All Eyes and Ears: How Visual Deprivation Enhances Auditory Learning in Adult Mice

Mariam Malik ‘22 Past research and work has proven the interconnectedness of all senses and their corresponding cortices in the brain. For example, it has been scientifically proven that those lacking in one sense possess advanced abilities in others. Cross-modal learning, or the manipulation of one sense to cause alterations in another, is a key feature of further research. Researchers at the University of Maryland … Continue reading All Eyes and Ears: How Visual Deprivation Enhances Auditory Learning in Adult Mice

21st Century Mind: The Effects of Blue-Light on the Brain, Retinas, and Rate of Aging

Mariam Malik ‘22 Blue light from electronic devices, such as smartphones and laptops, is of shorter wavelength on the light spectrum, thereby giving off higher amounts of energy. The harmful effects of absorbing too many light rays, such as UV and micro, have been researched and known. However, a recent study at Oregon State University on Drosophila melanogaster, the common fruit fly, shows the damaging … Continue reading 21st Century Mind: The Effects of Blue-Light on the Brain, Retinas, and Rate of Aging

Neurons that Help Us Forget

Nicole Zhao ’20 Imagine having the ability to never forget. This would come in handy if one needed to memorize a textbook or lecture slides for an exam. However, being able to remember every single moment of your life in snapshots does have its drawbacks. This is exactly what happened to a man known as subject S. who was known for his unforgettable memory in … Continue reading Neurons that Help Us Forget

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

The Genetic Role of Left-Handedness

Ellie Teng ’21 90% of the population are right- handed, so what is different about individuals who are left- handed? Handedness was previously known to be partially affected by the genome; twin studies showed that genes account for about 25% of the variation in handedness. Researchers at the University of Oxford sought to connect the genetic difference to areas of the brain that control language. … Continue reading The Genetic Role of Left-Handedness

The Use of Focused Ultrasound for Enhanced Delivery of Gene Therapy Across the Blood-Brain-Barrier

Jorge Pincay ‘20 Huntington’s disease (HD) is an autosomal dominant neurodegenerative disease that results in the degradation of nerve cells in the brain over time. This disease is the result of a DNA mutation — a cytosine-adenine-guanine (CAG) trinucleotide repeat expansion– that occurs in the gene that encodes for the huntingtin (Htt) protein. This repeat expansion causes a highly toxic form of the Htt protein … Continue reading The Use of Focused Ultrasound for Enhanced Delivery of Gene Therapy Across the Blood-Brain-Barrier

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

Social Interactions Possibly Linked to Cerebellum

By Mariam Malik ‘22 The cerebellum, a five-centimeter wide part of the hindbrain, was initially thought of as having one major function: coordinating motor functions and balance. But new research on mice from the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York City shows that the remarkable cerebellar cortex may play a part in our social interactions as well. Kamran Khodakhah and colleagues were aware … Continue reading Social Interactions Possibly Linked to Cerebellum

The Unlikely Relation Between Gut and Brain

By Allan Mai ‘20 With the high selectivity of the blood-brain barrier, it appears unlikely that microorganisms in the stomach could ever be able to reach the brain. However, past studies that have suggested major correlation between depression and specific gut bacteria and even correlation between social behavior and the activities of certain gut bacteria have sparked intense research regarding the “gut-brain” axis. Among these … Continue reading The Unlikely Relation Between Gut and Brain