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Calderwood Seminar in Public Writing: Neuroplasticity and the Brain

NS&B 360
Spring 2020
Section: 01  
Crosslisting: BIOL 360
Certificates: Civic Engagement, Civic Engagement Minor, Writing
Course Cluster: Writing Certificate, Disability Studies

This course will examine structural and functional neuroplasticity. Structural plasticity refers to the brain's ability to change its physical structure as a result of learning and experience. The ability to reorganize itself by forming new connections, strengthening existing connections, or pruning away old synaptic connections is regulated by our environment, both within the body and the external world. We'll examine critical periods in development when sensory experiences change and sculpt the wiring of the brain, learn how the birth of new neurons changes across the lifespan, and how adult neurogenesis is altered by the microbes within us, physical exercise, stress, and neuropsychiatric disorders. We'll also learn about the promise of stem cell therapies for enhancing brain repair and plasticity after brain injuries. Several guest lecturers who are prominent neuroscientists working in the field of adult neurogenesis will be invited to speak to the class about their research in the field of neuroplasticity. This course will follow a model developed in Calderwood seminars taught at Wellesley College and is writing-intensive. After the basic material is introduced, class sessions will be workshop-based. Students will prepare for class by reading scientific papers and reviews on the topic and will submit short writing assignments on the topic. In class, we will discuss the topic and analyze the experimental approaches and findings. Students will have extensive opportunities for feedback and writing revisions through discussions with the professor, a course writing tutor, and in-class writing workshops.
Credit: 1 Gen Ed Area Dept: NSM NS&B
Course Format: Lecture / DiscussionGrading Mode: Graded
Level: UGRD Prerequisites: [NS&B213 or BIOL213 or PSYC240]
Fulfills a Major Requirement for: (CIS)(NS&B)
Past Enrollment Probability: Not Available

Last Updated on MAY-30-2024
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