Brain examined at Coe Thursday Forum

Extra: Lonnie Zingula, Associate Director of Marketing and Public Relations
(319) 399-8613 or

2010-09-16 14:41:41 - General

The collective expertise of four Coe College professors will be tapped for the next Thursday Forum lecture series. "It's All in Your Head: Issues in Contemporary Brain Science" will be presented beginning Sept. 30.

In week one, Psychology Professor Tom Moye will explore some of the history behind contemporary neuroscience, beginning with ancient Egyptian and Greek ideas, and Descartes' theory of nervous system function. Subsequent developments in neuroscience over the last 350 years will also be discussed.

In the second session, Associate Professor of Psychology Michael Baker will focus on models of addiction including the psychological, biological and anatomical factors that contribute to addiction and relapse, and the neural mechanisms of addictive behavior. This session will primarily focus on drug addiction, but will also introduce other addictive behaviors.

After a one-week hiatus for a symposium honoring the life’s work of journalist, historian and 1925 Coe graduate William Shirer, the series resumes Oct. 21. Assistant Professor of Biology Randy Christensen will ask a series of questions about the composition of the human brain. This session will also introduce the basic structure and functions of the brain, focusing on how different parts of the nervous system are built to perform different functions.

In the final session, Assistant Professor of Biology Paul Storer will discuss the complex communication system that exists between cells of the brain and cells of the immune system. The importance of this relationship will be put in context via a discussion of various neuroimmune disorders, including multiple sclerosis and Alzheimer's, and the most recent treatment paradigms for these debilitating diseases.

Thursday Forum lectures are held in Kesler Lecture Hall in Hickok Hall on the Coe campus. Each session begins with coffee and pastries from 8:45-9:15 a.m., followed by the class until 11:30 a.m. Each series concludes with a luncheon on the final Thursday.

The courses are open to all adults and registration is on-site. The cost is $10 per week or $30 for a four-week course. Gift certificates are available. For more information about the Coe College Thursday Forum lecture series, call (319) 399-8619.

Thursday Forum schedule:

  • "It's All in Your Head: Issues in Contemporary Brain Science" – Sept. 30 and Oct. 7, 21 and 28.
  • "Does America Lead or Follow? Two Studies of International Law" – Nov. 4, 11, 18 and Dec. 2.
  • "The Gospel of John: Christ, Crisis and Community" – Feb. 3, 10, 17, 24.
  • "Pseudoscience: A Modern Disease" – March 3, 10, 17, 24.
  • "Great Hollywood Film Directors of the 1930s: The 'Foreign' Influence" – April 7, 14, 21, 28.
  • "Plato and the 'Republic'" – May 5, 12, 19, 26.