Authors: Maria Vega, Annalee Craigmile. Mentor: Professor Jennifer Hughes
Absract: “We examined the effects of age, commute length in minutes and months, and gender in relation to stress levels. Five-hundred and twenty seven participants, ranging in age from 18-66 years, were recruited by student research assistants for this study. The participants took an online survey assessing demographics, commute, employment, and school information. We found that commuters with longer commutes are significantly more stressed than commuters with shorter commutes to work or school. We also found that females were significantly more stressed than males during their commute. These results illustrate that commuters should find ways to make their commutes shorter by possibly moving closer to their job or finding a job closer to their home. Other options would include finding shorter routes and leaving before or after traffic has decreased. If the commuters do not encounter as much traffic congestion, their commute will be shorter reducing the likelihood of stress.”
Authors: Nadrat Nuhu, Sijia Li, Ravea Rodriquez. Mentor: Professor Jennifer Hughes
Abstract: “Passionate love, defined as the extreme longing to be with another person, has been found to only last within the initial stages of a relationship. The current study proposes that influences such as the length of the relationship, gender, and the presence of children affect the level of passion an individual feels in their relationship. We recruited 121 men and 233 women to participate in this study. Results showed that the length of relationship, the presence of children, and gender significantly affected passion. The men and women in couples that had been together the least amount of time reported the greatest passion. The men and women without children reported greater passion. Men reported more passion than women. These findings provide couples with valuable information about how passion can decrease over the length of a relationship and that the presence of children living at home can be related to decreased passion.”
Characterization of Severe Musculoskeletal Wound Regeneration
Author: Taran Lundgren. Mentor: Professor Douglas Fantz
Abstract: “Musculoskeletal disorders are the most common cause of severe long-term pain and physical disability worldwide with an estimated cost to society of over $215 billion per year in the USA alone. The lab I work in at Georgia Institute of Technology has developed a critically sized composite bone and muscle defect rat model to assess therapeutic strategies to restore limb function after severe injury. The current therapeutic is a nanofiber mesh scaffold containing alginate and rhBMP-2. I use histological staining to look for bone formation, cartilage, and fibrosis in the regenerating tissue. I develop immunohistochemistry protocols to analyze expression of molecules signifying bone formation, angiogenesis, and revascularization of the injury site. We predict there is a significant level of cross-talk between bone and surrounding soft tissue during wound regeneration. This histological information combined with other quantitative measurements will help characterize endogenous repair mechanisms and the effectiveness of therapeutics.”
From Megan’s Abstract:
Otoliths are the ear bones of fishes used for balance and detecting vibrations. Much like a tree, otoliths exhibit growth rings. In temperate species these rings are annual, but in many tropical species rings are deposited daily. If there is a tight correlation between otolith size and fish size, then we can back-calculate an individual’s growth rate across its entire lifetime. To establish this correlation we studied two closely related species of wrasse, Thalassoma amblycephalum and T. bifasciatum. As a side project, we were interested in the degree of lateral symmetry between the otoliths on the right and left sides of an individual.
The general expectation is that physical characters should be symmetrical. However, during our dissections we observed seemingly high levels of variation. This could be a result of weak selection on some internal structures.
Faculty mentor: Lock Rogers, Biology
In this poster Laura Scaeffer presented her study investigating the correlation between eye gaze and color preference. As her abstract notes, “some research has shown a sex-linked genetic difference in color receptor sensitivity suggesting females prefer colors in the reddish-purple region whereas males prefer colors in the bluish-green region. Therefore, researchers predicted females will both gaze at and prefer colors of a reddish-purple hue. Using an eye tracking device, participants were shown an image of six squares of different colors and then asked to indicate their most favorite and least favorite color. Fixation points, measured by the duration of eye gaze, were used for data analysis. Early comparisons indicate a correlation between least favorite color and eye gaze. Findings may be useful to marketing.”
Listening to Music While Commuting to Work and Levels of Commuter Stress
Authors: Cristina I. Gutierrez, Courtney A. Brown
Mentor: Professor Jennifer Hughes
“The purpose of this study was to compare those who listen and do not listen to music while commuting. We wanted to see the differences between these two groups and commute stress, feelings of coping, and feelings of time urgency during the commute. We hypothesized that commuters who listened to music would be more likely to have lower commuter stress, greater feelings of coping, and less feelings of time urgency during the commute. Six hundred ninety participants were recruited for the study and they drove an average of 30.41 miles per day. Twenty undergraduate students collected participants via e-mail and flyers. A snowball sampling technique was used in the study to recruit participants. The participants had to at least drive 10 minutes or more in order to qualify for the study. We found contrary to our predictions, that commuters that listened to music had higher commuter stress, fewer feelings of coping, and greater feelings of time urgency during the commute. Our hypotheses were not supported. Further research needs to be done to clarify these results.”
“It’s a Walk in the Park: Determining the Walkability of the Agnes Scott College Campus, Decatur, Georgia,” by Kimberly Reeves. Faculty mentor: Professor Martha Rees
Abstract: “Many factors influence the walkability of a community, including street width, speed limit, bike paths,pollution, and gender. The walkability of a city reduces the amount of carbon emitted into the atmosphere and the betterment of communities by bringing people together, beautifying cities, and creating safer environments. Through focus groups and surveys, conclusions show what factors influence the walkable or non-walkable community at Agnes Scott College. Safety, weather, and time restraint were the main factors that caused people to refrain from walking further. This paper strives to understand the other main factors that cause people to not walk.”
Comment from James Diedrick: Kimberly Reeves gave an excellent presentation on attitudes toward walking (as opposed to driving) to and from the Agnes Scott campus. Did you know some students drive from the Avery Glen apartments to campus some days? During the Q&A we discussed class, race and gender issues in relation to walking, why certain streets in Decatur have no sidewalks, and the differences between cities like Chicago and Atlanta when it comes to pedestrian-friendly roads and neighborhoods.