Author Archive

Power of Song: The Effects of Music Therapy on Dementia

November 13th, 2022 No comments

In the US alone, there are more than 3 million cases of dementia per year. Worldwide, there are 50 million cases. Dementia is the culmination of cognitive functioning impairment that interferes with daily life; an overarching term that describes memory loss, difficulty with speech and comprehension, lack of judgment, impulsivity, etc. Dementia can range in severity, from the most mild stage of its beginning effects on an individual’s cognition, to a complete inability to function independently with even the most basic activities of living. Though around ⅓ of all people aged 85 and older have some form of dementia, it is not a normal part of aging, and the causes are still unknown (NIH). By 2040, the number of 65 year old adults with dementia is expected to skyrocket to over 14 million (CDC), and by 2050, the worldwide number of 50 million is expected to triple. The pathway from diagnosis to mortality in Alzheimer’s disease, the most common form of dementia, is approximately 8.3 years, and thus individuals at different stages of this trajectory have varying degrees of neurodegeneration (Erikson et al., 2022). Though there are steps that can be taken in attempts to prevent dementia such as Alzheimer’s, once it is onset, it is not curable. However, it can be treatable– to an extent. In fact, exposure to music may have positive effects on the cognitive function of those who struggle with dementia.

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Categories: Aging Tags: ,

The Rise of Opinionated News Sources: How Confirmation Bias is Affecting How We Vote

November 24th, 2020 No comments

As Donald Trump’s four year term is coming to a close, people all over the United States–and the world– were more anxious than ever to see who would win the election. Would Trump be rewarded with a second term, or would former Vice-President Joe Biden get enough votes to make Trump the first one-term President since Clinton beat Bush in 1992? Regardless of the fact that Biden won, one thing is clear: our country seems to be more politically divided than ever before. The rise of biased news sources combined with the power of confirmation bias have contributed to much of our current, incredibly-divided, political climate.

Walter Cronkite, a retired CBS news anchor who was widely trusted by Middle America.

Before cable and internet news, the three television networks in the United States were ABC, CBS, and NBC. Because they had to appeal to very broad and diverse audiences, these networks relayed the news of the day fairly objectively, and it was challenging to decipher whether news anchors, such as Walter Cronkite, were liberal or conservative based on their reporting (Poniewozik). Over the last 30 years, with the rise of cable and internet news, news sources have become increasingly more biased and focused on niche audiences. These networks are supplying the public with opinionated accounts of what’s going on instead of seeking to simply report objective facts (Pearson). Those who follow the news know that many networks and sites like CNN, the Atlantic, the Daily Beast, and MSNBC are left-leaning news sources, and thus share the news from a more liberal point of view. The opposite is true for networks like Fox News, Breitbart and the National Review, which are right leaning and promote more conservative opinions, as expressed through the data found by AllSides–a Media Bias chart that collects information from people across the political spectrum through blind bias surveys, editorial reviews, independent reviews, and third party data.
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Categories: Uncategorized Tags: , , ,