We are constantly learning about the world around us and we use our memories in virtually everything we do. Despite their importance, we take for granted our ability to learn and remember that is… until we are unable to do so.
This course will combine insights from psychology and neuroscience research to explore the current understanding of the neurobiology of learning and memory: from molecules to behavior. The main objective of this course is to provide you with a comprehensive understanding of different learning and memory processes from the perspectives of behavior, relevant brain systems, and underlying neural circuits. This understanding is gained largely from both human and animal research. We will also highlight some relevant real-world clinical examples of disruptions to these systems.
Neurobiology of Learning and Memory is a predominately asynchronous course. Each week you will learn about a different learning and memory topic via video-based lectures, engage in peer-based learning on discussion boards, and complete weekly knowledge checks. Each week you will also work collaboratively in small groups to read and analyze an assigned research paper related to the module topic that uses cutting-edge technology to study different aspects of learning and memory. Group activities and discussion hours with the Instructor and TA are the only synchronous aspect of this course. At the end of the course, you will submit a final project where you use creative freedom to translate one of the previously assigned papers, or another, if you choose, in an accessible way to a broad non-scientific audience.
By the end of this course, you will be able to:
• Describe and differentiate the bases of various types of learning and memory and the supporting brain systems
• Evaluate your own learning and memory and understand how to improve it in different settings.
• Read, understand, and critically analyze research articles in the field of learning and memory
• Understand how scientists are using cutting edge technology to manipulate memories and understand diseases/disorders affecting learning and memory
• Communicate current scientific research related to learning and memory to a broad audience.
At course end, you will be aptly prepared to further study a wide variety of neuroscience and psychology topics.
No specific prior experience or knowledge is required, just a general enthusiasm to learn, engage with the course topics, and work collaboratively with peers.
Online sections of Pre-College courses are offered in one of the following modalities: Asynchronous, Mostly asynchronous, or Blended. Please review full information regarding the experience here.