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

Novel Early Childhood Predictors for Eating Disorders Give Hope for Improved Treatment

Peter Gillespie ’25 Eating disorders are dangerous and severely impairing mental illnesses that have become extremely prevalent in our youth, affecting up to 13% of young women in particular. Previous studies have identified risk factors, such as sleeping habits and parental eating tendencies, but these findings are inconsistent and focus solely on adolescents, limiting their scope. Dr. Garbrielle Carlson at Stony Brook University researches risks … Continue reading Novel Early Childhood Predictors for Eating Disorders Give Hope for Improved Treatment

How the Motor Cortex Plays a Role in Parkinson’s Disease

Ayesha Azeem ’23 Parkinson’s Disease is a brain disorder that leads to shaking, stiffness, and difficulty with walking and balance. The symptoms gradually begin and get progressively worse over time. Although neuroscientists understand the role of neuron and dopamine loss in Parkison’s Disease, little is known about how dopaminergic modulation affects brain regions that are involved in the control of voluntary movement. In the primary … Continue reading How the Motor Cortex Plays a Role in Parkinson’s Disease

Improving Cognitive Functions in World Trade Center Responders

Thumyat Noe ’23 Individuals who responded to the World Trade Center attacks on September 11th, 2001 experienced a great deal of trauma and distress. Researchers from Stony Brook University who study well-being and cognitive abilities discovered that these responders are at an elevated relative risk of developing aging-related cognitive impairment. In particular, lower cognitive function is correlated with higher levels of exposure to trauma in … Continue reading Improving Cognitive Functions in World Trade Center Responders

Does Ethnicity Influence Memory Recall in Social Settings?

Daphne Siozios ’23 Collaborative learning occurs when a group of individuals works together to remember shared information and events. Not much is known about how the collaborative learning process and a social setting aids memory formation, analysis, and recollection since past research in the field has mainly focused on studying individuals in isolation. Professor Suparna Rajaram at Stony Brook University works to examine the effect … Continue reading Does Ethnicity Influence Memory Recall in Social Settings?

Optimizing Movement-Based Behavior Networks in Artificial Intelligence

Ishmam Khan ’25 Deep learning involves the use of machinery to simulate biological phenomena, especially human behavior. Researchers have developed two systems of programming that proved useful in mimicking movements: convolutional neural networks (CNNs), which are based on virtual imagery and spatial information, and recurrent neural networks (RNNs), which adapt long-short term memory (LSTM) to model long term contextual information of temporal sequences.  When used … Continue reading Optimizing Movement-Based Behavior Networks in Artificial Intelligence

Glial Cells May Shape Brain Tumor Microenvironments

Alex Moir ’23 Glial cells, located in the central nervous system (CNS), support neurons by clearing extracellular waste and mounting an immune response against potential pathogens. Glioma are tumors occurring in the CNS that originate from these glial cells. As glioma tumors progress and become more aggressive, they invade surrounding tissue and develop a hospitable tumor microenvironment (TME). Two types of resident CNS immune cells, … Continue reading Glial Cells May Shape Brain Tumor Microenvironments

Release of Biological Molecules May Promote Formation of Vasculature in a Developing Embryo

Joyce Chen ’23 When an embryo develops, its cells undergo numerous rounds of cell division and arrange into a highly organized system of tissues that collectively assemble into organs. While positioning themselves at the midline, cells known as angioblasts are responsible for the formation of blood vessels in major arteries and veins. Simultaneously, somites — structures in the developing embryo that give rise to bone, … Continue reading Release of Biological Molecules May Promote Formation of Vasculature in a Developing Embryo

Early Onset Depressive Disorders in Adolescent Females

Yukta Kulkarni ’22 Depression is an illness that can cause feelings of sadness and can affect the way one thinks and acts. The first onset of depression is seen in childhood and often precedes chronic depression later on in life. Interestingly, it is correlated with differences in biological sex, as females have a 30% higher chance of struggling with first onset depression compared to males. … Continue reading Early Onset Depressive Disorders in Adolescent Females

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

Loss of Dopamine Impairs Voluntary Movement in Parkinson’s Disease

Sooraj Shah ’24 For years, the correlation between loss of the hormone dopamine and the development of Parkinson’s Disease (PD) has been evident. Dopamine is a neurotransmitter that assists in the propagation of electrical signals in the brain, which facilitate everyday movements such as walking and writing. A reduction of dopamine levels in an individual with Parkinson’s disease may lead to shaking and poor coordination. … Continue reading Loss of Dopamine Impairs Voluntary Movement in Parkinson’s Disease

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