Neuroscience students presented their coursework on drugs of addiction in the Gallery on Wednesday. As part of their curriculum, each student was required to select an addictive drug or habit and conduct in-depth research on it before creating a website to share what they had learned. The 10 presentations covered a range of addictions, from well-known ones such as marijuana, alcohol, nicotine, heroin and cocaine, to more unexpected ones such as caffeine, gaming and social media. Students provided a brief history of the drug and its origins, its effects on the brain and body, the neurotransmitters involved and the mechanism behind the addiction. They explained the different types of treatments and medications used to overcome the addiction, as well as the challenges involved.
Studying neuroscience has many positive future applications, according to faculty member Ryan Taylor. Students learn about the normal development and activity of the nervous system, as well as study diseases, disorders, addictions and injuries that affect parts of the nervous system, how the nervous system develops and how well it functions. Once students understand these fundamentals, in the future they could work on researching new ways to prevent or treat problems that affect the brain, nervous system and body.
“In this project, my neuroscience students investigated the mechanism of addiction through the lens of a drug or habit of abuse,” says Taylor. “I am so proud of the work they created. I’ve received great feedback from teachers and students alike on how informative their projects were and well prepared my students were.”