Nurturing Interest in Neuroscience at McMaster University

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What We Do


Our goal is to build a welcoming community for undergraduate students at McMaster University who are interested in collaborative learning regarding neuroscience research.


We strive to inspire and nurture undergraduate neuroscience interest and offer opportunities to explore that interest through networking events and discussions.


We aim to support neuroscience – related research through active fundraising and fostering student connections with faculty.

Journal Publications

Pregnancy turns back the clock

Pregnancy is a complex enough biological process as it is due to the vast number of hormonal fluctuations as the body provides nourishment to the fetus and prepares for labor1. Changes in hormone levels go hand in hand with changes in the anatomy of the brain, such as a reduction in gray matter volume. A study done by Luders and colleagues studied potential age reversal effects in the brain following pregnancy.

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Neuroimaging biomarkers of treatment response in anxiety disorders

Anxiety disorders are the most prevalent psychiatric conditions across the human lifespan, with an estimated lifetime prevalence of 31.9%.1,2 They are also the sixth leading cause of disability worldwide.3 Despite the significant functional impairment caused by anxiety disorders, patients are often treated as outpatients and subsequently receive less medical attention and treatment monitoring than patients with less prevalent disorders, but are usually treated as inpatients with consistent monitoring, such as schizophrenia or bipolar disorder.4

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Neurological developments in adolescence pose a critical vulnerability to substance abuse

Drug addiction or “dependence” is typically defined by three cognitive criteria: compulsive need to take the drug, reduced control in limiting intake, and a negative affective state during withdrawal.1 The reinforcement/reward model effectively describes the neurobiological mechanisms that drive addictive behaviours. Dopaminergic pathways are central to this model, which include regions of the midbrain such as the substantia nigra, striatum, nucleus accumbens, and the ventral tegmental area.1 Drugs, such as cocaine, will prolong dopamine neurotransmitter activity by preventing its reuptake from neurons in the system. Since dopamine is associated with reward behaviours, this effect reinforces an individual’s motivation to seek out and take the drug.

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McMaster University is located on the traditional territory shared between the Haudenosaunee confederacy and the Anishinabe nations, which was acknowledged in the Dish with One Spoon Wampum belt. That wampum uses the symbolism of a dish to represent the territory, and one spoon to represent that the people are to share the resources of the land and only take what they need.