Neural Mechanism May Explain Variability of Social Ability in Autism

Vignesh Subramanian ’24 Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a neurodevelopmental disorder involving significant challenges with communication, behavior, and social skills. The range of conditions encompassed by the term is most often characterized by limited but intense interests, repetitive patterns of behavior, difficulty maintaining or regulating interactions with other people, and difficulty synchronizing facial expressions or motor movements with speech. It has long been believed that … Continue reading Neural Mechanism May Explain Variability of Social Ability in Autism

The Effect of Electrotherapy on Brains Addicted to Video Games

Ishmam Khan ’25 Although video games may represent a sanctuary from the stresses of daily living, young people, especially teens, are susceptible to becoming addicted to gaming platforms. According to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Internet Gaming Disorder (IGD) results in an irresistible compulsion to play video games, which may lead to declining mental health and daily function. Currently, one common technique … Continue reading The Effect of Electrotherapy on Brains Addicted to Video Games

Anti-NMDAR Autoantibodies Disrupt Ionotropic Receptor Signaling

Vignesh Subramanian ’24 N-methyl-D-aspartate receptors (NMDARs) are ligand-gated ion channels whose signaling enables higher-order functions, such as learning and memory, throughout the brain. They are activated by glutamate, the major excitatory neurotransmitter in the central nervous system, and are dynamically distributed across synaptic and extrasynaptic sites. The obligate composition of these protein receptors includes two subunits known as GluN1 paired with combinations of spliced regulatory … Continue reading Anti-NMDAR Autoantibodies Disrupt Ionotropic Receptor Signaling

Immunomodulatory Therapies Improve Long-Term Visual Outcomes Amid Optic Neuritis Preceding Late-Stage MS

Vignesh Subramanian ’24 Optic neuritis (ON) is a condition involving inflammation of the optic nerve that can cause its demyelination, or the destruction of the fatty tissue known as myelin that insulates and protects nerves. Although relatively rare, ON first manifests in young adulthood and can cause diminished visual acuity or blurriness, poor pupillary constriction, ophthalmalgia (eye pain), and the inability to see out of one … Continue reading Immunomodulatory Therapies Improve Long-Term Visual Outcomes Amid Optic Neuritis Preceding Late-Stage MS

Presence of Social Supports Counteracts Physical Brain Changes Associated with Dementia

Vignesh Subramanian ’24 Alzheimer’s disease and related disorders (ADRD) are neurodegenerative dementias that cause progressive loss of memory, critical thinking skills, and behavioral capabilities that typically worsen with age. However, certain older adults with significant degrees of ADRD-associated pathologies are not as vulnerable to the age- or disease-related physical changes in the brain that precede the development of dementia. These adults are classified as “cognitively … Continue reading Presence of Social Supports Counteracts Physical Brain Changes Associated with Dementia

Early Bird or Night Owl? Circadian Preferences May Include Short-Term Memory and Cognition

Joyce Chen ’23 Circadian rhythms are notably known as the body’s master clock. They regulate important physical and behavioral effects within the body by reacting to light and darkness. Interestingly, an individual’s preference for being an early bird or a night owl is determined by circadian preference, also known as chronotype. Chronotype impacts the desire for earlier or later sleep by combining circadian rhythms and … Continue reading Early Bird or Night Owl? Circadian Preferences May Include Short-Term Memory and Cognition

Antipsychotics May Increase Risk of Dementia in Schizophrenic Patients

Vignesh Subramanian ’24 Schizophrenia is a psychotic disorder characterized by disorganized behavior, lack of emotional expression, and thoughts and experiences dissociated from reality. Patients who present such symptoms have elevated levels of the neurotransmitter dopamine, the ‘feel-good’ hormone responsible for mediating pleasure and stimulating neurons to carry out vital functions like concentration and motor control. Patients with schizophrenia are prescribed antipsychotic medications, which block binding … Continue reading Antipsychotics May Increase Risk of Dementia in Schizophrenic Patients

High salt intake can lead to autism-like symptoms in infants

Joyce Chen ’23 Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a neurodevelopmental disorder that affects 1% of individuals worldwide. Although there has been extensive research done on ASD, its primary cause remains unknown. Scientists believe that it is the result of a wide variety of heritable and environmental factors. However, recent research has indicated that an altered gut microbiome caused by a poor diet can lead to … Continue reading High salt intake can lead to autism-like symptoms in infants

Priming of long-term memory from initial experience alters future learning

Joyce Chen ’23 One of the most fascinating things about the brain is its malleability. When humans learn, whether it be in the classroom or from an experience, the brain produces new neurons so that the information can be recalled in the future. This is a process known as neuronal plasticity. Although there is plenty of research surrounding this area, there is still much more … Continue reading Priming of long-term memory from initial experience alters future learning

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

Lower reaction levels in mothers to their child result in insensitive parenting

Joyce Chen ’23 A mother’s greatest task is to provide a nurturing environment for her child to grow, blossom, and thrive in. The absence of maternal love in a child’s life will cause a strain on the bond between the mother and her child. These neglectful mothers, also known as high-risk mothers, have insensitive reactions to their children’s needs. They rarely respond to their children’s … Continue reading Lower reaction levels in mothers to their child result in insensitive parenting