Neuronal Functions and Play-Doh Brains

The content of this week’s lecture focused mostly on neurons, action potentials and how they propagate. A lot of the material was somewhat familiar through previous courses, such as biophysics, but a recap is never a bad idea.  It would, however, be interesting to hear more about different neurons, and if different types of neurons serve only certain functions; i.e. if some neuroimaging techniques measure mostly the activity of pyramidal neurons, do pyramidal neurons account for most of the cortical activity? Is measuring them an accurate representation of what is happening in the brain?
In addition to having a lecture in the beginning of the week, this week’s exercise session offered us a practical way to to study the structure of the human brain. At the beginning of the session we were given tubs of play-doh and told to construct a model of the human brain. We were guided to construct each section of the brain at a time, while going  through the main functions of the section we were modelling. This hands-on session was a fun way to explore the different brain structures and their sizes relative to each other, as well as getting to know one another. Moreover, it was fun to see what structures other students payed more attention to and how different the outcomes were.

Below are results of the first workshop session.3D-BrainModel

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