Category Archives: Mental Illness

November 12

How Light Leads to Darkness: A Neural Link Between Nighttime Light and Depression

Nighttime light exposure can lead to depression. A new study brings us closer to understanding why, and what we can do about it.

October 29

Generalized Anxiety Disorder

What is anxiety? Many of us know how it feels; our heart rate increases, our minds race, our palms get sweaty. Maybe it’s before giving a speech or taking a big exam. Maybe it’s because we have so many work deadlines that we’re convinced our bosses think we don’t sleep. Anxiety is an incredibly common […]

May 21

Get out of my personal s p a c e

How does the brain dynamically represent our personal space? It’s more interesting, and complicated, than you may think.

April 30

Does cannabis help you sleep?

Marijuana is commonly used to help people fall asleep, but does the science back that up?

January 09

Can we inherit family trauma?

The epigenetics behind “generational trauma” [En español] The 23 and Me craze has officially reached my family. Both of my parents were born in Poland so the results weren’t a complete surprise, but as we watched the site track generations of family history from a single spit sample, new questions came up. When my sisters […]

December 05

When it gets dark, people get SAD (seasonal affective disorder)

Here in San Diego, we get a minimum of 9 hours and 59 minutes of sunlight, even in the dead of winter. Boston and Chicago get closer to 9 hours and Anchorage gets as low as 5.5 hours compared to Miami’s 10.5 hours. Does this dramatic difference in sunlight have any health effects? 1% of […]

October 24

Is Addiction a Disease?

  While it may not seem obvious, this question carries a great deal of emotional weight to sufferers of addiction, as well as their families and friends. The answer to one question – Is addiction a disease? – seems to hold the answer to yet another question: Are many of the hurtful things I’ve done […]

August 22

Is evolution the missing link to understanding mental health?

The human brain has been shaped over hundreds of thousands of years, with evolution selecting for traits that helped our species survive and thrive. So why do we still have so many genes that make us struggle? Why did our remarkable cognitive capacity come with such a susceptibility to disorder?

August 16

The Plastic Brain: Neurotransmitter Switching

What comes to mind when you think of the word “plastic”? For me, this word conjures images of water bottles and tupperware. So in my high school psychology class, when we were told that our brains are “plastic”, I was pretty confused. However, we soon learned that the word “plastic” can be used to describe […]

August 09

The Power of Neuroscience Compels You!

[En español] Last February the Vatican announced that it was offering an exorcism training course* for priests. At first I thought it was a great way to celebrate the 45th anniversary of the release of the wonderful horror classic The Exorcist, but as it turned out, this initiative was in response to an alarming rise in […]