NSC 201 - Mind and Brain
The major trajectory of this course is to evaluate the project of neuroscience, and in so doing, assess the possibility that the mind is manifested in and caused by the brain. We will consider neural arguments about various states of mind, including dreaming, language, selfhood, agency, attention, and intention from a variety of disciplinary and interdisciplinary perspectives. Class discussions will center on working definitions of consciousness, experimental approaches to consciousness and self-knowledge, and dysregulations of mind. A laboratory will explore systems of consciousness from a physiological and phenomenological perspective. Three class hours and one and a half laboratory hours per week. Meets General Academic Requirement S.
NSC 301 - States of Consciousness
This course critically examines the recent attempts by neuroscience to resolve the neural correlates of various states of consciousness. Our class conversations will broadly center on the philosophical and physiological traditions that guide this work. We will closely study the putative neural underpinnings of several states of consciousness, including sleep/dreaming, pain, meditation, ecstasy, and coma; in parallel, we will discuss how the resolution of neural function shapes and is shaped by social structures and cultural meanings. Alternate years. Prerequisite: NSC 201 Mind and Brain.
NSC 311 - Neurons and Networks
An exploration of the molecular and cellular foundations of nervous system function. Topics discussed will include the ionic and electrical properties of neurons; the biochemistry of synaptic signaling; structure and function of ion channels and neurotransmitter receptors; neuronal and synaptic plasticity; and the functional regulation of basic neuronal circuits. Research methods of cellular and molecular neuroscience will be introduced through class discussions, relevant primary literature, and laboratory investigations. Three class hours and three laboratory hours per week. Prerequisite: Principles of Biology III (BIO 152).
NSC 401 - Advanced Seminar in Neuroscience
This course serves as a graduate-style seminar for the senior neuroscience major and will stress reading and discussion of primary texts, independent research writing, and critical analysis of timely issues within the field. Topics discussed may include: synaptic mechanisms in memory and learning; analysis of simple neuronal circuits; cortical architecture; neuroendocrinology; the neural basis of sleep and dreaming; pain mechanisms and integration; neurogenetics; neural and psychological disorders; and/or the relationship of neuronal function to behavior and consciousness. Three class hours per week. Meets General Academic Requirement W. Prerequisites: Mind and Brain (NSC 201), Brain and Behavior (NSC 310), and Neurons and Networks (NSC 311).
BIO 115 - Drugs and Drug Abuse
In this course, we will engage in a cross-disciplinary study of pharmacology by appealing to biological, sociological, historical, and cultural points of reference. Our first conversations will broadly center on the ways in which Victorian, psychoanalytic, and “countercultural” traditions underpin the current narratives surrounding drug use. In parallel, we will closely examine the putative mechanisms by which drugs act in the central nervous system – and also discuss how the action of these drugs has shaped and been shaped by social structures and cultural meanings. Our concluding conversations will consider how power may define the representation of drugs in society and the resulting consequences for drug regulation. Meets General Academic Requirement S.
DNA 108 - First Year Seminar: Other Bodies
In current practice, Western medicine has been largely obsessed with cataloguing bodily deviations from the norm. These deviations – labeled “ugly”, “monstrous”, “freakish” – embody deep-seated cultural fears about the limits of normalcy. Representations of extraordinary bodies generally fall prey to two simultaneous arenas: the surgical suite, in which the freakish body is hidden and “cured” to pass as normal, and the freak-show, in which the same body is garishly displayed to satisfy cultural tastes for the amazing and fantastical. Our conversations in this seminar will be guided by the premise that definitions of the marginal body shape what counts as “normal,” “ordinary” and “healthy.” We will consider several bodily deviations, including nose shape, conjoinment, size, reproductive anatomies, and mobility differences, and their relationship to identity, power, and ideology. Our raw data will include histories of medicine, circuses, and sideshows; memoirs; critical theory; and representations in film and fiction. Meets general academic requirement FY
(n.b. - student authors are noted in bold)
Jablonski AM ’08, Taboul E ‘07, Matulay JT ’08, Lashner MA ’08 and Teissére JA (2008) Resolving the functional relationship of allopregnanolone to the identity of amino acids in the M1 region of the GABAA receptor a1 subunit. Washington, DC: Society for Neuroscience 2008 Annual Meeting. Online.
Sancar F, Ericksen SS, Kucken AM, Teissere JA and Czajkowski C (2007) Structural determinants for high-affinity zolpidem binding to GABAA receptors. Mol Pharmacol 71:38-46. pdf
Sheard LB 07, McGinniss JE 06 and Teissre JA (2006) Dissecting neurosteroid modulation of the GABAA receptor using interreceptor chimeragenesis. Atlanta, GA: Society for Neuroscience 2006 Annual Meeting. Online.
Sancar F, Kucken A, Teissre JA, Ericksen S, and Czajkowski C (2005) Determinants of high affinity zolpidem binding in the g2 subunit of the GABAA receptor. Washington, DC: Society for Neuroscience 2005 Annual Meeting. Online.
Balasubramanian S, Teissre JA, Raju DV and Hall RA (2004) Hetero-oligomerization between GABAA and GABAB receptors regulates GABAB receptor trafficking. J Biol Chem 279:18840-18850. pdf
Teissre JA, Balasubramanian S and Hall RA (2002) Mutual regulation of the GABAA receptor and the b-adrenergic receptor is mediated by heterooligomeric association. Orlando, FL: 12th annual Neuropharmacology Conference on GABAA receptors in cellular and network excitability.
Teissre JA, Balasubramanian S and Hall RA (2002) Mutual regulation of the GABAA receptor and the b-adrenergic receptor is mediated by heterooligomeric association. Orlando, FL: Society for Neuroscience 2002 Annual Meeting. Online.
Kucken AM*, Teissre JA*, Kucken AM, Seffinga-Clark J, Wagner DA and Czajkowski C (2002) Structural requirements for imidazobenzodiazepine binding to GABAA receptors. Mol Pharmacol 63:289-296. pdf
(* Denotes equal first author contribution)
Teissre JA and Czajkowski C (2001) A b-strand in the g2 subunit lines the benzodiazepine binding site of the GABAA receptor: Structural rearrangements detected during channel gating. J Neurosci 21:4977-4986.
Kucken AM, Wagner DA, Ward PW, Teissre JA, Boileau AJ and Czajkowski C (2000) Identification of benzodiazepine binding site residues in the g2subunit of the GABAA receptor. Mol Pharmacol 57:932-939. pdf