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?

Ethnic Diversity and Recall: Is there a connection?

Yukta Kulkarni ’22 People spend thirteen years of their lives, from around five to eighteen years old, in school, where they learn both academic content and social etiquette. They may then go on to university and reinforce these skills and knowledge. Thus, students require not only a good memory, but also the ability to collaborate with others. However, not all students benefit equally from working … Continue reading Ethnic Diversity and Recall: Is there a connection?

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

Napping appears to have significant beneficial effects on long-term memory-retention over cramming

Priyanshi Patel ’22 Currently, there is extensive research on the cognitive effects of daytime naps, but not whether naps are a practical way to assist learning. Naps can reduce the likelihood of forgetting episodic memory consisting of life events and experiences. Prior research surrounding memory improvements have led to the idea that naps may be used as a pedagogical tool.  However, there is little evidence … Continue reading Napping appears to have significant beneficial effects on long-term memory-retention over cramming

Fears and How Priming Can Help Overcome Them

Yukta Kulkarni ’22 Some of the most important topics covered by neuroscience research encompass memory retention. This type of research helps explain how much information brains can retain and how easily it is learned. However, does prior learning affect the ability to learn in the future? To answer this, Cole et al. blocked protein-kinase A (PKA) and extracellular signal-related mitogen-activated protein-kinase (ERK/MAPK) within the basolateral … Continue reading Fears and How Priming Can Help Overcome Them

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

Sleep Deprivation and Performance

By Raymond Cheung ‘22 Sleep is a necessity that many do not get enough of on a daily basis. Sleep deprivation can significantly impair cognitive function, which can prove dangerous and costly for intensive jobs. While the adverse effects of sleep deprivation on performance are not new, a recent study by Michelle E. Stepan and researchers from Michigan State University employed a large controlled sample … Continue reading Sleep Deprivation and Performance

Lymphatic Vessels Can Improve Cognition Relative to Age

Caleb Sooknanan ‘20 Aging is often associated with increased neurological problems among humans, and more research is needed to understand how lymphatic vessels connecting the brain and the immune system affect conditions such as Alzheimer’s disease. Doctor Jonathan Kipnis and researchers from the University of Virginia enhanced the lymphatic vessels of aging mice and significantly improved their abilities to learn and retain memory. The researchers … Continue reading Lymphatic Vessels Can Improve Cognition Relative to Age

Traveling Waves in the Cortex May Hold the Key to Understanding Human Cognition

Rachel Kogan ’19 “Neurons that fire together, wire together.” This age old phrase serves as the foundation for neuroscience, commenting not only on neuron synchronicity, but also proposing a biological scaffold for behavior and thought. The greater the number of oscillating electrical impulses, or brain waves, fired by a group of neurons, the stronger the signal and potential for action. In the past few years, … Continue reading Traveling Waves in the Cortex May Hold the Key to Understanding Human Cognition

Direct Connection Between Eye Movement Patterns and Memory Established

By Marcia-Ruth Ndege ‘21 For the first time in history, researchers have established a direct connection between eye movement patterns and brain activity. Using brain imaging technology, scientists from the Baycrest Rotman Research Institute (RRI) found evidence that the brain uses eye movements to help recreate vivid moments. Dr. Bradley Buchsbaum, a scientist at RRI and a professor of psychology at the University of Toronto, … Continue reading Direct Connection Between Eye Movement Patterns and Memory Established

Exploring Saccadic Eye Movement

By Fatin Chowdhury ‘19 The nuances of eye movements form an overlooked part of human vision. Dr. Grace Edwards at Istituto Italiano di Technologia in Italy examined the effect of peripheral information near a saccade target. Saccading is the completion of rapid eye movement by healthy human eyes while being fixated on differing spatial points. Edwards hypothesized that the neural interpretation of a postsaccadic visual … Continue reading Exploring Saccadic Eye Movement

Brain Cells Live and Die in the Process of Learning

By Marcia-Ruth Ndege ’21 For over a century, researchers have pondered the question of how the brain intakes, processes, and retains new information. Researcher Elisabeth Wenger and her team at the Max Plank Institute for Human Development in Berlin, Germany probed deeper into this process by examining the volumetric changes in human grey matter and linking them to the process of skill acquisition in humans. … Continue reading Brain Cells Live and Die in the Process of Learning