This is an introductory course on neuroscience, overviewing a broad range of topics, including neuronal excitability, synaptic physiology, sensory processing, learning and memory, and motor processing. The course will address these broad questions: How does information from the outside world get into the brain? What signaling processes does the brain use? What neuronal pathways do these signals follow? Ilana B. Witten.

The adult human brain is an amazing system: With areas of cognitive specialization that are robustly interconnected and work together in networks to support our quick and adaptive behavior. In contrast, young infants have markedly slower neural responses and few long-range connections between brain regions. We will read the primary literature and discuss pivotal questions in the field of developmental cognitive neuroscience: To what extent are infants born with cognitive or neural specialization or does specialization develop? How do babies and children learn? How much does experience matter in neural and cognitive development?

Among the questions we may consider are: Can drugs make us happier or smarter? Can thoughts and lies be detected by imaging? How does neuroscience impact on ethical and legal responsibility? Does ethics have a neural basis? What types of experiments should be allowed on humans and other animals? When does ethical behavior begin in evolution? What are the brain differences between males and females and between straight and gay people and what are their origins and relevance? What happened to psychosurgery? To eugenics? How common is cheating in science? How has neuroscience supported sexism and racism, at least in the past?