Breeding Alters Dog Brains

Sabah Bari ’24 Over centuries, dogs have been bred to be domesticated and to be specialized in specific jobs. Stony Brook researchers have discovered that the dog’s brain structure is being altered through breeding, which allows the dogs to perform specific tasks. Selective breeding is the term used to describe how humans choose the parents of the dogs to create offspring with desirable traits. These … Continue reading Breeding Alters Dog Brains

How Does the Brain Learn Taste Aversion?

Ayesha Azeem ‘23 The gustatory system is the sensory system that allows humans to perceive the sense of taste, or flavor. Humans are able to perceive different flavors via the taste receptors on taste buds, which can be found on the upper surface of the tongue as well as on the epiglottis. Taste perception depends on the chemical characteristics of the stimulus, as well as … Continue reading How Does the Brain Learn Taste Aversion?

D-Serine Infusion Mitigates Neuronal Losses Preceding Temporal Lobe Epileptic Attacks

Vignesh Subramanian ’24 Temporal lobe epilepsy (TLE) is the most common form of both focal epilepsy – the recurrence of seizures in one hemisphere of the brain – and drug resistant epilepsy. The disease is characterized by neuronal cell death in Layer 3 (L3) of the medial entorhinal area (MEA), the internal region of the temporal lobe constituting memory and higher-order cognitive functioning. Recent studies … Continue reading D-Serine Infusion Mitigates Neuronal Losses Preceding Temporal Lobe Epileptic Attacks

Evolution of avian brain sizes: The uncovered connection with body size

Sooraj Shah ’24 It is a common belief that the cumulative size of an individual’s fists taken together results in an approximate size of that individual’s brain. By this interpretation, individuals with larger hand sizes should thus have bigger brains. On the contrary, towards the end of the Cretaceous era, the relative brain size of both small avians (birds) and massive non-avians (dinosaurs) were the … Continue reading Evolution of avian brain sizes: The uncovered connection with body size

Differences of Cognitive Offloading Usage among Individuals Performing Short Term Memory Tasks

Sooraj Shah ’24 Recalling a lot of information at one time is possible, but not feasible. Writing information down on a paper during a class or in the grocery store, for instance, are ways to reduce the strain of memorization within an individual. This concept is further defined as cognitive offloading, which can assist in overcoming the cognitive restraints in mentally retaining information. A study … Continue reading Differences of Cognitive Offloading Usage among Individuals Performing Short Term Memory Tasks

Bilinguals’ Ease of Lexical Access Related to the Switching of Languages

Sooraj Shah ’24 Over 43% of the United States population is bilingual and speaks more than one language. A skill fostered at a young age, bilingual speakers can converse and switch freely between multiple languages, but the root cause of why and when this occurs is not clear. A study conducted in Spain in collaboration with Stony Brook University’s Psychology Department explored the relationship between … Continue reading Bilinguals’ Ease of Lexical Access Related to the Switching of Languages

The Correlation Between Urinary Growth Factor and Brain Growth in Relation to Postnatal Development

Sooraj Shah ’24 Premature births occur in nearly 1 in every 10 cases in the United States, which can lead to numerous diverse health effects in the future. Two neurotrophic proteins which are responsible for the survival of neurons, Nerve Growth Factor(NGF) and Brain Derived Neurotrophic Factor(BDNF), are crucial for the development of the peripheral and central nervous systems. NGFs and BDNFs are critical for … Continue reading The Correlation Between Urinary Growth Factor and Brain Growth in Relation to Postnatal Development

Response Inhibition Control in Migraineurs

Wendy Wu ’22 Migraine is a neurological disorder characterized by frequent headaches, particularly prevalent in women. Much research has gone into identifying the causes of migraines with the hope of increasing preventative measures and developing treatment. Although evidence suggests that migraines are caused by an imbalance of cortical excitatory and inhibitory processes, there is little empirical data of actual pathophysiological features underlying response inhibition in … Continue reading Response Inhibition Control in Migraineurs

Monkey Behavior Aids In Understanding Human Cognition

Yukta Kulkarni ’22 The human brain’s prefrontal cortex plays an important role in cognitive behavior. It contains several sections including the lateral prefrontal cortex (LPFC), which is associated with working memory, reasoning, and planning; and the orbitofrontal cortex (OFC), which directs reversal and reinforcement learning, reward evaluation, and alternative option evaluation.  These structures are also present in animals and have similar functions. To learn more … Continue reading Monkey Behavior Aids In Understanding Human Cognition

Music to One’s Ears: Familiarity and Music Engagement in People With Parkinson’s Disease

Thumyat Noe ’23 Parkinson’s disease is a brain disorder characterized by loss of dopamine and reduced innervation of neural structures that are responsible for coordination of motor movements. Affected individuals often have difficulty walking and maintaining balance. However, music has been shown to be a helpful external cue that reduces these symptoms. Research shows that exposure to music activates brain regions that are closely related … Continue reading Music to One’s Ears: Familiarity and Music Engagement in People With Parkinson’s Disease

Compartmental function and modulation of the striatum

Sabah Bari ‘24 The striatum is one of the main input areas of the basal ganglia, a neuronal circuit necessary for voluntary movement control. It is a critical component of motor control, action selection and reward systems within the brain. Almost all elements of the brain’s reward circuit are modulated during social behavior. The striatum has two main efferent pathways. There are 2 main efferent … Continue reading Compartmental function and modulation of the striatum

Expectation-induced modulation of metastable activity underlies faster coding of sensory stimuli

Sabah Bari ’24 Expectation is what drives the human brain to perceive our senses. Perception is connected to sensory processing, and the recognition of the stimuli is what determines how accurately and how fast individuals are able to understand it. In the gustatory cortex, the pre-stimulus activity is the anticipation of a specific taste before even consuming a food. The anticipation is a trigger to … Continue reading Expectation-induced modulation of metastable activity underlies faster coding of sensory stimuli