|2 + 2 = free ice cream
RELEASED: July 31, 2003
DANVILLE, KYWhat is (((3 + 9) x 2) ÷ 4) x 7? For many people this would be a difficult mental challenge without the use of a calculator. But how would you manage this problem while pedaling an exercise bike with a breathing apparatus in your mouth?
This is the research that is being undertaken this summer by Danny Henderson, visiting assistant professor of biology at Centre College and Centre seniors Cindee Yates of Seattle, Wash., and Derek Riley of Grand Rivers, Ky.
The research, interactive adjustment to breathing, involves assessing the impact of both mental activity and exercise on breathing.
"People have studied the effect of mental activity on breathing, and the effect of exercise on breathing, but no one has ever studied the combined effect of both," says Henderson, whose research focus is the control of breathing.
The research involves attaching a heart monitor to the participants and recording their breathing at rest. They're asked simple math questions to check the effect of mental activity on breathing. They then cycle for 10 minutes while being asked math questions.
This is the second summer of the research, and there has been high participation from Centre students and Governor's Scholar Program students on campusespecially since every participant receives a coupon for free ice cream.
Riley and Yates are involved in every facet of the research, from carrying out the experiment with the participants, to data collection, data analysis and presenting the results with with Henderson at the Kentucky Academy of Science.
Riley, who plans to attend medical school, explained why he chose to do summer research.
"In the field of science, research is a big career and this has allowed me to explore and feel out this work as a possible career opportunity."
Added Yates, "I enjoy lab work and this is the first time I have worked with human subjects. Plus I get to work alongside Dr. Henderson who is a wonderful teacher." Yates plans to pursue a future in research.
Henderson praised his two research assistants and believes the project would have been more difficult without them.
"Cindee and Derek have suggested good ideas in regard to the research, and as the saying goes, 'the more minds the better the research,' " he said.
By the way, the answer to the math problem is 42 (12 x .5 x 7).
Centre offers many opportunities for students to do collaborative research with faculty members during the academic year and the summer. A number of students are doing collaborative research this summer.
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