Mapping the Network of Biology: Connectomics

Shrey Thaker ‘22 Since the discovery of DNA and its structure, a common goal of many scientists has to unravel and explore biology through manipulation of its inherent maps. At one point, mapping the human genome was considered  key to understanding human life. However, the driving force behind a human being’s unique existence is their extraordinary neural capabilities. Today, the cartography of science strives further: … Continue reading Mapping the Network of Biology: Connectomics

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

Molecular Differences in Alzheimer’s Disease Between Male and Female Patients

By Nicole Zhao ‘20  Alzheimer’s disease is a neurodegenerative disorder that causes memory, cognitive  and behavioral problems (1). In the United States, approximately 5.5 million people live with Alzheimer’s with two-thirds being women (2). Although  Alzheimer’s treatments are heavily researched, the impact of sex on the molecular level of the disease has not been explored. In this article, sex refers to the physiological and biological … Continue reading Molecular Differences in Alzheimer’s Disease Between Male and Female Patients

The Effect of Different Herbal Extracts on the Potential Prevention of Neurodegenerative Diseases

Kavindra Sahabir ‘21 An estimated 24 million people worldwide are suffering from neurodegenerative diseases such as Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s disease. A major causative factor in the onset and progression of these diseases is the formation of misformed alpha-synuclein proteins, which aggregate and cause major problems in the nervous system. Thus, in developing strategies to combat these diseases, researchers must look for ways to block the … Continue reading The Effect of Different Herbal Extracts on the Potential Prevention of Neurodegenerative Diseases

Oral Health May Affect Alzheimer’s Disease

Ellie Teng ‘21 Alzheimer’s disease is a condition that affects millions per year by destroying and reducing mental functions. Dementia, the loss of memory, is a common symptom of this disease. Recent studies have shown a surprising connection between Alzhemer’s and maintaining good oral hygiene. Scientists at the University of Bergen have determined gum disease to be a factor in the development of Alzheimer’s in … Continue reading Oral Health May Affect Alzheimer’s Disease

Augmented Reality Games and Physical Activity: Exploring the Effect of Pokémon Go

Raymond Cheung ‘22 When Pokemon GO was released in 2016, the world was captivated by the ability to capture Pokemon in the real world through augmented reality. An interesting consequence of the game’s popularity is that it promotes physical activity in its players. A recent study conducted by researchers at the University of Tokyo found that the game positively impacted the physical activity in older … Continue reading Augmented Reality Games and Physical Activity: Exploring the Effect of Pokémon Go

Neural Timescales as a Possible Autism Diagnostic Tool

Annamaria Cavaleri ‘22 Takamitsu Watanabe and his research team in the RIKEN Center for Brain Science in Tokyo, Japan, found that neural ‘time windows’, the limited time during which development can be accomplished, in certain areas of the brain play a role in the cognitive symptoms of autism. A brain imaging study involving adults was used to observe the severity of autistic symptoms and how … Continue reading Neural Timescales as a Possible Autism Diagnostic Tool

Targeted Neurotechnology Can Restore Walking in Humans With Spinal Cord Injuries

By Allan Mai ‘20 Spinal cord injury continues to be a leading cause of paralysis in humans. Depending on the location of the injury, complete or partial paralysis can occur. Fortunately, we live in an age in which advanced neurotechnology such as epidural stimulation is being developed to reverse this condition. In this study, the University of Lausanne’s Dr. Fabien B. Wagner and his team … Continue reading Targeted Neurotechnology Can Restore Walking in Humans With Spinal Cord Injuries

Neural Communication Patterns Found in the Brains of Children with Autism

By Annamaria Cavaleri ‘22 A team of researchers at San Diego State University studying MRI scans of school-age children’s brains recently discovered a unique communication pattern involving the amygdala in the brains of children with autism. This pattern involved unexpected detours and exits within the travel of information from one region of the brain to the other. It was shown that in children with autism, … Continue reading Neural Communication Patterns Found in the Brains of Children with Autism