Week 2: So Many Research Papers…

Mar 20, 2021

Welcome back to another week’s blog!

This week has not been all that different from the week before, but now I seem to be drowning in the sea of research papers. Much of my reading this week has been about the serotonergic system, and its role in neuronal processes in the hippocampus. Turns out, serotonin has a lot more functions than I previously anticipated.

Many of us already know that serotonin is a neurotransmitter responsible for regulating mood and emotion. However, serotonin also plays a role in cognition, learning, and memory (which is what my research will focus on). Many studies have found that patients suffering from mental illnesses, most notably Major Depressive Disorder, exhibit unusually low levels of serotonin. Because of this, the most common antidepressant drugs currently in use are designed to increase extracellular levels of serotonin by acting as a serotonin receptor antagonist. These antidepressants are called Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors, known to target the monoamine uptake transporter, SCL6A4. To make things more complex, serotonin has 15 different types of receptors, many of which can induce conflicting physiological responses. 

I have also started an online neuroscience class to better understand the background of my research. This week, I learned about action potential propagation and the electrophysiology behind neuron functions. In other news, my professor has received his first dose of the Pfizer vaccine, meaning he will be able to return to labs soon! 

Thanks for reading my blog; I’ll see you guys next week!

4 Replies to “Week 2: So Many Research Papers…”

  1. Karan M. says:

    I love that you are taking an extra step of joining an online course to learn more about your topic. That shows your commitment and interest in the topic at hand. I can’t wait to see where your research leads you!

  2. Eric M. says:

    Hey! Don’t complain about research papers! Those things are great. But I will agree that at first they’re really hard to read. Eventually, you’ll get pretty good at reading them, and spotting which parts are/aren’t relevant to your research. But I totally get the feeling! Keep it up!

  3. trischaust says:


    You are definitely in the unglamorous phase of research and it sounds like there is a lot of previous work to draw from. I love the passion you have for your subject. I’m intrigued by your research and as I read your blog my thoughts went to whether a person’s mood has any correlation to achievement based on seratonin’s impact on both mood and memory. I look forward to following your project.

    Mrs. Aust

  4. davidc says:

    Jeffrey! It seems like you are learning a lot and have a great starting point. Honestly, I’m learning a lot just by reading these posts. I cannot wait to see your final product and all the connections you make. I think your topic is fascinating.

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