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Lauren McD's picture

review

I don't think this class has changed my view on the Dickinsonian/Descartian debate. I'm still confused as to where I lie on this spectrum, but I know that I don't identify with one or the other. And that's certainly nothing against the content of this class! This debate is one that had been in my mind for a while, just without labels, and I'm still trying to figure out which one I believe in more.

I think the most interesting aspects of this class that will stay with me are the most recent discussions on vision. Originally, all I had understood about how vision worked was that our eye picks up information and sends it to the brain for interpretation. We delved far beyond this simple understanding of vision. I also think I'll remember the counter-intuitive ideas, since they most surprised me. Some examples of this are the optical illusions, outputs generating inputs, and Christopher Reeves' non-isolated nervous system. These ideas were the most interesting to me because they changed my original views on these topics.

There are many intriguing aspects of the brain and behavior that I am still wondering about that were not discussed in this class, but of course we don't have time for all of them! I'm still interested in learning how the mind can control physiological symptoms, such as in meditation. Also, I'd be interested in learning about the other senses in the manner that we learned about vision. And lastly, I wish we had gone slightly more into social interactions among people instead of just remaining in individual behavior. All in all though, I was very interested in our discussions that we did have in class and have a better general knowledge of the brain and the nervous system.

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