• 1971: The Bloodied Legacy of the United States in South Asia

      Khanna, Yesh (2021-05)
      In 1971, South Asia saw one of the most horrific genocides in modern history. It took place in East Pakistan (now known as Bangladesh) under the oversight of General Yahya Khan. This genocidal campaign was named Operation Searchlight; its primary objective was to 'suppress' the members and sympathizers of the Awami League - the Bengali nationalist political party, led by Sheikh Mujib-ur-Rahman - protesting for greater autonomy of East Pakistan. Later, they started demanding complete secession and the creation of 'Bangladesh'. The military crackdown began on March 25th in Dhaka and neighboring areas with the Pakistani army killing civilians, firing indiscriminately at unarmed university students, and raping women. Even though the U.S. consulate in Dhaka witnessed these horrors and reported each and every update to Washington, the Nixon administration not only chose to turn a blind eye to the atrocities being committed by the Pakistani army in East Pakistan but secretly approved of Yahya's crackdown.
    • A Whole New World - Exploring Emotion in Music

      Brodsky, Rachel; Buddhiraju, Kirvani; Szmacinski, Ola; Calaku, Katie; Hobson, Sam; Brucato, Maria (Temple University. Grey Matters, 2021-05)
      When Disney movies open with a murmur of classi cal music, crescendoing into powerful waves, they immediately transport us to animated lands of princes and princesses, talking animals and evil stepmothers. Or if you haven’t watched a Disney movie in a while, what about the recent allure of the sea shanty? When listening to the now-famil iar rhythm of the folk songs that traditionally accompanied labo rious tasks while at sea, we imagine ourselves on a 19th century ship, helping to raise the sail or hoist up the anchor. How do we create entire worlds for ourselves, whether familiar or from cen turies before, based on the music we hear? Human perception of music is influenced by pitch, key, tempo and other factors, which evoke emotion by activating the limbic and paralimbic systems [1, 2]. That said, the whole story behind music is still being sounded out, and some current theories are explored below.
    • Alice in Wonderland Syndrome: Down the Rabbit Hole

      Ataher, Aleena (Temple University. Grey Matters, 2021-12)
      A young girl, age seven, wakes up one more morning to find her limbs have grown dramatically overnight. Her arm, once a mere ten inches, now extends fifteen feet from her body, while her hands have shrunk to a size similar to that of a blueberry. Her leg, once a comfortable few feet from her body, has narrowed to just centimeters in width. Amid her confusion, she recalls a situation similar to her own in a story she once read about a girl who follows a rabbit down a hole: Lewis Caroll’s popular children’s novel, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. British psychiatrist Dr. John Todd noticed this same resemblance during the 1950s when six of his adolescent patients came to him complaining of migraines and epileptic episodes, simultaneously reporting symptoms parallel to Alice’s experiences.
    • ALS: Diagnosis by Deduction

      Morgan, Gideon; Vajipayajula, Dhruv; Shah, Aarohi; McGrath, Rose; Swanchara, Melissa; Leonard, Brian; Leonard|0000-0002-4901-0977 (Temple University. Grey Matters, 2021-05)
    • Brain in Harmony: The Role of Music in Rehabilitation of People with Multiple Sclerosis

      Gibson, Eve (Temple University. Grey Matters, 2021-12)
      Imagine you are running a marathon. You are on your last mile, struggling to keep a steady pace as your body starts to feel the exhaustion from a prolonged exertion of energy. You try your best to keep up with the person in front of you, but it is not enough. Instead, you choose to focus on the music playing on someone's speaker nearby. The strong beat influences you to synchronize with the music, matching each stride to the beat, creating a steady running pace. Focusing solely on the synchronization of your running to the music, a wave of energy fills your body and melts away the exhaustion you were feeling earlier. Before you know it, the last mile flies by and you cross the finish line, coming back to your body. This instinctive synchronization shows the impact of music on neurological and physical functioning. By uncovering the neurological mechanisms behind this synchronization process, clinicians can further explore possible treatment methods that utilize music to benefit individuals with multiple sclerosis (MS). Music-based interventions engage the whole brain which has the potential to facilitate neuroplastic changes and rehabilitation of people with Multiple Sclerosis (PwMS) through rhythmic neural entrainment.
    • Brain-Machine Interface

      Lua, Esmeralda; McGuigan, Daniel; Rahaman, Arafat; Wanders, Siena; Neguch, Natalya; Bullock, Trent (Temple University. Grey Matters, 2021-05)
      Requiring collaboration in the fields of neurobiology, electrophysiology, engineering, computer science, and biomedicine, Brain-Machine Interfaces (BMIs) are an emerging multidisciplinary technology with countless potential benefits. The ability to record and interpret neuronal activity at a higher resolution and specificity is one of the exciting promises of BMIs. The applications of this technology provide hope for a vast number of individuals who suffer from a wide range of neurological diseases and disorders. It can also be applied to artificial prostheses, to provide limb sensation for amputees. Although BMIs hold immense potential, questions within the realm of neuroethics have raised concern. In particular, the possible exploitation that could arise through medical practices with the advancement of technology [1]. Where humans may potentially be given capabilities that surpass the norm, changing the perception of what it means to be human [1]. It is important to take into account that there are BMIs currently in place that have provided relief for various conditions. To name a few, the use of deep brain stimulation in patients with Parkinson’s, spinal cord stimulation for those with intractable pain, and the use of motor prosthesis for patients with epilepsy [1]. However, these methods oftentimes only provide temporary or mild relief and are not inerrant. The trajectory of the BMIs outlined herein aims toward finding an ideal invasive mechanism to solve these drawbacks of mild and temporary relief. There are a vast number of neurological disorders that continue to trouble humanity both emotionally and economically [1], that could substantially change through the use of BMIs.
    • Bridging the Gap Between the Science & People Affected by Traumatic Brain Injury

      Sotelo, Angelica; Baffoe-Bonnie, Jude; Shah, Aarohi; Michel, Erin; Jozwik, Matthew; Cában Rivera, Carolina (Temple University. Grey Matters, 2021-05)
      Most Americans have probably seen media coverage of a National Football League (NFL) game. Because American football is a full contact sport, it is probably not surprising that frequent collisions between players result in concussions, or “mild” traumatic brain injury (TBI) [1]. While concussions have been associated with American football and its players since 1994, athletes are not the only people affected by them [2]. 69 million individuals sustain TBI each year worldwide [3]. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), while a concussion itself is not life-threatening, it is the after effects of the concussion that contribute to complications which may hinder a person’s quality of life for some time [1]. Recent research on the oculomotor system and neuro-optometric rehabilitation may offer affected individuals more opportunities for concussion recovery. Concussions affect our brain in a multitude of ways, including our physical, chemical, mental, and visual processes; however, neuro-optometric rehabilitation is a glimmer of hope for those recovering from traumatic brain injury.
    • Cultural Biases Surrounding the Diagnoses of Mental Illness

      Moola, Esther (Temple University. Grey Matters, 2021-12)
      Being biased is a part of human nature. Humans have shown biases throughout history with the creation of distinct stereotypes and reputations for groups of people. Biases in a society can be considered a part of the functioning of that society, until it negatively affects the health and well-being of the individual. Not only recognizing, but also terminating biases is one of the most prominent issues in the field of medicine. How can a medical professional give a proper diagnosis based on the patient if they maintain their personal biases towards the patient’s race, ethnicity, cultural group, or economic standing? It is the biases of the medical professional that contribute to an unjust health system that lacks holistic understanding of the patient. In order to remove these biases when stepping into a medical building, a medical professional must not only recognize the unique background of a patient, but must also determine what biases they as an individual have towards any aspects of that background.
    • Discoveries in the Genetics of Psychiatric Disorders

      Sigler, Danni (Temple University. Grey Matters, 2021-12)
      What makes schizophrenia and autism spectrum disorders different from one another? Conceptually, both are thought to arise from early changes in brain development, and thus belong to the broader category of neurodevelopmental conditions [1]. Today, a particular neurodevelopmental or psychiatric diagnosis is defined by its specific symptomatology – the sum and constellation of an individual’s troubling behaviors and experiences.It was only in the past few decades that scientists have been able to study the biological origin of such neurodevelopmental disorders by examining their genetic contributions. This has been a rapidly advancing area of research and medicine. In certain cases, genetic diagnoses can now help understand and treat individuals with developmental conditions based on their specific genetic profile, in a more personalized and sophisticated fashion than symptom-based diagnoses alone could allow. Since an accurate and informative diagnosis is the cornerstone of good clinical decision making, it is important to acknowledge how advances in genetics are now enriching the diagnosis of neurodevelopmental and psychiatric disorders.
    • Expounding on Anorexia: Cognitive and Structural Outcomes

      Brown, Remya; Kunta, Charita; Abraham, Ashish; Kuchibhatla, Vishwanka; Carroll, Ethan; Tassoni, Molly (Temple University. Grey Matters, 2021-05)
    • Focal Dystonia: The Root Causes Underpinning the Yips

      Gibson, Eve (Temple University. Grey Matters, 2021-12)
      Cases of the yips have popped up from time to time in all different sports from MLB pitchers suddenly not being able to find the strike zone to professional golfers missing very short putts. A theory proposed by researchers to explain the yips is a motor dysfunction known as focal dystonia [2]. Dystonia describes a wide variety of movement disorders which are defined by intermittent or constant muscle contractions that create irregular and repeated movements [3]. It is worth noting that the yips affect not only gymnasts and golfers, but also a wide variety of skilled professionals, as the yips target fine motor skills and muscle memory [4]. The name of the phenomenon and the affected body regions vary depending on the area of expertise of the individual affected by this dystonia. Amongst golfers it is known as the yips, for professional gymnasts it is the twisties, and professional musicians call it musician’s dystonia [5]. What happens when the mind gets in the way of the body? Severe performance anxiety may be a catalyst for the yips. Psychological stress manifesting in muscular defects makes finding a treatment plan difficult and case specific. If the yips is not purely psychological, but is a motor control disorder, then how does a healthcare professional go about treating the symptoms?
    • Friction in China-Japan Relations: Causes and Challenges

      Khanna, Yesh (2021-09)
      Because of its location, Japan has an array of unique neighbors, though not all of them hold a warm attitude toward the country. China is one such example - the recent actions of the Chinese government pertaining to the Senkaku Islands, its growing military might, and the country's hegemonic aspirations are all reasons why the Japanese Ministry of Defense classifies China as the biggest current threat to Japan. Given the facts that Japan is one of the United States' most strategic allies and China is the biggest threat to the United States' superpower status, it becomes more important than ever to better understand the history and the future of relations between the two countries. This piece explores various causes of Japan-China tensions and the strategic challenges that China poses to Japan.
    • Fungus Among Us

      Hilty, Christopher; Kitabwalla, Fatema; Pandey, Abhi; Bhatti, Saira; Sigler, Danni; Farkas, Daniel (Temple University. Grey Matters, 2021-05)
      Everyone knows that drugs are bad for you. That’s why they’re illegal, right? This outdated idea is facing increased scrutiny, as we’ve already begun to see the prohibition and regulation of some of these substances being reexamined. For example, marijuana is federally recognized as a Schedule 1 drug, a classification that implies it has a high abuse potential and no recognized medicinal value. However, this classification has been challenged by many recent studies that have shown its potential as a treatment option for various conditions ranging from mild nausea to debilitating epilepsy [1]. Another drug in this Schedule 1 category is psilocybin, which was once considered a revolutionary tool in psychotherapy. This drug isn’t some modern creation synthesized in a lab, it’s a naturally occurring substance found in certain species of mushrooms . The ritual consumption of these mushrooms dates back thousands of years in Mexico, where it had been used for both medicinal and spiritual purposes [2]. In the late 1950’s, isolation of the psy choactive psilocybin molecule allowed scientists to evaluate its potential as a treatment option for various mood disorders and alcoholism [3]. However, as the war on drugs ramped up, funding for these studies dried out. After a hiatus that spanned multiple decades, research on this promising molecule is finally resuming. Recent studies indicate that psilocybin can be a powerful treat ment option for various ailments such as obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), addiction, and depression. Its ability to produce a “mystical-type experience” is thought to be correlated with its effectiveness, though the cause of this experience is still under investigation [4]. Despite the uncertainty surrounding this phenomenon, the positive therapeutic results of the drug offer hope for a new tool to fight the rising mental health issues and addic tion epidemics that lurk below the surface of our society.
    • Grey Matters, Issue 1, Spring 2021

      Shah, Mansi (Temple University. Grey Matters, 2021-05)
    • Grey Matters, Issue 2, Fall 2021

      Shah, Mansi; Gibson, Eve (Temple University. Grey Matters, 2021-12)
    • Is Myelin Repair Possible?

      George, Caroline (Temple University. Grey Matters, 2022-01)
      In the body, myelin is the coating over the axons, the “wires'' carrying our body’s signals. The insulator around the wires acts the same way myelin acts as an insulator in the brain. The signals in the neurons of people diagnosed with multiple sclerosis (MS) become slowed and unprotected as their axons lose the coating that protects them. MS is an incurable demyelinating disease, where patients can experience weakened motor function, pain, impaired memory and other cognitive issues. MS patients endure such degeneration because their central nervous system cells lose the ability to communicate quickly. However, scientists may have discovered a drug that allows myelin production regardless of the presence of toxic proteins; this article will investigate the neuroscience behind Tolebrutinib as well as its results and limitations.
    • Machine Learning Applications to the Diagnosis of Neurodegenerative Diseases

      Post, Cristen (Temple University. Grey Matters, 2021-12)
      Imagine you are enjoying a game of Pictionary with your family. As the picturist, you pick up a card from the deck. The card reads “umbrella” as you flip it over. You quickly start sketching an umbrella as the sand timer begins its one minute countdown. As you draw, a family member analyzes the drawing to guess the word. This game of Pictionary is analogous to machine learning, which is a type of artificial intelligence. Artificial intelligence (AI) is broadly defined as the use of computer algorithms in a way that imitates critical analysis and thinking analogous to humans. Machine learning is a subset of AI that allows computer algorithms to make accurate predictions based on a set of data. As children, we are shown pictures of objects, including umbrellas, and are taught that the image of an umbrella correlates to the word umbrella. This is the process of learning. Having seen umbrellas multiple times, our brains learn to associate the image with the word and can now recognize umbrellas. Similar to how our brains learn, machine learning allows for a set of computer algorithms (also known as a model) to learn by being shown a set of data and taught the patterns among it. The model can then make predictions based on a new set of data by applying the patterns it learned. As artificial intelligence (AI) improves efficiency and accuracy, it is emerging as a powerful tool to aid in providing solutions in multiple complex fields. Medicine is an example of a field that AI is used for, particularly the areas of diagnosis and treatment. Since neurodegenerative diseases at present have no cures, early diagnosis and avoiding misdiagnosis are crucial to ensuring patients have a good quality of life [3]. This article will investigate the application of machine learning techniques to the diagnosis and treatment planning of neurodegenerative diseases.
    • Managed sheep grazing can improve soil quality and carbon sequestration at solar photovoltaic sites

      Towner, Elizabeth; Karas, Tom; Janski, Jake; Macknick, Jordan; Ravi, Sujith; Towner|0000-0003-1618-2411; Ravi|0000-0002-0425-9373 (2022-01-13)
      Solar energy development is land intensive and recent studies have demonstrated the negative impacts of large-scale solar deployment on vegetation and soil. Co-locating vegetation with managed grazing on utility scale solar PV sites could provide a sustainable solution to meeting the growing food and energy demands, along with providing several co-benefits. However, the impacts of introducing grazing on soil properties at vegetated solar PV sites are not well understood. To address this knowledge gap, we investigated the impacts of episodic sheep grazing on soil properties (micro and macro nutrients, carbon storage, soil grain size distribution) at six commercial solar PV sites (MN, USA) and compared that to undisturbed control sites. Results indicate that implementing managed sheep grazing significantly increased total carbon storage (10-80%) and available nutrients, and the magnitude of change correlated with the grazing frequency (1-5 years) at the study sites. Furthermore, it was found that sites that experienced consecutive annual grazing treatments benefitted more than intermittently grazed sites. The findings will help in designing resource conserving integrated solar energy and food/fodder systems, along with increasing soil quality and carbon sequestration.
    • Musical Memories in Alzheimer’s Patients

      Swanchara, Melissa; Gitlevich, Rebecca (Temple University. Grey Matters, 2021-12)
      Alzheimer’s disease erases the past and damages the present and the future. Those who suffer the nightmare of forgetting the life they lived and the people who surround them, experience sheer confusion, frustration, and agitation. The development of learned helplessness creates a dark future for those struggling with Alzheimer’s Disease. However, there seems to be light at the end of the tunnel. There may be one thing that could ground these patients even after severe loss of cognitive function: music. Recent studies have revealed the ability of the brain in Alzheimer’s patients to recall musical memories, which led to further investigation of the positive cognitive and emotional effects of music therapy for people diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease.
    • Neuroprosthetics and the Bionic Human

      Jozwik, Matthew; Gitlevich, Rebecca (Temple University. Grey Matters, 2021-12)
      Historically, certain conditions have been thought of as untreatable and incurable, such as blindness and paralysis. As a result, any cases of recovery from these conditions were viewed as miraculous and unexplainable. It has not been until recently that mechanisms for many of these conditions have been extensively studied so that treatments have become not only possible, but appear increasingly inevitable. Through detailed research and experimentation, scientists and engineers have been able to develop treatments for these injuries previously thought to be untreatable. For example, the development of artificial limb interfaces has enabled motion [1] and facilitated sensation [2] in patients with spinal cord injury, while the development of spherical artificial eyes has the potential ability to give sight to the blind [3]. These treatments, which combine natural neuronal processing with prosthetic devices, are referred to as neuroprostheses. Although research for these devices is still ongoing, early results are promising, and may soon give rise to permanent solutions for these conditions.