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Mechanisms and Pathologies of Memory & Learning

MEDS 4026 | 3 credit hours

Spring Semester | Syllabus (PDF)

TR 2:00 – 3:20 PM

Eric Gruenstein, PhD | | 513-558-5531

Students will be exposed to a variety of interesting cases involving abnormalities of learning and memory. In some cases these will be pathological and in other instances they will have convey advantages. 

There will be a focus on understanding the underlying mechanisms of the cases, so some background in cell biology is strongly recommended. 

The course will be highly interactive with students expected to come to class prepared to ask and answer questions and to actively contribute to discussions.

Topics will include:

  • The Jennifer Aniston Neuron—a single cell that responds only to pictures of Jen—what does it tell us about where memories are stored?
  • Eidetikers: The Human Camera and other dramatic examples of photographic memory—how do they work and what are the pros and cons of having one?
  • Alzheimer's and Mad Cow Diseases—what can they teach us about how memory works?
  • Synesthesia—musical notes with color and words that have flavors—mixing the senses through neuroanatomy
  • Brain–Machine Interfaces—Can we control machines with our thoughts (and vice versa)?
  • Effective vs Ineffective Ways to Study—What does science have to tell us?


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