Is human behavior a product of brain anatomy and physiology? Can psychology be considered as a biological discipline? What causes mental disorders? Why, despite the impressive advances in scientific knowledge in the post-genomic era, the development of treatments for mental illness remains such a challenge? Is a breakthrough possible in this area?

The course helps listeners to better understand the various manifestations of mental states, and it will be a window to ourselves and other people around us. There will be special emphasis on depression, fear, psychopathy, and propensity to commit crimes.

Ayala Arslan is a molecular neuroscientist. Following her MS degree in Biotechnology at the Middle East Technical University, Turkey in 2001, she was awarded the scholarship of German Research Foundation (DFG) by which she had the opportunity to pursue her doctorate (PhD) in molecular neuroscience at Heidelberg University, Germany. She is the editorial board member of Journal of Integrative Neuroscience, review editor of Frontiers in Neuroscience and at present, as Guest Editor, leading two special issues in Journal of Visualized Experiments (JOVE) and Journal of Integrative Neuroscience.

The course is conducted in the online format in English from April 6 to 30, 2021.

The Plan:

  • Lecture 1: Introduction;
  • Lecture 2: Foundations: Neuron Doctrine;
  • Lecture 3: Foundations: Neuroanatomy;
  • Lecture 4: What Is Hippocampus and Why Is It Important?;
  • Lecture 5: Special focus: Hippocampus and Neuroplasticity;
  • Lecture 6: Mental Disorders;
  • Lecture 7: Neurobiology of Depression;
  • Lecture 8: Anxious Brain.
    • Lecture 1
      • Arslan A. (2015). Genes, brains, and behavior: imaging genetics for neuropsychiatric disorders. The Journal of neuropsychiatry and clinical neurosciences, 27(2), 81–92.
      • Baum M.L. (2011). The monoamine oxidase A (MAOA) genetic predisposition to impulsive violence: is it relevant to criminal trials? Neuroethics 1-20.
      • Caspi, A., McClay, J., Moffitt, T. E., Mill, J., Martin, J., Craig, I. W., Taylor, A., & Poulton, R. (2002). Role of genotype in the cycle of violence in maltreated children. Science (New York, N.Y.), 297(5582), 851–854.
      • Cooper, R. M. and Zubek, J. P. (1958). "Effects of enriched and restricted early environments on the learning ability of bright and dull rats". Canadian Journal of Psychology 12 (3): 159–164.
      • Kandel E. R. (1998). A new intellectual framework for psychiatry. The American journal of psychiatry, 155(4), 457–469.
      • Pereira, T. D., Shaevitz, J. W., & Murthy, M. (2020). Quantifying behavior to understand the brain. Nature neuroscience, 23(12), 1537–1549.
      • Stephens, G. J., Osborne, L. C., & Bialek, W. (2011). Searching for simplicity in the analysis of neurons and behavior. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 108 Suppl 3(Suppl 3), 15565–15571.
      • Trede K. (2007). 150 years of Freud-Kraepelin dualism. Psychiatr Q. 78:237–240.
      • Tryon, R. C. (1940). Genetic differences in maze-learning ability in rats. Yearbook of the National Society for Studies in Education, 39, pp. 111-119.
        Lecture 2

      • Bear M., Connors B,. Paradiso M.A. (2020) Neuroscience: Exploring the Brain, 4th Edition Jones & Bartlett Learning.
      • Gross C. (2013). Some revolutions in neuroscience. Journal of cognitive neuroscience, 25(1), 4–13.
        Katz-Sidlow R. J. (1998). The formulation of the neuron doctrine: the Island of Cajal. Archives of neurology, 55(2), 237–240.
      • Microscopic marvels: Magnifying power. (2009). Nature, 459(7247), 629.
      • Nemoto, T., Kawakami, R., Hibi, T., Iijima, K., & Otomo, K. (2015). Two-photon excitation fluorescence microscopy and its application in functional connectomics. Microscopy (Oxford, England), 64(1), 9–15.
        Lecture 3

      • Bear M., Connors B,. Paradiso M.A. (2020) Neuroscience: Exploring the Brain, 4th Edition Jones & Bartlett Learning.
        Lecture 4

      • Antonov, I., Antonova, I., Kandel, E. R., & Hawkins, R. D. (2001). The contribution of activity-dependent synaptic plasticity to classical conditioning in Aplysia. The Journal of neuroscience : the official journal of the Society for Neuroscience, 21(16), 6413–6422.
      • Bartsch, T., & Wulff, P. (2015). The hippocampus in aging and disease: From plasticity to vulnerability. Neuroscience, 309, 1–16.
      • Bear M., Connors B,. Paradiso M.A. (2020) Neuroscience: Exploring the Brain, 4th Edition Jones & Bartlett Learning.
      • Bliss TV, Lomo T (July 1973). "Long-lasting potentiation of synaptic transmission in the dentate area of the anaesthetized rabbit following stimulation of the perforant path". The Journal of Physiology. 232 (2): 331–56.
      • Moser, M. B., & Moser, E. I. (1998). Functional differentiation in the hippocampus. Hippocampus, 8(6), 608–619.<608::AID-HIPO3>3.0.CO;2-7.
      • Squire L. R. (2009). The legacy of patient H.M. for neuroscience. Neuron, 61(1), 6–9.