Course Descriptions



This course is only open to students in the honors program.

This course may not be used to fulfill the elective requirements of the Biological Sciences major.

This course is not intended for students who have already taken Fundamentals of Neurobiology, Essentials of Cell Biology and Neuroscience, Physiological Psychology or Neuropsychology.


Fall and Spring





Course Description

The course will be organized around a number of case stories in the fields of neurology and neuroscience. Several of the case stories are written by V.S. Ramachandran and Oliver Sacks. They both write about patients with neurological deficits in a way that is captivating and fascinating for lay people, but also with enough detail and explanation of the underlying brain mechanisms to be useful as a first view into neuroscience. Articles by other authors from magazines such as The New Yorker, New York Times Magazine and Scientific American will also be used in the course. The course is aimed at honors students with an interest in the brain, but with no prior knowledge of neuroscience. Both science and non-science majors are welcome.

Course Satisfies Departmental Learning Goal(s)

 I. To acquire the appropriate factual and conceptual knowledge that provides students with a foundation to further their education and career in the areas of life science or health science.  Students will be able to demonstrate basic knowledge (ex. identify, define, explain...) of the concepts, practices and principles that comprise the biological sciences.

II. To develop data analysis and statistical reasoning skills that prepares students for a society increasing reliant on the use of data and information. Students will be able to interpret/evaluate patterns in data presented in tables, figures, and graphs as well as be able to organize, summarize and present data.

III. To develop the ability to use scientific reasoning as embodied by the structured process commonly known as the scientific method to empower students with the ability to generate and refine knowledge. Students will be able to evaluate and apply the practice of science.

IV. To develop critical thinking and problems solving skills appropriate to prepare students to evaluate, synthesize and generate knowledge that provides them with a competitive advantage to adapt to an evolving, global, and knowledge based society.  Students will be able to demonstrate application of higher order thinking (ex. classify, diagnosis, evaluate, synthesize, hypothesize...).  Students will develop an understanding of not only the connections within biology but also the connections between biology and other scientific disciplines.

Course URL


Exams, Assignments, and Grading Policy

The final grade in the course will be based on a midterm exam, a final exam, reading responses, quizzes and class attendance.

Course Materials

The Tell-Tale Brain, by V.S. Ramachandran (ISBN: 9780393340624) - required

An Anthropologist on Mars, by Oliver Sacks (ISBN: 9780679756972) - required

Course Closed?

If this course is closed, please use the following link to add your name to the wait list: Wait List Sign Up for Fall 2021 Courses .  If you have any questions, please contact the Division of Life Sciences - Office of Undergraduate Instruction at 848-445-2075, or visit our office at Nelson Biological Laboratories, B112,Busch Campus.


Dr. J Schjott

** All information is subject to change at the discretion of the course coordinator.