24 episodes

This course is a survey of the scientific study of human nature, including how the mind works, and how the brain supports the mind. Topics include the mental and neural bases of perception, emotion, learning, memory, cognition, child development, personality, psychopathology, and social interaction. Students will consider how such knowledge relates to debates about nature and nurture, free will, consciousness, human differences, self, and society.

OCW Scholar: Introduction to Psychology MIT

    • Social Sciences
    • 5.0, 1 Rating

This course is a survey of the scientific study of human nature, including how the mind works, and how the brain supports the mind. Topics include the mental and neural bases of perception, emotion, learning, memory, cognition, child development, personality, psychopathology, and social interaction. Students will consider how such knowledge relates to debates about nature and nurture, free will, consciousness, human differences, self, and society.

    • video
    Lecture 1: Introduction

    Lecture 1: Introduction

    This lecture introduces psychology as the scientific study of human nature, the mind, and behavior. Prof. Gabrieli uses vision, hearing, knowledge, and memory examples to demonstrate ways in which our minds make our worlds.

    • 49 min
    • video
    Lecture 2: Science and Research

    Lecture 2: Science and Research

    This lecture highlights how research methods underlie the field of psychology. What makes an experiment scientifically valid? What are some common sources of bias and error? How is scientific psychology different from "common sense" or "folk" psychology?

    • 1 hr 11 min
    • video
    Lecture 3: Brain I: Structure and Functions

    Lecture 3: Brain I: Structure and Functions

    Prof. Gabrieli introduces key concepts about the brain and the mind, including location of mental functions in the brain; examples of Phineas Gage and Paul Broca; and hemispheric specialization, the corpus callosum and split brain patients.

    • 54 min
    • video
    Lecture 4: Brain II: Methods of Research

    Lecture 4: Brain II: Methods of Research

    This lecture introduces the primary research methods to study the human brain, and discusses their strengths and limitations. Methods include lesions (injuries), stimulation (e.g. TMS), and recording (e.g. EEG, MEG, PET, fMRI).

    • 1 hr 11 min
    • video
    Lecture 5: Vision 1

    Lecture 5: Vision 1

    This lecture highlights two aspects of vision: perceptual and mechanical. It discusses both how perception works from a neurological perspective and how the mechanism of sight interacts with the brain.

    • 40 min
    • video
    Lecture 6: Vision 2

    Lecture 6: Vision 2

    This lecture highlights two aspects of vision: perceptual and mechanical. It discusses both how perception works from a neurological perspective and how the mechanism of sight interacts with the brain.

    • 56 min

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