By: Jordan Gaines Lewis, 4th year PhD candidate in the Neuroscience Graduate Program
Gamblers beware. Nadavspi (Wikimedia Commons)
My brief experience in a casino was pretty typical, I’d say.
Flashing lights. The faint smell of booze. Not much chatter among patrons. The sounds of dice rolling, machines buzzing, and coins clanking. The same butts inhabiting the same stools for hours on end. Everything you see on TV or in the movies is fairly accurate, to my untrained eye.
But one thing I didn’t notice in either the movies or real life, likely due in part to the gaudy décor, was the abundance of defibrillators lining the walls.
While nearly as common as water fountains and restrooms in public spaces like schools, malls, and airports, automated external defibrillators (AEDs) have more recently taken up residence in a place that probably needs it most of all: the casino.
By: Caitlin Millett, 3rd year PhD candidate in the Neuroscience Graduate Program
Image credit: CC0 Public Domain/Pixabay
Humans are highly social creatures. Our brains have evolved to allow us to survive and thrive in complex social environments. Accordingly, the behaviors and emotions that help us navigate our social sphere are entrenched in networks of neurons within our brains.
Social motivations, such as the desire to be a member of a group or to compete with others, are among the most basic human drives. In fact, our brains are able to assess “in-group” (us) and “out-group” (them) membership within a fraction of a second. This ability, once necessary for our survival, has largely become a detriment to society.
Understanding the neural network controlling these impulses, and those that temper them, may shed light on how to resolve social injustices that plague our world.