Stressful life events affect hormone levels in children undergoing puberty

Joyce Chen ’23 Puberty is a physiological developmental process that every child undergoes during their preteen years. It occurs through the production of a wide variety of hormones within the body. Specifically, the hypothalamic-pituitary-gonadal (HPG) axis and the hormone dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) are involved in initiating an upregulation of hormonal changes, leading to the secretion of the sex hormones testosterone and estrogen. Recent research indicates that … Continue reading Stressful life events affect hormone levels in children undergoing puberty

Playing Analog Game is Associated with Reduced Declines in Cognitive Function: A 68-year Longitudinal Cohort Study

Thumyat Noe ’23 Living an intellectual life is believed to slow down cognitive decline that occurs as a result of aging. Maintenance of cognitive function is widely studied in search for an effective intervention that can reduce the rate of cognitive decline. In particular, digital games are of great interest among researchers because of their potential to enhance and maintain cognitive function. However, the effects … Continue reading Playing Analog Game is Associated with Reduced Declines in Cognitive Function: A 68-year Longitudinal Cohort Study

Smartphones and Impaired Attention Control

Ayesha Azeem ‘23 The introduction of smartphones into human lives has transformed how people think, socialize, and entertain themselves. Nowadays, a smartphone is all one needs for immediate access to information, friends, and entertainment. Additionally, smartphones allow individuals to escape from reality, allowing for easily formed smartphone addictions to prevent from focus on real-world tasks, like work. While the impact of smartphones on cognitive function … Continue reading Smartphones and Impaired Attention Control

How Does the Brain Learn Taste Aversion?

Ayesha Azeem ‘23 The gustatory system is the sensory system that allows humans to perceive the sense of taste, or flavor. Humans are able to perceive different flavors via the taste receptors on taste buds, which can be found on the upper surface of the tongue as well as on the epiglottis. Taste perception depends on the chemical characteristics of the stimulus, as well as … Continue reading How Does the Brain Learn Taste Aversion?

D-Serine Infusion Mitigates Neuronal Losses Preceding Temporal Lobe Epileptic Attacks

Vignesh Subramanian ’24 Temporal lobe epilepsy (TLE) is the most common form of both focal epilepsy – the recurrence of seizures in one hemisphere of the brain – and drug resistant epilepsy. The disease is characterized by neuronal cell death in Layer 3 (L3) of the medial entorhinal area (MEA), the internal region of the temporal lobe constituting memory and higher-order cognitive functioning. Recent studies … Continue reading D-Serine Infusion Mitigates Neuronal Losses Preceding Temporal Lobe Epileptic Attacks

Presynaptic Inhibition of GABAA Receptors Possible in Thalamocortical Circuits

Vignesh Subramanian ’24 A number of neurodegenerative disease processes, including those of temporal lobe epilepsy, GABA-transaminase deficiency, and traumatic brain injury, involve disruptions to the signalling pathway of gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA), the chief inhibitory neurotransmitter of the central nervous system. Conventional understanding divides the ability of GABA to block neural signaling into ‘presynaptic inhibition’ – involving suppression of glutamate release,  an excitatory counterpart neurotransmitter – … Continue reading Presynaptic Inhibition of GABAA Receptors Possible in Thalamocortical Circuits

Priming of long-term memory from initial experience alters future learning

Joyce Chen ’23 One of the most fascinating things about the brain is its malleability. When humans learn, whether it be in the classroom or from an experience, the brain produces new neurons so that the information can be recalled in the future. This is a process known as neuronal plasticity. Although there is plenty of research surrounding this area, there is still much more … Continue reading Priming of long-term memory from initial experience alters future learning

Ethnic Diversity and Recall: Is there a connection?

Yukta Kulkarni ’22 People spend thirteen years of their lives, from around five to eighteen years old, in school, where they learn both academic content and social etiquette. They may then go on to university and reinforce these skills and knowledge. Thus, students require not only a good memory, but also the ability to collaborate with others. However, not all students benefit equally from working … Continue reading Ethnic Diversity and Recall: Is there a connection?

Differences of Cognitive Offloading Usage among Individuals Performing Short Term Memory Tasks

Sooraj Shah ’24 Recalling a lot of information at one time is possible, but not feasible. Writing information down on a paper during a class or in the grocery store, for instance, are ways to reduce the strain of memorization within an individual. This concept is further defined as cognitive offloading, which can assist in overcoming the cognitive restraints in mentally retaining information. A study … Continue reading Differences of Cognitive Offloading Usage among Individuals Performing Short Term Memory Tasks

Neural Population Code Organization in Mouse Visual System

Panayiota Siskos ’23 While mice are useful for investigating components of visual perception, this research is limited by insufficient knowledge of the organization of the visual cortex of the mice. Visual information is processed via computations while traveling from the retina to lateral geniculated nucleus and visual cortices. The early visual system processes complex visual stimuli by encoding various stimulus attributes by individual neurons while … Continue reading Neural Population Code Organization in Mouse Visual System

Presence of Seizure-Inducing Lesions Observable with Brain Tonometry

Vignesh Subramanian ’24 Cortical dysplasia (CD) is a congenital disorder involving improper organization of layers of the brain, which generates pathological lesions on the organ’s surface and renders developing neurons unable to mature and connect with one another. Lesional tissue significantly increases risk of refractory epilepsy (seizures not responsive to medication) in the pediatric population, and complete surgical resection of this deformed tissue is a … Continue reading Presence of Seizure-Inducing Lesions Observable with Brain Tonometry

Anatomical Etiology of AR Subtype of Parkinson’s Disease Linked to Altered Functional Connectivity

Vignesh Subramanian ’24 Parkinson’s disease (PD) is a neurodegenerative movement disorder causing progressive loss of motor control that afflicts over ten million people worldwide. The disease is characterized by a loss of dopaminergic neurons in the substantia nigra region of the brain, contributing to widespread network alterations that disrupt communication with the body’s muscles. PD patients are classified by their most prominent resulting clinical symptoms, … Continue reading Anatomical Etiology of AR Subtype of Parkinson’s Disease Linked to Altered Functional Connectivity