Topics: Select either one of the two topics presented below.
Topic 1: The Virtual Neurologist. In this exercise, you are going to assume the role of a neurologist who ultimately must describe to a client the nature and outcome of a bullet wound to the head. Assume that you are a neurologist who is seeing a client who has survived a gunshot wound to the head. An MRI scan revealed that a small caliber bullet entered the head about 1 cm superior to the right auditory canal, and followed a relatively straight projectile before exciting the cranium about 1 cm superior to the left auditory canal. Address each of the following in your presentation:
- Describe what structures the bullet passed through and the function of each structure. (8 points)
- Describe what the patient can expect in terms of behavioral, cognitive, sensory, and or motor deficits and recovery of function. (8 points)
- Include a picture or diagram of the bullet projectile illustrating which structures have been damaged. Label important structures. (4 points)
Topic 2: The Ultimate Urban Brain. In this exercise you are going to design a brain that is well suited to life in the busy, information laden, urban environment. Data would suggest that the human brain has not changed much over the past few thousand years. Yet, in industrialized nations such as the U.S., horticultural changes have been explosively rapid. This would suggest that society has evolved more quickly than has our biology. One implication of this is that humans, in fast-paced urban regions, are neurologically ill equipped to adapt to the environment in which they live. Answer each of the following questions in your presentation:
- Identify 3 areas or behaviors that are likely to be a result of poor adaptation, e.g., the increased incidence of various psychopathology such as depression and ADHD, road rage, violence, illness, etc. (5 points).
- Identify and describe specific brain structures that you would modify to increase the probability of successful adaptation related to the behaviors put forth in number one above. Be specific. For example, if you say that depression is an issue, you must then modify the brain circuits that are involved in depression. (10 points)
- Design a brain incorporating all of the changes suggested in number two above. Include a drawing that indicates and explains the suggested changes. (5 points)