This proposal is being submitted jointly by Alice Lewis and Hal Slavkin.
Your brain shapes your life and your life shapes your brain. Your genes (genotype) and microenvironment (epigenetic) control the structure and function of your neurons, neuronal synapses, and brain size and shape. Using neuroscientist David Eagleman’s The Brain: The Story of You (2015), this SDG will explore the wonders of the human brain to discover the ultimate story of us, namely how and why we feel and think the way we do. It has been stated that "Eagelman wants to make us more conscious..." (NY Times) We will consider questions such as why our brains need other people, how we make decisions, and how technology is changing what it means to be human. We will learn how genes regulate brain expression and beyond. We will explore how identical twins (monozygotic twins) present profoundly different neurodegenerative diseases and disorders. Eagleman's book is the companion book for a PBS series of the same name (aired in 2015). This course is designed to appeal to scientists and curious non-scientists alike.