Collaborated with a group of the world’s premier scientists, professors, and professionals in the fields of neuroscience and neuroethics.
Synthesized new neuroscience knowledge into a research proposal for a cutting-edge neuroscience experiment.
Engaged in interactive activities with discussions about cognitive neuroscience and neuroethics in a cross-cultural setting through a biophysical lens.
Read more about Samanvi here.
Glenwood High School
Class of 2023
Samanvi Ganga is a rising junior at Glenwood High School. Samanvi has been enrolled in the honor roll all throughout high school and also finds herself in the National Honors Society and Student Council at school.
Samanvi plays tennis and does classical dance. In her very little free time, Samanvi likes to make bracelets and serve food to homeless shelters in her area. She also works at the breadline twice a week. Samanvi also loves advocating and finds herself in many advocacy clubs at school. She also is a part of her bowling team at school and loves to bike in her free time.
Samanvi is extremely excited to be participating in the Advanced Medical Neuroscience internship this summer. She wants to learn more about the field as she plans to major in neuroscience in college and aspires to be a pediatric neurologist in the future. She hopes to use the knowledge she has gained to make a difference in the medical field.
Read more about Samanvi's achievements here.
Leadership Initiatives is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that is dedicated to creating future leaders across the globe through experiential learning. In the Advanced Medical Neuroscience Internship, I worked directly with some of the world’s leading scientists to learn about neuroethics, neurocognitive health, and revolutionary developments in the field.
At the conclusion of the internship, I presented my research proposal to a panel of judges including Dr. James Giordano, Dr. John Shook, and Dr. Michael Heinrich. Respectively, these judges are the Chair of Georgetown University’s Neuroethics Studies Program, Philosopher and Bowie State University Professor, and Coburg University’s School of Design Dean of Studies.
In order to address the lack of research surrounding the influence of conscientiousness of the Big Five Personality Traits on the intrinsic motivation of US fifth graders, I presented this proposal to a panel of distinguished judges. I proposed a research method that would correlate the varying levels of conscientiousness to varying levels of intrinsic motivation.
Read my proposal here.
My Research Proposal
My research posed the answer to the question, “What is the influence of conscientiousness of the Big Five Model on the intrinsic motivation of US students in fifth grade?”
In order to answer the question, I devised a methodology that would have 10,000 US fifth graders split into two groups that would focus on intrinsic and extrinsic motivation respectively. Conscientiousness levels will be considered under the Big Five Personality Test. These results will then be compared to test if higher levels of conscientiousness cause an increasing level of intrinsic motivation in youth.
The anticipated findings suggest that there will be a significant correlation between high levels of intrinsic motivation and high levels of conscientiousness. Future studies could be conducted to then determine if there is a biological correlation as considered by a neuroscientific brain scan.
See my research proposal presentation here.
The Frontier of Neuroscience
Deep Brain Stimulation
I had the unique opportunity to speak with Dr. Michael Okun, founder of the University of Florida’s movement disorders program.
Within his work, Dr. Okun utilizes Deep Brain Stimulation (DBS), which operates like a pacemaker within the brain and is often inserted via conscious surgery
Electrodes are put in the brain to regulate electrical signals and help with conditions like Epilepsy, Parkinson’s Disease, Dystonia, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, and Essential Tremor.
Quantitative Neuroscience Research Methods
Dr. Sebastian Sauer discussed how data is mined from social media and how natural language processing is able to interpret the tone of a post and discern the original intent of the poster.
We explored how this method of quantifying word choice can contextualize how people feel in a broader societal exchange, allowing for the extension of research to the biophysical sphere.
Then we connected this metrics to its implications of what is occuring in the brain when interacting with social media over time, revealing its role along the spectrum of involvement.
Dr. James Giordano
Dr. James Giordano
Experts & Mentors
I had the chance to work and collaborate directly with Dr. James Giordano, Chief of Georgetown University’s Neuroethics Studies Program. In addition to his involvement with a variety of educational institutions, Dr. Giordano is the author of over 350 publications in neuroscience and neuroethics.
During our first meeting, I got a crash course on the biological mind of our species. I learned about the major role our subconscious plays in our thinking, and how these thoughts rarely breach our consciousness.
This new knowledge prompted a debate over free will, whether we maintain true control over our mental functions, and the crucial implications for both our individuals and social lives.
I learned about the anatomy and physiology of the brain in a demonstrative lecture from Dr. Giordano.
The brain is protected by the skull and is composed of the cerebrum, cerebellum, and brain stem. It embodies an individual’s mind and soul, in conjunction with governing intelligence, creativity, emotion, and memory.
This amazing organ is not only of use to us in life but in death as well. After explaining the brain’s anatomy and physiology, Dr. Giordano outlined the use of Brain Banks, which are organizations that accept brains for research that is instrumental in mitigating the effects and prevalence of neurocognitive disease.
Brain~Mind Interventions are utilized for the treatment, wellness, and enhancement of the mind and brain. These interventions can be categorized into “Low-tech” and “High-tech” Brain~Mind Interventions.
“Low-tech” Brain~Mind Interventions allow you to modify the interactions between the brain and mind through accessible and non-invasive techniques. In contrast, “High-tech” Brain~Mind Interventions are less accessible and can involve invasive procedures.
This new knowledge allowed me to assess the intersection between brain, mind, and body and how they can work together to improve the wellbeing of an individual.
Experts & Mentors
Along with Dr. Giordano, I had the opportunity to work closely with Dr. Rachel Wurzman, a Fellow with the Center for Neuroscience & Society and Postdoctoral Research Fellow in Neurology with the Laboratory of Neural Stimulation at the University of Pennsylvania.
Dr. Wurzman lent her expertise of neuroplasticity, neurodiversity, and neuroethics to help our team develop our research proposal.
In addition to Dr. Wurzman’s assistance, my team worked directly with Professor Heather Aranyi, leading communication coach and faculty in Northwestern University’s Farley Center for Entrepreneurship. Professor Aranyi helped us develop the story behind our proposal, properly contextualize our research, and hone our presentation skills.