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News Archive

Learning about Neuroscience

Tabor students in Amelia Wright’s new course, Advanced Topics in Neuroscience, have been engaged in some self-discovery. They have been studying the fascinating teenage brain and learning a ton about the nature of addiction and impulse control (or lack thereof).
 
Students last week completed oral presentations of their research on different topics of their choosing related to the development and functioning of the teenage brain. Not only did the assignment help them develop their research skills, but they also had to create a power point presentation, graphically sharing their findings, as well as presenting them orally in lay language so their peers could understand what they learned. The class learned a bit about a new topic with each presentation, hopefully building their interest in further topics related to their brain functioning.
 
Many of the topics the students chose are directly related to many of the talking points we stress through our health and wellness curriculum delivered through the Dean’s Office programming and coordinated with Counseling and Health Services. Always good to have a little positive reinforcement of our messaging, and to raise broad awareness of the importance of protecting developing brains. The awareness is especially effective when the students unearth the facts themselves.
 
Some of the topics they presented were:
  • FOMO: fear of missing out or finding obsession in media outputs
  • Implicit bias: the cognitive underpinnings of stereotyping and racism within society
  • Take a hit: peer pressure and addiction in adolescents
  • You’re not special: why the teenage brain is so sensitive to evaluation
  • Dying to drink: teen binge drinking
  • Sensitivity to criticism vs. reward
  • Emotional effects of technology on the brain
  • Testosterone causes aggression: myth or fact
Before the presentations began, the class was treated to seeing a professional presenter in action. Neuroscientist, Dr. Sage Aronson came to campus to deliver a public lecture on his research into depression and the centers in the brain that may be responsible for the onset of depression, as well as other factors, such as genetics scientists suspect may be involved. Dr. Aronson also spent time in class with our student sharing a fun lab to illustrate motor functions and how stimulation of one person’s muscles can be used to control another’s!
 
It has been an enlightening trimester in AT Neuroscience!


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