The way we experience the world - how we go between sensing, thinking, and acting - is in some ways no more of a mystery than understanding how a computer works. Brains are quite complicated and we may never understand the details, but what we know in general can be very interesting. In this mini-course, we will learn how we think. When we see, hear, smell, touch, taste, remember, rehearse, fear something, understand or produce language, move our bodies...specific parts of the brain are used. Students will get a rough introduction to each part and how they interact. This will be much like a course in geography where, instead of a map or globe, we will navigate the brain, piece by piece. We will not only learn how a healthy brain works, but also hear about people with brain lesions and the interesting ways they differ from the rest of us - People who no longer recognize faces, see motion, remember facts, speak in sentences or do mental math...but are otherwise somewhat normal. The emphasis will be on developing an intuition through examples, rather than rote memorization of names and locations. At the end of the course, students should be able to take many everyday thoughts and roughly map them to specific brain regions and make educated guesses as to what might happen if the brain was damaged in certain areas.
Albert, M. "The Brain Geography Mini-Course: a neuroscience outreach effort." 2015.
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© Mark Albert, 2015.