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Issue 2—Fall 2021

Letter from the Editors

Science is facing a midlife crisis. As the discipline grows more complex, with increased specialization and new technologies, a communication gap broadens. Scientists struggle to convey their findings to the public. Even the most motivated readers find it difficult to decipher pieces of scientific literature. Let’s be honest: as curious as you may be, are you really reading the latest issue of Nature before bed?


Allow us to introduce Issue 2 of Grey Matters Columbia University to your nightstand. Brought to you by the scientific communicators of the future, this issue provides a primer to neuroscience through topics relevant to daily life. Read “The Neuroscience of Homelessness” to uncover the ways in which the housing crisis is both economically and neurologically systemic. Explore “If You’re Reading This, You’ve Got a Dirty Mind” to learn about the covert ways pollution is impacting our brains. Check out “Am I Tripping or Are These Mushrooms Actually Magic?” and evaluate the accumulating evidence suggesting that psychedelics can “reset” your mental health. 


As you immerse yourself in the 11 articles of this issue, you will acquire a broad overview of neuroscience. From there, we hope you feel empowered to continue exploring the many facets of this fascinating field. 


With serotonin,

Rochelle Vayntrub and Rebecca Yeh



Production Staff:

Rochelle Vayntrub, Editor-in-Chief BC '22

Rebecca YehEditor-in-Chief BC '22

Elynn Chang, Editing Coordinator CC '23

Sylvester Benson, Senior Editor: Scientific Review GS '23

Marcus Cooley, Senior Editor: Revision CC '23

Blue Morris, Senior Editor: Generative CC '22

Ashley Chung, Design Director CC '24

Vika Kulchyckyj, Design Director BC '23

Hailey Kopp, Art Director BC '25

Wadzi Mayiseni, Accessibility Director CC '23

Gabby Griffith, Diversity Director BC '23

Sam Hutchinson, Outreach Director CC '23

Mariana Mohsen, Social Media Director BC '23

Lila Baer, Podcast Director BC '23

Prof. Trenton Jerde, Faculty Advisor


Isabella Cannava BC '24

Simran Datta BC '24

Zoe Heidenry CC '24

Katelin Kharrati GS '25

Christian Law CC '23

Jackson Law CC '23

Jordan Popov SEAS '23

Atara Schulhof BC '22

Claire Tatham BC '23

Ruya Tazebay BC '24

Michaela Yip CC '24


Sama Alsewaidi CC '23

Lio Chan RISD ’24

Melody (Yuan-Pei) Fang BC '25

Yixin Jia BC '25

Vivian Shi SEAS '22

Abi Spingarn BC '22

Marcus Tian CC' 24

Malaya Williams CC '25

Taylor Yingshi CC '25

Scientific Review Editors:

Gabriel Chan CC '23

Devon Davey CC '24

Jana Jaran BC '22

Ananya Lahiri BC '24

Allison Lee BC '24

HabeebaMansourBC '23

Grace Mao CC '24

Liliette Quintana BC '24

Mayeesa Rahman BC '23

Ratna Sharma SEAS '25

Marija Simjanoska CC '24

Julia Soares CC '23

Qihang (Ben) Yuan CC '23

Generative Editors:

Priya Chainani CC '24

Anna Desan CC '22

Angela Fasulo BC '22

Katherine Filosa BC '23

Diana Gilly CC '24

Riya Gupta BC '24

Angel Latt CC '24

Allie Yuxin Lin CC '23

Alejandra Nunez CC '23

Tyler Olds CC '22

Alli Park BC '23

Raine-Monet Williams CC '24

Revision Editors:

Jessica Schildkraut CC '22

Anishka Yerabothu BC '24

Anjali Parande SEAS '25

Patrick Puma SEAS '24

Daphna Spira BC '24

Jenny Fan SEAS '25

Alicia Chang CC '23

Abby Ganz BC '24

Tristen Pasternak BC '22

David Reyes CC '23

Jacob Kang CC '23

Perrin Rudensky BC '23

PhD Student Reviewers:

Nicholas Bulthuis Neurobiology & Behavior

Xinyue (Tracy) Chen Neurobiology & Behavior

Izdihar Dabashi Education of the Deaf & Hard of Hearing

Katherine Delgado Biological Sciences

Camila Demaestri Neurobiology & Behavior

Ishani Ganguly Neurobiology & Behavior

Alexander (Elie) Goldberg Neurobiology & Behavior

Sharon Janet Su Neurobiology & Behavior

Abby Wood Neurobiology & Behavior

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