Alyssa A. Brewer, M.D., Ph.D. is an Assistant Professor at the University of California, Irvine (UCI), which means that she is dedicated to teaching classes at both the graduate and undergraduate levels. Brain Disorders and Behavior is her signature undergraduate course, while Functional Neuroanatomy and Seminar in Cognitive Neuroscience are her core graduate courses. She created these courses and all of the course materials for each, making them impossible to find anywhere else! Brain Disorders is especially popular and all 400 or so seats are filled each quarter, so be sure to sign up early before you are waitlisted.
160D Brain Disorders and Behavior (4). Examines the localization of human brain functions and the effects of neurological disorders on psychological functions such as perception, motor control, language, memory, and decision-making. Prerequisites: Psychology 7A or 9A, B, or Psychology and Social Behavior 9 or 11A, B, or Biological Sciences 35, or equivalent, or consent of instructor. Same as Biological Sciences N165. Formerly Psychology 165. Psychology majors have first consideration for enrollment.
199 Independent Study (1 to 4). Prerequisite: consent of instructor. Students may enroll in only one 199 per quarter. May be repeated for credit as topic varies.
260 Seminar in Cognitive Neuroscience (1). Explores current topics and trends in cognitive neuroscience including experimental, theoretical/computational, and methodological developments. May be repeated for credit as topics vary.
262 Functional Neuroanatomy (4). It is impossible to truly understand human behavior without some understanding of the physical structure that enables behavior. Examines recent findings in functional neuroantomy through lectures and papers discussing links between particular behaviors and specific brain structures. Prerequisite: graduate standing or consent of instructor.
290 Dissertation Research (1 to 12). Prerequisites: consent of instructor, graduate standing. May be repeated for credit.
299 Individual Study (4 to 12). Prerequisites: consent of instructor, graduate standing. May be repeated for credit.
Unfortunately, neuroscience and psychology more generally are not taught very much below the college level. To help remedy that situation, the Laboratory for Visual Neuroscience and its leader, Alyssa A. Brewer, M.D., Ph.D. are committed to educational outreach at all levels of education. To that end, she and other UCI professors have teamed up to create Brain Day and Brain Assemblies to present psychology to local elementary and middle school students. In addition, the Laboratory for Visual Neuroscience has teamed up with Girls Inc. of Orange County to present and promote neuroscience to young girls.
Brain Day and Brain Assemblies
As a graduate student at Stanford University, Alyssa A. Brewer and colleagues were involved in an annual Brain Day program in which we introduced local elementary and middle school students to neuroscience topics and research. Since arriving at UCI, I have been developing and organizing Brain Day and Brain Assemblies programs at the local elementary schools in Irvine, California. The purpose of these programs are to help our graduate students further develop their teaching skills while sharing the excitement of neuroscience with local children. Neuroscience colleagues and students provide training in basic neuroscience in age-appropriate formats for several grades (K-1, 2-3, 4-6, 7-8) by (1) introducing students to the organization of the brain; (2) discussing the brain’s importance and function; and (3) reviewing brain disease and damage.
Girls Inc. Outreach Program
The Laboratory of Visual Neuroscience, in collaboration with Girls Inc. of Orange County, aims to enrich and empower young girls, while encouraging them to seek careers in the fields of math, science, and technology. Our programs introduces “brain science” to young women early in their educational careers through weekend and summer seminars using interactive presentations. At present, our team is developing programs for the Girls Inc. STEM program as members of our laboratory hope to foster youth interest in science and technology, and especially in the field of neuroscience. Above all, this LVN program endevours to encourage young women to pursue their dreams, and illustrate that there are no limits to what an individual can accomplish with determination and perseverance.