Anxiety Can Alter the Way We Perceive Negative Emotions

Lydia Wang ’26 As individuals, we constantly make decisions, many of which depend on our perception of social contexts. For example, when answering a question during class, one may gauge a friend’s expressions and observe whether they are grimacing or smiling, which (respectively) suggest an incorrect or correct response. This is an example of perceptual decision-making, where through observation and sensory input, one chooses an … Continue reading Anxiety Can Alter the Way We Perceive Negative Emotions

Depression May Be Linked To Specific Lipid Ratios Within The Body

Joyce Chen ’23 Depression is a chronic disease that affects quality of life by reducing one’s interest in basic activities and hobbies due to continual feelings of sadness and low self-esteem. Previous studies have proposed that low high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C) levels play a key role in depression because of changes in serotonin and lipid metabolism. There is little research on how depression is affected … Continue reading Depression May Be Linked To Specific Lipid Ratios Within The Body

The Effects of Social Anxiety on Decision-Making and Recognition of Facial Expressions

Joyce Chen ’23 Facial expressions are one of the fundamental methods by which we perceive others. However, our perceptions can be faulty. Perceptual decision-making for recognizing facial cues is biased by our personal attitudes, social knowledge, and stereotypes. Despite there being numerous studies on this process, not much is known about how perceptual decision-making occurs in individuals with anxiety symptoms. Dr. Aprajita Mohanty, a Stony … Continue reading The Effects of Social Anxiety on Decision-Making and Recognition of Facial Expressions

The Power of Painting: Art Therapy for Holocaust Survivors

Peter Gillespie ’25 Trauma during the formative stages of childhood can lead to permanent alterations to the neuroendocrine system, largely impacting one’s responses to stress. Previous brain scans have shown that reflection upon trauma triggers immense emotional activity but little speech-related activity; thus, traumatized individuals may have strong feelings yet are unable to verbalize their emotions. A team led by Roni Israeli at the University … Continue reading The Power of Painting: Art Therapy for Holocaust Survivors

The Influence of Color in Artwork on Personal Preference

Joyce Chen ’23 While one’s artistic tastes are subjective, there is a universal preference for certain colors in artwork. This was observed in recent studies that assessed participants’ color preferences by changing the color spectrum of several unfamiliar paintings. Overall, the participants preferred the color compositions most similar to the original paintings, though the reasons for these preferences remain unknown. Dr. Shigeki Nakauchi of the … Continue reading The Influence of Color in Artwork on Personal Preference

Can A Virtual Reality Stimulation With a Criminal’s Future Self Decrease Self-Destructive Behavior?

Joyce Chen ’23 Many of us have done things that we regret over the course of our lifetime. Some of us develop from our setbacks, while others are imprisoned and ostracized by society. These criminals’ actions were likely impulsive, completely disregarding the consequences that the future may bring. However, poor decisions can be resolved by introspection. Dr. Jean-Louis van Gelder of the Max Planck Institute … Continue reading Can A Virtual Reality Stimulation With a Criminal’s Future Self Decrease Self-Destructive Behavior?

Discrimination During COVID-19 Exacerbates Academic Disconnect of Asian Students

Zhifei Zeng ’23 Since January 2020, the world has been suffering from a pandemic brought about by COVID-19. In addition to the direct health threat posed by the virus, a survey showed that the rate of racist and xenophobic attacks against Asians increased all over the globe, especially in the United States. In fact, the Stop AAPI Hate Reporting Center has reported 3,800 hate crimes … Continue reading Discrimination During COVID-19 Exacerbates Academic Disconnect of Asian Students

Music Shows Positive Effects on Patients with Persistent Somatic Symptoms

Joyce Chen ’23 Somatic symptoms are commonly experienced in everyday life as headaches, fatigue, and bloating. Typically, these symptoms are short-lived. However, individuals with somatic symptom disorder (SSD) or a depressive disorder (DEP) have lingering somatic symptoms for months and even years. In addition to these physical symptoms, individuals may suffer from anxiety and intrusive thoughts. There have been attempts to mitigate such disorders in … Continue reading Music Shows Positive Effects on Patients with Persistent Somatic Symptoms

Analysis of Female Pupillary Response as a Potential Reflection of “Cuteness”

Ayesha Azeem ’23 Observing something “cute” facilitates communication, as perceiving cuteness narrows perceptual attention and makes it difficult to focus on peripheral vision. Previous research has indicated that female reproductive hormones allow women to be more sensitive and attuned to perceiving cuteness. Because women have historically played the role of primary caregiver, evolutionary psychology suggests that cuteness motivates people to raise a child, which may … Continue reading Analysis of Female Pupillary Response as a Potential Reflection of “Cuteness”

Social Evaluation and Anxiety Can Affect Perception of Threats

Ayesha Azeem ’23 When we make decisions, a multitude of cognitive processes occur. One such factor involved is social evaluation, which may either enhance or hinder perceptual decisions. Perceptual decision-making is defined as choosing one option out of a set based on available sensory information. It is often observed when one perceives threatening stimuli, a response conserved through evolution. Thus, the determination of threatening stimuli … Continue reading Social Evaluation and Anxiety Can Affect Perception of Threats

The Role of Shamiri Intervention in Fostering Mindsets in Kenyan Adolescents

Thumyat Noe ’23 Adolescent depression and anxiety are prevalent in Sub-Saharan Africa. However, due to lack of mental health resources and social stigma surrounding mental illness, youths suffering from depression and anxiety often do not receive treatment. As such, it is important to improve the psychological well-being of these youths. One possible solution is to use theory-driven treatments called wise interventions, which draw on one’s … Continue reading The Role of Shamiri Intervention in Fostering Mindsets in Kenyan Adolescents

Mentorship for Freshman STEM Students Can Improve Mental Health and Academic Success

Ayesha Azeem ’23 The fields of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) have seen an influx of demand over the past few years, with not enough STEM graduates to meet society’s needs. This insufficiency is especially prominent in underrepresented groups in STEM, like women, African Americans, and Latinx. A key contributing factor to the shortage of STEM workers is the difficulty in retaining college students … Continue reading Mentorship for Freshman STEM Students Can Improve Mental Health and Academic Success