Downregulation of sensory information during sleep

By Iulia-Teodora Vermesan  Across the animal kingdom, there are several behavioural characteristics that help define sleep. These include a reversible state of immobility with increased arousal thresholds (which distinguishes sleep from coma or hibernation), as well as protected place preference and following specific rituals before sleeping. Circadian regulation ensures following a 24-hour rhythm — providedContinue reading “Downregulation of sensory information during sleep”

Necroptosis: how cells die after intracerebral hemorrhage

By Sarah Choi There are a number of ways in which cells can die, morbid as that may seem. This includes the more commonly known apoptosis, a form of programmed cell death. Slightly more unknown is necrosis, which is, in many ways, thought to be the opposite of apoptosis. For example, unlike apoptosis, necrosis isContinue reading “Necroptosis: how cells die after intracerebral hemorrhage”

Understanding Savant Syndrome: The Accidental Genius

By Yuki Agarwala An 8-year-old boy underwent hemispherectomy, which is the removal or disconnection of one of the two cerebral hemispheres of the brain (Lew, 2014). Following this, he surprisingly developed calendar calculating abilities, meaning he could recognize the exact day of the week that any day would fall on (Treffert, 2013). Another individual, DanielContinue reading “Understanding Savant Syndrome: The Accidental Genius”

Deciphering Brain Function and Circuitry through Disease and Disability

By Nitya Gupta Though the brain looks like a mere palmful of jelly, it is the most complex structure in the universe. It is capable of directing and coordinating behaviour, remembering facts and events, conjuring emotions, contemplating the vastness of infinity – and more than that is self-aware of its abilities. Damage to one regionContinue reading “Deciphering Brain Function and Circuitry through Disease and Disability”

Housekeeping cells in the brain driving schizophrenia

By Andrea Flores Esparza The brain can be viewed as a theatrical performance, where the neurons are the protagonists on the play whilst glial cells are the backstage crew that ensure that the show runs smoothly (BrainFacts, n.d.). Although neurons are considered the basic working unit of the brain due to their fascinating ability toContinue reading “Housekeeping cells in the brain driving schizophrenia”

Autophagy, Ageing and Alzheimer’s

By William Carter Thanks to the medical revolutions of the last century, and the assured advance of modern medicine into the next, we now live longer than ever in our species’ history. Yet despite the vast resources pooled into fighting disease, one enduring bastion remains – ageing. Ageing is the gradual physiological decline we allContinue reading “Autophagy, Ageing and Alzheimer’s”

Regulation of appetite

By Shiyi Liang Eating is an essential process in a human’s life, and appetite is a vital part of human eating behaviour. Appetite can be described as the thirst for food and is regulated by both the central nervous system (CNS) and peripheral signals. The arcuate nucleus of the hypothalamus receives and integrates signals fromContinue reading “Regulation of appetite”

Why haven’t we cured Alzheimer’s disease?

By Alexandra Grba As our global population ages, the occurence of neurodegenerative disease is predicted to rise dramatically. Advances in medicine mean that our bodies are being taken care of more efficiently than ever before, allowing us to grow very old while our brains deteriorate.  Currently, over 50 million people worldwide suffer from dementia; aContinue reading “Why haven’t we cured Alzheimer’s disease?”

The neuroscience behind extroversion and introversion: are we stuck with the personality traits we are given at birth?

By Caitlin Davies Objective personality type tests were first developed during the first World War in order to identify soldiers who were most likely to suffer from nervous breakdowns during enemy bombardment (Gibby & Zickar, 2008). Since then, personality type tests have become more sophisticated and are now commonplace in workplaces, schools and many otherContinue reading “The neuroscience behind extroversion and introversion: are we stuck with the personality traits we are given at birth?”

The effects of addictive drugs on our reward system and the journey towards addiction

By Themis Halka  Drug consumption is a major problem in today’s societies due to its relatively easy availability and strong tendency to lead to addiction. The effects of drugs on the brain have been a central field of study for many years, with scientists trying to understand the changes occurring in the brain’s structure uponContinue reading “The effects of addictive drugs on our reward system and the journey towards addiction”