Pre-College Programs

Neuroscience Courses (15)

From Brain to Sensation: Neurobiology of Perception - Senior SPARK

Taste! Smell! Sound! Sight! Touch! Balance! How is all of this information turned into sensation? Hint: it involves the brain! Students will learn how our brains make sense of the world around us, and they'll learn a little brain anatomy along the way too!

Through a combination of individual and small group experiments, students will about the sensory systems...

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From Brain to Sensation: Neurobiology of Perception - Junior SPARK

Taste! Smell! Sound! Sight! Touch! Our world is alive with stimuli and these are just some of the many senses we use to explore it. But how are all of these senses transformed into our everyday perceptions?? I’ll give you a hint: it involves your brain! The brain is a fascinating organ- it only weighs about three pounds, but has billions of specialized cells that make...

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Brain Basics: From Biology to Behavior

The study of the brain as a biological structure is very different from the study of any other organ in the body. The cells that make up the brain, neurons, share many of the same fundamental characteristics with other cells of the body (exocytosis, manufacturing of proteins, metabolism, growth). However, the functions of these cells result in products that are quite unique...

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Learning and Memory: From Brain to Behavior

The facts we learn as humans across our lifetime and our memories of personal experiences make each one of us unique. Consider, however, how a person’s sense of self would be affected if he or she were unable to form new memories. At a more basic level, how could animals survive if they were unable to learn from their experiences? This course will offer students the opportunity...

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Psychoactive Drugs: Brain, Body, Society

Have you ever wondered about the difference between recreational and medicinal usage of psychoactive drugs (drugs that alter mood and behavior)? Are there basic differences in the action of psychoactive drugs when they are taken for recreational versus medicinal purposes? And how does society decide how to categorize psychoactive drugs: which ones to make legal and which illegal?...

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Neuroscience in Health and Disease

Neuroscience is the study of the nervous system, including the brain, spinal cord, and networks of nerve cells, or neurons, that travel throughout the body. Although the field of neuroscience is relatively new, being recognized only in recent decades as a formal discipline, it is growing and expanding at a very rapid rate. The rapid growth of neuroscience and the pace of biomedical...

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Computer Modeling of the Brain

The human brain is one of the most complicated and mysterious systems on the planet. In recent decades, a huge push has been made to understand the brain through computer modeling. A large number of scientists have been involved in the development of these models not only to advance our understanding and treatments of neurological and psychiatric illnesses, but also to help...

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Neuroscience in Action: Understanding Our Brains and Nervous Systems

  • Program: Online
  • Length: Five Weeks

The human brain has more than 85 billion nerve cells, also known as neurons. Ever since the original description of the neuron by Santiago Ramon y Cajal in the 19th century, neuroscientists have known that understanding the neuron is key to understanding how the brain works. This course is an introduction to neuroscience in which we will examine the inner workings of the neuron:...

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Brain and Behavior: Biological Perspectives and Therapeutic Approaches to Mental Illness

This course will be co-taught by a Ph.D. biologist and a practicing mental health counselor. "Brain and Behavior" will provide students with a multifactorial perspective on psychopathologies. We will delve into illnesses such as depression, schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder, and substance use disorders. Students will study both the biological...

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Leadership and the Future of Science, Technology, and Medicine

Scientific discoveries, medical breakthroughs, and emerging technologies have a major impact on our everyday lives in the 21st century. They provide new insight into our complex world and address a range of global needs and problems. Few pre-college students are exposed to the advanced research that will likely lead to the future of science, technology and medicine. In this...

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Experience and Consciousness

We typically enjoy a rich, conscious mental life: there's a subjective feel to experiencing the smell of fresh brownies, to be stuck with a pin, or to go on a first date. Conscious experience is such a fundamental part of what it is to be a creature like us that we often take it for granted, but some of philosophy's most fascinating and difficult questions revolve...

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Genetics and Human Behavior

The completion of the Human Genome Project may be the most important scientific achievement of our lifetime, but how much can genes tell us about complex human behavior? How much does the environment impact human behavior? What kind of research techniques can be used to identify specific genes and specific environments that influence behavior?

Behavioral genetics...

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Science, Politics and Psychological Disorders

This course will focus on landmark scientific studies and political movements that have changed the way psychological disorders are viewed. Through the study of the history of psychological disorders, students will be able to track how society and science influence one another. The course will help students develop a critical view of science and medicine.

This course...

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The Brain: An Introduction to Neuroscience

Introduction to the mammalian nervous system with emphasis on the structure and function of the human brain. Topics include the function of nerve cells, sensory systems, control of movement and speech, learning and memory, emotion, and diseases of the brain. No prerequisites, but knowledge of biology and chemistry at the high school level is assumed.

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Meditation and the Brain: Applications in Basic and Clinical Science

This course draws upon the multi-disciplinary expertise of four instructors to provide a detailed exploration of recent neuroscientific research on meditation combined with guided first-person experiential learning in various meditation practices. The course focuses on the cognitive, affective, and neurophysiological effects of meditation practices and their clinical applications...

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