Paul Grobstein's picture

Biology in Society Seminar, fall 2010

Biology in Society Senior Seminar

Bryn Mawr College, Fall 2010

A discussion of the nature of biology, and science in general, and of their reciprocal relationships to broader social and cultural activities.  In addition to in class conversation,  students will participate in on-line forum discussion of papers on this general subject, lead discussions and write web papers on topics of particular interest to themselves, and write a senior paper on one such topic that will also appear on-line.  Others are welcome to join in the conversation by way of background readings and on-line forums.  

Paul Grobstein's picture

Thinking more about depression as "adaptive"

""I suspect there are features of the higher order organization of neurons that need to be included among the "underlying rules" to achieve a better understanding of depression, both conceptually and for therapeutic purposes."  ... PG, An expanded neurobiology of depression, June, 2009

Ashley Dawkins's picture

Ashley's Index

I feel a sense of relief after completing my first year of teaching. After surviving the world wind of this life changing experience I can now catch my breath and further reflect on my experiences. I see an immediate need to involve more creativity and inquiry into my lessons...this is why I am here. I am here to learn, question, and gain ideas that I can apply to my classroom. The interesting twist is that I my classroom will be changing for my second year of teaching. I will be entering the cyber community and trying to incorporate creativity and inquiry into this world. I am not sure what to expect...

Caroline H's picture

The Effects of Music

Music is without a doubt a universal language that transcends time, generations, and cultures. It makes for good entertainment, interest, and constructive pursuit that enriches the lives of whomever it touches. Some researchers believe that our natural, almost universal predisposition to the enjoyment of and emotional reaction to music is hard-wired into us – that it has always played a pivotal role in helping humans develop their minds and relationships with others. One writer suggests, “ Babies are born with musical wisdom and appetite, music facilitates well-being and returns people to well-being from mental and physical impairments – it is deep in our genetic structures” (1).

Caroline H's picture

The Female Brain

In her book, The Female Brain, Louanne Brizendine describes the stages that the female brain goes through during life, citing brain structure and chemistry as the departure for differences between the male and female brains. Most of the misunderstanding of female psychology, Brizendine notes, stems from the misconception held by scientists during most of the 19th and 20th centuries - “that women are essentially small men in psychology and physiology”. She says that it is important to make the distinction between male and female psychologies because physiological sources for these differences do exist, contrary to the reality that they are usually just brushed off as mere deviations during studies.

cschoonover's picture

Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking

   Malcolm Gladwell’s book Blink is an exploration of rapid cognition, of the thinking that happens in the blink of an eye, and is an attempt to “understand this magical and mysterious thing called judgment” (Gladwell 260). He refrains from using “intuition” to describe this kind of thinking, as he believes we use that word to describe irrational thought. Gladwell argues that those first two seconds of rapid cognition are completely rational and just involve thinking that moves a little faster and operates a little more mysteriously than deliberate, conscious thought and decision-making.

Vicky Tu's picture

Dolphin's Cognitive Abilities

 Dolphins are my favorite animals, partly because of their extra-cute appearances: “friendly smile”, little flippers, and sleek and shiny body. But their intelligence is what amazes me the most. I once watched a video about dolphin training. I remember in one of the training sessions, the trainer asks the dolphin to go grab a ball from a basket, yet there is no ball in that basket. So the dolphin takes back the empty basket with him to show the trainer and presses the “No” button available. In another session, the trainer gestures two dolphins to perform two simple tricks then gestures them to perform the two tricks in one action. The dolphins immediately perform a combination of the two tricks without the trainer teaching them how.

Hannah Silverblank's picture

“To Speak of Tales and Fables": The Imposition of Narrative in Oliver Sacks' The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat: and Other C

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