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

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?

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?

Deaf People and Sensory Compensation

Ayesha Azeem ‘23 Through neuroimaging, previous studies have shown that sensory deficits in one modality can cause amplified performance in sensory processing of other modalities in a phenomenon known as sensory compensation. This is often seen in people with extreme sensory deficits, such as people who suffer from deafness, those who experience a loss of auditory cues. However, not much is known about whether sensory … Continue reading Deaf People and Sensory Compensation

The Physiological Nature of ASMR in Relation to the Pupil

Panayiota Siskos ’23 Studies have defined ASMR as static-like tingling sensations felt on the skin associated with relaxation and positive feelings, and often start from the back of the head and expand down the spine, and sometimes to the limbs. However, not everyone experiences this, and there is debate regarding whether it is an actual existing phenomenon or if expectancy manipulates influence. Due to its … Continue reading The Physiological Nature of ASMR in Relation to the Pupil

Monkey Behavior Aids In Understanding Human Cognition

Yukta Kulkarni ’22 The human brain’s prefrontal cortex plays an important role in cognitive behavior. It contains several sections including the lateral prefrontal cortex (LPFC), which is associated with working memory, reasoning, and planning; and the orbitofrontal cortex (OFC), which directs reversal and reinforcement learning, reward evaluation, and alternative option evaluation.  These structures are also present in animals and have similar functions. To learn more … Continue reading Monkey Behavior Aids In Understanding Human Cognition

Can video games enhance auditory processing? New research dives deeper into the effects of video gaming on visual and auditory cognitive functions.

Joyce Chen ’23 Within the past few decades, video games have become one of the most universally treasured forms of entertainment among players of all ages. Amongst various genres, action games are widely popularized across the United States. Despite the notable effects that video games have on visual processing, there is a lack of evidence regarding the effect of video games on auditory function. Researcher … Continue reading Can video games enhance auditory processing? New research dives deeper into the effects of video gaming on visual and auditory cognitive functions.

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 Role for Bardet-Biedl Syndrome Proteins in Neuronal Function Loss

Priyanshi Patel ’22 Bardet-Biedl Syndrome (BBS) is a rare genetic condition that causes retinal degeneration, kidney failure, obesity, and cognitive impairment. BBS is a genetically heterogeneous, autosomal recessive disorder that is characterized by early-onset retinal degeneration, obesity, and cognitive impairment. In a recent investigation, scientists from the University College London and the University of Vienna were able to investigate the molecular and cellular mechanisms that … Continue reading New Role for Bardet-Biedl Syndrome Proteins in Neuronal Function Loss

Long-Term Use of These Drugs May Increase Risk for Dementia

Nicole Zhao ’20 A diagnosis of dementia is often accompanied by fear, anxiety and the need to fulfill a bucket list before the condition robs you of life. Dementia is the loss of cognitive functioning which includes thinking, remembering and reasoning (1). These losses then manifest in a change of behavior such as the inability to communicate, change in personality, and eventually the loss of … Continue reading Long-Term Use of These Drugs May Increase Risk for Dementia

Effects of Dopamine in Value-Based Learning

Allan Mai ‘20 Dopamine is a neurotransmitter with implicated functions involving value-based learning. Researchers have discovered that dopamine signals reward prediction and incentive motivation when the brain is actively utilizing its decision making and value-based learning functions. Additionally, dopamine receptors in the brain can be divided into two groups, D1 and D2, which have opposite functions in terms of reward related and aversion related behaviors. … Continue reading Effects of Dopamine in Value-Based Learning

Effects of GVS Signals on Cognitive Functions

Allan Mai ‘20 The hippocampus and striatal circuits play essential roles in spatial navigation. This task is completed by integrating information from the environment as well as intrinsic input from the vestibular system which is responsible for balance. Scientists are trying to modify the interaction of the hippocampus and striatal circuits by using the galvanic vestibular system (GVS), and researchers from the German Center for … Continue reading Effects of GVS Signals on Cognitive Functions