Threatening cues have a larger effect on perception than neutral cues

Panayiota Siskos ’23 The theory of predictive coding states that the brain continuously creates a mental model of the surrounding environment using prior knowledge from memory. This mental model is then used to predict sensory input, such as anticipating a smell, a sound, or a touch.  A group of researchers from Stony Brook University and Columbia University studied the effect of threatening cues on sensory … Continue reading Threatening cues have a larger effect on perception than neutral cues

Breeding can Change Dogs’ Brains

Ayesha Azeem ‘23 For centuries, humans have been breeding domestic dogs with the intention of producing specific skill sets needed to improve humans’ lives. For example, purpose-bred dogs can be used for hunting or as service dogs that guide people with disabilities. Dog breeding has been highly controversial lately, since dogs are now seen more as companions rather than workers. In a new study conducted … Continue reading Breeding can Change Dogs’ Brains

Genetics and the Brain

Ayesha Azeem ‘23 Our society currently witnesses an underrepresentation of females in most ‘heavy’ science and mathematics fields, including technology and engineering. Though some may argue that the unfair proportions are due to biological differences, little evidence supports this claim. Scientists study biological differences in the brain, and the brains of males and females are more similar than not. Though behavioral studies often find no … Continue reading Genetics and the Brain

Disturbances in Circadian Clock Linked to Increased Susceptibility of Brain Tumors

Simran Kaur ‘20 All living organisms have circadian rhythms, an approximately twenty-four cycle that ensures the appropriate timing of important physiological functions such as digestion and sleep. Glioblastoma stem cells (GSCs) that are involved in the formation of aggressive brain tumors are stimulated by altered circadian clocks. Clock genes are responsible for the oscillation of gene expression within the day and can behave as both … Continue reading Disturbances in Circadian Clock Linked to Increased Susceptibility of Brain Tumors

Engineered T-cells as a Target for Fibrosis in Myocardial Disease

Simran Kaur ‘20 Fibrosis, the excessive deposition of extracellular matrix by fibroblasts into cardiac tissue, is a significant process in the development of cardiac disease and subsequent cardiac failure, but there are not many clinical treatments that can effectively target it. Cardiac fibroblasts express an antigen that can be targeted by the transplantation of antigen-specific CD8+ T-cells because CD8+ T-cells are involved in the inflammatory … Continue reading Engineered T-cells as a Target for Fibrosis in Myocardial Disease

The Relationship Between Inflammation and Mental Sluggishness

Ellie Teng ‘21 Mental sluggishness or ‘brain fog’ is often comorbid with inflammation, the body’s response to  an illness. Previous research has shown the negative impact of inflammation on the brain’s alert state. Although it is still unclear as to how inflammation impacts specific processes of the brain, a study conducted by researchers at the University of Birmingham evaluated the impact of mild acute inflammation … Continue reading The Relationship Between Inflammation and Mental Sluggishness

New Chemical Compound to Reduce the Adverse Side Effects of Neural Implants

Jorge Pincay ’20 Over the years research in neuroscience has led to the development of brain implants, called microelectrodes that can help restore essential motor and sensory functions. This technology has become beneficial for those that suffer from head injury and neurodegenerative disease. The limitations of this technology lie within the immunological response that comes about shortly after implantation. This immune response, which is governed … Continue reading New Chemical Compound to Reduce the Adverse Side Effects of Neural Implants

Neurons that Help Us Forget

Nicole Zhao ’20 Imagine having the ability to never forget. This would come in handy if one needed to memorize a textbook or lecture slides for an exam. However, being able to remember every single moment of your life in snapshots does have its drawbacks. This is exactly what happened to a man known as subject S. who was known for his unforgettable memory in … Continue reading Neurons that Help Us Forget

Eating Junk Food Leads to Blindness

Ellie Teng ’21 A case report presented a 14 year old male adolescent with “fussy” eating habits feeling fatigued. Scientists from Bristol Medical School and the Bristol Eye Hospital performed tests that showed anemia and low levels of vitamin B12 but the patient was otherwise well. At 15, he was suffering from hearing loss and not long after, deteriorating vision. He was referred to an … Continue reading Eating Junk Food Leads to Blindness

The Genetic Role of Left-Handedness

Ellie Teng ’21 90% of the population are right- handed, so what is different about individuals who are left- handed? Handedness was previously known to be partially affected by the genome; twin studies showed that genes account for about 25% of the variation in handedness. Researchers at the University of Oxford sought to connect the genetic difference to areas of the brain that control language. … Continue reading The Genetic Role of Left-Handedness