conference in Denver.

For research excellence in the School of Health Sciences, Lauren Wingard, who completed an extensive survey based research project on the incidence of stress incontinence in female athletes. She presented her research at the Second Annual SFU Research Day, and has also published her work in SPECTRUM – Journal of Student Research at Saint Francis University.

For research excellence in the School of Sciences, Rebecca Peer, who worked on a novel sustainable approach for the co-treatment of two common waste streams, sewage and acid mine drainage. Becky was a key co-author on a number of sewage and acid mine drainage cotreatment articles and was the lead author on a paper she presented at the 2013 International Mine Water Association conference.

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Call for papers Sub m ission G uid elines The purpose of SPECTRUM is not merely to disseminate new results, but also to inform and enlighten. Our readership is a general and multidisciplinary audience who may not be an expert in your field of study. Consequently, please explain all pertinent concepts essential to understanding your article as well as any concepts that might not be common knowledge. Please submit your file in Microsoft Word format as an attachment to the following email address: spectrum@francis.edu. The text should be single spaced, using 12-point Times New Roman font. Please use italics, rather than underlining, for emphasis. O r ganiz at ion of M anuscr ip t s SPECTRUM is an interdisciplinary journal accepting submissions from the natural sciences, the humanities as well as the professional schools (health sciences and business), therefore, the structure and style of each manuscript will differ from discipline to discipline. Regardless, all submissions must provide a cover sheet, a thorough introduction of the problem your research addresses, the conclusion(s), result(s) or findings of your research, as well as some form of bibliographic citation. Below are the general guidelines for these requirements, some of which may not apply to your area of research. C ov er Sheet Title Names and departments of undergraduate researcher(s) and faculty advisor(s) Abstract (200 – 300 words) Six key words Int r od uct ion Include general background of the relevant field and the larger problem your research addresses as well as its relevance within the field. In addition, explain what prompted your investigation, a summary of previous findings related to your research problem and what contributions your project brings (or was expected to bring) to the issue. M et hod s and M at er ials (If ap p licab le) Summarize important methods and materials used in your research. R esult s/C onclusions Give detailed report of the results and or conclusions reached through your research. Discussion Results should be evaluated in the context of general research problem, the implications of which should be explained with conclusions, predictions or suggestions (if applicable) for further study. T ab les (if ap p licab le) Create tables in Microsoft Word format and insert into general text accompanied by a table legend. Each table needs a number based on its appearance in the paper, where it is referenced. Figur es (if ap p licab le) Please submit figures at the end of the article, one image per page; we will fit these in as we organize the manuscript. Each figure needs a number (the figures shall be numbered consecutively in the order of their appearance in the paper) and a title. SPECTRUM will be printed black and white, but there will be an online version where figures submitted in color will appear in color. R efer ences You may use any referencing style you choose so long as it is a standard format or your discipline (IEE, APA, ACS, PubMed) and that you use it consistently and to the appropriate bibliographical standards.

Spectrum Volume 4(4) Spring 2014  

Spectrum: Journal of Student Research at Saint Francis University