Figure 1. Enzyme that plays a role in memory loss can be inhibited to treat Alzheimer’s disease

Disrupting Enzyme To Tackle Alzheimer’s Disease

By Rideeta Raquib ’19 From histone modifications to DNA alterations, epigenetic processes play a major role in various physiological systems. Histones are proteins in eukaryotic cells that package DNA strands into nucleosomes. Gene regulation processes include histone acetylation, whereby an acetyl group is transferred from one molecule to another. This eventually removes the positive charge on the histones, giving nucleosomes a relaxed structure and allowing … Continue reading Disrupting Enzyme To Tackle Alzheimer’s Disease

A New Model for Group Decision-Making

By Anna Tarasova ’19 Making a decision in a group requires integrating individual and group beliefs. It has been previously demonstrated that one is more likely to assign greater credibility to the beliefs of a larger group than to those of a smaller group. Prior researchers have also theorized that the adoption of group beliefs by individuals is driven by a desire to mitigate potential … Continue reading A New Model for Group Decision-Making

Figure 1: Defensiveness is a common symptom of ASD, manifesting in anxiety, social deficits, or other behavioral and psychological symptoms.

A Potential Mechanism Explaining Tactile Defensiveness in Autism

By Anna Tarasova ’19 Hypersensitivity to sensory stimuli is frequently an aspect of autism spectrum disorders (ASD), and can lead to defensiveness against touch and other sensory stimuli. This can contribute to hyperactivity and lead to inattention, learning difficulties, sleep disturbances, anxiety, and many other symptoms of autism. Although the mechanism of this phenomenon has long been unknown, Dr. Cynthia He and her colleagues at … Continue reading A Potential Mechanism Explaining Tactile Defensiveness in Autism

Caption: Couples and friends tend to have overlapping personality traits, despite the well known saying “opposites attract.”

Finding Personality Similarities Within Friendships and Romantic Couples

Ericka Berman Previous research has shown that in close relationships, people tend to come from similar demographics. However, there is little known about personalities as measures of closeness. Wu Youyou Ph.D. et al. of Cambridge University aimed to examine personality similarities within romantic couples and friends. The researchers used Facebook to examine “Liked” pages and status updates to analyze language use. The study received data … Continue reading Finding Personality Similarities Within Friendships and Romantic Couples

Figure 1: Sleep is an essential part of considering memory and faster relearning.

Relearn Faster and Retain Longer

Ericka Berman As established, repetitive practice is necessary for knowledge retention. Sleep is also a contributing factor to new learning and memory consolidation. In this study, Dr. Mazza and the team of researchers recruited 40 participants ages 18-29 from University of Lyon, who were randomly assigned to one of two groups. For this study, participants were asked to remember 16 Swahili-French words pairs. Participants completed … Continue reading Relearn Faster and Retain Longer

Figure 1: The discovery of reduced brain activity as an indicator of depression helps piece together part of the explanation as to why depression may develop.

Blunted Neural Response to Rewards as a Prospective Predictor of the Development of Depression in Adolescent Girls

Ericka Berman Previous studies have shown that during adolescence, rates of depression increase markedly, and girls tend to have rates of depression twice as high as boys. Depressed adults were also shown to exhibit a decreased behavioral response to a reward and less brain activity in regions associated with reward processing in comparison to healthy adults. Dr. Brady Nelson and his team of researchers from … Continue reading Blunted Neural Response to Rewards as a Prospective Predictor of the Development of Depression in Adolescent Girls

Caption: Non-academic related laptop use could have a negative effect on exam grades.

Logged In and Zoned Out

Ericka Berman Susan M. Ravizza Ph.D. of Michigan State University et al. sought to find the relationship between Internet use and classroom performance. In an introductory psychology class, eighty-four participants connected to the Internet using a proxy server over fifteen lectures so researchers could track Internet usage. Academic-related webpages were not counted in the same category of data collection as non-academic-related webpages. The proxy server … Continue reading Logged In and Zoned Out

Caption: C-reactive protein levels can provide possible treatment for depression.

CRP Protein Levels Help Determine Depression Treatment

Meghan Bialt-DeCelie – ’19 When diagnosed with depression, patients are often left to trial and error with anti-depressant drugs. Incompatible prescriptions along the search can lead to potential issues with side effects, which can be ineffective as well as costly. A study led by Madhukar Trivedi, M.D. assessed a patient’s level of C-reactive protein (CRP) and related it to selection of antidepressant drugs escitalopram, a … Continue reading CRP Protein Levels Help Determine Depression Treatment

Figure 1: Normally treated with therapy, new medicinal treatments for PTSD are showing to be effective, giving hope to sufferers of a relentless disorder.

Efficacy of Quetiapine Monotherapy in Posttraumatic Stress Disorder: A Randomized, Placebo-Controlled Trial

Ericka Berman Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is a debilitating illness affecting approximately 7.8% of people in the U.S. over the course of their lifetime. As of now, two medications are approved in the U.S. to treat PTSD, but both treatments have limited success. Characteristics of the antipsychotic medication quetiapine suggest it may be helpful in treating PTSD symptoms of re-experiencing trauma and hyperarousal. Dr. Gerardo … Continue reading Efficacy of Quetiapine Monotherapy in Posttraumatic Stress Disorder: A Randomized, Placebo-Controlled Trial

Figure 1. Understanding how weather and seasonal changes affects an individual's mood may help us better understand and improve travel satisfaction.

Will Weather Affect Traveling Mood?

By Eshani Goradia ’19   Most of us have felt rejuvenated or suppressed by the weather at some point in our lives. However, we probably haven’t taken the time to see and record how the weather is actually affecting our behavior. Although many studies in the past investigated the association between season and mood, scientists have not delved into how weather and seasons influence satisfaction … Continue reading Will Weather Affect Traveling Mood?