BIO 495: Comparative Neuroscience
The goal of this course is to give you experience in critically evaluating the primary literature, developing and giving an oral presentation of a research paper, gaining experience in scientific writing by writing a literature review of a chosen topic, and both receive and engage in peer review.
This course is designed to challenge you to question the primary literature, gain working knowledge of neuroanatomy across a range of vertebrate groups, as well as question some of your own preconceived notions about “intelligence”. Through your reading and class discussions, you will gain an understanding of major ideas in comparative neurobiology and how it pertains to cognition, including major structural components of the brain and evolutionary changes in brain size, brain region size, and sensory systems. You will be asked to consider the central nervous system as it pertains to all organisms, and question a “top down” approach when we assess the evolution of cognitive capacity.
I usually teach BIO 495 in the Spring & Fall semesters. You can check out our most recent syllabus here.