Association of Music With Stress, Test Anxiety, and Test Grades Among High School Students

Authors:  Radhika Rastogi, Ellen Silver

Music is an integral part of many adolescents’ lives and has been shown to have anxiety-relieving effects in high-stress settings, such as hospitals. Adolescents also face high levels of stress in academic environments, which have been correlated with poor academic performance, particularly test grades. However, the relationship between stress, academic performance, and music listening among adolescents has not been studied. We hypothesized that students who spent more time listening to music while studying would report lower levels of stress and receive higher test grades.

Mirror Effects on Feeding Black-Capped Chickadees (Poecile atricapillus)

Author:  Maki Sumitani

Black-capped chickadees (Poecile atricapillus) are a social species that travel in flocks and have a strict dominance hierarchy. Feeding sites enable researchers to explore their intraspecific behaviors as they engage in contests over food. This study investigated whether the presence of a mirror at a feeder would alter the length of time and frequency of feeding by Black-capped chickadees. With the mirror image as a proxy for another bird, the study also tested whether the chickadees will interact with their mirror images with aggressive or exploratory behaviors.

Prenatal Ethanol Exposure Affects Calbindin Expression in an FASD Mouse Model

Authors:  Diana Finesmith & Carlita Favero

Alcohol consumption during pregnancy produces a wide range of birth defects classified as Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASD), including motor defects. Motor functions are regulated in part by Purkinje cells in the cerebellum, which are particularly susceptible to ethanol exposure and contain high levels of calbindin, a calcium-binding protein essential to their function and survival. Previous research has demonstrated that alcohol consumption during pregnancy can produce motor defects in a newborn, but the underlying mechanisms are poorly understood. We investigated the effects of low dose prenatal ethanol exposure on calbindin expression in the cerebellum by examining the number and relative optical density of cells expressing calbindin in the cerebella of mouse offspring exposed to ethanol from gestational day 7.5 until birth.