Presentation on theme: "“The Brain for Not-So-Dummies” Osher Lifelong Learning Institute Duke Continuing Studies Duke University Eric W. Harris, PhD."— Presentation transcript:
“The Brain for Not-So-Dummies” Osher Lifelong Learning Institute Duke Continuing Studies Duke University Eric W. Harris, PhD.
Why am I teaching this class? What qualifications do I have? PhD In Physiology with focus in Neuroscience - recovery of function after brain damage Post-Doctoral work - neuronal “plasticity” and pharmacology of brain cell communication 15 Years in pharmaceutical industry research- new drugs & mechanisms of action for epilepsy, stroke, Parkinson’s Disease, schizophrenia, Alzheimer’s Disease 12 Years at a CRO doing drug development: designing clinical trials, interacting with FDA on behalf of companies developing drugs for stroke, epilepsy, Huntington’s Disease, Pain, Tourette’s Syndrome, depression among others. What is my motivation? Retired, pursuing other interests (“hobby farming”) Still passionate about science, science education, “giving back”, and my area of greatest knowledge and experience is neuroscience (or building chicken coops?) And there is increasing interest in the brain…
Good News: lots of info out there! Bad News: lots of info out there!
Caveats I am not expert in all areas of neuroscience (no-one is). There is new information every day, so my presentation may not be perfectly up-to-date. I will say “I don’t know” if I don’t, and “I’m not sure” if I’m not. I try to avoid stating as fact things that, even if likely, remain to be proven (appropriately skeptical?). I welcome new ideas that can be scrutinized scientifically I welcome having my presentation “challenged” scientifically or logically My goals are to help you understand and question things you see and hear about the brain
Course Overview Week 1: Basic structure and functions of the brain and brain cells Week 2: Brain dynamics (development, learning and memory, “plasticity”, aging, response to injury) Week 3: Pathophysiology of selected brain disorders Week 4: Therapies for brain disorders Week 5: The fallibility of the human brain Week 6: A “hot topic” related to the brain - TBD (e.g., “Brain Training”, or the placebo effect, or DSM-V, or …?)
Requests Silence cell phones etc. Please save questions that are not about the presentation, and comments, stories etc. until the end of a class Please do interrupt me with “clarifying questions” about the material being presented Please don’t “side-talk” – it challenges the presenter’s ADD… Please do give feedback, suggestions, questions Send to Or, hand them to the Class Assistant Please understand if I can’t accommodate all suggestions
Week 1- Basic structure and functions of the brain and brain cells Things to keep in mind: All human brains share some features, but are also unique because of their genetics, environment, and experiences. Our brains are constantly changing and “self-organizing”, physically and functionally Much of what goes on in our brains is “subconscious” There is a great deal of knowledge about what’s in the brain, but little detailed understanding of how it does much of the “interesting stuff”
The Brain is part of the Central Nervous System (CNS) Brain