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SCI 70 — The Impact of Mental Illness on the Human Brain

Quarter: Winter
Day(s): Mondays
Course Format: Live Online (About Formats)
Duration: 5 weeks
Date(s): Jan 30—Mar 6
Time: 7:00—8:50 pm (PT)
Refund Deadline: Feb 1
Unit: 1
Grade Restriction: No letter grade
Tuition: $345
Instructor(s): Leonardo Tozzi
Class Recording Available: Yes
Status: Open
Please Note: No class on February 20
DOWNLOAD THE SYLLABUS » (subject to change)
Live Online(About Formats)
7:00—8:50 pm (PT)
Jan 30—Mar 6
5 weeks
Refund Date
Feb 1
1 Unit
Grade Restriction
No letter grade
Leonardo Tozzi
Please Note: No class on February 20
DOWNLOAD THE SYLLABUS » (subject to change)
Mental illnesses are extremely common and have a dramatic impact on society, but we still struggle to understand what causes them. One thing we do know is that they affect the structure and function of the brain. Modern brain-imaging technology can quantify brain structure and function in humans, unlocking new ways to understand, diagnose, and treat mental illnesses. 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.

Neuroscientist, Stanford

Leonardo Tozzi is focused on developing novel medical technologies for the field of psychiatry. In his research, he uses measures of brain structure and function to improve the diagnosis and treatment of mental illness. Tozzi received a PhD from Trinity College Dublin and an MD from Pisa University.

Textbooks for this course:

There are no required textbooks; however, some fee-based online readings may be assigned.