Hooked on Pills? There’s a Pill for That…

By: Andrew Huhn, 4th year PhD candidate in the Neuroscience Graduate Program Americans are abusing prescription painkillers at an alarming rate. In 2012, 259 million prescriptions were written for opioid analgesics – that’s enough for every adult in the U.S. to have their own bottle of pills, according to the Centers for Disease Control. Opioid analgesics are a class … Continue reading Hooked on Pills? There’s a Pill for That…

When it Comes to Vision, Men and Women Really Aren’t Seeing Eye to Eye

By: Sadie Steffens, 4th year PhD candidate in the Biomedical Sciences Graduate Program The paint color in our master bathroom has been a source of debate since we bought our house. While I am certain that the color is firmly in the purple part of the spectrum, my husband insists that the paint is blue. Period. Visiting … Continue reading When it Comes to Vision, Men and Women Really Aren’t Seeing Eye to Eye

Humans are Wired for Prejudice, but That Doesn’t Have to be the End of the Story

By: Caitlin Millett, 3rd year PhD candidate in the Neuroscience Graduate Program 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 … Continue reading Humans are Wired for Prejudice, but That Doesn’t Have to be the End of the Story

Paying Attention: Why You Want to Have a Filter

By: Daniel Hass, 2nd year PhD candidate in the Neuroscience Graduate Program At any given moment, we are constantly bombarded by signals from at least four of the five senses. The visual system is constantly processing our surroundings. The auditory system is stimulated by all of the many miniscule sounds that compose our environment. We’re taking in … Continue reading Paying Attention: Why You Want to Have a Filter

How Fancy Labels Fool Us: The Neuroscience Behind Bias

By: Caitlin Millett, 3rd year PhD candidate in the Neuroscience Graduate Program The holiday season is fast approaching, and that means it’s time for gift buying. With each passing season, finding the perfect gift for loved ones seems to become more and more difficult—a phenomenon not unrelated to the seemingly exponential growth in buying options each year. So … Continue reading How Fancy Labels Fool Us: The Neuroscience Behind Bias

Smells Ring Bells: How Smells Can Trigger Emotions and Memories

By: Amanda White, Research Technologist in the Department of Psychiatry Autumn has arrived, bringing with it some of my favorite scents:  bonfire smoke, pumpkin spice (DON’T JUDGE!), and, most of all, crisp autumn air. Stepping outside on an October morning and breathing instantly transports me back in time. I’m at Penn State. It’s a cool, … Continue reading Smells Ring Bells: How Smells Can Trigger Emotions and Memories

Why Graduate Students Should Meditate

By: Caitlin Millett, 3rd year PhD candidate in the Neuroscience Graduate Program “Educating the mind without educating the heart is no education at all.” ― Aristotle Meditation is an ancient practice dating back at least three millennia. It’s a fundamental component of many Eastern religious traditions and belief systems including Hinduism, Buddhism, and Daoism, to name just a … Continue reading Why Graduate Students Should Meditate

NFL Players Sue over Painkillers—Because They’re Addicted

By: Andrew Huhn, 4th year PhD candidate in the Neuroscience Graduate Program America loves football. Brutal, high-flying, smash-mouth football. The players seem like gladiators from another era. Chiseled out of stone, they feel no pain as they run, jump, and catch with a grace that appears super-human. The reality is, however, that they do feel pain—and often … Continue reading NFL Players Sue over Painkillers—Because They’re Addicted

A Prosthesis to Fix Broken Memories

By: Daniel Hass, 2nd year PhD candidate in the Neuroscience Graduate Program The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) has been a major funding source for the development of unique and innovative technologies under its motto of “driving technological surprise.”  Some of DARPA’s current projects include designing bullets that can adjust their course in-flight, novel techniques to … Continue reading A Prosthesis to Fix Broken Memories