Fundamentals of Neuroscience

I - June 28–July 16, 2021
II - July 20–August 6, 2021
Modality, Day & Time:
Monday–Friday, 11:10 a.m.–1:00 p.m. and 3:10–5:00 p.m.

Emma Denholtz, Dena Goldblatt, Carolina F. Henriques

One year of high school biology. This class is intended for current 8th and 9th graders graders. Older students should apply for Introduction to Neuroscience.

“The class covered a wide variety of topics about the brain and motivated me to continue learning about it later on.”  – Kyren L. | New York, New York

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.


Emma Denholtz

Emma Denholtz is a Ph.D. student in neuroscience at The Graduate Center of the City University of New York. Her research interests include how perceived threat in the environment creates an internal state of heightened anxiety and subsequent circuit organization in the brain, which is characteristic of neuropsychiatric disorders such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Her dissertation work in the Likhtik Lab (Hunter College) focuses on utilizing calcium imaging techniques to study the effects of safety learning on circuit communication and discrimination learning. Emma completed her BS in neuroscience & behavioral biology at Emory University and has worked in neuroscience research labs at Columbia University and the University of Florida. She is currently an adjunct lecturer in biochemistry and molecular genetics at Hunter College.

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.

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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.