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Cornell University    
  Jan 20, 2018
Courses of Study 2017-2018
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BIONB 3215 - Gender and the Brain

(crosslisted) FGSS 3210 , LGBT 3210  
Spring. 3 credits. Student option grading.

Prerequisite: BIONB 2220 , BIOMG 3320 , FGSS 2010 , and LGBT 2290 [Inactive]. For NBB concentration: this course may be used toward the additional 7 credit requirement, but does not qualify as an advanced course.

S. B. Dietz.

In this course, we will delve into the neuroscience of gender difference. Reading the original scientific papers and related critical texts, we will ask whether we can find measureable physical differences in male and female brains, and what these differences might be. Do men and women solve spatial puzzles differently, as measured physiologically? Do nonhuman animals display sex-specific behaviors mediated by brain structure, and can we extrapolate these findings to human behavior? Why are boys three times more likely than girls to be diagnosed as autistic, and is there any connection between the predominantly male phenomenon of autism and other stereotypically male mental traits? Are there physical representations of sexual orientation in the brain, and how are these related to gender identity? And how are scientific studies represented and misrepresented in popular debate?

Outcome 1: Demonstrate knowledge of the state of the field in gender and neuroscience.

Outcome 2: Be able to apply concepts from history, philosophy, and critical theory to scientific texts.

Outcome 3: Demonstrate understanding of the interaction of experimental design, stereotypes, and preconceptions in how studies are carried out and communicated.

Outcome 4: Be aware of the range of experimental techniques available in neuroscience, and their advantages and limitations.

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