Issue 4—Fall 2022
Thank you for taking the time to pick up this copy of Grey Matters CU! No matter who you are, these past three years have wrought innumerable upheavals in our society, culture, and daily lives. These years have also coincided with the formation and solidification of this magazine—from first publishing in the spring of 2021, we now find ourselves here in the fall of 2022 with our fourth issue, which we are proud to fifinally present after months of hard work.
We invite you, over the course of the next ten articles, to consider the ways in which the world around you has changed, and how those changes have affected you. One of these avenues of change provided us with the guiding theme for this semester’s issue: plasticity. The brain’s plasticity—its ability to physically adapt to both minute and radical alterations in the environment—underlies many of the wondrous things we can accomplish: from learning to play the piano to recovering from devastating injuries.
With this understanding of plasticity in mind, we have divided this issue into four general topics where our brain’s active change plays an important role. “Taking the L Out of LOVER,” “A Wireless World with Strings Attached,” and “Tough Act to Follow” all tackle the ways in which our interpersonal social interactions impact our brains, whether that be after heartbreak, over social media, or trying to embody a character on stage. “Resting Botox Face” and “Cosmetic Neurology: A Brazilian Brain Lift” address the ways in which other alterations, both to our body and through the non-prescribed use of drugs like Adderall, can have unexpected consequences on our brains. In two timely articles, “Bonds Beyond Borders” and “Got It From My Momma,” our authors walk through the ways in which our brains can mold—both for better and for worse—to the contours of a changing political society where migration policy and intergenerational trauma are coming to play a more public role. Finally, we have a trio of articles covering recent advancements in new approaches to brain and mental health: “A Squirrely New Stroke Discovery,” “Canna-bliss: A Budding Therapy,” and “Prescription Yoga?” are fascinating glimpses into the process of discovering and developing neurological treatment methods.
Whether you are reading these articles through the eyes of an expert researcher or curious new-comer, we hope that you will appreciate the dedication and effort that all of our writers, editors, illustrators, and board members have put into producing this issue. We also hope that you learn something new, and that this new perspective will make you ponder, question, or even laugh at the ways in which the world changes us and the ways in which we can change the world.
With immense gratitude,