Week 0 – An Introduction

Mar 18, 2022

Welcome to BRAINwashing; An Exploration of the Neuroscience of Radicalization!

Over the next few weeks, I will conduct close readings and examine previous research on the topic. Then, I will supplement that with the experience I will gain helping Ph.D. students with research at a neuroscience lab that experiments on the chances of synaptic transmission speed. This internship will help me understand how in cases such as sleep deprivation, stress, or prolonged exposure to a light source (i.e. electronics), the brain synapses fire at different speeds depending on external stimuli and how that affects behavior. I will use the preliminary results from those experiments in my literature review to get a clearer picture of how neurological changes might make people more susceptible to mass propaganda.

The main goal of this study will be to determine the physiological markers that predispose a person to extremist views and to conclude whether just about anyone can identify with radical beliefs or if a neurological dysfunction is necessary. However, unlike many other studies, this one will look at radicalization as a multidimensional process that includes neurological, psychological, and sociological aspects. By recognizing the impact of all of these fields, this study will succeed in recognizing the predictability of general behavior patterns while also recognizing that things might be slightly different at an individual level. At the end of this study, I will conclude whether there are physiological determinants of radicalization and how we should account for them as a society.

This is an amazing opportunity that allows me to dive deep into my interests, and I am excited to share the things I find with you. Thank you for reading!

2 Replies to “Week 0 – An Introduction”

  1. Sid R. says:

    I’m very excited to hear about your findings, Amber! So cool that you will get to conduct those experiments on synaptic transmission speed. Have fun!

  2. Luc M. says:

    This is such an interesting research topic Amber! Radicalization is becoming an increasingly large problem in today’s world, so your research is very current and important. Your approach to looking at radicalization as a multidimensional process and finding predispositions of radicalization is truly fascinating! I look forward to your discoveries and learning more about this important issue!

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