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PSYCH 120: Cellular Neuroscience: Cell Signaling and Behavior (BIO 153)

Neural interactions underlying behavior. Prerequisites: PSYCH 1 or basic biology.
Last offered: Autumn 2018 | UG Reqs: GER: DB-NatSci, WAY-SMA

PSYCH 121: Ion Transport and Intracellular Messengers (PSYCH 228)

(Graduate students register for 228.) Ion channels, carriers, ion pumps, and their regulation by intracellular messengers in a variety of cell types. Recommended: 120, introductory course in biology or human biology.
Terms: Spr | Units: 3 | UG Reqs: WAY-SMA

PSYCH 164: Brain decoding

Can we know what someone is thinking by examining their brain activity? Using knowledge of the human visual system and techniques from machine learning, recent work has shown impressive ability to decode what people are looking at from their brain activity as measured with functional imaging. The course will use a combination of lectures, primary literature readings, discussion and hands-on tutorials to understand this emerging technology from basic knowledge of the perceptual (primarily visual) and other cognitive systems (such as working memory) to tools and techniques used to decode brain activity.nPrerequisites: Either Psych 30 or Psych 50 or Consent of Instructor
Terms: Spr | Units: 3 | UG Reqs: WAY-SMA

THINK 15: How Does Your Brain Work?

How do the biology and chemistry of the brain create the mind that lets us talk, walk, laugh, love, learn, remember, and forget? What can neuroscience say about what makes us human? How can we ask questions about the brain that are observable, testable, and answerable? The human brain is the most complex organ we know. To understand the biology of brain function, this course will use highly interactive lectures and discussions to examine the validity of common beliefs about the brain, discuss how the brain and the nervous system are organized, how individual elements of the brain function, and how together these units produce action. The brain, like all other biological structures, has evolved over time in response to natural selection by adapting to diverse behavioral and environmental constraints. We use evolutionary comparisons to illuminate important questions about brain function, including what the origins and consequences of brain damage are, how and where drugs act, and how you collect, interpret, and understand information about the world. You will learn both how the science of the brain has emerged through understanding important experiments and observations and how you can formulate and test your own experimental questions about the brain.
Terms: Aut | Units: 4 | UG Reqs: THINK, WAY-SMA

THINK 23: The Cancer Problem: Causes, Treatments, and Prevention

How has our approach to cancer been affected by clinical observations, scientific discoveries, social norms, politics, and economic interests? Approximately one in three Americans will develop invasive cancer during their lifetime; one in five Americans will die as a result of this disease. This course will expose you to multiple ways of approaching the cancer problem, including laboratory research, clinical trials, population studies, public health interventions, and health care economics. We will start with the 18th century discovery of the relationship between coal tar and cancer, and trace the role of scientific research in revealing the genetic basis of cancer. We will then discuss the development of new treatments for cancer as well as measures to screen for and prevent cancer, including the ongoing debate over tobacco control. Using cancer as a case study, you will learn important aspects of the scientific method including experimental design, data analysis, and the difference between correlation and causation. You will learn how science can be used and misused with regard to the public good. You will also learn about ways in which social, political, and economic forces shape our knowledge about and response to disease.
Terms: Spr | Units: 4 | UG Reqs: THINK, WAY-AQR, WAY-SMA

THINK 45: Thinking About the Universe: What do we know? How do we know it?

What is the origin and ultimate fate of the universe? Can we know what came before the universe? Are there ultimate limits to human knowledge about the universe and are we reaching them? Cosmology (the study of the universe) raises profound questions about us, our place in the universe, and about the limits of our knowledge. It was only in the 20th century that cosmology developed from metaphysical and theological speculation to become an observational science and a recognized part of physics. In this course, students will explore questions about the Universe, its beginnings, its structure, its extent, its fate, from several perspectives - philosophical, experimental, and theoretical. We will discuss current research and the ongoing debates about the laws of nature on subatomic scales and the perplexing questions they raise regarding the universe and the limits of scientific inquiry.
Terms: Win | Units: 4 | UG Reqs: THINK, WAY-SMA

THINK 61: Living with Viruses

By examining this interplay of viruses and culture, this course challenges students to think beyond conventional disciplinary distinctions through questions about the impact of biology on human behavior as well as the potential of humans to shape biology through genetic engineering. The specific goals of this course are to engage students to examine the microbial world and how they interact with it. We will examine three overreaching questions: How do viruses effect our lives? How have they shaped our culture? How will they shape our future? Topics covered will include the question of whether a virus is alive, the importance of immunity, and the role of viruses in not only human culture but what makes us distinctly human.
Terms: Win | Units: 4 | UG Reqs: THINK, WAY-SMA

THINK 65: Preventing Human Extinction

Is human extinction inevitable? Is it necessarily bad for the planet? What might we do to avert human extinction? n99.9% of all species that have inhabited the planet are extinct, suggesting our extinction is also a distinct probability. Yet, the subject of human extinction is one that poses deeply disturbing implications for the thinkers themselves, namely us humans. This course will explore a series of plausible scenarios that could produce human extinction within the next 100 years and simultaneously consider the psychological, social, and epistemological barriers that keep us from seriously considering (and potentially averting) these risks. Students will . . .
Terms: Spr | Units: 4 | UG Reqs: THINK, WAY-SI, WAY-SMA

THINK 68: Our Genome

Genomes reveal a wealth of information with implications far beyond the linear sequence of the DNA. We will consider two questions related to the genome, coupled with examples from real-life consequences. Firstly, what does the genome say about our past: where we came from and how we might fit into the tapestry of the human race? We will look at examples from history and anonymized patients to highlight the consequences of these question for people. Next we will consider what the genome tells us about the future: how might it foretell our individual future and how might this be translated into patient treatment? We will examine the promises, pitfalls, and implications for the advances in medicine and healthcare promised by genomic research.
Terms: Win | Units: 4 | UG Reqs: WAY-SMA

URBANST 109: Physics of Cities (CEE 6)

An introduction to the modern study of complex systems with cities as an organizing focus. Topics will include: cities as interacting systems; cities as networks; flows of resources and information through cities; principles of organization, self-organization, and complexity; how the properties of cities scale with size; and human movement patterns. No particular scientific background is required, but comfort with basic mathematics will be assumed. Prerequisites: MATH 19 and 20, or the equivalent
Terms: Spr | Units: 3 | UG Reqs: WAY-SMA
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