113: Neuroscience

© 2011, 2007

This series looks at human brain development over the lifespan.  Program One includes physiologic information about brain cells, and early attempts by scientists to understand the functions of the various segments of the brain.  The program then discusses more recent findings with the advent of scanning techniques such as MRI, functional MRI, and PET scans.  There is an overview of the science of brain mapping and how this is assisting in understanding normal and abnormal brain function.  Studies relating mirror neuron function to the development of autism are discussed.

The second program in the series addresses the concepts of nature and nurture, and how the physiologic structures of the brain and brain function are shaped by life experience.  Specific concepts covered include plasticity, neuroplasticity, brain pruning, and constrained vs. non-constrained periods of sensitivity to various types of brain development.  These concepts are made clear using examples related to speech and to visual development.  The program includes a segment on how information gathered through scientific studies is now being used to assist children at risk for school failure.

Schools:  Mid-level:  Mental health care

Healthcare Facilities:  Orientation psych unit; all healthcare staff orientation/annual update (applies to general acute care as well as psychiatric facilities)

CE This series is eligible for Continuing Education credits. Click this link for more inforamtion.

Individual program learning objectives



To preview the programs listed below, click on the clips in the right column and using your mouse select the controls.

These previews are the property of EMD and are not intended for instructional use.

113.1 Discovering the Human Brain: New Pathways to Neuroscience with Susan Bookheimer, Ph.D. (30 min.)

1. Define the term neuroscience.
2, Describe the way in which scientists from the previous era made determinations about how areas of the brain functioned.
3. Name two imaging techniques now used in brain mapping.
4. Explain the term “action protential.”
5. List the two primary substances required for brain ongoing function.
6. Compare and contrast standard MRI with functional MRI.
7. Discuss the role of mirror neurons in autism.

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113.2 Human Brain Development: Nature and Nurture with Helen Neville, Ph.D. (28 min.)

1. Discuss the concept of “nurture vs. nature.”
2. Define the term “plasticity” as it relates to the human brain.
3. Differentiate between constrained and non-constrained neuroplasticity.
4. Explain the concept of brain “pruning.”
5. Compare and contrast the vision function of hearing individuals and those who were born unable to hear.
6. Define “sensitive periods” as related to plasticity.
7. Describe how different aspects of one brain process may differ in terms of plasticity using language development as a model.
8. Discuss the role of attention in learning.

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