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

Comfort Eating and Cortisol Reactivity

Ayesha Azeem ‘23 “Comfort-eating,” or increased food intake, is one of the most common responses to stressful situations. Cortisol is the body’s main stress hormone that regulates metabolism and the immune response to stressful situations. Cortisol reactivity under stress can predict stress-related eating behavior and how it affects the body mass index (BMI). Based on one’s cortisol reactivity to a stressor, a person may be … Continue reading Comfort Eating and Cortisol Reactivity

Examining the Benefits of Unique Coloration for Male Trinidad Guppies

Fatin Chowdhury ’20 The predisposition of organisms in seeking certain phenotypic traits in mates is an oft-observed aspect of the natural world, with sexual selection being a well-studied phenomenon. However, unique coloration specifically often seems to be more linked to lessened survivability (due to an inability to camouflage in environments), or phenomena such as aposematism, where unique colors serve as a warning for predators. In … Continue reading Examining the Benefits of Unique Coloration for Male Trinidad Guppies

How Do We Recognize Dog Emotions?

Ayesha Azeem ‘23 We humans are very complex creatures. When we spend a lot of time in close association with a species, we tend to treat them as if they are humans as well, and we can decipher their emotions clearly. With the expression of emotions, we can communicate our motivations, responses and needs to others. Recognizing animals’ emotions can be beneficial, as it may … Continue reading How Do We Recognize Dog Emotions?

How Relaxing Music Affects Sleep

Ayesha Azeem ‘23 Sleep is vital for maintaining physical and mental health and general well-being. However, our society often witnesses sleep disturbances, especially as we get older and in those who suffer from psychological disorders. However, many people, especially the elderly or those suffering from psychological disorders, experience sleep disturbances. Though some may use sleep-inducing medication, this may not be as effective as toleration can … Continue reading How Relaxing Music Affects Sleep

Depressive symptoms can lead to a false perception of ambiguity

Joyce Chen ‘23 Unlikely to experience optimism, many depressed individuals often times perceive ambiguity in a negative fashion. Their perception of reality is morphed by their emotions and they misunderstand other people’s intentions due to their subjective feelings. They have a negatively biased interpretation of the world, thereby leading to self-doubt and isolation. Thus, a depressed disposition can cause and worsen negative ambiguity processing.  A … Continue reading Depressive symptoms can lead to a false perception of ambiguity

Better sleep quality in college students leads to better performance in classes

Joyce Chen ‘23 College students are known for being sleep-deprived, sometimes sleeping for less than four hours a day or none at all. However, a lack of sleep can result in serious health consequences, such as a weakened immune system that makes people prone to illnesses. Recent research shows that sleep can improve concentration, energy, and mental and physical health in general.  To explore this … Continue reading Better sleep quality in college students leads to better performance in classes

Short-term relationships with violent men make women more prone to gender violence

Joyce Chen ‘23 Violence against women is a common occurence worldwide. In many countries, women are sexually abused or suffer from human trafficking. However, more research is needed to uncover the underlying factors that predispose women to such violence. Researchers under Lídia Puigvert utilized the ‘Free Teen Desire’ experimental project to study the link between females’ attractions to males and future gender violence as a … Continue reading Short-term relationships with violent men make women more prone to gender violence

Increased Levels of Gray Matter in the Brain May Lead to Psychopathic Qualities

Joyce Chen ’23 Psychopathy is a genetic mutation in the brain that causes individuals to have egotistical tendencies. Such tendencies can lead to unwarranted actions such as crime or even murder, as psychopaths do not keep the wellbeing of others in mind. However, some psychopaths are capable of keeping their dark thoughts hidden very well, thereby having seemingly socially acceptable behavior. Recently, researchers from the … Continue reading Increased Levels of Gray Matter in the Brain May Lead to Psychopathic Qualities

Physical Performance and Mental Fatigue in Athletes

Kavindra Sahabir ‘21 It is common knowledge that athletes are required to be physically fit in order ensure optimal performance when they compete in a physically demanding sport. Athletes must also maintain good mental health in order to perform well, however, an athlete’s mental state is much harder to assess than his or her physical state. One’s physical condition can certainly affect his or her … Continue reading Physical Performance and Mental Fatigue in Athletes

Potentials of Ketamine in Treating Depression

Allan Mai ‘20 Major depressive disorder (MDD) is a psychiatric illness affecting people on a global scale. There are very few drugs to treat this disorder, but the ones that do exist aim to alter the levels of neurotransmitters in the body. Ketamine is one of these drugs, and researchers have recently shown that the efficacy of the drug might be doubled as a result … Continue reading Potentials of Ketamine in Treating Depression

The Link Between Autism and The GI Tract

By Mariam Malik ‘22 Autism is the most rapidly rising developmental disability across the globe and approximately 90% of people affected experience gut-related issues with no obvious connection. But researchers at RMIT University in Australia have found equal gene mutations in both the gut and the brain that could explain this phenomenon in those with autism.  It has been previously discovered that a specific gene … Continue reading The Link Between Autism and The GI Tract