WUSTL Course Listings Login with WUSTL Key
Search Results: Help Display: Open + Closed     Just Open     Just Closed View: Regular     Condensed     Expanded
1 course found.
BIOLOGY AND BIOMEDICAL SCIENCES (L41)  (Dept. Info)Arts & Sciences  (Policies)SP2023

L41 BIOL 4582The Physiology and Biophysics of Consciousness2.0 Units
Description:This course will explore the questions surrounding the search to understand the biophysical substrate of consciousness. Some areas to be explored: 1. Can consciousness be addressed like any other biological property in the sense that it has evolved by natural selection and that some elements of it are present in simple model systems, such as the fruit fly? Can insight be gained studying simple model systems? 2. Where in the brain is consciousness? What is the pattern of neurological events that occurs during consciousness? Is brain activity generating consciousness localized or distributed? Does it involve interacting brain regions? Does brain activity generating consciousness migrate to different brain regions? 3. How does the dynamic core hypothesis of Edelman relate to these questions? What can functional brain imaging add to these questions? Are Gamma waves involved in higher mental activity, and do they promote synchronized firing of neurons from different brain areas? How does this relate to the binding problem? 4. How does the brain's ability to function as a computer relate to consciousness? In many respects the brain functions as a computer using electrical signals called Action Potentials. Action potentials in neuronal networks function in an analogous was as DC electrical impulses function in computer circuits. What is the output of computation in an electrical device? What are the theoretical limitations regarding what computation can achieve and ask whether electrical activity in the brain also has a fundamentally different purpose in addition to computation. 5. Is our knowledge of the physical world too primitive and incomplete to understand consciousness? The brain is an electronic device and consciousness clearly depends on its electrical activity. Yet, electrical forces are poorly understood, both in the context of classical physics and quantum physics. Will understanding consciousness have to wait for a unified theory that more accurately describes electrical forces? Taught in the Medical School: McDonnell Science Building 983. Prerequisites: Bio3411 or equivalent. College level physics, Some knowledge of computers.
Attributes:A&S IQNSMArchNSMArtNSM
Instruction Type:Classroom instruction Grade Options:CPA Fees:
Course Type:IdentSame As:L64 402Frequency:Every 2-3 Years / History


A course may be either a “Home” course or an “Ident” course.

A “Home” course is a course that is created, maintained and “owned” by one academic department (aka the “Home” department). The “Home” department is primarily responsible for the decision making and logistical support for the course and instructor.

An “Ident” course is the exact same course as the “Home” (i.e. same instructor, same class time, etc), but is simply being offered to students through another department for purposes of registering under a different department and course number.

Students should, whenever possible, register for their courses under the department number toward which they intend to count the course. For example, an AFAS major should register for the course "Africa: Peoples and Cultures" under its Ident number, L90 306B, whereas an Anthropology major should register for the same course under its Home number, L48 306B.

Grade Options
C=Credit (letter grade)
S=Special Audit
Q=ME Q (Medical School)

Please note: not all grade options assigned to a course are available to all students, based on prime school and/or division. Please contact the student support services area in your school or program with questions.