12th Grade Neuroscience
Instructor: Whitney Schiller
South House - Room 2018
This course will be a non-honors, laboratory based introduction to neuroscience and biopsychology with an emphasis on experimentation and case studies while studying the processes of the nervous system as it relates to consciousness. The human brain is the most complex structure in the known universe. The study of its structure and function and how it figures into our actions and experience is among the most exciting arenas of modern science. This class will begin with molecules and cells, build up to brains and nervous systems, encompass neural signaling, sensory perception, memory, language, and emotion, and culminate with the great mystery of how brain processes relate to mental experience, that is, how the mind is related to the brain. This is a comprehensive introduction to the exciting subject of contemporary neuroscience.
Students will be able to explain the relationship between evolution, genetics and experience as they relates to neuroscience. Students will be able to explain the anatomy of the nervous system and analyze the impact of cerebral lateralization. Students will also be able to explain neural conductivity and synaptic transmission. And, lastly, students will be able to apply their knowledge about neurotransmitters to understand how psychopharmacological drugs directly impact the brain.
Students will understand the development of the nervous system and understand how this relates to Piaget’s and Erikson’s theories of psychological development. Students will be able to apply their knowledge about the structures of the nervous system and analyze what happens when different parts of the brain are damaged and/or impacted by different neurological disorders. Students will also be able to understand memory and learning and how they can relate theory into their own education. Students will utilize this information for their Build a Better School Project.
Students will be able to explain the structure of the visual and auditory systems, and explain how smell, touch and taste work on a neurological level. Students will be able to analyze the relationships between the visual and auditory systems, smell and taste, and touch and sight. They will be able to relate the sense to perception and have a better understanding of the conscious mind. Students will be able to explain in more depth cerebral lateralization, language and the split brain theory. They will also analyze the biopsychology of emotion and health by examining stress, love, fear, aggression and psychological disorders. Students will also analyze how specific affective disorders, including schizophrenia and anxiety disorders, impact different parts of the nervous and how these can be treated with different pharmacological medications.
Students will understand and analyze the relationships between hormones and sex and how these relate to sexual behavior, orientation and identity. In addition, students will understand sleep, dreaming and circadian rhythms and analyze how sleep deprivation, drugs and disorders can all disrupt normal neurological function. Lastly, students will understand and analyze drug addictions and the brain’s reward circuits.
Students will be using all of the information and skills they have learned throughout the year to create their own science experiment.