Brain Bugs: Understanding Brain through Its Flaws

Description: Lecture, three hours. Requisite: course 115 or M117C. Designed for juniors/seniors. Psychology of brain flaws and limitations to understand how brain works by studying what it does well and understanding neuroscience of why brain is poorly suited to perform some tasks such as numerical calculations, memorizing lists and names, and making unbiased decisions. Topics include memory (types of memory, false memories, misinformation and memory, memory capacity) and cognitive biases (framing, anchoring, and temporal discounting). Exploration of underlying neural causes of brain flaws and limitations in context of brain's associative architecture. Basic neurophysiology, synaptic plasticity, cortical plasticity, neural basis of learning and memory, and some computational neuroscience. P/NP or letter grading.

Units: 4.0
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