During the first week we had only one lecture. Exercise sessions will start on the second week of the course and we will also have couple of excursions later on the course. We are keeping a learning diary (this blog) about the concepts and topics we learn and questions that may rise during the course.
On the lecture
On the first lecture we first went through the course arrangements and after that we started from the basic things about the brain. It was nice to see, that the course also had some topics we had already faced in our high school studies and in our earlier university courses, and now we will be given an opportunity to deepen our knowledge. Through the whole lecture we were able to ask questions through presemo, which opened some interesting conversations about the brain and its functioning. The main topics concerned tasks, physics, and the structure of the brain mainly on the cellular level.
Before and after the lecture we studied independently the topics from the book (Bear, Connors, Paradiso: Neuroscience: Exploring the Brain, 4th edition, Lippincott, Williams & Wilkins, 2015). Everything was explained clearly but sometimes a bit lengthily. We also have virtual card deck in Brainscape about the key terms, that we can highly recommend for everyone who might have sometimes difficulties with concentration while reading the course book. Reading the book also made us think more of the animal testing perspective of the brain research, which is a topic we would be interested to learn and discuss more about.
What did we learn?
We were already familiar with how the cell works and what it consists of. But the deeper understanding of how the brain cells form and function is still something we don’t completely understand. Also understanding the reason why things work in the brain the way they do is still somewhat new to us.
All we learnt during the lecture and by reading the book is important, so that it will be easier to deepen our knowledge in the upcoming lectures and exercise sessions. Also from a general perspective, the more you learn about the brain structure and operation, the easier it makes to understand brain’s functioning when suffering from eg. disease. Overall the course seemed very interesting, and we’re looking forward to learning a lot more of this topic.