How does the brain enable the mind? Answering this question is the goal of cognitive neuroscience, a relatively new field of study that represents the union of human neuropsychology, cognitive psychology, neuroscience, and neurophysiology. This course will expose students to substantive questions that cognitive neuroscientists are trying to answer about how the brain gives rise to behavior and to the converging methods that researchers use to answer these questions. It will also review what cognitive neuroscientists have learned so far by reviewing and critically evaluating studies of brain damaged populations, recordings of brain activity in animals, and functional brain imaging studies of healthy humans. The goal is to understand of how complex mental processes such as attention, memory, language, emotion, and high-level thought are enabled by the functioning of the brain.
Grades will be based on three exams (60% total - each exam counts 20%), quizzes (15%), a poster assignment (15% total; poster quality, 5%; oral presentation quality, 8%; your critiques of other people’s poster presentations, 2%), and participation in discussion section activities and assignments (10%; attendance, participation, and leading a group discussion/activity).
Given its breadth, this course is appropriate for a wide range of students including those in BBCS, psychology, and neuroscience.
Two 80-minute lectures and a 1-hour discussion section led by a GSI each week.