Dr. Laura Kurdziel, adjunct instructor of cognitive neuroscience, received her B.S. in zoology from the University of Maryland, College Park, her M.S. in Animal Behavior from Bucknell University, and her Ph.D. in Neuroscience and Behavior from the University of Massachusetts Amherst.
Her primary research interests include the role of sleep on memory consolidation and how this changes throughout development. She uses both behavioral and physiological measures in her research.
This course will examine the anatomical basis of several neurological disorders and diseases. We will discuss the mechanisms through which they are thought to occur, as well as the diagnostic criteria and current treatments for each disease or disorder. We will discuss clinical neuroanatomy to serve as a basis for understanding brain structures and functional alterations in a variety of developmental, degenerative, neurological, and psychiatric disorders. Some of these disorders will include: Autism, Sleep disorders (Insomnia, Narcolepsy), Neurodegenerative diseases (Parkinson's, Alzheimer's, Ataxia, Multiple Sclerosis), and neuropsychiatric disorders (Depression, Bipolar, OCD, ADHD. Schizophrenia). Students will learn to think critically about scientific research articles, and will improve their scientific writing skills. Prerequisite: one completed psychology, neuroscience or a cognitive science class.
Sleep is the single most common form of human behavior - you spend nearly a quarter of a century asleep across your lifespan! Why do we, and almost every other animal, spend so much time in this behavioral state? What happens neurologically during sleep? What constitutes healthy sleep? What happens when sleep is disrupted or disordered? Throughout this course, you will gain knowledge about sleep, in all its form and function. Sleep will be examined from the level of the neuron to the level of behavior, and we will discuss how these change across the lifespan. You will also learn to think critically about scientific research articles, and will improve your scientific writing skills. Ultimately, you will learn to understand why sleep is so critical, and why so much of your life is dedicated to this one behavior. Prerequisite: at least one prior neuroscience or cognitive/experimental psychology course.
893 West Street
Amherst, MA 01002