Think About It! An Introduction to Cognitive Neuroscience

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Course DatesMeeting TimesStatusInstructor(s)CRNRegistration
June 15, 2020 - June 19, 20206/15 - 6/19M-F 8:30A-11:20AOpenMeghan Gallo
John Westbrook

Course Description

Have you ever thought about how your brain works? Do you want to know how people think? Using state of the art technology, we will study the inner workings of the brain while seeing firsthand the power of these incredible organs. “Think about It” is a one week intensive pre-college course that introduces students to cognitive neuroscience. The central goals of this class are to 1) learn about the inner workings of the brain 2) appreciate how we think 3)explore scientific processes through conducting experiments.

This course is separated into three parts, the - brain, mind and neurons. First, we will explore the normal structure and function the brain. Using EEG technology, you will track your brain waves and learn how to control your brain’s activity. By studying abnormalities of the brain, you can also gain an understanding for how the brain functions normally. We will read about some extraordinary patients (Phineas Gage, Henry Molaison and Paul Broca) who taught us the importance of the brain for memory, cognition, and personality. Part 2 of this class focuses on the mind within the brain. Here, we will explore areas of the brain involved in mental processes, such as learning, memory, and decision making, and how to master these processes.

Lastly, we go beneath the surface of the brain to explore the firing and communication of neurons. Using human to human interface technology, you will see how you can control another person’s arm movements through neuron propagation. We will put these concepts to the test with a sensory cockroach lab and electrical circuit demonstration.

Each class will include an activity and a lab based experiments to reinforce concepts learned in lectures and discussions. Students will work in groups during the activity based labs and present a scientific poster at the end of the week.

By the end of class, you will have learned about a whole new side of yourself and the power your brain holds! Students will take away an understanding of how the brain functions to affect our thinking. This course will build a basic understanding of cognitive neuroscience, gaining insight into the wiring of the brain and its effects on cognition. Students will be introduced to science skills including microscopy, dissections, electroencephalograms (EEG), and electrical circuitry. After completing this course, students will have a deeper understanding of the mind and brain.

Prerequisites: None. This introductory course provides all the knowledge needed to build the foundation for understanding cognitive neuroscience.

Course Information

  • Course Code: CEBN0936
  • Length: 1 week
  • Supplemental Fee: $50

Program Information


Brown’s Pre-College Program in the liberal arts and sciences, offering over 200 non-credit courses, one- to four-weeks long, taught on Brown’s campus. For students completing grades 9-12 by June 2020.

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