Microglial Activation Promotes AD-Affiliated Plaque Formation

Vignesh Subramanian ’24 Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is a neurodegenerative disorder and form of dementia that causes progressive loss of memory, critical thinking skills, and behavioral capabilities. The disease is characterized by the extracellular aggregation of beta (β)-amyloid plaques. These buildups gradually interfere with proteostasis, the regulation of protein synthesis and degradation, and decrease levels of neurotransmitter signaling between neurons. However, the failure of microglia – … Continue reading Microglial Activation Promotes AD-Affiliated Plaque Formation

High salt intake can lead to autism-like symptoms in infants

Joyce Chen ’23 Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a neurodevelopmental disorder that affects 1% of individuals worldwide. Although there has been extensive research done on ASD, its primary cause remains unknown. Scientists believe that it is the result of a wide variety of heritable and environmental factors. However, recent research has indicated that an altered gut microbiome caused by a poor diet can lead to … Continue reading High salt intake can lead to autism-like symptoms in infants

Brain Imaging May Prevent Obesity and Linked Psychological Behaviors

Sooraj Shah ’24 Obesity rates in the United States, approaching almost 70% for men and 62% for women, are concerning, especially since obesity is associated with several other conditions such as heart attacks and diabetes. While the classic solution is exercise and proper diet maintenance, the ability to predict and prevent obesity has become a topic of research. A study led by Dr. Anat Biegon, … Continue reading Brain Imaging May Prevent Obesity and Linked Psychological Behaviors

Breeding Alters Dog Brains

Sabah Bari ’24 Over centuries, dogs have been bred to be domesticated and to be specialized in specific jobs. Stony Brook researchers have discovered that the dog’s brain structure is being altered through breeding, which allows the dogs to perform specific tasks. Selective breeding is the term used to describe how humans choose the parents of the dogs to create offspring with desirable traits. These … Continue reading Breeding Alters Dog Brains

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?