Love, Death, and Decapitation.

As I awkwardly stumbled through the mossy, winding cobblestone paths of the Père Lachaise cemetery, my visits to graves belonging to some of the most renowned creatives to grace the world reminded me of how once we bury a person’s lifeless body, we no longer have access to their thoughts or feelings in the ways we were familiar. Artists, writers, and musicians whose craft produced unforgettable memories and experiences for thousands or even millions of people are often grieved the most, the flow of their incredible contributions cut off at the source, often suddenly and without warning. This is proved by the continued devotion with which these people pay their respects to the final resting place of these icons. But does Mother Nature’s forcible censorship of a person’s passionate expressions through death necessarily mean all traces of their existence are wiped from the Earth?

The heavily-adorned gravesite of Polish composer & pianist, Frédéric François Chopin. Can be found within the Père Lachaise Cemetery, assuming you brought hiking shoes.

Considering this question brought me a few blocks away from the cemetery’s main entrance. Here, the last remaining traces of the Prison de Roquette guillotine can be found in the form of support stones scattered through the asphalt of the main road. It was used to perform public executions by beheading for almost half a decade before the prison’s closure at the end of the 18th Century. I’m sure all of its victims had similar thoughts about how long the traces of their mortal existence would remain after its blade met their necks. Luckily for them an answer exists: a little less than a minute. At least, according to a 2011 study which found that though consciousness ended seconds after decapitating wakeful rats, brain activity measured via EEG didn’t suffer any massive loss of function until after about 50 seconds later, when a surge activity was followed by much more muted readings (Rijn et al., 2011). This was interpreted to indicate a loss of the neuron membrane potentials (Rijn et al., 2011), crippling their ability to function.

A poorly-taken photo of yours truly, Duke McDaniels, at the Prison de Roquette guillotine’s former site of operations, where its support stones stand out against the asphalt of the road. Photo taken moments before a speeding BMW almost gave me the opportunity to interview the victims myself.

Though I doubt the ethics of decapitation were a concern for those in charge of the executions, they can rest easy knowing that the near immediate loss of consciousness means there was no undue suffering as the victims met their end. However, the minute-long mark described isn’t necessarily it for us. As evidenced by this graveyard, while we may leave this world as conscious beings, the parts of us carried by others will allow us to retain some level of presence in the world. As long as people still pay respects to our memory, we can (mostly) rest easy.

Rijn, C. M., Krijnen, H., Menting-Hermeling, S., & Coenen, A. M. (2011). Decapitation in rats: Latency to unconsciousness and the ‘wave of death.’ PLoS ONE, 6(1).

A Labyrinth of Immortals: Cimetiere du Pere-Lachaise

At first glance, cemeteries often leave a melancholic and gloomy impression on people. However, the true essence of a cemetery is quite the opposite. Not only do they act as living relics reflecting the culture and history of their environment, but they also bring people together by offering a space to commemorate the dead – offering an air of serene remembrance. Or perhaps confrontation with our mortality is conducive to fostering community, as we all acknowledge our combined fate. 

A memorial to “aux morts”, meaning “our dead”.


This week I had the opportunity to visit Cimetiere du Pere-Lachaise, one of the world’s most visited and legendary necropolises in the world. The visit was characterized by a breathtaking amalgam of antique tombs, modern headstones, and ornate mausoleums. Walking through this labyrinth of a cemetery, I couldn’t help but think of Milan Kundera’s Immortality, in which he suggests that when a person passes and continues to live on in the memories of others, they are immortal. I had the overwhelming sensation that my presence, and the presence of others, was giving life (hence, immortality) to those resting around me. 

One example of the impressive mausoleums the cemetery houses.


This got me thinking on the utility of memorialization and burial – why is it important to have a physical manifestation of oneself after death? Why has this practice surfaced in cultures all around the world and seemingly since the beginning of human history? In my search for these answers, I began with investigating the effects that grief and bereavement have on the brain.  The study Gundel et. al (2003) found that picture and word factors targeting grief affects the posterior cingulate cortex, medial/superior frontal gyrus, and the cerebellum. The picture factor specifically activated the cuneus, superior lingual gyrus, insula, dorsal anterior cingulate cortex, inferior temporal gyrus, and fusiform gyrus, while the word factor uniquely activated the precuneus, precentral gyrus, midbrain, and vermis. This is to say that grief has an extensive effect on many neural processes and is mediated by a distributed neural network. This study shows that grief affects the brain’s processing of episodic memory, visual imagery, autonomic regulation, and many other functions. Considering this pervasive effect, it is no surprise that grief has been shown to impact one’s health – after all, dying by way of a “broken heart” is no cliché. 

Establishments such as cemeteries help to mitigate the negative effects that grief has on a person. These monuments extend the memory of the person whose passed, helping to keep it alive, and ultimately make immortality a reality.

Immortalizing Jim Morrison (singer in the rock band The Doors) by paying him a visit at his final resting place.



Gündel, H., O’Connor, M. F., Littrell, L., Fort, C., & Lane, R. D. (2003). Functional neuroanatomy of grief: an FMRI study. The American journal of psychiatry160(11), 1946–1953.

Your Brain on Dance: Isadora Duncan

The visit to the famed Père Lachaise Cemetery was a true reminder of how much French culture emphasizes and reveres the arts. It is the largest cemetery in Paris, hosting over 3 million visitors each year and housing the burial sites of renowned musicians, singers, writers, and dancers, among others. The size of the cemetery, as well as the intricacy and grandeur of each tombstone and columbarium are a testament to the French culture of honoring their loved ones, especially artists. Of the many notable people buried there, I was on a mission to find the columbarium of Isadora Duncan, an American dancer who is credited with being one of the founders of modern dance in the western world. As France was also the birthplace of ballet, Duncan’s final resting place being Paris is a symbol of the eminent role of dance in French culture, both in respecting classical forms and encouraging the art to grow and change.

Isadora Duncan was hard to find at Père Lachaise because, unlike many of the other famous figures buried there, she was cremated and was at the Père Lachaise Columbarium. The columbarium is a huge structure with memorial tiles lining two stories of each wall, but with the help of Elena, Robina, Jewel, and Jacob (and Google), we finally located her. Duncan’s memorial is certainly more modest than some of the other sites at Père Lachaise. However, I noticed a note above her tile that read “Merci pour la vraie danse!” which translates to “Thank you for real dance!” This is just a small example of French appreciation for dance, but stuck out to me nonetheless.


One half of the Columbarium du Père Lachaise
Isadora Duncan’s columbarium with “Merci pour la vraie danse!” written above it.

As a modern dancer myself, I understand how dance came to be such an appreciated art form in France, but I am also interested in the effects of dance on the brain that also may make it a useful intervention in movement disorders such as Parkinson’s Disease (PD). Research by Burzynska et al. in 2017 showed that dancers had greater functional connectivity in areas of the brain related to motor learning. This could be a reflection in the brain that dancers have better motor coordination and balance than non-dancers. As motor coordination and balance are two areas in which people with motor impairments typically are lacking, this finding supports work being done at Emory by Dr. Madeleine Hackney. Dr. Hackney is developing dance-based rehabilitation interventions for individuals with PD in order to improve motor skill and cognition in PD patients. Making connections between the greats of dance history and beginning to understand what is happening inside the brains of dancers at Père Lachaise Cemetery was a great way to end the first week of classes here in Paris!

Me on the second floor of the columbarium


Burzynska, A. Z., Finc, K., Taylor, B. K., Knecht, A. M., & Kramer, A. F. (2017). The Dancing Brain: Structural and Functional Signatures of Expert Dance Training. Frontiers in human neuroscience11, 566.

Emmanouilidis, S., Hackney, M. E., Slade, S. C., Heng, H., Jazayeri, D., & Morris, M. E. (2021). Dance Is an Accessible Physical Activity for People with Parkinson’s Disease. Parkinson’s disease2021, 7516504.

Cheese Tasting and Reducing Stress






A photo of Solanch, Zoe, Khushi, Jacob, and I at the cheese tasting at Fromagerie Monbleu.


On Wednesday, May 25th, our class took a trip to a cheese tasting at Fromagerie Monbleu where we were introduced to a variety of cheeses made from goat, camel, and cow’s milk that were unique to France! As a cheese lover, I was excited to stray away from American cheese and try the real deal! To truly be able to savor the distinct flavors of French cheeses, we were first taught the difference between the terms “flavor” and “taste” which are oftentimes confused. Our guide asked us to close our eyes, hold our noses shut, and put out one hand where we would receive seeds to put in our mouths and blindly chew. By restricting these senses, the seeds tasted very bland with no notable flavor. To my surprise, as soon as our guide asked us to open our eyes and breathe through our noses, there was an explosion of flavor in my mouth! It was later revealed that we had been given coriander seeds, distinct for their aroma and citrus flavor. It was fascinating to experience the difference between blocking and allowing our senses to do their function.

Five different French, pasteurized cheeses, ranging from goat, cow, and camel’s milk!


The cheese tasting was a perfect continuity to the first article that our class has been discussing in Dr. Easterling’s global neuroscience perspectives course. The study examines the relationship between the macronutrient content of highly palatable foods (cheese) and the stress-relieving effects through the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis response (Fourman et al., 2021). In conjunction with the author’s prior studies, the results indicated that palatable foods are able to reduce stress responses no matter their macronutrient content (sucrose or carbohydrate). Our in-class discussion of cheese and its stress-reducing abilities paired with the cheese tasting led to my search for more information about stress-induced comfort eating in college students. 

The study that I found talked about stress levels in college students and how students who experienced higher levels of stress developed less healthy dietary behaviors (Choi, 2020). This is especially pertinent to me and my classmates as our stressors include adjusting to a new time zone, adjusting to a new city and rhythm of life, and taking eight credits in six weeks! The study and my experience walking around the city made me wonder about how the scenic routes to and from class, in addition to popular dine-in-only food options, combat our stress responses to the new and challenging environment of Paris. Perhaps the excitement, increased daily walking, and the fresh ingredients in our French cuisine will reduce our stress!

Choi J. (2020). Impact of Stress Levels on Eating Behaviors among College Students. Nutrients, 12(5), 1241. 

Fourman, S., Buesing, D., Girvin, S., Nashawi, H., & Ulrich-Lai, Y. M. (2021). Limited cheese intake reduces HPA axis and behavioral stress responses in male rats. Physiology & Behavior, 242, 113614.


Never Judge a Cheese by its Flavor

I have always been able to relate to the Nick Jonas song that goes “I eat cheese, but only on pizza, please/ And sometimes on a homemade quesadilla/Otherwise, it smells like feet to me”. Not being a big cheese enthusiast, I hadn’t ever really considered visiting a fromagerie, in America nor in France. Surprisingly, this past Wednesday, May 25th, I found myself not only inside Fromagerie Monbleu but also partaking in cheese tasting. When we first arrived at the shop, I was quite surprised by the strong smell that engulfed me. As soon as I stepped foot inside, I knew it would be a new experience, but before I had time to process it all, we were led upstairs and divided into four different groups. As we began, our hostess explained to us the difference between taste and flavor by having us close our eyes and try a spice that she placed in our hands. Initially, we were instructed to eat while blocking the smell. The spice was flavorless, but as soon as we could smell it again, like magic, the flavor was intensely powerful and sharp. Before this experience, I had never considered the role that each sense plays in our perception of food, nor the role that the brain plays in determining what tastes good or bad. I recalled the article regarding the limited cheese intake paradigm for rats and how, for them, cheese is a “highly palatable food that is low in sugar and other carbohydrates” (Fourman et al., 2021). My dislike for cheese coupled with a curiosity about the palatability of food and my experience with taste vs flavor at the fromagerie led me to delve deeper into research on this subject.

This is us excited before beginning the cheese tasting and wine drinking.


I came upon an article about palpability-related taste responses involving the lateral hypothalamus, which piqued my interest. According to Li, Yoshida, Monk, & Katz (2013), there is still much to discover about the lateral hypothalamus and its role in processing taste. In their experiment, they provided mice with four different liquid taste solutions: sweet, salty, sour, and bitter as well as just water to see if any activation occurred in the lateral hypothalamus.  They measured the firing of single neurons through electrodes that had been surgically implanted in the rats’ hypothalamus. Li and colleagues found that the lateral hypothalamus indeed does play a role in the palatability of food through two different sections of neurons which are activated by either palatable or adverse tastes.

These findings were very interesting to me and now I wonder where my aversion to cheese taste comes from. In a country where wine and cheese are engraved deeply in the culture, it was very enriching to participate in a cheese tasting, and hope one day I might find a flavor that agrees with my lateral hypothalamus!

Here are the five different types of cheese we tasted and tried to identify what animal they came from! Out of the four, the one that was most tasteful was number one: goat cheese!



Fourman, S., Buesing, D., Girvin, S., Nashawi, H., & Ulrich-Lai, Y. M. (2021). Limited cheese intake reduces HPA axis and behavioral stress responses in male rats. Physiology & Behavior, 242, 113614.

Li, J. X., Yoshida, T., Monk, K. J., & Katz, D. B. (2013). Lateral Hypothalamus Contains Two Types of Palatability-Related Taste Responses with Distinct Dynamics. Journal of Neuroscience, 33(22), 9462–9473.

Taking it Cheesy…

Last Wednesday my classmates and I embarked on a cheese tasting excursion. Prior to the trip, however, I was slightly scared of trying all these cheeses as I am a bit scared to try new foods. Upon arriving and seeing the five kinds of cheese in front of me.

In this photo are  those five cheeses that we tasted and then had to idenitify. These cheeses were made in a multitude of different ways hence their different appearances!

I was initially shocked at the amount of the variety of cheeses and the different shapes/methods of making. Once we got all settled, one of the Fromagerie workers tasked us with four different mini-games that tested some of our senses, namely, sight, smell, taste, and touch. One of the mini-games was called “Name that cheese!”, which gave us the opportunity to dive into these delicious cheeses and taste the cheeses. I was so excited to try something new, especially to try cheese from an authentic place that makes its own cheese. This excitement, however, was short-lived as reality hit me, and quickly noticed that the latter cheeses were more bitter and left a stronger aftertaste. One of my teammates actually “tapped out” at the third cheese and couldn’t finish the last one because the taste was too gross and too intense. I, however, continued to taste test all of the cheeses which was a big mistake on my part because the last two kinds of cheese were way too bitter for my liking. I found myself going back to the first two kinds of cheese (along with many sips of wine and water) to get the bitter aftertaste out of my mouth. My body could not stomach the last two kinds of cheese and i was wondering why as i had never looked/read much into the science of disgust

Prior to researching into disgust and taste topic, I knew that taste is something that has benefited humans and animals alike, as it can detect poisons and other harmful materials. Upon further research into this topic, I found one study that was specifically pertaining to cheeses. In this study researchers conducted a taste test on a multitude of foods and found that cheese actually had a higher proportion of individuals who were disgusted by cheese than by other food categories. They found that odor and sight were the two prominent senses in establishing this disgust, as they activate the GPi/GPe and SN, indicating that these structures may also encode disgust (along with reward) and detect the aversive properties of food (Royet et al., 2016). This made so much sense because the last cheese we were tasting/identifying smelled off and looked so strange to me, so no wonder why i had a hard time eating them. Maybe in the future if i should ever try to taste those last two cheeses again, id like to be blindfolded with my nose covered to see if this changes anything. Nonetheless, this cheese excursion was such a unique and a very french experience.

Say cheese! Here is a photo of me and friends cheesing (siezing) the day.

PS: Sorry if this post was too cheesy with a gouda-mout of cheese puns 🙂

The Cheese on Top (Was That Too Cheesy?….)

           Prior to my departure to Paris for the Emory Neuroscience and Behavioral Biology summer study abroad program, I was told by numerous friends and family to “have some wine and cheese” for them. Many Americans (typically while pouring another glass of red wine) find themselves wondering how Parisians appear so healthy considering the stereotypical cheese and wine consumption in France. Among the many cultural differences I have already noticed my first week in Paris, both the different diet of Parisians and the different attitude towards life and work are quite clear. While engaging in the culture, I realized diet and life-work balance both connect to stress and I began to contemplate how these may all contribute to the health of the Parisian population.

            Walking through Fromagerie Monbleu, the cheese shop hosting our class sponsored cheese tasting, I eagerly anticipated learning how to make sophisticated commentary on these much appreciated foods. What I did not expect, was to learn about the biological significance of taste and flavor. At Monbleu, the definition of taste focuses on how something feels to your mouth and detects sweet, sour, salty, bitter, and umami. I’m still a bit unsure about that last one, but it was described as savory and meaty. However, flavor is detected by the nose and breathing in maximizes the sensations from flavor. To enjoy food to the fullest, time is spent savoring it and engaging in the experience of tasting. Therefore, tasting is different from simply eating food as a means of caloric and nutritional intake. While we need to EAT food to survive, I was surprised to learn in class that there is biological significance to taste as well. Separate from the composition of food (the amount of carbs, fats, proteins etc.) that we put into our body, palatable foods which are pleasing to the taste have their own effect on our bodies through our brain’s reward system. Perhaps the Parisian’s enjoyment of delicious food (even if not the “healthiest” in terms of nutrition), contributes to their overall well-being. It was found in female rats that having palatable foods decreases anxiety and stress (Egan et al., 2019). Afterall, stress can be detrimental to our health. If indulging in some “comfort food” that happens to be less nutritious or low-fat results in a lesser stress response, it may be healthier for us to indulge in some cheese and crackers like Parisians than remain in a high stress state while “eating healthy”.

Figure 1. Monbleu’s cheese tasting platter with a variety of cheeses that are from different animal milks, aged differently, and with the incorporation of various strains of mold.


Figure 2. Two Emory summer study abroad students (Samantha Feingold and Rachel Lebovic) enjoying the cheese tasting workshop at Monbleu with Dr. Keith Easterling featured in the background. Photographed by Lauren Cobitz.


Works Cited:

Egan, A. E., Seemiller, L. R., Packard, A. E. B., Solomon, M. B., & Ulrich-Lai, Y. M. (2019). Palatable food reduces anxiety-like behaviors and HPA axis responses to stress in female rats in an estrous-cycle specific manner. Hormones and Behavior, 115, 104557.


Music Is Food For The Soul… and The Brain

Cynthia Martucci

On Thursday, our class paid a visit to the Cimetiere du Pere Lachaise, a famous cemetery in Paris where many prominent figures are buried. What initially struck me was the intricacies of the burial structures, some complete with doors and stained glass. I listened to Rick Steves’ audio guide of the cemetery as I wandered through the cobblestone streets. On one track, I noticed a familiar song- The Minute Waltz, by Frédéric Chopin. It was a piece I had learned to play when I was a kid. Next thing I knew, I was standing in front of Chopin’s flower-adorned grave. Chopin had often been coined as a child prodigy. This led me to wonder whether his brain had structural differences from other non-musicians buried nearby, and if so, whether these differences were a product of nature or of nurture. 

Figure 1: Me standing in front of Chopin’s grave.

A study by Hyde et al. from 2009, titled “Musical Training Shapes Structural Brain Development”, investigates training-induced brain plasticity. It has been previously reported that adult musician brains have both structural and functional differences in musically relevant brain regions, such as auditory, sensorimotor, and multimodal integration areas, when compared to nonmusican adults. However, this study uniquely tries to answer whether there is a relationship between structural and behavioral changes in the developing brain, elucidating if structural differences in adults is a biological predisposition or a product of training at an early age. They conducted a longitudinal investigation of instrumental music training in children around age 6. Through behavioral tests and MRI scanning, the researchers found that regional structural brain plasticity only occurred in the developing brain of the instrument-training children. Before training, there were no significant differences in brain or behavior between the instrumental and control groups. By the end of the 15 months, the instrument group demonstrated significant gain in relative voxel size of the primary motor and auditory areas, and corpus callous. These were all correlated positively with behavioral improvements on motor and auditory-musical tests. This provides strong evidence that such development is induced by instrumental practice rather than pre-existing biological precursors of music ability. 

Figure 2: Regions of the brain that showed plasticity following instrument training. (right precentral gyrus= primary motor area, right Heschl’s gyrus= primary auditory area).

I have become interested in exploring intervention methods, such as music training, that could facilitate neuroplasticity in children with developmental disorders. Neuroplasticity is something I have not been able to explore much in other NBB courses, and thus was excited to read more about it. Having grown up practicing piano, I was curious if and how this helped shape my brain. Maybe my and Chopin’s brains are not that structurally different after all 😉


Hyde, K. L., Lerch, J., Norton, A., Forgeard, M., Winner, E., Evans, A. C., & Schlaug, G. (2009). Musical training shapes structural brain development. Journal of Neuroscience29(10), 3019-3025.

Bodies are Temporary but Neuroscience is Forever

This week I had the chance to visit the Cimetiere du Pere Lachaise – arguably one of the world’s most famous cemeteries. Immediately upon entering the grounds, I was astonished by the intricate details that lined each of the tombs. From the gently carved Greek mythological figures to the gleaming crosses that could be spotted from miles away, each tomb was decked in masterful art that paid tribute to the life-long work of various well-established individuals. In the US, I have visited Arlington National Cemetery; however, my experience there couldn’t have been more different from my experience at Cimetiere du Pere Lachaise. At Arlington, all of the gravestones, similar in size and decor,  were tributes to those who received the Medal of Honor. Contrastingly, the tombs at Cimetiere du Pere Lachaise were not only more majestic in nature – potentially due to the French’s appreciation for high value artwork – but also there was a greater diversity in the types of individuals honored. Prior to this visit, I had expected most of the tombs to be tributes to French philosophers, priests, physicians, and more. However, I was pleasantly surprised when I stumbled across the tomb of Jehangir Ratanji Dadabhai (JRD) Tata – an industrial entrepreneur of French and Indian descent whose work sparked the genesis of one of the biggest automobile industries “Tata”. 

Figure 1: Intricately designed tomb massive in size.

One of the tombs that stood out to me the most was that of Irish poet and novelist, Oscar Wilde. Although famous for his novels, Oscar Wilde was also interested in physiology. He wrote at a time when neuroscience threatened the status quo – that being humans have free will. Wilde, however, went against the grain and was a stout determinist himself. He rejected the notion that all humans were autonomous beings and self-determining. In fact, Wilde’s perception of free will was quite advanced for his time as recent studies have shown that the activity of certain neurons can predict behaviors before they happen. A 2018 study by Passecker et al. demonstrated that there are specialized neurons in the prelimbic cortex of rats that predict the next choice behavior during a gambling task. These findings have interesting implications as it shows the potential inability for living organisms to not have a choice in their actions because they are restricted by the electrophysiology of their neurons.

This trip helped me understand the grandeur of French culture while also exposing me to the diverse cultural perspectives on free will and the brain! 

Figure 2: Adway in front of Oscar Wilde’s tomb.


Cohn, Elisha. “Chapter 2 – Oscar Wilde and the Brain Cell.” Progress in Brain Research, edited by Anne Stiles et al., vol. 205, Elsevier, 2013, pp. 19–39. ScienceDirect,

Passecker, Johannes, et al. “Activity of Prefrontal Neurons Predict Future Choices during Gambling.” Neuron, vol. 101, no. 1, Jan. 2019, pp. 152-164.e7. PubMed Central,

A Day Trip To Versailles

On Sunday, May 22nd, Cynthia, Lauren, Sam, and I visited the Palace of Versailles, a little over an hour outside Paris. The palace served as a home for royals from the early 1600s until the French Revolution. The most notable residents were King Louis XVI and his wife Marie Antoinette, the last royals before the Revolution. They spent large amounts of money on themselves and their residence while the people of France were in economic crisis, contributing to their unpopularity among the people and fueling anger towards the monarch.


On our visit, we were unable to enter the palace so we toured the gardens instead. While we were disappointed to not see the palace, the acres upon acres of gardens kept us busy. We were also fortunate enough to see some of the fountains in action! After walking around and enjoying the greenery, we got dinner in the area and took the train home.

One of the many fountains of the gardens.


While walking through the gardens, a topic we continuously discussed was what was the purpose of this? We understood it was a home for the royals but why was it necessary to build such extravagant gardens? Was it for the king to show off his wealth? Did he build it simply because he could? This got me thinking about the neuroscience behind wealth, status, and dominance.

A review of the neuroscience of social class (Varnum & Kitayama, 2017), explains a number of differences in those of high versus low socio-economic status (SES). One difference they mentioned was threat sensitivity. Those of lower SES had higher vigilance to threats. This was seen behaviorally and biologically. From the neurobiology perspective, studies found that those of a lower SES had greater amygdala activation when shown an angry face. There was no difference in amygdala activation when shown a neutral face. They also saw greater reactivity in the dorsomedial prefrontal cortex (dmPFC) in those from lower SES when given negative social feedback. From this, it is seen that the increased threat sensitivity of those from a lower SES extends to both physical and social threats.


A picture of myself in the gardens with the castle visible in the distance (it is a lot bigger than what the picture shows).

Being monarchs, it feels safe to say that Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette were of high SES. As such, based on the above research, it can be inferred that they had decreased threat sensitivity. I thought this was interesting as they were the royals who fell during the revolution. Did the neurobiological effects of their high status make them oblivious to the threat their actions posed to themselves?


Varnum, M. E., & Kitayama, S. (2017). The neuroscience of social class. Current Opinion in Psychology, 18, 147–151.