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 you to substantive questions that cognitive neuroscientists are trying to answer about how the brain gives rise to behavior and the methods that researchers use to answer these questions. We will consider 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.
Here are the answers to some of the most frequent inquires about the course.
1. All questions about overrides will be answered on or after the first day of class.
2. The class syllabus is not yet available, but will resemble to some degree the syllabus from my version of Psych 345 in prior years. A sample syllabus from my version of Psych 345 can be obtained from the Office of Student Academic Affairs in Psychology (firstname.lastname@example.org).
3. If you have taken Psych 345 with me in the past, then I would advise against your enrolling in Psych 245. The reason is that my version of Psych 345 was highly focused on cognitive neuroscience research. Therefore, the material from that course will overlap considerably with the material in Psych 245.
4. If you are planning to miss classes during the first week, then it's possible that you will be dropped from the course if other students are waiting to enroll. If you miss class and stay enrolled, you will be responsible for knowing what is covered during the classes you miss. However, if you miss any in-lecture quizzes, you will not be able to make them up.
Functional MRI has become one of the leading methods in cognitive neuroscience for exploring brain-behavior relationships. Through a combination of lectures and lab exercises involving real functional MRI data, this course provides students with the conceptual and hands-on experience they need to independently design and analyze functional MRI studies. Moreover, students learn to use popular software packages for analyzing functional MRI data, such as SPM and Marsbar.
In this course, students read and discuss primary readings in the exciting new field of cognitive neuroscience. The aim is to provide a firm theoretical grasp of modern theories of brain-behavior relationships with a focus on attention and cognitive control. Each week a different student leads the class through a lively discussion, in which the class reviews, questions, and places a primary paper in the context of the existing literature.