Neuroscience is a broad field that draws upon studies from molecular biology, chemistry, physics, behavioral psychology, cognitive psychology, computer science and more. This course provides an introduction to the study of neural processes which produce human behavior, focusing on learning and memory. We will describe methods and findings from neurobiological and cognitive psychology perspectives.
The course will cover the following topics:
- Functional neuroanatomy: Outline of brain anatomy and functional specialization.
- What we can and cannot measure in the brain: EEG, fMRI, Single cell recording, ECoG, PET.
- -Brain development and brain plasticity: what are critical periods?
- Introduction to neurobiology: From neuron structure to brain function (morphology, signal transduction, chemical signaling).
- Attention systems in the brain: how do we focus our attention? What happens in brains that cannot attend properly, such as those with attention deficit disorder (ADHD)?
- Introduction to memory: how many kinds of memory are there? How is a memory created? How do we forget? What creates false memories? Can brain activity predict what we are about to remember or mis-remember?
- Consolidation and reconsolidation of memories: synaptic and systems consolidation, new insights into consolidation from recent studies.
- Sleep and memory: is sleep crucial for memory consolidation? Can we learn while we are asleep?
- Emotions affect memory creation and memory retrieval: What is the difference between a strong emotional memory and a traumatic memory? Recent advances in the study of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
- Language processing in the brain, neural correlates of learning disabilities
- Brain aging and dementia: Alzheimer's disease