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Human Brain and Senses, First Edition

In this course, students will have the opportunity to think about the fact that they have a brain, and to engage in activities that explore some of their routine, but outlandishly complex, brain activities seeing, feeling, hearing, smelling, tasting, and remembering. Students investigate how the brain and senses acquire, interpret and respond to information. An emphasis on vision and touch leads to investigations of the structure and function of the sensory organs and the brain itself. Imaging techniques (MRI and EEG) are used to reveal brain anatomy and activity. Students also explore learning, memory, and sensory dysfunction.


Investigation 1: Learning and Memory exposes students to a wide array of learning strategies and encourages them to discover their own best strategies for memorizing and learning.
Investigation 2: Eyes: Inside and Out familiarizes students with the external and internal structures of the mammalian eye and lays the foundation for considering the function of the various components.
Investigation 3: Lenses introduces students to the properties of lenses and challenges them to determine how these properties affect the function of their eyes.
Investigation 4: Retina investigates the structure and function of the retina, the screen at the back of the eye where visual images form.
Investigation 5: Into the Brain introduces students to the structure, orientation, and function of the brain, using the connection between the eyes and the brain as the entry point.
Investigation 6: Perception moves students beyond the mechanics of vision to the role of the brain in creating meaning out of the sensory signals that it receives.
Investigation 7: In Touch students gain an understanding of the structures and functions of another sensory system, touch, and compare the touch system to the visual system.
Investigation 8: Sending a Message gives students an understanding of the process of neurotransmission and the structures that support the process.
Investigation 9: Sensory Investigations challenges students to apply the methods they used to learn about the brain and the sense of vision and touch to investigate all five senses in greater depth.

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