Seminars

 


ON THIS PAGE:
-List of Page Updates
-Lottery Information
-MBB 980 Seminars for Fall 2021: Course Shopping Information
-Seminar Program Overview
-MBB 980 Seminars for Fall 2021: Descriptions
-Spring 2021 Department Courses that Fulfill this Requirement
-Spring 2022 Seminars
-Spring 2022 Departmental Courses that Fulfill this Requirement



LIST OF PAGE UPDATES
August 20th: shopping information added for fall MBB 980 seminars, MBB 980N moved to spring 2022 term, fall course locations added, additional department courses listed for fall 2021
August 23rd: updated fall course shopping information and MBB 890P email address
August 23rd, evening: added live link to lottery form



MBB 980 LOTTERY INFORMATION

Students will be admitted into MBB 980 courses via lottery. The lottery will take into account student and instructor preferences, enrollment limits (15), and priorities (MBB students). You may lottery for multiple seminars (and will be asked to rank your preferences if you do); however, you will only be admitted to one seminar in a given semester.

The fall lottery will take place on Tuesday 24 August. The lottery form is at https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1fmkpEWGw5utpFhDk7qyad0Rq69_18bSbLkA_DdrJ3l8 and must be completed by 5:30 p.m. (EDT). You should only lottery for a course you will definitely take if admitted. Also request admission via your Crimson Cart for all MBB seminars you have lotteried for.

You will be informed of lottery results on Wednesday 25 August and must enroll in the course that day. Your seminar instructor will approve your enrollment in Crimson Cart by the end of the day Thursday 26 August. If you do not enroll on the 25th, your place in the seminar may be taken by another student.

(Dates for the January lottery for spring seminars will be added later in the fall.)



COURSE SHOPPING INFORMATION FOR FALL 2021 MBB 980 SEMINARS
full course descriptions are available further down this page

MBB 980F, Creativity Research (Dr. Shelley Carson)
course website with syllabus and introductory video: https://canvas.harvard.edu/courses/90599/
if interested in enrolling, please fill our interest form on course website by the end of Monday, August 23rd

MBB 980P, The Role of Music in Health and Education (Dr. Lisa Wong)
course website with syllabus and introductory video: https://canvas.harvard.edu/courses/90000
if interested in enrolling, please fill out survey at https://forms.gle/Us8cyJ1Mm6HNSzgM8 by Monday, August 23rd at 5 p.m.

MBB 980R, Psychopaths and Psychopathy (Dr. Ellsworth Fersch)
course website with syllabus to introductory videos: https://canvas.harvard.edu/courses/89939
to view introductory videos – select “files” in left-hand column of course webpage, then select “MBB980R spr 2019 intro.mp4” and “MBB980R fall 2021.mov”


NOTE: MBB 980N, Neuroaesthetics, has been moved to the spring 2022 term.


SEMINAR PROGRAM OVERVIEW

Each MBB student is required to take an Interdisciplinary Seminar, usually during the junior year. These seminars are discussion-based courses that usually meet once a week for a few hours, during which students consider important readings and research on a topic or set of topics related to mind/brain/behavior. In lieu of exams, students usually prepare papers based on library or laboratory research, and grades are usually based on these papers and class participation.

In choosing a seminar, you might select a seminar closely allied to your interests to allow you to deepen your specialized knowledge, or you might take one in a more distant area to gain an appreciation of the varying perspectives and methodologies within MBB.

The seminars offered by the MBB program, listed in the catalog as Mind, Brain, and Behavior 980 courses, explore questions in mind/brain/behavior whose answers will require the perspectives and findings of several fields. Unless otherwise noted, their enrollments are limited to 15, with enrollment priority given to juniors in MBB tracks or in the MBB secondary field, and they provide four units of course credit. In addition to the seminars listed currently, we expect to offer several additional seminars in the spring.

In addition to the MBB 980 courses, some departmental courses also qualify, and are listed below after the MBB seminars.

Neuroscience students are expected to choose only from among the MBB 980 courses (no departmental options). Some tracks, including Psychology and Human Evolutionary Biology, will want to approve which course a student takes from those listed below; consult your concentration advisor if this applies to you.



MIND BRAIN BEHAVIOR SEMINARS FOR FALL 2021

Note: Neuroaesthetics (MBB 980N) has been moved to spring 2022.

Creativity Research: Eccentrics, Geniuses, and Harvard Students
Shelley Carson / Psychology, carson@wjh.harvard.edu
Mind, Brain, and Behavior 980F, Tuesdays 3-5 p.m., William James 1305
4 units of course credit, divisional distribution Social Sciences, course ID 128215, class # 13104
Examines human creativity from three perspectives: a) empirical research sources, b) case studies of eminent creative achievers, and c) ourselves as creative subjects. Topics include the definition and measurement of creativity, the creative process, the neuroscience of creativity, the creative personality, the role of family life and culture in creativity, the relationship of creativity to IQ, gender differences, and the relationship of creativity to psychopathology. The course format will consist of a combination of lectures, student presentations, and discussion. Students will write a final paper on the topic of their choice related to creativity.

Psychopaths and Psychopathy: Psychological, Neuroscientific, Legal, and Policy Issues
Ellsworth Fersch / Medical School / fersch@fas.harvard.edu
Mind, Brain, and Behavior 980R, Wednesdays 3-5 p.m., Winthrop B002 (Beren Hall basement seminar room)
4 units of course credit, divisional distribution Social Sciences, course ID 207090, class # 13105
Psychopathy is often used to describe individuals who act in criminal even non-criminal predatory or conscience-less fashion. It is not, however, an official term in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, though antisocial personality disorder has in the past been described as encompassing psychopathy and sociopathy. Psychopathy was explored by Cleckley in his 1944 book The Mask of Sanity: and by Robert Hare in his 1999 book Without Conscience, and in his 2003 revision of his Psychopathy Check-list. My psychology department seminar on Psychopaths and Psychopathy a decade ago focused on behavioral research and case studies up to that time. By that time the American Psychiatric Association had issued a statement that psychopaths and those with antisocial personality disorder were not, for heuristic reasons, eligible for the insanity defense. Also, at that time, the determination that a convicted killer was a psychopath was often a strong indicator that the death penalty was warranted. Since then neuroscience research has increasingly explored brain structure and brain function in relation to the disorder causing some professionals to reevaluate the applicability of former positions on insanity and other defenses. Related research has further examined social and philosophical factors, and further operationalized behavioral considerations. In this interdisciplinary discussion-based seminar, students from any of a number of concentrations will examine and discuss that newer research in the context of previous research, and will write and present a briefer case study as well as a longer paper about a topic of their choosing.

The Role of Music in Health and Education
Lisa Wong / Medical School / lmwong@fas.harvard.edu
Mind, Brain, and Behavior 980P, Thursdays 3-5 p.m., William James 401
4 units of course credit, divisional distribution Social Sciences, course ID 205158, class # 13111
Music shapes the course of human history at both a micro and macro scale; The "universal language" has the power to connect people who share no other common ground. Its power to bind people together is intuitively understood, but only through recent neuroimaging advances over the past few decades have scientists been able to move past intuition to reveal its impact on the brain. In this course, we will examine the exciting progress of the fields of music, science, and social science, through a variety of lenses, and meet some of the experts in the field. Who are the key investigators and practitioners in today's emerging music/brain landscape? What are the latest discoveries about how music affects the brain? How does how we hear and listen impact our perception of music? Who are some of the key influencers in music and social change? This course invites students to deepen their relationship with music, exploring different aspects of the art form through the lens of neuroscience, education, medicine, music therapy, public health and social justice. By the end of this course, the learner will (1) understand the effect of music on the developing brain; (2) understand the mechanism of hearing music; (3) consider the pathophysiology of disordered movement and hearing and how music can be used therapeutically; and (4) understand how other disciplines can add to their knowledge of the therapeutic uses of music. Given the transdisciplinary nature of the work, students will be introduced to literature from different disciplines and use these resources to explore their own individual interests in music.



DEPARTMENTAL SEMINARS FOR FALL 2021

Among the departmental seminars that fulfill the MBB seminar requirement are neuroscience tutorials, small classes limited to 12 students. These tutorials are year-long courses that cannot be joined in the spring; they are listed in the catalog as 101Xa/101Xb pairs, and when you complete both halves, you will receive four units credit. If you are interested in any of these, you can find information on sectioning for neurobiology tutorials at https://www.mcb.harvard.edu/undergraduate/neuroscience/neuro-courses/?course-button=tutorials. These tutorials will be holding a virtual tutorial fair 7-8 p.m. on Thursday 19 August. Fair information, including zoom links, is available at https://dmg5c1valy4me.cloudfront.net/wp-content/uploads/2021/08/11071459/Tutorial-Fair_21.pdf. The neuroscience tutorial application deadline is 7 p.m. on Tuesday 24 August.

Brain Damage as a Window into the Mind: Cognitive Neuropsychology
Alfonso Caramazza / Psychology / caram@wjh.harvard.edu
Psychology 1304, Tuesdays 9-11:45 a.m.,
4 units of course credit, divisional distribution Science and Engineering and Applied Science, course ID 116622, clas # 13851
Examines the patterns of perceptual, motor, cognitive, and linguistic impairments resulting from brain damage. The focus is on the implications of the various types of neuropsychological deficits (such as visual neglect, dyslexia, and aphasia) for theories of the mind and the functional organization of the brain. Recommended Prep: The Psychology Department requires completion of Science of Living Systems 20 or Psychology 1 or the equivalent of introductory psychology (e.g. Psych AP=5 or IB =7 or Psyc S-1) and at least one foundational course from PSY 14, MCB 80 or Neuro 80 or MCB 81 before enrolling in this course; or permission of instructor.

Broken Brains: A Patient-Centered History
Anne Harrington / History of Science / aharring@fas.harvard.edu
History of Science 1770, Thursdays 3-5:45 p.m., Science Center 469
4 units of course credit, divisional distribution Social Science, course ID 160496, class # 17480
An exploration of the complex relationship between doctors and scientists who study and treat different kinds of “broken brains,” the patients they study and treat, and larger public conversations about being human in today’s neurological society. Topics include iconic cases of brain damage that catalyze new scientific understandings (like the case of H.M.), the study of brain damage in war, the emergence of writings (including memoirs and novels) that attempt to describe "what it is like" to suffer from disorders like autism and Alzheimer’s, and controversies over recent efforts to see psychiatric disorders like depression as simple products of a chemically “broken brain.”

Broken Brains: Mechanisms and Markers of Mental Illness
Mayron Pereira Piccolo Ribeiro / Psychology/ mpiccolo@fas.harvard.edu
Psychology 1816, Mondays 12:45-2:45 p.m., William James B4 (basement classroom)
4 units of course credit, divisional distribution Science and Applied/Engineering Science, course ID 218525, class # 21717
This course will integrate clinical psychology and cognitive neuroscience to explore the biological underpinnings of mental illness. We will adopt a systems-level approach, examining the relationship between function and dysfunction of specific brain circuits and networks and mental health disorders. For example, addiction, disordered eating, depression, and psychosis have all been linked to the brain’s reward system. What does this common neural foundation indicate and how has this discovery advanced treatment options? Throughout the course, we will draw on findings from traditional and cutting-edge methodologies that have produced critical insights and key breakthroughs. We will also discuss how large-scale neuroimaging studies, like the Human Connectome Project, can be used to trace disordered behaviors such as criminality, depression, and hallucinations to specific brain networks. As we explore these topics, we will discuss how these research findings inform mental health treatment and potentially complement discussions around important societal issues such as racial bias and criminal responsibility. Prerequistie: The Psychology Department requires completion of Science of Living Systems 20 or Psychology 1 or the equivalent of introductory psychology (e.g. Psych AP=5 or IB =7 or Psyc S-1) and one of PSY 18 or PSY 1861 before enrolling in this course; or permission of instructor.

Controlling the Uncontrollable? Emotion Regularion and Well-Being
Jessica Jones
Psychology 1708, Thursdays 3-5 p.m., William James B4 (basement classroom)
4 units of course credit, divisional distribution Social Sciences , course ID 218508, class # 18128
We are at their mercy. We can’t control them. We may even do their bidding. But are these assumptions about our emotions accurate? By examining when, how, and why we might change (or maintain) our emotions, this course will explore the ways in which the field of emotion regulation has both challenged and upheld these beliefs. We will examine how emotion regulation has been defined and assessed and evaluate methodologies commonly used to measure regulation-induced changes in day-to-day experiences, the body, and the brain. We will also discuss how emotion regulation develops and changes as we age, and address its shared foundations with other regulatory systems (e.g., executive function, self-regulation). Finally, we will consider individual differences in emotion regulation, with a particular focus on pandemic-related stressors, psychopathology, and the importance of regulation tactics for health and well-being. Prerequisite: The Psychology Department requires completion of Science of Living Systems 20 or Psychology 1 or the equivalent of introductory psychology (e.g. Psych AP=5 or IB =7 or Psyc S-1) and at least one foundational course from PSY 14, PSY 15, PSY 16, and PSY 18 before enrolling in this course; or permission of instructor.

Food for Hungry Minds: The Neural Bases of Feeding Behavior (fall and spring terms)
Sofia Lima da Silva Soares / Medical School / sofia_limadasilvasoares@hms.harvard.edu & Samuel Walker / Medical School
Neuroscience 101Oa/b, Thursday 4:30-5:45 p.m., Sever 107
2 units of course credit each term, divisional distribution Science and Engineering/Applied Sciences
fall: course ID 218589, class # 18450
spring: course ID 218603, class # 18303
We are what we eat - but how do we decide what, when, and how much to eat? In this course, we will learn about neural circuit principles and cutting-edge techniques by discussing primary research in the neuroscience of feeding. In doing so, we will explore reward, sensation, memory, decision-making, motivation, and more; and how these processes are altered in diseases. Note: Students must complete both terms of this course (parts A and B) within the same academic year to receive credit. Prerequisite: (LS 1A or LPS A) and (MCB 80 or Neuro 80).

Grunts, Gurgles, and Grammar: Primate Communication and the Origins of Language
Isaac Schamberg / Human Evolutionary Biology / isaac_schamberg@fas.harvard.edu
Human Evolutionary Biology 1334, Mondays and Wednesdays 3-4:15 p.m., Peabody Museum 52H
4 units of course credit, divisional distribution Sciences and Engineering/Applied Sciences, course ID 217870, class # 21031
This seminar examines the evolution of language through four big questions: 1) How does language differ from the communication of other primates? 2) For what purpose did language evolve? 3) Why (and how) do infants learn language? 4) What is the relationship between cognition and language? In addressing these questions, the course will draw on findings from psychology, anthropology, linguistics, and, especially, primatology.

Making Sense of Our Senses (fall and spring terms)
Daan Wesselink / Medical School / daan_wesselink@hms.harvard.edu
Neuroscience 101Pa/b, Wednesdays 7:30-9:45 p.m., Robinson 105
2 units of course credit each term, divisional distribution Science and Engineering/Applied Sciences
fall: course ID 218608, class # 18451
spring: course ID 218609, class # 18304
Our brain is continuously bombarded with inputs from our senses, all of which need to be funneled through the primary sensory areas. These areas are not merely a first point of entry but already represent surprisingly complex aspects of the outside world. In this course, we will study how and why they are structured as they are. We will compare the variety of solutions brains have found for organizing sensory information and ultimately discuss what ideas and tools biologists has for understanding deeper areas in the brain. Note: Students must complete both terms of this course (parts A and B) within the same academic year to receive credit. Prerequisite: (LS 1A or LPS A) and (MCB 80 or Neuro 80).

The Neuroscience of Learning and Memory (fall and spring terms)
Vincent Pham / Molecular and Cellular Biology / vpham@g.harvard.edu
Neuroscience 101Qa/b, Tuesdays 7:30-8:45 p.m., Robinson 105
2 units of course credit each term, divisional distribution Science and Engineering/Applied Sciences
fall: course ID 218610, class # 18452
spring: course ID 218611, class # 18305
The brain’s ability to learn and form memories gives organisms the flexibility to alter their behaviors in changing environments beyond simple reflexes andstereotyped behaviors. This course will provide an overview of the molecular mechanisms at play underlyingthe fundamental processes of learning and memory. Note: Students must complete both terms of this course (parts A and B) within the same academic year to receive credit. Prerequisite: (LS 1A or LPS A) and (MCB 80 or Neuro 80).

The Neurobiology of Sleep and its Role in Mental Health (fall and spring terms)
Edward Pace-Schott / Medical School / epace-schott@mgh.harvard.edu and Anthony Cunningham / Medical School / acunnin4@bidmc.harvard.edu
Neuroscience 101La (must also take Neuroscience 101Lb in the spring), Mondays 6-7:15 p.m., Robinson 105
2 units of course credit each term, divisional distribution Science and Engineering/Applied Sciences
fall: course ID 207615, class # 15677
spring: course ID 207616, class # 13253
The scientific study of sleep is both highly interdisciplinary and among the most unifying of topics in psychology and the neurosciences. In the past several decades, exciting new discoveries on the neurobiology of sleep have been facilitated by technologies such as functional neuroimaging and molecular genetics. Sleep science exemplifies the translational approach in biomedical science whereby investigators in human and animal research work together to continually advance the field of sleep medicine. Scientific findings increasingly point to the importance of sleep for mental health and optimum performance, as well as to sleep disruption as both a result and potential cause of mental illness. In psychiatric neuroscience, sleep is an area in which many fundamental questions remain unanswered due to the unique challenges of studying human sleep. Students must complete both terms of this course (parts A and B) within the same academic year in order to receive credit. Prerequisite: (LPS A or LS 1a) and (MCB 80 or MCB 81).

Psychology of Humor
Arkadiy Maksimovskiy / Medical School / amaksimovskiy@mclean.harvard.edu
Psychology 980HU, Mondays and Wednesdays 9:45-11:45 a.m., William James Hall 4 (basement classroom)
4 units of course credit, course ID 218334, class # 17744

What makes some jokes funny but others dull? Why does the act of laughing feel good? From an evolutionary perspective, if seeking food, finding mates, and detecting predators served a clear purpose, what could be gained by mirthful laughter? What benefits could justify the energy cost of laughing? The answers to these questions are deeply rooted in ancient neurocognitive mechanisms that evolved over long periods of time. In this course, we will critically evaluate scientific perspectives on humor from different subfields of psychology including clinical psychology, social psychology, and cognitive neuroscience. Covered topics will include different styles of humor, why some jokes are funnier when we laugh with friends, why it feels hurtful when others laugh at us, and how humor and laughter are affected across certain mental health disorders. Note: This is a full credit, half-term course. This means it is an intensive, half-term seminar that runs during the first 7 weeks of the semester (from September 1 – October 15). Prerequisites: The Psychology Department requires completion of Science of Living Systems 20 or Psychology 1 or the equivalent of introductory psychology (e.g. Psych AP=5 or IB =7 or Psyc S-1) and at least one foundational course from PSY 14, PSY 15, PSY 16, and PSY 18 before enrolling in this course; or permission of instructor.

Psychopathologies of Modern Life
Elizabeth Lunbeck / History of Science / lunbeck@fas.harvard.edu
History of Science 1789 / Wednesdays 3-5:45 p.m., Science Center 252
4 units of course credit, course ID 218690, class # 18647
What is the relationship between cultural change and individual pathology? Are the stresses of modern life implicated in the emergence of new forms of psychic distress and mental illness? Over the past century, psychological experts have identified new emotions, dissatisfactions, and disorders, producing an expansive catalogue of modern woes and fashioning a range of remedies. With attention to variations across race and gender, we explore the coalescence and cultural fortunes of, among other topics, the personality disorders (narcissism, BPD); trauma, PTSD; disorders of identity and of attachment; social anxiety, isolation; gaslighting; Black Rage; greed, success neurosis, imposter syndrome; stress, coping, burnout.

Sex, Gender, and the Brain (fall and spring terms)
Taralyn Tan / Medical School / taralyn_tan@hms.harvard.edu
Neuroscience 101Ga (must also take Neuroscience 101Gb in the spring), Wednesdays 6-7:15 p.m., Robinson 105
2 units of course credit, divisional distribution Science and Engineering/Applied Sciences
fall: course ID 205099, class # 15674
spring: course ID 205101, class # 13246
Animals exhibit many innate, sex-specific behaviors that provide useful models to study the underlying neural circuits, and sex differences in the nervous system also have important implications for human health. Through discussions, activities, and lectures, this course introduces students to various aspects of sexually dimorphic neural circuits across model organisms, while emphasizing critical thinking and effective science communication. Course Requirements: Prerequisite: (LPS A OR LS 1A ) AND (MCB 80 OR MCB 81)



MBB 980 SEMINARS FOR SPRING 2022

We also hope to add two more seminars in the spring, and will add information here when these new courses are finalized.

Cognitive Neuroscience of Meditation
Sara Lazar / Medical School / slazar@mgh.harvard.edu
Mind Brain and Behavior 980S, Mondays 6-8 p.m.
4 units of course credit, divisional distribution Science and Engineering/Applied Sciences, course ID 207091, class # 18853
Buddhist philosophy describes a model of how the mind works, as well as a method, mindfulness meditation, that can be used as a tool to transform consciousness and reduce mental distress. Neuroscientists have begun to study the impact of meditation on brain structure and function, often using Buddhist philosophy to guide their hypotheses. We will review and discuss how the science relates to Buddhist philosophy, using the four foundations of mindfulness as the primary framework. We will also compare and contrast the Buddhist model with modern scientific models of how conscious experience is created in the brain, in order to gain a more nuanced understanding of consciousness that integrates philosophy, neuroscience, and personal experience. No prior knowledge of Buddhism is required. The course will be a mixture of lecture, discussion of two primary scientific articles that are assigned each week, and formal powerpoint presentations by students. Students will write a final paper on a topic of their choice that is relevant to the themes of the course.

Connectomics: The Functional and Structural Wiring of the Human Brain
Lisa Nickerson / Medical School / lisa_nickerson@hms.harvard.edu
Mind, Brain, and Behavior 980V, Tuesdays 3-5 p.m.
4 units of course credit, course ID 215757, class # 13153
The last decade has seen a revolution in mapping the human brain “connectome” of functional and structural wiring patterns that generate our emotions, thoughts, and behaviors. In this course, we will learn the basics of the magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) methods used for connectomics research - functional and diffusion MRI. Key methodological and interpretational issues for each technique will be examined to gain a deeper understanding of MRI measures of connectivity. We will discuss some of the key brain networks in the brain’s connectome, and the links between the functional and structural wiring of the brain. Last, tremendous advancements in human brain connectomics have been made possible by efforts to collect “big” neuroimaging data in thousands and thousands of individuals. We will discuss some of these key open access resources for connectomics research, including: the Human Connectome Projects with petabytes of neuroimaging and phenotyping data collected in thousands of individuals across the entire lifespan and in numerous brain diseases; the Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development (ABCD) decade-long longitudinal study of childhood through adolescence in 10,000 kids, and the largest neuroimaging study in the world – the UK Biobank that is collecting imaging, genetics, medical records, and deep phenotyping data in 100,000 individuals. This wave of “big data” is providing exceptional opportunities for advancements in connectomics and in machine learning applications to human health, yielding breakthroughs every day in our understanding of how our brains work, and what makes us uniquely us when we are healthy and when we are sick.

Creativity at the Edge: Health, Music and Community
Lisa Wong / Medical School / lisamwonghu@gmail.com & Cristina Pato /
cristina@cristinapato.com
Mind, Brain, and Behavior 980W, Thursdays 3-5 p.m.
4 units of course credit, divisional distribution Social Science, course ID 217885, class # 15097
In 2016, an ad hoc committee of artists, scientists, physicians and college administrators was convened by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine’s Board of Higher Education and Workforce Development to consider the role of the arts and humanities in STEMM. The committee published its conclusions in the 2018 report The Integration of the Humanities and Arts with Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine in Higher Education: Branches from the Same Tree, asserting that interdisciplinary integration “is associated with positive learning outcomes that may help students enter the workforce, live enriched lives, and become active and informed members of a modern democracy.” The healing arts of music and medicine draw on similar creative and intuitive skills. In this time of uncertainty when cultural differences seem sharpened, it is even more important for creative individuals to understand these similarities and apply them to healing. Through interdisciplinary conversations on the arts, humanities and sciences, Drs. Lisa Wong and Cristina Pato will lead this semester seminar and invite the expertise of guest neuroscientists, artists and social scientists, many of whom live and work in more than one domain (ie, physician/musician; artist/activist; musician/scholar) to help the students discover their paths to creative healing. In these times, we must, as artists, healthcare providers, scientists and scholars, seek ways of knowing that transcend disciplines. Like their scientific peers, musicians are experts in innovation and experimentation. Each work of art or piece of music, reflects the artist’s unique individual and collective history, perspective and experience: practiced, researched, and iterated into an artistic expression. In 2013 at the Nancy Hanks Lecture for Americans for the Arts, cellist Yo-Yo Ma postulated that the scientific concept of “edge effect” could be applied to artistic and cultural development. In ecology, the “edge effect” describes the intense bioactivity that occurs where two divergent ecosystems meet. Ma contends that the ecological edge effect is an example of Nature’s creativity, explaining that “in that transition zone, because of the influence the two ecological communities have on each other, you find the greatest diversity of life as well as the greatest number of new life forms.” He went on to draw a parallel with the arts: that the greatest diversity of creative arts and new artistic “life forms” arise when artists learn from each others’ cultures. Through inquiry-based learning, students and faculty will engage in the creative practice of listening, observation and discussion. They will gain a deeper understanding of the “edge effect” and its application to the arts and sciences as a pathway to healing, integration and regeneration. The course will be led by Cristina Pato DMA and Lisa Wong MD as instructors, who will be joined by guest artists and scientists. Objectives: (1) to understand modes of inquiry through the lens of the sciences and the performing arts, particularly music and medicine; (2) through critical reading, scientific and artistic inquiry, to consider several aspects of healing, considering society, community and public health; (3) to explore creative expression as an essential communication tool. In the final creative collaboration and paper, students will be invited to pursue their own creative interest while demonstrating their understanding of interdisciplinary work.

Functional Neuroimaging of Psychiatric Disorders: Insights into the Human Brain-Mind in Health and Disease
David Silbersweig / Medical School / dsilbersweig@partners.org
Mind, Brain, and Behavior 980M, Thursdays 3-5 p.m.
4 units of course credit, divisional distribution Sciences and Engineering/Applied Sciences, course ID 160759, class # 11517
Functional brain imaging has revolutionized the study of systems-level behavioral neuroscience and psychiatric disorders, through the ability to localize and characterize distributed brain activity directly associated with perception, cognition, emotion and behavior in disorders where there are not gross brain lesions. This seminar will introduce students to translational neuroimaging methods at the interface of neuroscience, psychology and medicine. It will cover recent and ongoing advances in our understanding of fronto-limbic-subcortical brain circuitry across the range of psychiatric disorders (e.g. mood disorders, anxiety disorders, psychotic disorders, personality disorders, addictions). It will discuss new, emerging biological (as opposed to descriptive) taxonomies and conceptualizations of mental illness and its treatment. It will explore the implications of such knowledge for issues such as consciousness, meaning, free will, emotion, resilience, and religiosity. It will incorporate clinical observations, scientific data and readings, and examine future directions in brain-mind medicine. Class Note: Additional class meetings for site visits to be arranged.

Neuroaesthetics
Nancy Etcoff / Medical School / etcoff@gmail.com
Mind, Brain, and Behavior 980N, Thursdays 12-2 p.m. [time may change]
4 units of course credit, divisional distribution Social Sciences, course ID 161267, class # 12354
Focuses on neuroaesthetics, an emerging field offering a scientific perspective on the nature of art and the ways that art reveals human nature. Integrates findings from neuroscience, psychology, evolutionary biology, philosophy, and scholarship in the arts and humanities. Begins with a brief history of ideas on aesthetics, art, beauty, and pleasure. Considers the neural underpinnings of response to art in the brain's reward system and default network. Among the questions considered: Why are people drawn to art that is neither conventionally beautiful nor entirely pleasurable? Is art a vehicle for simulating experiences and understanding other minds? What does it mean to "enjoy" sad music or chills and thrills in response to fiction or film? Can art promote well-being? The course will focus on visual art, fiction, film, and to a lesser extent, music, and on our response to art rather than its creation. The course will include a semester long gallery classroom at the Harvard Art Museum with original works of art from the museum’s collections that will serve as primary source materials for study and as subjects of assignments.

What Disease Teaches about Cognition
William Milberg / Medical School / william_milberg@hms.harvard.edu
Mind, Brain, and Behavior 980H, Tuesdays 3:45-5:45 p.m.
4 units of course credit, divisional distribution Social Sciences, course ID 109866, class # 12310
This course seeks to reconcile the complicated and messy problems of patients with brain disease with the concise analysis of precisely defined cognitive functions in normal subjects. Students will learn to overlap cognitive functions on to the brain in disease - at the gross dissection and imaging levels - and to understand some of the complex interactions of individual cognitive operations in disease using the examples of famous landmark cases in the literature (e.g.Broca’s Monsieur Leborgne, Phineas Gage, HM and others) The course will include a dissection of a human brain, an examination of how the actual brain maps onto two dimensional neuroimages, and discussions of how the classic lesion based maps of cortical function are related to contemporary maps based on functional neuroimaging.



DEPARTMENTAL SEMINARS FOR SPRING 2022

Departmental courses that will fulfill the MBB seminar requirement include neuroscience junior tutorials. These courses are full-year courses, and the following second-half courses are available this spring: Neural Basis of Feeding Behavior (Neuroscience 101O); The Neurobiology of Sleep and its Role in Mental Health (Neuroscience 101Lb); Neuroscience of Learning and Memory (Neuroscience 101Qb); Sex, Gender, and the Brain (Neuroscience 101Gb); and Making Sense of the Senses (Neuroscience 101Pb). More detail on the courses are available below in the departmental seminar fall 2021 section of this page.

The Emotional, Social Brain
Elizabeth Phelps / Psychology / phelps@fas.harvard.edu
Psychology 1325, Wednesdays 9:45-11:45 a.m.
4 units of course credit, course ID 216792, class # 14607
Emotions color our lives, and even everyday variation in emotional experience can influence how we think, perceive and decide. Many of our emotions stem from our experiences with others. In this seminar we will examine the science behind the influence of emotion and social interaction on human brain function and behavior. We will examine questions such as: How does the brain process threats, and how do we learn about potential threats from others? How, and why, do our memories for emotional events differ from memories for mundane events? How does the brain process rewards, and respond to social rewards such as trust? What can we learn about implicit social biases from understanding their representation in the brain? What can we learn about the brain systems of human emotion and social interactions from studying other animals? Building on this foundational knowledge, we will explore how advances in human brain science might inform larger societal issues, including legal decisions, clinical interventions for the treatment of anxiety, and racial bias. Recommended Prep: The Psychology Department requires completion of Science of Living Systems 20 or Psychology 1 or the equivalent of introductory psychology (e.g. Psych AP=5 or IB =7 or Psyc S-1) and at least one foundational course from PSY 14, PSY 15, PSY 16, and PSY 18 before enrolling in this course; or permission of instructor.

Political Psychology: MBB Seminar
Susanna Siegel / Philosophy / ssiegel@fas.harvard.edu
Philosophy 158B / Wednesdays 3-5:45 p.m.
4 units of course credit, course ID 218323, class # 17792
An investigation of the kinds of perceptions, emotions, affect, and imagination that facilitate and anti-facilitate democratic and anti-democratic forms of politics. Readings from philosophy, psychology, and political theory.

Psychotherapy and the Modern Self
Elizabeth Lunbeck / History of Science / lunbeck@fas.harvard.edu
History of Science 1778 (formerly 178)
4 units of course credit, divisional distribution Social Sciences, course ID 156325, class # 14859
This course explores the history behind today’s psychotherapeutic landscape, looking at sites ranging from the clinician’s office to the modern workplace to the media. We look at the development, methods, aims, efficacy, and limitations of a range of psychotherapeutic modalities from Freud’s time to our own—among them psychoanalytic, psychodynamic, cognitive, behavioral, manualized, and evidence-based treatments as well as family, sex, and group therapies. We also explore how, in the midst of challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, longstanding therapeutic precepts have been called into question; notably, teletherapy—once considered a suspect practice—has enjoyed overnight acceptance. The course examines long-standing tensions running through the therapeutic project: Is psychotherapy best conceived of as a quest for self-improvement or as a means to relieve symptoms? Should it aim to alter cognition and/or behavior, or should it focus instead on the inner life? Is mind or brain its proper object? Is it an indulgence or a necessity? Is its efficacy subject to scientific measurement? And, if so, in what does cure consist? Throughout, we will ask what sort of person (and problems) is envisioned by each approach, whether explicitly or implicitly. How do therapists think about their practices? How have writers and poets, media personalities and comics, embraced or disdained and made sense or made fun of psychotherapy? The question of the relationship between professional practices and the rise of a popular therapeutic sensibility is central to the course. Do we suffer less and enjoy greater self-knowledge one hundred years after the invention of the talking cures?