Neuroscience

In this two semester Neuroscience course, students will conduct investigations through which they develop and implement skills necessary for the completion of the Science Graduation Requirement. Students will use scientific inquiry to design investigations that allow them to answer specific questions. Students will conduct background research by locating, documenting, and interpreting scientific sources, including academic journal articles.

Students will be able to: design and refine experiments; collect, organize, display and interpret data; effectively present algebraic and statistical data graphically utilizing spreadsheet and database software (i.e. Microsoft Excel); make accurate assertions about data and evidence to support their claims; anticipate counter claims; appreciate the strengths and weaknesses of experimental design, including the impact of bias on data.

Students will demonstrate knowledge of: the ways in which the nervous system detects, processes and responds to stimuli, adapts to change, and results in neurological disease. Understanding of the scientific content knowledge and application of skill sets will be demonstrated through written responses to readings and discussions, oral presentations, exams, lab reports that model academic journal format, and a final exhibition in which students publicly present and defend experiment design to a community of evaluators.

Readings: 
Six or more professional journal articles related to the field of study
Media Used: 
Adobe Photoshop, iMovie, QuickTime, iPhoto, iTunes, iDVD, digital recorders and camcorders to create experimental materials
Significant Assignments: 

Independent Investigation Lab Report (Final Draft) and Exhibition

Laboratory Skills:
Practicing dissection techniques--sheep eye & brain
Safety in handling laboratory equipment
Following procedures with large groups of test subjects
Making detailed observations.

Significant Activities or Projects: 

Communication Skills used in exhibition:
Clearly convey experimental purpose and question
Effectively express experimental question as emerging from background research and experience
Use and explain facts & quotes in writing to provide background information on experiment topics
Propose clear hypotheses, and explain reasoning
Work toward reconciling competing explanations; clarify points of agreement and disagreement
Pose questions emerging from previous investigation.

Math Connections:
Use algebraic functions and statistical tests to analyze data, including: Mean, mode, median, percentages, retrograde analysis, testing for significance
Extrapolate; use slope and lines of best fit to make predictions
Identify appropriate representations of data as histograms, bar/column graphs, scatter/box/whisker plots, pie charts, etc.
Conduct T-tests, chi-square tests of significance
Identify multiple meaningful patterns in data sets

Data Analysis:
Collect & analyze data; make detailed observations to generate evidence in addressing a specific question
Interpret data published in academic journals
Determine effective and appropriate ways to graphically represent data
Create tables and graphs using Microsoft Excel to represent data algebraically and statistically.
Use various methods of representing and organizing observations (e.g., diagrams, tables, charts, graphs, equations, matrices) and insightfully interpret the organized data.
Make accurate statements about data, supported by evidence
Compare actual results to hypothesis
Relate data to that of other researchers
Identify patterns in data to support an argument and draw conclusions
Place experimental results within the context of related research
Analyze data to deduce the location of damage in the brain causing disorder

Research: 

Access, read, interpret and use information from scientific sources, including academic journals, to provide background information on a specific topic.
Complete background research using a minimum of 6 professional journal articles
Refine research ideas through library investigations, including electronic information retrieval and reviews of academic journal articles.
Learn search strategies to find relevant, verifiably accurate scientific sources via the Internet.
Interpret complex scientific information.

Sample PBATs: 
The effect of gender and color on the ability to detect change
The effect of lyrics in music on short term memory of images
The effect of age on the ability to detect fear in facial expressions