Music-Making and its Relationship with Neural Plasticity

By Ayoush Srivastava The structure of the brain is everchanging throughout its lifespan. In response to various stimuli, the neural networks that compose the brain can reorganise their connections with one another to maintain the robustness of the nervous system against similar stimuli (Wan and Schlaug, 2010). This reorganisation of functional structure is termed neuralContinue reading “Music-Making and its Relationship with Neural Plasticity”

The importance of smell: anosmias and other disorders

By Vakare B. Kucinskaite Olfaction is a chemical sense empoyed to detect food sources or noxious substances in the environment or aid the selection of potential mates. Its importance for humans has been overlooked due to a general consensus that in comparison with other animals humans have a poor sense of smell. However, it isContinue reading “The importance of smell: anosmias and other disorders”

Parkinson’s disease: current and future treatments

By Sabino Méndez Pastor Parkinson’s disease (PD) is the second most common neurodegenerative disease after Alzheimer’s disease. It is a progressive motor disorder characterised by resting tremors, rigidity, difficulty in walking (Parkinsonian gait) and a decrease in movement known as hypokinesia that ranges from bradykinesia (slowness in the initiation of voluntary movements) to akinesia (lossContinue reading “Parkinson’s disease: current and future treatments”

The Neurobiology of Depression

By Marina Artemiou Unhappiness and sadness are emotions that we all have felt. In fact most people often go through periods of feeling down, but depression is more than simply feeling unhappy or fed up for a few days. When someone is depressed, they persistently feel sad for weeks or months on end, rather thanContinue reading “The Neurobiology of Depression”

Language learning and the brain

By Anastasia Alenova Due to globalisation, many cultures and languages are mixing, leading to an inevitable rapid rise of bilingualism. Nowadays, the majority of people speak more than one language over their lifetime, with many sources claiming that bilingual language learning confers unique patterns of neurofunctional activity and anatomical changes. Such a claim is unsurprising,Continue reading “Language learning and the brain”

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”