Author Archives: Melissa Troyer

August 28

Creativity and mood: the ups and downs of bipolar disorder

They who dream by day are cognizant of many things which escape those who dream only by night. –Edgar Allen Poe [1] If the emotions are sometimes so strong that one works without knowing one works, when sometimes the strokes come with a continuity and a coherence like words in a speech or a letter, […]

June 12

Pattern separation gone awry: the dentate gyrus and schizophrenia

[Image Source: Sebastian Seung via http://connectomethebook.com/.] Since the discovery of patient H.M. in the 1950s (see this post from October 2013), scientists have known that the hippocampus, a seahorse-shaped structure located in the medial temporal lobe, is crucial for the successful formation of new memories. The mammalian hippocampus is characterized by several distinct regions, each with […]

April 21

Peas or carrots: Evidence-based education programs targeting stress and attention

I’m always keen to hear how scientists are able to reach out to their communities, whether it is by talking to young students about research opportunities, by tutoring or teaching, or by taking steps outside the lab to make direct links between research and the community. At this year’s meeting of the Cognitive Neuroscience Society (CNS), one of […]

March 13

The value of values affirmation in education and beyond

The fields of social and cognitive psychology constantly provide examples of how small changes in the environment can impact cognition which may seem shocking in their simplicity. Cleaning one’s hands may lead to an increased feeling of moral cleanliness [1], a patch of gray may appear as much darker or lighter in brightness depending on […]

February 13

Oxytocin, bonding, and breastfeeding

Valentine’s Day is a time for expressing love, and while its title may initially conjure up socially normative images of candle-lit dinners, long-stemmed roses, and canoodling with a romantic partner, I’d like to take this opportunity to talk about the kind of love that prevents our species from dying out: that of a mother and […]

November 18

Antidepressants, plasticity, and language development

As an attendee at the 5th annual Society for Neurobiology (SNL) conference, four years had passed since my first exposure to the meeting–a discussion of the state-of-the-art research being done on the neuroscience of language processing. In those four years, things have happened! This meeting left me marveling at new advances and the number of […]