Special Ed Teaching and Social Work with Haley Alperin

Watch now to learn from Haley Alperin, a special education instructor and direct support professional, on her experiences with working with children with special needs. Alperin’s hope to help children through her work has guided her as she navigated many career paths from working at Nickelodeon (to increase diverse representation in the media), to teaching, to social work. As a special education teacher, Alperin worked within underprivileged communities and discussed the influence of socioeconomic disparities on access to resources and educational opportunities. After teaching, her focus has shifted to social work as she is currently obtaining her Masters of Social Work and will begin working at Child Mind Institute in September 2021.   With her strength-based approach in teaching and social work, Alperin helps her students to build transitional and life skills as building blocks for success in their future. To learn more about disparities in education, nature versus nurture in …

Special Ed Teaching and Social Work with Haley Alperin Read More »

Media: Explore Neuro in the Patch

Recently, the story behind my path towards creating Explore Neuro was published in the Patch, a local news platform. I’m so excited that Explore Neuro can gain more exposure and people can learn a little bit more about myself. The article highlights my experiences with epilepsy and volunteering with Friendship Circle that inspired me to create this website, so, if interested, you can read more here: https://patch.com/connecticut/greenwich/greenwich-high-school-rising-senior-hopes-help-others

Memory

head with neurons and pixels

Our memory is what allows us to remember new information and retrieve old information in order to make sense of the world. Memory is the persistence of learning over time, involving the storage and retrieval of information. This process can be defined by three steps: encoding (new information enters our brains), storage (information being kept in the brain), and retrieval (information being remembered for later use).  Retention Measures  In order to measure our retention of information there is recall, recognition, and relearning: all of which are used in our daily lives testing how much information endures in our long term memory. Recall is similar to a fill in the blank question, in which information must be retrieved without cues. In contrast, recognition is more similar to a multiple choice question where a certain stimuli can be matched to previous information. Lastly, relearning can determine how much one remembers because it …

Memory Read More »

Neurobiology of Aging

age, youth, contrast

In our mid-twenties, our physical performance peaks when mild cognitive decline begins. When we turn fifty, our eyesight worsens and in our sixties, we become more prone to disease and sickness. Our increased mental and physical vulnerability is rooted in biological and neuroscientific reasoning from the weakening of neural connections within the brain to the deterioration of the immune system.  Cognitive Decline  Our brain contains over one hundred billions neurons which are utilized to send information to the brain and elicit responses. Neurons are nerve cells, which act as the building blocks of the nervous system. At one end of the neuron is the dendrite, whose branching extensions receive messages and conduct impulses across the axon. Sometimes the axon is encased by a myelin sheath which is a fatty tissue layer that enables faster transmission speed. The resting potential of neurons is based on the fluid outside the axon’s membrane, …

Neurobiology of Aging Read More »

Alzheimer’s & Brain Awareness Month

June is Alzheimer’s & Brain Awareness Month, so it is the time to spread awareness of Alzheimer’s and inspire action to aid individuals suffering from the disease and the path to a cure.  Alzheimer’s Disease is the most common cause of dementia, causing memory loss and cognitive decline. According to the Alzheimer’s Association,  Alzheimer’s disease accounts for 60-80% of dementia cases. The majority of individuals with Alzheimer’s are 65 and older, yet the disease is not a normal part of aging. Although Alzheimer’s has no cure, aducanumab is used as a treatment to potentially delay clinical decline. However, the disease is progressive, where sympyoms gradually worsen over time going from mild memory loss to losing the ability to perceive the environment and interact with others. As the sixth-leading cause of death in the U.S., a person with Alzheimer’s generally lives 4 to 8 years after diagnosis.  Signs and Symptoms One …

Alzheimer’s & Brain Awareness Month Read More »

Sleep

Sleep is crucial to our ability to survive: it is the periodic, reversible loss of consciousness. Through our body’s circadian rhythm, our bodies are regulated in a 24 hour cycle, and when sleep does occur, it is in a 90 minute cycle of REM sleep. Sleep has many imperative functions for survival, yet many individuals face sleep disorders.  Circadian Rhythm  Our body has a circadian rhythm, which is a biological clock that occurs on a 24 hour cycle. The cycle is altered by and experience and influences body temperature, arousal, and energy throughout the day.  At around 2am is the deepest sleep, with the lowest body temperature around 4:30 am. Around when we wake up, about 6:45 am, there is the sharpest rise in blood pressure: over the next few hours, melatonin secretion stops, bowel movement likely occurs, there is the highest testosterone secretion and the highest alertness. Between noon …

Sleep Read More »

Non-Verbal Learning Disorder

blue arts and crafts

Children with non-verbal learning disorder (NLD) have a combination of social, emotional, and learning deficits. Unlike other learning disorders, NLD does not impact the ability to process language; instead, it affects social interactions, executive function, organization, and problem-solving. According to the Child Mind Institute, five major areas are impacted by NLD. Firstly, visual and spatial awareness is an area of weakness for those with NLD. Oftentimes, this leads to children with NLD being physically awkward and unable to perceive shape and position. Another aspect of NLD is higher-order comprehension, which is the ability to relate the big picture of something and to smaller details. This weakness makes it difficult for children with NLD to take notes in school because they tend to write everything being said, rather than identifying important information. Additionally, students with NLD struggle with math that goes beyond the data memorization. The importance of recognizing concepts and …

Non-Verbal Learning Disorder Read More »

Intelligence

chalkboard with math

Intelligence can be defined as the ability to learn from experience, solve problems, and use knowledge to adapt to new situations. Simply Psychology states that intelligence “has been defined in many ways: higher level abilities (such as abstract reasoning, mental representation, problem solving, and decision making), the ability to learn, emotional knowledge, creativity, and adaptation to meet the demands of the environment effectively.” Specifically, psychologist Robert Sternberg defined intelligence as “the mental abilities necessary for adaptation to, as well as shaping and selection of, any environmental context.” With its many definitions, intelligence is a fascinating and multifaceted topic with a rich history and diverse explanations.  History of Studying Intelligence  To begin with Charles Spearman, an English psychologist, established the two-factor theory of intelligence in 1904, using factor analysis. By identifying custers of closely related test items, factor analysis revealed that people who did well in one skill area also tended …

Intelligence Read More »

Clinical Psychology with Dr. Lauren Riordan

puzzle pieces with brain in lightbulb

Watch now to learn from Dr. Riordan, PhD, a clinical psychologist, founder, and co-director of the Waverly Group for pediatric therapy and assessments. Through psycho-educational evaluations, Dr. Riordan works with children to better understand how they think and learn best. With her evaluations, Dr. Riordan can assess a child’s strengths and weakness and provide a diagnosis which serves as a foundation for treatment plans. Dr. Riordan’s work also extends into education as her evaluations are utilized in forming Individualized Education Plans and accommodations for students so they can thrive in a school setting. With her years’ of experience, Dr. Riordan provides insight into diagnosing different disorders, as well as the increase in mental health and social development issues in the past year due to Covid-19. To learn more about the diagnosis process, non-verbal learning disorder, and the effects of the pandemic on mental health, watch the video linked below!

Hearing

head with music notes

Our body’s auditory system allows us to process external sound to better understand the world around us. In doing so, we utilize the parts of the ear to absorb sound and the steps of processing in the brain to interpret what we hear.  Soundwaves  We hear sounds (measured in decibels), through sound waves, whose height, length, and complexity determine what we hear. The amplitude, or the height of the sound wave, dictates the volume of the sound. A high amplitude means that the sound is loud, whereas a low amplitude causes a soft sound. Within the ear, loudness is determined by the number of activated hair cells in the cochlea.  In contrast, the frequency, or the length of the soundwave, affects pitch: a low frequency is a low pitched sound and a high frequency is a high pitched sound. There are multiple theories used to help us understand pitch perception. …

Hearing Read More »

Scroll to Top