What is the brain? How does the brain work?
At the center of your universe, your brain and nervous system control every part of daily life. But how? This course will introduce the fundamentals of neuroscience, and help shed some light on these questions.
We learn about brain structure – both gross anatomy and cellular components - through hands-on work with sheep brain and brain tissue stained to reveal the two types of brain cells, neurons and glia. Using this foundation, we will relate the structure of neurons and the nervous system to their functions by exploring how the brain receives and processes information through chemical and electrical signals.
During the second half of the course, we will explore how biomedical research has contributed to the recent explosion of knowledge about the genetic and environmental causes of disease. Building on knowledge of nervous structure and function, we will work with a scientist and neurologist to interpret patient histories and develop a diagnosis. Finally, comparative genomics will be used to gain insights into disease susceptibility and potential benefit for human health.