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First-Year Seminar (101-6-20)


This is Your Brain on College


Luke Christopher Flores
627 Dartmouth Pl, Searle Center for Teaching Excellence

Meeting Info

Technological Institute LG72: Mon, Wed, Fri 5:00PM - 5:50PM

Overview of class

In this seminar, we will examine recent research on learning and memory through the unique lens of college life. What do we know (or think we know) about how memories are encoded in the brain? How is college a different learning environment than high school? Together, we will review scientific studies on the impact of college life on student academic performance, and correlate those findings with studies of human and animal learning in the laboratory. After taking this course, you will have a foundational understanding of the neurobiological basis of memory, learn how to read scientific literature critically, and develop strategies to improve your study habits and performance here at Northwestern University.

Registration Requirements

This class meets on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays from 5:00 pm until 5:50 pm Central Standard Time.

Learning Objectives

After taking this course, students will:
1. Be able to describe how the brain is "plastic" and changes with experience
2. Identify brain regions and functional networks associated with learning and memory
3. Read primary scientific literature for understanding, as well as start developing critical thinking skills.
4. Create an effective study plan that incorporates principles of neuroplasticity

Teaching Method

Lecture, discussion, student-led presentations, writing for the sciences

Evaluation Method

Participation and engagement = 20%
Journal Club presentation = 20%
Reflection papers (3) = 30%
Study plan draft = 10%
Final study plan =10%
Self-evaluation rubric = 10%

Class Materials (Required)

There is no textbook required for this course. All reading materials will be provided through CANVAS, online resources, or campus libraries, free of charge.

Class Materials (Suggested)


Class Notes


Class Attributes

WCAS First-Year Seminar