I have taught several undergraduate courses at the University
of Pennsylvania (descriptions below)
(taught: 2011, 2012, 2013)
This 4-week course will examine an area of cognitive psychology that has special relevance for students: Memory. We will first discuss the various kinds of memory we have at our disposal, and how psychology researchers have discovered the differences between them. As we explore the nature of our memory systems, we will encounter methods used in the field of psychology, including behavioral studies, investigations involving neurological patients, and brain imaging techniques. We will discuss factors that have been found to influence learning, including sleep, emotion and aging.
Cognitive Neuroscience (taught: 2010)
fifty years cognitive psychologists have been investigating
the many features and functions of the human mind. Using
behavioral techniques and careful experimental design, these
researchers have been exploring the impressive array of
cognitive functions that we all take for granted. In parallel,
the field of neuroscience has been building our knowledge of
the human brain, from its lobe-organization down to the
properties of receptors on cell membranes. Cognitive
Neuroscience is at the intersection of these two disciplines.
The field asks some of the toughest but most fascinating
questions in all of science: how does the brain store our
memories? Is our brain pre-prepared to learn language, and if
so, how? Why is it that the average human can still outperform
most face recognition software?
In this course we will explore these questions and many others. Cognitive Neuroscience is increasingly having an impact on all our lives, from the developing field of ‘mind reading’ with brain scanners to the growing potential of applying magnetic fields to change how our brain functions. By learning about the techniques used by cognitive neuroscientists and reading some of the studies first-hand, it is hoped that you will come away with a better understanding of the topics of the field and a greater appreciation of the science behind the headlines.