This page focuses on the course 9.04 Sensory Systems as it was taught by Professors Peter H. Schiller and Chris Brown in Fall 2013.
This course examines the neural bases of visual and auditory processing for perception and sensorimotor control, focusing on physiological and anatomical studies of the mammalian nervous system as well as behavioral studies of animals and humans. The course features a discussion of cochlear implants led by an implant user and a tour of the Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary (MEEI).
The goal of the course was for students to obtain a thorough understanding of the concepts outlined in the course overview. Students acquired an extensive vocabulary of terms describing anatomy and physiology for both systems. One skill acquired during the course was for students to be able to read original research reports that covered recent findings in vision and audition. A final goal was to be able to compare visual and auditory processing in the respective centers of the brain.
Most of these students go on to graduate school in some aspect of neuroscience or to medical school.
9.01 Introduction to Neuroscience or permission of the instructor.
9.04 can be applied toward a Bachelor of Science in Brain and Cognitive Sciences, but is not required.
Every other fall semester.
Below, Profs. Schiller and Brown describe various aspects of how they taught 9.04 Sensory Systems.
The demonstration by a user of a cochlear implant helps a great deal to convince students that this prosthesis for deaf individuals is a success but that it also has limitations.
— Profs. Schiller and Brown
Roughly 1/4 juniors and 3/4 seniors.
Primarily Brain and Cognitive Science majors, with some dual majors in another subject.
During an average week, students were expected to spend 12 hours on the course, roughly divided as follows: