Neuroscience for Clinicians



C. Alexander Simpkins, PhD

Annellen M. Simpkins, PhD


Topics Included

1. The Birth of a New Science: Neuroscience’s History and Development. Neuroscience is a relatively new area of study, and yet interest in the brain stretches back through history. Telling the story of early discoveries opens participants to some of the key issues of today.


2. Unlocking the key to Neuroscience Terminology: Labeling Systems. Participants build the skills they need to navigate easily through the most widely used brain nomenclature.


3. Philosophy of Mind and Brain and their Interrelationship. What is the relationship between mind and brain?  Learn about the relationship between mind and brain with important materialist theories from the West and non-materialist theories from the East.


4. Brain Damaged Individuals. By studying the absence of function, we infer what the specific brain area in a healthy brain is probably doing.  We describe some of the well-known individuals whose neurological conditions helped to shape the foundations of neuroscience understandings.


5: Neuroimaging Technologies. This section will offer some fascinating details about the development of imaging technologies and what the main technologies used today actually do.


6. Computational Modeling Methods. This section describes in a clear, easy to understand way some of the most promising mathematical modeling techniques including Bayesian inference, stochastic modeling, optimal control theory, connectionist models, and dynamical systems approaches. We also explain why these models are important and how they can be of help for better understanding of the mind and brain.


7. Neural Networks: Moving from Structure to Function. This section presents the development of neural network theory, some basic principles, applications, and what neural networks reveal about brain-mind system.


8. Navigating Through the Brain. Includes clear descriptions from neurons and the vital function of neurotransmitters, the brain structures, important brain pathways for clinicians (eg stress, pain, reward), and the social brain.


9. Neuroplasticity. The brain changes over eons of time (evolution) and in through a lifespan (developmental). It also changes quickly through neuroplasticity and neurogenesis.

This section explains neuroplasticity and neurogenesis, describes how they happen at the neuronal level, and how they occur in brain systems and pathways.


10.  Brain Functions. We cover key brain functions:

*Motor movement, both voluntary and involuntary qualities, coming from different areas of the brain,

*Perception including vision, hearing, taste, and touch.

            *Emotions and their pervasive role through out the brain

*Higher cognitive functioning: Attention, learning, and memory


11.  Applications for clinicians. How psychotherapy methods can change the brain. Clinicians will learn when and how to use these treatments to bring therapeutic brain changes.


12. Specific therapeutic techniques to target the brain. Participants personally experience ways to change the brain by many well-researched methods:

*Raise energy

*Calm down

*Direct attention

*Open attention

*Regulate emotions

*Moderate behavior