NEUROSCI 704 - Readings in Integrative Neuroscience
Section: 001
Term: FA 2017
Subject: Neuroscience (NEUROSCI)
Department: MED Neuroscience Laboratory
1 - 3 (Non-LSA credit).
Requirements & Distribution:
With permission of department.
Advisory Prerequisites:
Instructor permission.
This course counts toward the 60 credits of math/science required for a Bachelor of Science degree.
May not be repeated for credit.
Primary Instructor:

Readings in Integrative Neuroscience

NEUROSCI 704 - Readings in Integrative Neuroscience
Schedule Listing
001 (SEM)
W 12:00PM - 1:00PM
Note: The study of consciousness is considered a fundamental scientific and philosophical pursuit. How does information processing in the brain generate experience? How do we objectively capture what is, by definition, a subjective event? As philosopher Colin McGinn puts it, how do we get from the water of the brain to the wine of consciousness? I have recently started a Center for Consciousness Science at the UM Medical School to help address these very questions. As an educational activity and the Center (and as a NGP faculty), I am conducting a combined reading/lecture course (NS-704) this upcoming semester on ?The Cognitive Neuroscience of Consciousness.? The study of consciousness is sometimes decomposed into ?levels of consciousness? (awake vs. asleep vs. anesthetized vs. comatose) and ?states of consciousness? (assuming I am already conscious, why do I see a blue triangle rather than a red square?). We will explore both of these dimensions and likely have some visiting lecturers/discussants to help us along the way. The subject of consciousness motivated many of us to choose the field of neuroscience. I hope you will join me next month as we explore a fascinating question that has scientific, philosophical, clinical, and even existential implications. Even if you don?t want to formally sign up for the course, you are welcomed to attend and participate. What: NS704, The Cognitive Neuroscience of Consciousness Who: Neuroscience and psychology students (and other interested people) When: Fall semester, Wednesdays at Noon (pizza will be served!) Where: Medical School, Med-Sci I, 7th floor conference room (#7433D)
002 (SEM)
Note: Neurophysiology of Decision-Making People and animals alike are constantly faced with decisions, ranging from simple perceptual classifications to complex social games. This seminar will address how the brain manipulates signals in the service of choices, with a strong emphasis on the contributions of individual neurons and neuronal circuit properties. The specific papers covered will depend in part on the interests of participants, but will include studies on the information encoded by cortical, basal ganglia and dopamine neurons, and how such signals reflect processes of evaluation, expectancy and action selection. Course Structure and Grading: This seminar will consist of detailed Powerpoint presentations by students of 1-2 published papers each, with group discussion. The success of this course depends upon a high quality of student presentations, so presentations account for 2/3 of the overall grade. The remaining 1/3 is for class participation and attendance - do not register unless you can reliably attend. There will be no written assignment. Presentations are expected to be clear and cogent, demonstrating a solid understanding of the presented papers (including any supplementary material) and also background readings. The papers are challenging and will require careful consideration. If you do not clearly understand any aspect of the presented material, come and talk to me about it the week *before* your presentation. It is not acceptable to simply state during your presentation that you didn?t understand something!
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