Course taught primarily online. Students will attend an introductory class on campus and access instructional materials upon returning home at hours that suit their own schedules. This instruction may include lectures recorded by their professor, tutorials, videos, readings and discussion posts. Readings and assignments will be available via AU's Blackboard platform. Professors remain accessible to student questions for 30 days after the on-campus segment.
Course Description: Students interested in medicine, the behavioral sciences, or life sciences will learn how the structure and function of the nervous system relates to human memory, learning, emotions, and sensations; and how psychologists understand normal and abnormal behaviors in terms of these processes. Over the last twenty years, knowledge of the brain has been greatly enhanced by the development of new neuroscience tools and techniques to examine neuroanatomy, neuropharmacology, and neurophysiology. Students will learn how to interpret results of brain imaging and neuropsychological tests, which are used to probe the functioning of the human brain in both normal and abnormal states. Students will also learn about the value of animal models to understanding brain structure and function. They will perform simulations of brain and spinal cord of sheep dissections;and study the structure of nerve cells (neurons) and nerve pathways that connect our extremities to the central nervous system via the peripheral nervous system. The neurons of these systems are able to conduct signals based both on electrical current and chemically-mediated neurotransmitter-receptor mechanisms. Students will read primary literature and design experiments to test their own hypotheses on how changes in neurotransmitter levels affect behavior and nervous system development. Students will be able to apply what they learn to what is known about psychological conditions such as addiction, schizophrenia, and depression.