Two NCTHS Students Present Published Research & Original Study
Two New Century Technology High School (NCTHS) neuroscience seniors, Emma Colavita and Torri Walker, recently received the distinction of being published in the International Youth Neuroscience Association (IYNA) Journal. The journal is the world’s largest youth neuroscience journal and is available to youth and young adults up to age 26 to contribute neuroscience-related papers through a peer-review process very similar to what students will eventually encounter in the broader scientific community. IYNA is a nonprofit organization represented in over a hundred countries across the globe.
Both Emma and Torri presented their research to fellow students, faculty, and other visitors in the lecture hall at New Century on Wednesday, as well as an additional study they have been conducting together to investigate how diet affects cognitive function in mice.
“It feels amazing,” says Torri Walker, “it was so cool to have that opportunity.” Torri did a somewhat unconventional study on how early hominid brain development was connected with their environment and culture. Read her full study: Environmental and Cultural Influences in the Evolution of Early Hominid Cognition.
NCTHS science department chair and neuroscience teacher Shawna Bonilla says, “In order to get published, they spent the last three months of the previous school year writing a literature review.” She added that they collected over twenty articles and wrote about thirteen pages, which eventually were worked down through editing and peer review into their final articles. Both students’ articles were published on November 1, 2021.
“Just looking at it in the journal,” says Emma Colavita, “fills you with so much pride.” Emma’s study centered on the progression of Alzheimer’s Disease and she says she was surprised to learn how differently the disease can progress from preclinical to late stages in each patient. Read her full study: The Progression of Alzheimer’s Disease.
For other students who may be considering publishing in an academic journal, Emma and Torri advise that they pick a topic they are very interested in, read formatting guides very closely, and to seek out peer review as much as possible.
Both students have plans to attend college in either neuroscience or a related scientific area of study.