5 minutes to have everyone go around and introduce themselves: Who is from the Quad? Who is from Kitt? Who is from central campus? Who is from Will Vill? Call out some majors represented. How long have
Because of my areas of study and my interests and experiences, I have been able to draw connections with Neuroscience that many people might not have otherwise.
Emphasize systems: racism, sexism, homophobia, transphobia, religious biases. Oppressors vs. oppressed?
sex, race, ethnicity, gender identity, sexual orientation, socioeconomic status
“The term social determinants of health refers to social practices and conditions (such as lifestyle, living, and work situations), class position (income, education, and occupation), stressful circumstances, poverty, and economic (e.g., unemployment, business recessions), political (e.g., policies, government benefits), and religious factors that affect the health of individuals, groups, and communities, either positively or negatively.”
Step through regions: frontal lobe, occipital lobe, cerebellum, temporal lobe, parietal lobe, brainstem, etc.
How might this impact different underrepresented or non-dominant groups in society?
Sometimes it I like to look at social justice in other cultural contexts.
This is Dhani B.K. He is a blacksmith who lives in Kharsa. As mentioned in previous captions, the people in Kharsa belong to the Kami ethnic group which is part of the Sudra or "untouchable" caste in Nepal. The Kami peoples' traditional career is blacksmith. In fact, sometimes they were referred to as the "blacksmith community.”
Share story from Anil about how the kami folks tend to struggle with long-term solutions and from the outside their behavior seems like it is self-defeating.
Tons of research at CU focusing on the connection between stress and neuroscience.
Quickly read the little tidbit from page 1 of Why Don’t Zebras Get Ulcers?
When the duty phone goes off, amygdala communicates to the hypothalamus (the command center of the brain) to set off a stress response. Hypothalamus then tells the pituitary gland (master gland) to release a chemical that tells your body to release adrenaline.
Adrenaline has the following effect: increased heart rate, make your lungs more efficient, eye sight gets sharper.
This includes self-care for you all as RAs.
Really this comes down to stepping outside of your comfort zone and spending significant time with people who are very different from you!
I can tell you this is a difficult process that I’ve failed at at times but must continue to try!
We are not hard wired! We have the power to let our actions shape our brains and to break habits of bias!
We have these big frontal lobes that we’ve evolved as humans so we can counteract these natural responses if we just put our mind to it.
RA Spring 2017 Training Presentation
The Neuroscience of
• Pronouns: he, him, his
• 4th year student studying Neuroscience
• Minor in Spanish and a certificate in Public
• 3rd year RA in Kitt West
• Passions include singing, spirituality,
science, sports, and social justice
• Hope to go to medical school after
Social Determinants of Health
“The term social determinants of health refers to social practices
and conditions, class position, stressful circumstances, poverty, and
economic, political, and religious factors that affect the health of
individuals, groups, and communities, either positively or
• Dorsal Raphe Nucleus (DRN)
• If this area was turned off, Learned Helplessness
• Ventral Medial Prefrontal Cortex (mPFC)
• Control inhibited brain activity, rather than lack
For the RA
•How might your residents be experiencing learned
•How might their identities be impacting why they
experience this response?
Impact of Stress
• Problems with digestion
• Heart disease, stroke
• Slowing of cognition
• Related to anxiety and depression
• Problems with immune system
• Chronic inflammation
Social Justice Connection:
Social Stress and Health
• Long term stress associated with low socioeconomic status (SES)
• Negative effects of stress seen
• Negative health outcomes amongAfricanAmericans
• Baby’s birth weight research.
• Higher levels of stress seen in people that come from non-dominant groups.
For the RA
”Subjective feelings of belonging, being accepted, and being needed have
consistently shown themselves to be crucial in the development of feelings of
well-being and… reducing potentially harmful effects of stress upon the body
Medical SociologyThirteenth Edition by William C. Cockerham
For the RA
American Psychological Association’s recommendation for retraining a biased brain:
• Becoming aware of one's implicit bias.
• Being concerned about the consequences of the bias.
• Learning to replace the biased response with non-prejudiced responses—ones that
more closely match the values people consciously believe that they hold.
My neuroscience professors didn’t teach me about
social justice and my sociology professors didn’t
teach me about neuroscience!
Draw your own connections.
Follow your passion!
If social justice is a priority for you, how are you
going to use it to change your community? your
• Why Zebras Don’tGetUlcers by Robert M. Sapolsky
• Medical SociologyThirteenth Edition byWilliam C.
• Lectures from Dr. Jerry Rudy’s Neurobiology of
Learning and Memory
• Information from Dr. Rudy’s Neuroplasticity
• Lectures from Dr. Heidi Day’s Neurobiology of
• Information from the Maier/Watkins Neuroscience
• Lectures from Dr. Richard Rogers’ Medical
• Lectures from Dr. Matt McQueen’s Epidemiology