Monday, December 05, 2005


Biology is an integrative discipline; neurobiology even more so. Neurobiology reaches in and rubs up against computer science and robotics, psychology of all sorts, physics, not the least of which is electricity, animal behaviour, and so many others. The question, of course, is how can we show students the very real multi-disciplinary aspects of the field? This is particularly a problem in smaller departments, where there is only a single neurobiology class and a single person to teach it.

One of the things I've been pleased that I've managed to do in my undergraduate neurobiology class is that I've always managed to find a guest lecturer from another department to come in and talk a little bit about topics related to neurobiology. I've had an ethicist from philosophy come in and talk about ethical issues related to brain imaging. Another time, a psychologist come in and talk about some issues related to mental illness. I haven't gotten any of the engineers to talk about neural nets or anything yet, but I'm sure that will come. I have always found those to be rewarding interactions, and I think it provides a nice change of pace for students too.

Has anyone else found good techniques for bringing in multi-disciplinary elements into the teaching of undergraduate neurobiology?


Post a Comment

<< Home