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SCI 55 — An Introduction to Neuroscience

Quarter: Fall
Day(s): Thursdays
Course Format: On-campus
Duration: 10 weeks
Date(s): Sep 27—Dec 6
Time: 6:30—8:20 pm
Drop Deadline: Oct 10
Units: 2
Tuition: $480
Instructor(s): Tanusree Das
Status: Closed
Please Note: No class on November 22
6:30—8:20 pm
Sep 27—Dec 6
10 weeks
Drop By
Oct 10
2 Units
Tanusree Das
Please Note: No class on November 22
Everything we do in our daily lives—from the decisions we make, to the thoughts, feelings, and moods we experience—is profoundly shaped by our cognitive capabilities and how our brain perceives the world. In turn, those cognitive functions depend on the complex inner workings of neurons and neuronal networks. Neuroscience studies the fundamental structure- function of neurons and synapses as it influences our most complex cognitive functions.

In this course, students will see how neuroscience hinges on an effort to unite several subdisciplines, including neurochemistry, neuropsychology, and neurophysiology, to name a few. As the course unfolds, students will be introduced to the basic function of neurons, synapses, and the general anatomy and development of the nervous system. We will then explore the five sensory systems: vision, audition, touch, taste, and olfaction, followed by muscles and movement. Most importantly students will build a basic understanding of neuronal networks and how they work together to produce cognitive and behavioral manifestations like emotions, memory formation, and language. All of this foundational knowledge will give students a glimpse into the logic of deep-learning algorithms, which are heavily inspired by actual neuronal networks.

Tanusree Das, Lecturer, Department of Psychology, San Jose State University

Tanusree Das received a PhD in neuroscience from the National Brain Research Centre, India, where she investigated neuronal language networks in bilingual and multilingual brains using functional magnetic resonance imaging. Thereafter, at UT Southwestern Medical Center she studied episodic memory deficits in patients with schizophrenia. Later, she was a postdoctoral researcher at Stanford studying episodic memory dysfunction in Parkinson’s disease.

Textbooks for this course:

(Required) Mark Bear, Barry Connors, Michael Paradiso, Neuroscience Exploring the Brain, 4th Edition (ISBN 978-1-4511-0954-2)