College of Science News

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This neuroscientist wants to change how we diagnose and treat mental illness

Imagine that a doctor could know which treatment would best help a patient with depression, anxiety, or some other mental illness by taking a picture of the person’s brain, not unlike the way people get an X-ray for a broken bone. That, along with early detection and intervention tools, will be in the future of clinical psychiatric practice, said Susan Whitfield-Gabrieli, who started this semester as a psychology professor at Northeastern.
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What if people from different cultures and economic backgrounds have different brain wiring?

For decades, scientists have assumed that the brain circuitry for social behavior has developed over millions of years of evolution and is hardwired at birth. Based on this view of human development, we all start life with the same basic brain wiring and our uniqueness is built upon that common biological foundation.