ENS105 The Brain

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Course Code Course Title Weekly Hours* ECTS Weekly Class Schedule
Monday 15:00-17:50
Prerequisite None It is a prerequisite to


Lecturer Ayla Arslan Office Hours / Room / Phone
15:00-16:00 with appointment only
15:00-16:00 with appointment only
A F1.14 - 033 957 237
E-mail aarslan@ius.edu.ba
Assistant Assistant E-mail
Course Objectives Course objective and description: The goal of this course is to introduce students basic knowledge about brain, its structure and function leading to an understanding of psychology as a biological science. Thus, there is an emphasis on understanding behavior as a product of the brain's physiology and anatomy, determined by the complex interplay of genetic and environmental factors. We will start with foundations such as biological model of behavior, fundamentals of neurons, and functional neuroanatomy. The latter will be fostered by specific neuroanatomy exercises. Then the course will turn its direction to specific topics related to cognition, emotion and mental disorders. There will be special emphasis on the issues including -but not limited to- depression, anxiety, psychopathy and crime which will aid students to explore manifestations of mental state and its health. Also the current neuroscientific perspective for free will will be introduced. Free will had been a topic of philosophy and religion but now modern neurosciences have started to investigate this topic. So in the last part of this course we will investigate some basic neuroscience experiments done in this topic. Then these neuroscience findings will be discussed in more detail together with views from physics, chemistry, biology and philosophy. The course will be a window to ourselves and other people around us and thus, students from diverse disciplines will benefit from this course. No background in psychology or biology is required.

Textbook Text book (s): 1. Bear, Connors, Paradiso. (2016). Neuroscience: Exploring the Brain. 4th edition. Wolters Kluwer 2. Pinel, (2007), Biopsychology, 6th edition. Pearson.
Additional Literature
  • Course literature:
  • Arslan, A. (2015). Genes, brains, and behavior: imaging genetics for neuropsychiatric disorders. The Journal of neuropsychiatry and clinical neurosciences, 27(2), 81–92. https://doi.org/10.1176/appi.neuropsych.13080185
  • Arslan, A. (2018) Application of neuroimaging in the diagnosis of depression, In: Kim YK (eds). “Understanding Depression- Volume 2. Clinical Manifestations, Diagnosis and Treatment, p69-81 Springer Nature, Singapore.
  • Arslan, A (2018) Mapping the schizophrenia genes by neuroimaging: The promises and the challenges, International Journal of Molecular Sciences. Jan 11;19(1). pii: E219 10.3390/ijms19010219
  • Aydin O., Aydin, P.U., Arslan A. (2019) Development of neuroimaging-based biomarkers in psychiatry In: Kim YK (eds) Frontiers in Psychiatry. Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology, 1192:159-195 Springer, Singapore
  • Calhoon, G. G., & Tye, K. M. (2015). Resolving the neural circuits of anxiety. Nature neuroscience, 18(10), 1394–1404. https://doi.org/10.1038/nn.4101
  • Caspi, A., McClay, J., Moffitt, T. E., Mill, J., Martin, J., Craig, I. W., Taylor, A., & Poulton, R. (2002). Role of genotype in the cycle of violence in maltreated children. Science (New York, N.Y.), 297(5582), 851–854. https://doi.org/10.1126/science.1072290
  • Fergusson, D. M., Boden, J. M., Horwood, L. J., Miller, A. L., & Kennedy, M. A. (2011). MAOA, abuse exposure and antisocial behavior: 30-year longitudinal study. The British journal of psychiatry : the journal of mental science, 198(6), 457–463.
  • Griffith, M (2012) Free Will: The Basics, Routledge, Abingdon and New York
  • Heisenberg, M. (2009) Is free will an illusion?. Nature 459, 164–165. https://doi.org/10.1038/459164a
  • Hills T. (2019). Neurocognitive free will. Proceedings. Biological sciences, 286(1908), 20190510.
  • Kandel E. R. (1998). A new intellectual framework for psychiatry. The American journal of psychiatry, 155(4), 457–469.
  • Libet B,. (1985) Unconscious cerebral initiative and the role of conscious will in voluntary action The Behavioral and Brain Sciences, 8, 529-566
  • Soon, C., Brass, M., Heinze, HJ. et al. Unconscious determinants of free decisions in the human brain. Nat Neurosci 11, 543–545 (2008). https://doi.org/10.1038/nn.2112
  • Scientific American Mind https://www.scientificamerican.com/mind/
  • The brain from top to bottom http://thebrain.mcgill.ca/
  • The Brain facts Book, Society for Neuroscience. Retrieved in 25.12.2020 http://www.brainfacts.org/book
  • Undergraduate presentation guidelines
  • https://undergraduateresearch.virginia.edu/present-and-publish/presentation-tips
  • https://www.gvsu.edu/ours/oral-presentation-tips-30.htm
  • https://research.usu.edu/undergradresearch/oral-presentations/
Learning Outcomes After successful  completion of the course, the student will be able to:
  1. Identify functional and neuroanatomical features of human brain in different levels of complexity
  2. Discuss genetic and environmental factors affecting the brain and behavior during health and disease
  3. Discuss the issues such as crime, mental health, free-will etc. in the light of the brain science.
Teaching Methods Lecturing, classroom discussions
Teaching Method Delivery Online Teaching Method Delivery Notes
Week 1 Introduction Pinel Chapter 1, 2, Bear, Connors Paradiso Chapter 1, lecture notes Bear, Connors Paradiso Chapter 2, 3
Week 2 Part I Foundations Pinel Chapter 1, 2, Bear, Connors Paradiso Chapter 1, lecture notes Bear, Connors Paradiso Chapter 2, 3
Week 3 Neuron doctrine and basic neurophysiology Bear, Connors Paradiso Chapter 2, 3
Week 4 Part I Foundations: Neuroanatomy I Lecture notes and Bear, Connors Paradiso Chapter 7 Appendix
Week 5 Part I Foundations: Neuroanatomy II Lecture notes and Bear, Connors Paradiso Chapter 7 Appendix
Week 6 Part I Foundations: Special focus- Neuroplasticity and hippocampus Lecture notes and Bear, Connors Paradiso Chapter 23
Week 7 Part II Mental disorders Arslan A., 2015 and lecture notes
Week 8 Part II Neurobiology of depression Arslan A., 2018 and lecture notes
Week 9 Part II Anxious brain Lecture notes and Calhoon et al., 2015
Week 10 Presentation week
Week 11 Presentation week
Week 12 Part III Free will: Libet's experiment and others Libet 1985; Soon et al, 2008
Week 13 Part III Free will : philosophy, physics and biology Griffith, 2013 Chapter 1, 2, 3; Heisenberg 2009
Week 14 Part III Free will and neuroscience: current state Hills 2019.
Week 15 Review
Assessment Methods and Criteria Evaluation Tool Quantity Weight Alignment with LOs
Final Exam 1 40 1, 2, 3
Semester Evaluation Compenents
Participation 1 10
In-term exam 1 35 1, 2
Presentation 1 15 1, 2
***     ECTS Credit Calculation     ***
 Activity Hours Weeks Student Workload Hours Activity Hours Weeks Student Workload Hours
Lecture Hours 3 15 45 Home Study 4 15 60
In-term Exam Study 17 1 17 Final Exam Study 14 2 28
        Total Workload Hours =
*T= Teaching, P= Practice ECTS Credit =
Course Academic Quality Assurance: Semester Student Survey Last Update Date: 16/04/2021
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