NBIO 220:    Central Mechanisms in Perception and Cognition
Spring Term, 2005


Instructors:    Bill Newsome (bill@monkeybiz.stanford.edu), Tirin Moore (tirin@stanford.edu)
Class Times:    Monday 11:00 AM - 1:00 PM, and Thursday 10:00 AM - 12:00 Noon

Location:   Clark Center (lounge area) First Floor, West. Room 110
Note:  This course satisfies the systems requirement for the Neurosciences Ph.D. Program

Course Description

This course will focus on current research topics in the neural basis of visual perception, visually-based cognition and visuomotor integration, using the macaque monkey as the primary experimental model. Some didactic material will be presented by the instructors during the first two weeks of the course. But the primary format will be that of a graduate seminar, and the primary teaching vehicle will be student presentations and student-led discussions focussing on a different topic each week beginning in week 3 (see the course syllabus). Each student will assume responsibility for the topic for one week. The student will extensively research the topic using the list of background and primary readings provided in the syllabus (note that suggested background readings for each week are listed at the end of the syllabus). Each week, the cognizant student will present an introductory talk to the rest of the class on his/her topic. The talk will be 45-60 minutes in length and should provide the rest of the class with a background sufficient for engaging the primary papers on the topic. All students will then read the primary papers prior to the next class session, and the cognizant student will lead a group discussion of the primary papers. The Instructors will work with each student in conducting their background research, developing the talk, and outlining important points for discussion in the primary papers. Grading will be based in equal parts on: 1) the quality of background research, 2) quality of the class presentation, and 3) participation in weekly discussions of each topic. There will be no term paper or final exam.