Fundamentals of Neuroscience

Level:
Open to students entering grade 9 or 10 in the fall
Session:
I - June 29–July 17, 2020
II - July 21–August 7, 2020
Days & Time:
Monday–Friday, 11:10 a.m.–1:00 p.m. and 3:10–5:00 p.m.
Teacher(s):
Dena Goldblatt, Carolina F. Henriques, Hameda Khandaker
Prerequisites:

One year of high school biology

Course Description

This course is designed to introduce students to foundational concepts in neuroscience in an immersive classroom environment blending traditional lectures, weekly in-class projects, and hands-on work.

We begin with an applied introduction to cellular biology focusing on the structure of the brain and spinal cord, from individual neurons to the entire central nervous system. We then study how this biological organization enables some remarkable features of living systems - sensation, perception, and action - and how these features have changed over the course of evolution. Using this knowledge, we turn our focus to big questions in modern neuroscientific research, including theories of attention, memory, and consciousness. We wrap up the course with a discussion of the societal contributions - and ethical implications - of neuroscience.

Participants gain a rigorous introduction to key ideas in the field of neuroscience and a foundation with which to pursue further studies.

Teacher(s)

Dena Goldblatt

Dena Goldblatt is a Ph.D. candidate in neuroscience at New York University, where she is investigating molecular and cellular mechanisms of vestibular neuron identity specification and synaptic wiring specificity in the larval zebrafish. She graduated from Brandeis University with a triple B.S. in neuroscience, biology, and psychology, a minor in history, and an accelerated M.S. in neuroscience. At Brandeis, she studied molecular mechanisms of synapse formation in the mammalian hippocampus. Dena has had extensive experience working with diverse groups of students as a peer academic advisor for first-year undergraduates and as a TA and tutor for various STEM courses.

Carolina F. Henriques

Carolina F. Henriques is a PhD student in neuroscience at the City University of New York (CUNY). She graduated with a BSc in biology from the University of Lisbon, and a double MSc in neuroscience from the Free University Amsterdam and the University of Bordeaux. Before starting her PhD she worked at the Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, where she investigated the circuits underlying motivation in mice. Her current doctoral work focuses on the mechanisms underlying fear extinction, a process through which an acquired fear response to a threatening stimulus is gradually lost when the stimulus is no longer relevant. Carolina is an advocate for women in science and a regular presence in scientific outreach events.

Hameda Khandaker

Hameda Khandaker is a 5th year graduate student pursuing a Ph.D. in behavioral and cognitive neuroscience at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York. She received her Bachelor of Arts in psychology at Hunter College (CUNY) in 2014 and currently teaches coursework in psychology. Hameda is interested in exploring how curcumin, the primary ingredient in turmeric, can enhance adult neurogenesis and neurogenesis-dependent learning. In particular, she is investigating the effects of a curcumin diet on cell proliferation, survival and maturation in adult mice. She is also testing the contribution of these adult-born cells on hippocampal function in two behavioral tasks, contextual fear discrimination and active place avoidance. 

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Specific course detail such as hours and instructors are subject to change at the discretion of the University. Not all instructors listed for a course teach all sections of that course.