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Neuroscience: Perception, Action and the Brain Specialization

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  • Specialization via Coursera and Duke University
  • $196 for 4-6 months
  • 4-5 hours a week of effort
  • 3 courses + capstone project
1 Review
Rating based on 1 student review.

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Neuroscience: Perception, Action and the Brain
★★☆☆☆ (1 Review)
Credential Type
4-5 hours a week
4-6 months
The courses in this Specialization explore the deeply puzzling questions of how the human brain and the rest of the nervous system gather sense information that allows us to perceive the world and act successfully in it. Note: you may take EITHER "Foundational Neuroscience for Perception and Action" (listed) OR "Medical Neuroscience" (not listed here), along with the other three courses.
★★★★☆ (4) 9 weeks 30th Mar, 2015
This course is a shorter version of my medical school-caliber course, <a target="_blank" href=""><i>Medical Neuroscience</i></a>. Like its parent course, this shorter course covers the organization and physiology of the human central nervous system. The focus of <i>Foundational Neuroscience for Perception and Action</i> is on the basic components of the brain and spinal cord, the means by which nerve cells generate electrical signals and communicate, the neural mechanisms of synaptic and circuit plasticity, and the organization of the sensory and motor systems that integrate experience and motivate behavior. Unlike its parent course, this shorter course is not so clinically focused. Rather, it aims to explore foundational mechanisms in neuroscience without emphasizing the competency of localizing lesions in the human central nervous system (a major focus of <i>Medical Neuroscience</i>). <br><br> The overall goal of this course is to equip learners to be successful in our specialization, <i>Perception, Action and the Brain</i>. To help you get the most out of our specialization, this course will teach you the basic neural mechanisms that makes it possible for the human brain to contend with an onslaught of sensory signals and generate successful behavior for survival and flourishing in a complex world. Thus, the other two courses in <i>Perception, Action and the Brain</i> will introduce you to the phenomenology of what we see and the means by which the brain generates visual representations (<a target="_blank" href=""><i>Visual Perception and the Brain</i></a>), and challenge you to understand how the brain creates our sense of spatial location from a variety of sensory and motor sources, and how this spatial sense in turn shapes our cognitive abilities (<a target="_blank" href=""><i>The Brain and Space</i></a>). The role, then, of <i>Foundational Neuroscience for Perception and Action</i> is to give you a "look under the hood" so that you can understand the neural mechanisms that operate at the level of synapses, circuits, and sensorimotor systems. You will then use this intimate knowledge of the inner workings of the human central nervous system as you take on the final project in our specialization. <br><br> This course is for advanced baccalaureate and prospective or current graduate students who are pursuing degrees in the brain sciences. It is also for students or professionals in technical fields concerned with human factors in computing, virtual reality, or gaming who are interested in understanding how the brain generates perceptions and actions. Teachers who are interested in understanding how the brain works as a means to enhance their curriculum in science education, or just to enhance student learning more generally will benefit. As will anyone who is simply curious about how the brain contends with sensory information and produces action.
★★★★★ (13) 7 weeks 23rd Sep, 2019
This course is about how the brain creates our sense of spatial location from a variety of sensory and motor sources, and how this spatial sense in turn shapes our cognitive abilities.<br /> <br /> Knowing where things are is effortless. But “under the hood,” your brain must figure out even the simplest of details about the world around you and your position in it. Recognizing your mother, finding your phone, going to the grocery store, playing the banjo – these require careful sleuthing and coordination across different sensory and motor domains. This course traces the brain’s detective work to create this sense of space and argues that the brain’s spatial focus permeates our cognitive abilities, affecting the way we think and remember.<br /> <br /> The material in this course is based on a book I've written for a general audience. The book is called "Making Space: How the Brain Knows Where Things Are", and is available from Amazon, Barnes and Noble, or directly from Harvard University Press. <br /> <br /> The course material overlaps with classes on perception or systems neuroscience, and can be taken either before or after such classes.<br /> <br /> Dr. Jennifer M. Groh, Ph.D.<br /> Professor<br /> Psychology & Neuroscience; Neurobiology<br /> Duke University<br /><br /> <br /> Jennifer M. Groh is interested in how the brain process spatial information in different sensory systems, and how the brain's spatial codes influence other aspects of cognition. She is the author of a recent book entitled "Making Space: How the Brain Knows Where Things Are" (Harvard University Press, fall 2014).<br /> <br /> Much of her research concerns differences in how the visual and auditory systems encode location, and how vision influences hearing. Her laboratory has demonstrated that neurons in auditory brain regions are sometimes responsive not just to what we hear but also to what direction we are looking and what visual stimuli we can see. These surprising findings challenge the prevailing assumption that the brain’s sensory pathways remain separate and distinct from each other at early stages, and suggest a mechanism for such multi-sensory interactions as lip-reading and ventriloquism (the capture of perceived sound location by a plausible nearby visual stimulus).<br /> <br /> Dr. Groh has been a professor at Duke University since 2006. She received her undergraduate degree in biology from Princeton University in 1988 before studying neuroscience at the University of Michigan (Master’s, 1990), the University of Pennsylvania (Ph.D., 1993), and Stanford University (postdoctoral, 1994-1997). Dr. Groh has been teaching undergraduate classes on the neural basis of perception and memory for over fifteen years. She is presently a faculty member at the Center for Cognitive Neuroscience and the Duke Institute for Brain Sciences at Duke University. She also holds appointments in the Departments of Neurobiology and Psychology & Neuroscience at Duke.<br /> <br /> Dr. Groh’s research has been supported by a variety of sources including the John S. Guggenheim Foundation, the National Institutes of Health, the National Science Foundation, and the Office of Naval Research Young Investigator Program, the McKnight Endowment Fund for Neuroscience, the John Merck Scholars Program, the EJLB Foundation, the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, the Whitehall Foundation, and the National Organization for Hearing Research.
★★★★☆ (6) 8 weeks 23rd Sep, 2019
Learners will be introduced to the problems that vision faces, using perception as a guide. The course will consider how what we see is generated by the visual system, what the central problem for vision is, and what visual perception indicates about how the brain works. The evidence will be drawn from neuroscience, psychology, the history of vision science and what philosophy has contributed. Although the discussions will be informed by visual system anatomy and physiology, the focus is on perception. We see the physical world in a strange way, and goal is to understand why.
☆☆☆☆☆ (0) 6 weeks 10th Aug, 2015
<p>After completing the three required courses in this Specialization, learners will have a good background in the overall organization and function of the human brain and how it supports visual perception, spatial processing and successful interaction with a complex world. We know participants in this Specialization come from a variety of backgrounds and are interested in applying the knowledge gained in neuroscience and perception in different ways; therefore, this final capstone project will offer three options from which to choose:<br /><br />(1) write a research proposal (for experimental research on perception and action) OR</p> <div>(2) write a popular press article (in non-technical language) that summarizes current knowledge about a topic pertinent to perception and action OR<br />(3) create a video demonstration or multimedia application (a virtual or real-world demonstration of how sensory signals give rise to perceptions and/or actions)</div> <p><br />We hope one of these project options will be intrinsically interesting to you, as well as guiding you to create a practical product for your future needs, such as enhancing skills in your current career area, or preparing for future career opportunities.<br /><br /></p>

1 Review.

Vithusha Uthayachdran
Vithusha Uthayachdran
completed this credential in Feb 2019.

1 rating
1 review

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