The Developing Brain

Name: The developing brain
Study points: 6 ECTS


Coordinators: Dr. Michel van den Oever, Dr. Hylke Vervaeke

Goal: This course has the purpose to discuss the various stages of brain development that shape the life of individuals over time.

Course Content: The brain performs differently at various ages; the young brain being very plastic, whereas the aging brain is gradually losing its adaptive capacity. At the same time the growing brain can be affected by developmental diseases and is prone to specific environmental factors, whereas aging diseases easily disturb the adult brain. In this course we will discuss pre- and postnatal brain development. We will focus both on early development in relation to diseases as autism and schizophrenia, as well as on puberty and adolescence, and issues related to this stage of development, such as the effects on the brain of early drug use (alcohol, nicotine). Last, we will discuss specific aspects of the aging brain, including diseases such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s.

Method: Lectures, scientific writing

Literature: Readers, presentations

Testing: Exam (100%). Note that a minimum mark of 5.5 should be obtained for the exam.

Focus Group: Third year bachelor students

Participation: Two years of bachelor education (all directions)

Central Academic Skill: Media mining