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Main page » Non-Fiction » Self-Improvement » Understanding the Brain

Understanding the Brain


Understanding the Brain, a 36-lecture course by award-winning Professor Jeanette Norden of Vanderbilt University School of Medicine, takes you inside this astonishingly complex organ and shows you how it works, from the gross level of its organization to the molecular level of how cells inthe brain communicate. With its combination of neurology, biology, and psychology, this course will help you understand how we perceive the world through our senses, how we move, how we learn and remember, and how emotions affect our thoughts and actions.


1. Historical Underpinnings of Neuroscience
2. Central Nervous System—Gross Organization
3. Central Nervous System—Internal Organization
4. Central Nervous System—Subdivisions
5. Cortex—Lobes and Areas
6. Cortex—Sensory, Motor, and Association Areas
7. Central Nervous System—Development
8. Central Nervous System—Cellular Organization
9. Pathways and Synapses
10. Neurotransmitters
11. Stroke
12. The Visual System—The Eye
13. The Visual System—The Cortex
14. The Auditory System
15. The Somatosensory System
16. Agnosias
17. The Motor System—Voluntary Movement
18. The Motor System—Coordinated Movement
19. Parkinson's Disease
20. Language
21. The Limbic System—Anatomy
22. The Limbic System—Biochemistry
23. Depression
24. The Reward System—Anatomy
25. The Reward System—Drugs
26. Brain Plasticity
27. Emotion and Executive Function
28. Processing of Negative Emotions—Fear
29. Music and the Brain
30. Sexual Dimorphism of the Brain
31. Sleep and Dreaming
32. Consciousness and the Self
33. Alzheimer's Disease
34. Risk Factors for Alzheimer's Disease
35. Wellness and the Brain—Effects of Stress
36. Neuroscience—Looking Back and Looking Ahead

About the Author: Jeanette Norden is Professor and Director of Medical Education in the Department of Cell and Developmental Biology in the School of Medicine and Professor of Neurosciences in the College of Arts and Sciences at Vanderbilt University. In 2004, she was highlighted as one of the most effective teachers in America in What the Best College Teachers Do (K. Bain, Harvard University Press, 2004). Norden is considered a maverick in medical education for integrating “humanity” into basic science courses, and has been recognized at Vanderbilt and nationally for this approach. She is a two-time recipient of the Shovel, an award made by the graduating class to the faculty member who has had the most positive influence; a six-time recipient of the Jack Davies Award for teaching excellence in the basic sciences; and a four-time recipient of the Outstanding Teacher of the Year Award. She was also awarded the first Chair of Teaching Excellence atVanderbilt University. In 2000, Norden was the recipient of the Robert J. Glaser Award, a national teaching award from the Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Society of the American Medical Association.


The Teaching Company: Brings engaging professors into your home or car through courses on DVD, audio CD, and other formats. Since 1990, great teachers from the Ivy League, Stanford, Georgetown, and other leading colleges and universities have crafted over 250 courses for lifelong learners like you. It's the adventure of learning without the homework or exams.

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