Neuroscience Curriculum

This page marches you through a brief neuroscience curriculum. It directs you to key outside readings, and posts on, that will bring the “average intelligent layperson” to a reasonably sophisticated understanding of modern neuroscience’s view of the brain. Click on the links to read the appropriate piece before clicking back to proceed.

Section 1: Overview

The old adage about how to teach something is: “tell them what you’re going to say, say it, and then tell them what you said.” In Section 1, I’ll quickly review what I’m going to say in more detail in the body of the curriculum.

1.1 Pre-requisites: 

1.1.1 The Pauli Exclusion Principle (aka, Fermions and Bosons). It is surprising how infrequently the Pauli Exclusion Principle is mentioned in courses on modern neuroscience. That’s because this one simple (but deep) idea explains almost everything about the in-principle structure of the brain. Fermions Bosons Charge

1.2 The Physical Brain (eg, the fermionic brain)

1.2.1 The Neuron Dendrites Cell Body Axons. An interesting movement in modern neuroscience is to understand that “all the action” isn’t just in the cell bodies of neurons. In this paper (pdf: Neurosci. Res. 2013 Sasaki) a summary of evidence supporting the idea that axons, rather than passively conveying cell-body information, makes novel calculations, is presented.

1.2.2. The Synapse

1.2.3. The Brain Region Spinal Cord Brainstem Limbic system Cortex Hemispheres

1.2.4. The circuit Reflex arcs Central pattern generators The connectome. There are inspirational pictures of the connectome here.  I wrote a brief post on the connectome “Only Connectome,” here. It outlines some of the controversies about studying the connectome.

1.3 The Electric Brain (eg, the bosonic brain)


9 thoughts on “Neuroscience Curriculum

  1. I don’t know what their issue was either. In any case, this potesr was made in haste.I enjoyed your presentation. I think the fMRI technology would work better if one did not have to be processed in a “pizza oven”, but somehow make the fMRI more portable so that the subject could sit and have some mobility when being questioned.

    1. the book is very informative. the scivree from amazon was excellent.the material is useful for my clas study.the chapters are very clear, concise an to the point.i now have a better understanding of the process of human behaviors. better understanding of how God created our bodies so we function in such an wounderful way every day.

  2. Congrats on your progress! I’ve alwyas heard that the understanding piece is huge and once you start getting that down the speaking comes faster or at least that’s what I tell myself! While work is keeping me from instituting a true language challenge such as yours (or maybe I’m lazy!) you have been an inspiration and I’ve told my colleagues in the office that Fridays are now set aside for only German speaking. Like you, I can understand an awful lot but still have the issue of not being able to say exactly what I want to say .I tend to have many two-language conversations where the other person speaks only German and I speak only English. It works okay, but not where I want to be. Thanks for the updates and the inspiration!! Good luck to you. :)

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