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DEA 1500 Lecture Prelim 1 Notes

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Sandra Watson
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Cornell University

Intro To Human Environ Relat (COGST 1500)

DEA 1500: Intro to Human-Environmental Relations
 Biological factors
 Social environment
 Physical environment – human welfare and HER Processes
Understanding the forces on human behavior. Human Ecology is interdisciplinary.
 What is the role of the physical environment on human health, well-being, and behavior? 
arrow goes in both directions (constant theme)
Examples :
 99% of our species have lived indoors
 raising a cat in a vertical environment – distorted stimulation levels (blind to the horizontal
environment) – cells that fire only to vertical stimuli – effect on brain development
 different amounts of neurotransmitters
 most per capita energy use per country
 People living in mountains healthier than those in the lowlands
o Bad air- malaria – actually parasite
Plasticity and Critical Period
 Critical/sensitive period – the window of time in which we are malleable
 Some aspects of human responses are plastic and malleable with respect to environmental
influences.
 The degree of plasticity varies as a function of particular time periods during development.
These critical periods may differ across species and often vary with different environmental
dimensions.
Ex: cats critical period 6 weeks
What happens to a cat, which during its critical period, has sunglasses with one lens horizontal
and the other vertical?
 Can see both vertical and horizontal, however has very bad binocular vision (interconnected
vision and coordination between the two eyes)
Cornell Kitchen Triangle

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DEA 1500 Lecture Prelim 1 Notes

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