This course is designed for students interested in the science of the brain, including its evolutionary origins, early development, and role in generating behavior. We explore theories of the brain as the seat of the self from ancient Greece to modern times, and investigate systems that make up the brain from the individual neuron to the entire central nervous system. We also look into how sensation, perception, and decision making work at the physiological level. The course blends historical trends in neuroscience with modern experiments and findings, and touches on major areas of research including animal studies, recording and imaging techniques, computational neuroscience, and neuropharmacology.
In-class small-group exercises, in addition to lectures, allow students to tangibly explore the ideas presented in class. Participants construct various models of the brain, critique professional neuroscientific papers as “peer-reviewers,” and visualize actual neural data with instructor guidance. The course includes asynchronous work, which students are expected to complete between class sessions.
Nicole Callahan earned her Ph.D. in Neuroscience from Pennsylvania State University College of Medicine, where her research concentrated on the effects of stress-related neurotransmitters and hormones on the immune response to viral infection. Nicole received a Bachelor of Arts degree, cum laude, in Behavioral Neuroscience, with a minor in Health and Human Development, from Lehigh University, where she also completed an honors research project relating to the location of central detectors of metabolic fuels in female Syrian hamsters. Nicole also earned a Juris Doctorate degree, cum laude, and a Certificate in Health Law from Pace University School of Law.
Nicole is a Partner in the New York office of Hall Booth Smith, P.C., where her practice primarily focuses on the defense of hospitals, physicians, and other healthcare professionals against a wide range of medical malpractice/negligence claims. Nicole is also a co-leader of Hall Booth Smith’s Intellectual Property practice group, a role in which she utilizes her background in the protection of intellectual property rights in the pharmaceutical and medical device arts.
Nicole has led presentations in the fields of both science and law, and has also co-authored several publications in peer-reviewed journals. She thoroughly enjoys teaching.
Specific course details such as topics, activities, 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.