Cognitive Neuroscience

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Cognitive Neuroscience

Cognitive Neuroscience is not only one of the most dynamic disciplines of modern science, it has also a considerable media presence and plays an increasing role in current debates about topics as diverse as society, education, politics, law and economics. In this lecture series, we will learn about the history, development and methodology of cognitive neuroscience. We will discuss the main structures of the brain, experience how brain lesions can influence the way people think, speak and behave and examine the opportunities and limits of neuroimaging and other modern research methods.

The lectures are accompanied by a 2-hour lab and a 1-hour tutorial.

Lecture 34:
What is cognitive neuroscience about?
The first lecture will examine general ideas about cognitive neuroscience. What can it tell us? Is it the basis of the modern view of human nature or a series of exaggerated claims, distorted images and unfulfilled promises?
David Hume Tower Lecture Theatre C
Thursday, 31 January, 2019 - 11:10 to 12:00
Lecture 35:
How did we end up with the brain we have?
The lecture will give a brief overview of the development of the nervous system in the last 500 million years. We will trace the emergence of the main brain structures and see them in action.
David Hume Tower Lecture Theatre B
Tuesday, 5 February, 2019 - 11:10 to 12:00
Lecture 36:
Do questions define methods or do methods define questions?
This lecture will cover the development of cognitive neuroscience, examining the close relationship between the theoretical assumptions, basic questions and the methods developed to answer them.
David Hume Tower Lecture Theatre C
Thursday, 7 February, 2019 - 11:10 to 12:00
Lecture 37:
What happens when things go wrong in the brain?
This lecture will explore how different forms of brain diseases and lesions cause selective deficits in specific mental functions, such as amnesia, agnosia, apraxia, anosognosia, hemineglect.
David Hume Tower Lecture Theatre C
Monday, 11 February, 2019 - 11:10 to 12:00
Lecture 38:
Why is language special?
This lecture will focus on the crucial role of language in our cognitive system and will examine different forms of language impairment caused by brain diseases.
David Hume Tower Lecture Theatre B
Tuesday, 12 February, 2019 - 11:10 to 12:00
Lecture 39
Dementias as a window in the human mind
Far from being an indiscriminate loss of all mental capacities, dementias often cause highly selective deficits, which allow us to study the architecture of the human mind. In this lecture we will learn why and how.
David Hume Tower Lecture Theatre C
Monday, 25 February, 2019 - 11:10 to 12:00
Learning Outcomes: 

By the end of the course, students should be familiar with the crucial steps in the evolution of the nervous system, with the main structures of the brain, their functions and the deficits caused by their lesions. They should also appreciate the most influential theories in cognitive neuroscience and the opportunities and limitations of its research methods.

References: 

Gazzaniga, M., Ivry, R. B., and Mangun, G. R. (2009). Cognitive Neuroscience: The Biology of
the Mind. International Student Edition.
(3rd Edition). New York: Norton and Co

Sacks, O. (1986). The man who mistook his wife for a hat. London: Picador.
Luria, A. (2002). The mind of a mnemonist. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.
Luria A. (2004). The man with a shattered world. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press