Category Archives: Stress

December 31

Life After Death(?): From Strokes to Sci-Fi

Death is not a singular event, as implied when we refer to the “time of death” or “moment of death”. It is a relatively long, drawn out, active process: these terms merely simplify and provide a hard boundary. Not everything in the brain (or the rest of the body) dies at the same time, at […]

October 15

Meet Richard McCosh – A Researcher that Tackles the “Brainy” Side of Reproduction

Have you heard of Lonesome George? The tortoise? He was long known as the rarest creature in the world, because he was the last existing individual of the Pinta Island tortoise species in the Galapagos Islands before he died in 2012 [1]. The existence of every species on earth is dependent on successful reproduction. If […]

August 06

Racism and Birth Inequities, From Biology to Society

Image Credit: UNICEF Black mothers in the US are 3-4x more likely to die from pregnancy-related causes than white mothers (NPR/ProPublica).  In addition, 40.6% of Black births are preterm, compared to 33.1% of white births (CDC).  Compounding evidence suggests that the lived experience of racism in the US, rather than genetics, health behaviors (e.g. smoking), […]

April 02

Working With Distractions

Many of us are working from home to practice social distancing during the COVID-19 pandemic. Home contains distractions, including family members, chores, social media, and many other possible activities. All of us want to be the best worker/parent/person we can be, but managing different tasks and switching seamlessly between them is difficult. The ability you’re […]

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 […]

August 29

The Neuroscience of the Breath

The Neuroscience of the Breath Scientists search to uncover the mind-body connection   Mind-body practices, which stem from traditions originating in countries such as India, China, and Tibet, have become increasingly popular in Western society. These practices, which include yoga, meditation and tai chi, revolve around breathing techniques or pranayama- learning to control the breath […]

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 02

Snake Eyes: The Fear That Built Your Brain

Indiana Jones is a quintessential American hero, his fedora, satchel, and whip instantly recognizable around the world. He lives a double life, a scholarly professor of anthropology in public and a globetrotting treasure hunter in private. He defeats the Nazis and always gets the girl, displaying daring and fearlessness, with one notable exception. He has […]

January 18

I Feel Your Pain – The Social Transmission of Pain in Mice

We all know that emotions are contagious.  Your trip to the DMV might see you infected with that peculiar emotion – something halfway between apathy and misanthropy – that is endemic to the DMV.  On the other hand, your ray-of-sunshine coworker just may brighten up your day (unless you happen to work at the DMV). […]

May 20

For the love of dog!

Think about your favorite pet (maybe it belongs to you…or your roommate in my case). What does it look like? Where is its favorite spot to hang out? When was the last time you played with it? Now think about the same things, but about your best (human) friend. You might experience similar feelings of […]