SCI 70 — The Impact of Mental Illness on the Human Brain
In this course, students will learn about the most common brain-imaging methods—MRI, EEG, and PET—and their application to research on mental illnesses. First, we will cover how these methods work and what they measure. Then, we will introduce the most common mental illnesses: mood, anxiety, and psychotic disorders. After that, we will review how each of these illnesses affects the brain in a way that can be quantified by brain imaging. Finally, students will learn how to critically interpret the scientific literature on the biological causes of mental illnesses while being aware of the literature’s biases and pitfalls.
The course will combine traditional lectures with classroom learning activities and readings from scientific sources. By the end of the course, students will gain a biological perspective on mental illness and understand the core of cutting-edge research on more effective personalized treatments.
No background in psychology or neuroscience is required.