Surpassing Expectations

Seeing as I don’t have a certain article or anything specific to post about I figured I would reflect generally on the Psychology and Neuroscience Seminar! Before taking this class, I never took anything neuroscience related because for some reason I assumed I wouldn’t like it. I can now confidently say that I have been living a lie! I am now eating my words, because after participating in this class I realize that I actually really enjoy it. When I was thinking about how to reflect on the class I decided to look at the course objectives on the syllabus. This seemed to be a perfect way to structure my reflection so here goes!:

*Improve oral and written communication skills by learning how to think about and talk about data and write with revision– Firstly, everyone in class experienced the crippling hold my fear of public speaking has on me. I would like to take this opportunity to admit that I feel that I have improved a little from this class due to our TEDTalks and leading class discussions and I have a little more confidence. Secondly, the structure of this class requires a lot of communication and it provided a safe space for everyone to perfect those communication skills. Finally, the series of papers we were assigned helped to take a step back and evaluate our own and others’ writing styles. Too bad I didn’t take this class before the past 4 years of writing college papers!

*Deepen your understanding of research methods in each of these disciplines on a range of topics– Through reading and discussing the books Connectome by Sebastian Seung and Neuroethics by Martha Farah we were able to gain a broader knowledge base of various research methods. Both of these books introduced and discussed a lot of interesting and important methods used in both fields. Gaining this knowledge through these books and our discussion was a lot more enjoyable than simply reading a whole mess of scientific, jargon-filled papers.

*Think critically about published data and ideas, and the conclusions based on them– This one doesn’t need much of a response…our class discussions forced us to think critically about published works and their conclusions. Also, Mariah and Kate’s presentations about Brain Porn really drove the point home.

*Integrate and synthesize information from many sources to promote your understanding of the field and expand your knowledge of the selected topics– Again, the class discussions and presentations really provided a structure to build upon and facilitate the integration of many sources.

*Learn to identify open questions and challenges and generate practical and theoretical solutions– I feel that some of our most engaging discussions were a product of this objective. As a group we identified a lot of questions from the readings and created some very rich conversations through the group effort of pondering solutions and further questions.

*Think about topics from diverse points of view and gain a firm appreciation of how different fields of study overlap, intersect, compete, and collaborate–Again, with the help of the books, different view points and each class members unique academic/life background, and the TEDTalks, we were really able to observe how different fields overlap and interact. One of my first posts (if not my first post) was about how crazy connected neuroscience/psychology are to every other field and this course did a great job at demonstrating that.

Overall, (as I have made abundantly clear) I loved this class and would recommend it to anyone. I am so happy that the law of recency will allow it to be one of the courses I remember best out of my Colby career.


2 thoughts on “Surpassing Expectations

  1. Val, this is awesome! I appreciate it very much that these learning goals stuck with you and it is wonderful to see you lay it all out like this. 🙂


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