Outline of My First Oral Presentation
Multidimensional Health, Neuropsychology, and the Sleep-Wake Cycle
This is a presentation of Driving Lessons (The University of Alberta Press, 2002) edited by Peter J. Rothe (p.10-19)
By Lynda Hoang, Psy 409a


Instructions for this oral presentation are found at:


I. Health is multidimensional

A. Good health consists of the well-being of these areas:

                                                             a.      Physical

                                                            b.      Mental

                                                             c.      Social

B. Society tends to focus on the physical aspects of health, but good health goes far beyond avoiding common physical illnesses.Everyday, we all come across situations that require us to be mentally and socially stable as well.

a. Driving requires not only physical motor skills, but also mental ability to operate a vehicle and pay attention to the road.

b. Socially, one must be adept so that he or she can abide by traffic laws and interact with other drivers, such as signaling a lane change.

C. Culturally, the definition to what exactly is healthy may vary.

D. Different aspects of health are usually taught in separate classes, but tying together subjects can clarify this concept.For example, psychology usually talks about mental health and health class covers physical health.

II. Neuropsychology

A.      Neuropsychology includes most complex cognitive tasks such as memory, attention, language, perception, etc.This field especially focuses on finding out why these tasks sometimes go wrong.

B.      An example of a complex cognitive task many of us do everyday is driving.In our culture, driving has become such a routine task that it becomes easy to do it without paying close attention.

a.       It requires not only visual sharpness, but visual attention and perception as well.That is why typical eye exams given at the DMV cannot predict automobile accidents.

C.      Neuropsychological tests, however, are more promising because they can test visual attention and not just eyesight.

D.      This concept can be taught under any subject in school because it includes most complex cognitive tasks.More specifically, it can be taught in language classes to explain why words canít always be recalled.

III. The Sleep-Wake Cycle

A.†† The sleep-wake cycle is controlled by homeostasis and the circadian rhythm.†† Homeostasis is the term for the biological processes that keep the body regular, and the circadian rhythm lasts about a day, which works with homeostasis to regulate the time we sleep and wake.This is why when we college students try to stay up later than usual to cram for an exam, we become drowsy.

B.†† In our society, we are constantly pushed to work instead of sleep.People view sleep as something they can compromise in order to get something done, but in actuality, it is not a luxury, but a necessity.Being drowsy is not only unhealthy in the long run, but can also be detrimental to our health when driving.

C.†† The sleep-wake cycle can be taught in schools through psychology, biology, and health, to name a few.A specific project could be for students to keep a daily journal listing the time they slept, woke, and how fatigued they felt that day.

Helpful Links:

For information on mental health, go to:


For information on neuropsychology as related to Alzheimerís disease:


For information on the sleep-wake cycle and drowsy driving:


This Presentation is located at:


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