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What the 90s Did to Your Brain

Updated: Apr 3, 2023

If you were a cool kid in the 90s, then you remember JNCO jeans. JNCO was rooted in the SoCal skate scene, punk, hardcore, and rave subcultures, but the brand became a mainstream fashion icon in the 90s. Apparently, the JNCO brand is back and according to the website you aren’t just buying a baggy pair of jeans, you’re “challenging the status quo with a landscape of art influenced by diverse Urban Culture, Sports, Music and the ‘Unconventional.’ JNCO was never just apparel, but an Event that took individuality to new levels.”

Looking back, we learned a lot during the 90s. For example, we learned that bowl cuts parted in middle and rat tails are just wrong.

We learned that Hammer Pants and overalls may be comfortable but are not flattering.

And, Napster and AOL taught us just how incredibly patient we could be.

The 1990s is often remembered as a decade of relative peace and prosperity. The Soviet Union fell and the decades-long Cold War ended. The economy was thriving and crime was down. New technology ushered in a radical new era of communication, business and entertainment. However, the decade was not without violence and tragedy, including the bombing of the World Trade Center, the Bosnian genocide, the Rodney King beating and riots that followed.The Columbine High School shooting marked a solemn chapter in gun violence, and the Oklahoma City bombing introduced us to a new definition of domestic terrorism.

But, perhaps the most significant thing we gained from the 90s is a groundswell of research about the human brain. The 1990s have been coined the Decade of the Brain. Initiated by George H.W. Bush, it was part of a larger effort involving the Library of Congress and the National Institutes of Health "to enhance public awareness of the benefits we can gain from brain research.”

Prior to this time, scientific research primarily focused on unhealthy brains and what attributed to cognitive decline. Now, with the help of some pretty significant technological advances such as MRI neural imaging, we know what makes the brain work better and we’ve identified factors which improve our ability to learn, create, solve problems and manage stress.

The scientific accomplishments which grew out of the Decade of the Brain are countless. However, among the most compelling are the development of fMRI neural imaging, the discovery of neurogenesis, neural plasticity and critical periods of neural development, and a greater understanding of the neurotransmitters and receptors.

From this research, we’ve made great gains in finding effective treatments of mental disorders, addictions, and other diseases such as Rett Syndrome, ALS and Huntington’s disease. This explosion of studies also introduced new disciplines of neuroscience like developmental neurobiology, computational neuroscience, neuroinformatics, and cognitive neuroscience.

And to think that there is still so much to learn about the human brain!



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