Spring 2018

Consciousness and the Brain

Listed in: Psychology, as PSYC-361

Faculty

Michael A. Cohen (Section 01)

Description

Although curiosity about the nature of consciousness has animated the work of philosophers, artists and others, this course will approach the topic from a scientific perspective.  How do electrochemical signals in our brain produce our experience of colors, sounds, tastes and our awareness of ourselves? We will read and discuss primary source scientific journal articles drawn from both psychology and neuroscience with a focus on questions including: What kinds of brain activity distinguish conscious from unconscious states? Can objects in the environment (e.g., advertisements) affect our behavior even if we are not consciously aware of those objects? Are there different types of consciousness? Is consciousness peculiar to human beings (does it require language?) or is consciousness experienced by other species, as well? Does science have the tools necessary to achieve a complete understanding of human consciousness? Overall, the goal of this course is to provide students with a thorough understanding of the current states of the scientific study of consciousness.

Requisite:  PSYC 212, PSYC 233 or NEUR 226.  Limited to 18 students. Spring semester.  Professor Cohen.

If Overenrolled: Preference given to upper-level psychology majors.

Offerings

2017-18: Offered in Spring 2018