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Brain & Body: Neuroscience Students Present Research Projects

Dr. Nancy Cowdin's senior neuroscience students presented the results of their research projects this week. These creative projects spanned a variety of topics including:

  • measuring brain activity; 
  • activating the sympathetic nervous system;
  • controlling free will;
  • analyzing muscle fatigue between athletes and musicians, and; 
  • observing reactions to nicotine and MSG.

Morgan Howley, Katherine Collamore, and Grace Hardardt hypothesized that when searching for Waldo in Where's Waldo books, there would be a correlation between eye potentials and heightened brain activity in comparison to the participant looking at a neutral stimulus. They tested this by working with teachers and students, and determined their hypothesis was correct, also finding that the first ten seconds of Waldo-searching had the highest or second highest number of spikes and frequency in eye potential. 

Lauren Hervey, Isabella Burt, and Martha Gamy tested what it might be like to control the free will of another by electronically activating muscle reactions in volunteers. They hypothesized that with less sleep the night before, an individual's muscles would react quickly, and they would have less control over the muscle movement. Contrary to their hypothesis, people who slept more had more fluid movement and less control, while those who slept less had more control and their muscles could not move easily. 

Neuroscience is an elective offered to seniors; as part of the course, students also have the opportunity each year to visit Georgetown University's Medical School. Read about this year's field trip here.

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