Week 7: Auditory System and visit to Nexstim

The seventh week started similarly as the previous ones. On monday we had a quiz and a lecture. This week’s topic is auditory system. This week is also a bit different, because instead of an exercise session we had our first excursion (Nexstim).


On the lecture

The lecture was about the auditory system. Sadly the recording was not uploaded to MyCources. Luckily there was lots of images, and couple of youtube videos that demonstrated nicely the key point.


The excursion: Nexstim

This week we had our first excursion, when we visited Nexstim at their office in Helsinki. Nexstim offers technological solutions for TMS (transcranial magnetic stimulation). The excursion really exceeded all the expectations. The structure of their presentation was very good, because it started with showing how the TMS is done in the practise. After this, they had already proven that to work among very interesting topics, so it made the rest of the presentation a lot more interesting too. I also enjoyed how people asked a lot of good questions, and how the people at Nexstim were able to answer well to all of them. It really seemed they were passionate about their work and their appearance was so energetic, that it gave a really good impression of the whole company. Normally it’s not easy to sit and listen for 2 hours, but now I didn’t mind at all that it went overtime. I learned a lot about TMS in practise, especially the use of TMS in a therapeutic way to treat depression and paralysis was new to me. It was also a good demonstration of which type of topics I could be working with in the future.


At home

At home we started reading chapter 23 for next week’s quiz. The topic of the chapter 23 is wiring the brain, which explains how the brain develops, and especially how the connections are formed and modified. This is mostly new information, because basics are already known, but in this chapter we take a look at this subject in a much greater detail. Too bad, this week there aren’t brainscape cards for studying the key concepts, but luckily the review questions seem to cover most of the important topics.


What did we learn?

During this week we learned about auditory system. Sound and waves are already familiar for us from the physics’ courses. Also the anatomy of the ear, at leas with some level, was familiar for us from courses of physiology and  high school biology, but it is nice to have everything explained as a one system, and how all the pieces fit together. I personally found the part about implants used treating deafness very interesting. I had never really thought how the implants functioned, and why they were used, but I were immediately intrigued when I saw the title of the info box. Something I would probably not have learned from physics of physiology books. 

The excursion was from different topic, but offered a nice possibility to see where things that we are learning can be used and what we could be doing in ten years.

Posted by Ona Westerlund

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