• The Laughing Brain: The Neuroscience Behind Comedy

      Sposit, Chelsea (Temple University. Grey Matters, 2021-12)
      Imagine yourself sitting in front of your television watching Saturday Night Live (SNL). Michael Che just blurted a line on the Weekend Update segment “the CDC [is] warning people not to eat raw cookie dough because it may contain germs that cause diarrhea, but on the bright side, you can eat cookie dough without gaining weight!” [1]. Not much thought goes into your laughter– as it is an innate physical reaction that comes as naturally as crying [2]. But, have you ever wondered why that line evoked such a reaction from you, but not from your mom who was also watching the show alongside you? In the neuroscientific community, there is a dearth of knowledge on the science behind comedy [3]. Following that intrigue, this article will investigate the neuroscience behind laughter and comedy by utilizing existing research to foster a strong understanding of this topic and potential areas to be investigated in the future.
    • The Social and Emotional Toll of Narcolepsy

      Mehta, Rutvik; Jiwanji, Mariyah; Singhal, Rashi; Gillam, Emily; Lockwood, Kathryn; Quarmley, Megan; Quarmley|0000-0003-2115-2196 (Temple University. Grey Matters, 2021-05)
      Normally, turning on the light in your house is as easy as flipping a switch. Now, imagine if the light didn’t work properly. Imagine that flipping a switch on or off meant guessing if the light would turn on or off, or just flicker. Not knowing what your light is going to do at any moment would severely limit your ability to function in your house and would be exhausting, frustrating, and very disrupting. For people with narcolepsy, this is an everyday reality. The light represents the brain of a person with narcolepsy, as they can feel tired or awake at any time, not knowing when sleep will attack. Although the physiological effects of narcolepsy are well-known and studied more, the social and emotional toll is not talked about as much but can have equally devastating and life-altering effects.