Week 11 is the international Brain Awareness Week, so during the last week I have been organizing a number of talks over three different cities in Denmark; Århus, Aalborg and Copenhagen. We received a grant from the Federation of European Neuroscience Societies (FENS) and the Dana foundation to support the events. The aim is to raise awareness of brain research and brain diseases for the general public, by having researchers make the different topic available for a broad audience. Over the duration of the week a number of good colleagues from Center for Functionally Integrative Neuroscience in Århus gave talks on topics from all areas of the brain (the full programme in Danish can be found on facebook.com/hjerneuge), also in the middle of the week we opened the doors for tours in the MEG/MR and PET labs. Additionally, two afternoon sessions one in Aalborg (tuesday) and one Copenhagen (thursday) allowed to make four different presentations including researchers from Universities in both cities.
During the planning we discovered a newly found network coordinating information on brain related events during week 11; hjernen i fokus (= the brain in focus) and added our events to their programme. Below is a map modified from hjernen i fokus of the events during week 11 in Denmark (our events highlighted in orange).
Hjernen i fokus did an excellent job at gathering information of the different events and providing news updates throughout the week.
Thanks to all who attended our events, FENS and Dana, hjernen i fokus and the numerous people who helped advertise our events (University Extension and Universities in the three cities as well as the academy of young talents and the high schools in the regions) – and a huge thanks to all the different speakers who gave memorable presentations on the functions of the brain, how to investigate the brain, what happens when the brain fails, and how the brain relates to concepts like religion and consciousness. With the successful conclusion of the event I hope we can make a similar contribution to week 11 next year.
During the summer Centre for Cognitive Neuroscience (CCN) will move to Kroghstræde 6 along with the new facilities for behavioural studies at Aalborg University: Experimental Psychology Laboratory. Here there will be four rooms for controlled behavioural studies including one multi room for larger setups, and training of students in experimental and behavioural methods in psychology.
The new lab will ensure that students on the neuropsychology program (along with BA students who have a special interest in behavioural neuroscience) can participate in ongoing research projects at CCN. Students will also be able to suggest individual projects within topics such as memory, attention, perception, and consciousness. Here we will be able to provide individual supervision and training for a number of projects each semester independent of the scheduled classes.
I am working on the two courses in consciousness for the fall semester today, so hopefully I will have some updates on these courses late afternoon or early evening today. I plan to update information on literature for the course, the type of exam the course will have, and probably also a bit information about the form of the course.
It seems that I will teach several courses in the fall semester and I am currently planning several different courses.
I will probably teach two courses at the University of Copenhagen and furthermore I plan to teach one or two courses at Folkeuniversitetet (University Extension). The two courses at the University of Copenhagen will be one on the bachelor level “Introduction to Consciousness Studies” and the second will be on the masters level and has the following working title “Consciousness: a Challenge to Science“, both courses will be taught in English. Which courses I will teach at Folkeuniversitetet is not yet decided, but i will write an update as soon as I have one on these courses.
Introduction to Consciousness Studies, is thought of as a general introduction to the field of consciousness research ranging from philosophy of mind to neuroscience. Teaching will probably be in the form of lectures on the basis of a textbook on the subject of consciousness research, currently I am considering a textbook by Susan Blackmore.
Consciousness: a Challenge to Science, will be a more advanced course that probably will be arranged as a workshop on the basis of a collection of different central and classical articles within the field of consciousness research. This course is not thought of as a purely methodological approach, which the title could hint, but also delve into the problems of the definition of consciousness, epistemology, and ontology.