This course offers an applied approach to understanding neuroscience, the intersection between psychology and biology. Students will examine key concepts in neuroscience including neurodevelopment, neuroplasticity, language acquisition, learning, stress, and environmental enrichment in applied settings with both children and non-human animals.
Particular attention will be given to the role of neuroplasticity underlying typical neurodevelopment with a specific focus on environmental enrichment’s positive impact on development and its’ ability to augment stressful experiences (e.g. the economic and social ramifications of the Celtic Tiger or non-native housing conditions, e.g., zoos). Importantly, this project-based learning course involves two applied community-based projects in local schools and the Oceanworld Aquarium (Dingle, Ireland). The projects will be based on class discussion, primary readings, and course content further examined during excursions in Dingle.