Aryahi Padmavati Narvekar
Class of 2025Princeton, NJ
- "What are the underlying factors contributing to the heterogeneity in spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) and how do these factors influence the variability in disease severity and progression among affected individuals?" with mentor Cynthia (Working project)
- "The effect of musical scale, theme, and beat on emotion and decision-making" with mentor Matthew (Mar. 18, 2023)
Aryahi Padmavati's Symposium Presentation
What are the underlying factors contributing to the heterogeneity in spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) and how do these factors influence the variability in disease severity and progression among affected individuals?
Started May 12, 2023
Abstract or project description
Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA) is a complex neurodegenerative disorder characterized by the degeneration of motor neurons, leading to varying degrees of muscle weakness and atrophy. This review aims to investigate the heterogeneity in SMA, focusing on understanding why the disease can manifest with different levels of severity and progression among affected individuals. Genetic modifiers, environmental influences, and other biological mechanisms could influence the varying clinical manifestations of the disease. Many treatment options regarding SMA tackle symptoms such as broken bones, limited mobility, or breathing problems. However, the root cause of the disorder is a lack of SMN1 genes. These genes carry instructions to create motor neurons. Without motor neurons, muscles undergo atrophy, meaning they become smaller and weaker through their disuse. Although helpful, these treatment options do not tackle the foundation and root cause of the disorder. The findings suggest the importance of considering genetic, environmental, and other factors in SMA research and highlight the need for personalized approaches to diagnosis and treatment. As this study is exploratory in nature, it serves as a foundation for future investigations to unravel the complexities of SMA and improve the lives of those affected by this debilitating condition.
The effect of musical scale, theme, and beat on emotion and decision-making
Started Sept. 19, 2022
Abstract or project description
Aryahi is working on a project that falls within music psychology, cognitive psychology, and behavioral economics. Her interest is in how music affects emotions in a listener and their behaviors. Aryahi is taking a step beyond what exists in the field already in a few key ways. First, she is selecting real musical excerpts for their emotional and energetic content. It is typical in the field to use synthesized or MIDI music stimuli to facilitate greater control over the stimuli, but we are emphasizing naturalism in the experiment. Second, she is exploring features of music that typically aren't done, such as scale (e.g. pentatonic vs diatonic scale), intended thematic content of the music (e.g. as indexed by the lyrics of songs), and by manipulating the beat in low percussion (e.g. presence or absence of a kick drum). Finally, rather than simply looking at measures of emotional or aesthetic impact, she is focusing on value-based decision making. The question is whether different types of music encourage people to choose small gains in the short term or big gains in the long term. Currently she is writing a protocol and we will do a pilot study to work out any unknowns before the full-phase study.