Welcome to Duke University. [MUSIC] Welcome to the Duke University School of Medicine and welcome to Medical Neuroscience. Well, I hope you enjoyed that tour of campus, starting at some of our athletic facilities which are part of our better known brand at Duke University, the Duke athletics program. And then working our way towards the Medical Center, which has its own global reputation for excellence in the domain of biomedical research and healthcare. Well, I hope to show you much of our campus during the course of Medical Neuroscience. We'll spend some time together in our teaching laboratories here at the Trent Semans Center, where we'll have an opportunity to examine brain specimens together. We'll even spend some time behind the scenes here in the Trent Semans Center in our specimen preparation room, where I will show you some of my favorite places in the human brain. And of course, we're going to spend some quality time in the Duke Institute for Brain Sciences through that glass cube behind me. And of course, in the Duke Institute for Brain Sciences we always think inside the box. That's the glass cube. And we certainly will spend some time here in my office in the Duke institute for Brain Sciences. We'll spend some time together here on the deck behind my house as you''ll get to see some of what I get to see on a daily basis, as we learn together medical neuroscience. You'll even get to spend some time with me in my gazebo back behind my house. The reason why I'm bringing you into some of these unusual places, including some spaces around my own home, is that I want you to understand that learning about the brain is transformative. It could be part of your daily life, part of your daily rhythm, and something that you can consider as you face the various challenges and pursuits of your daily world, whatever that may be, wherever that may be. But for now, I simply want to say once again, welcome to Medical Neuroscience. I'm so glad that you found this course. I'm so glad that you were sufficiently interested in the fascinating world of the brain sciences to want to enroll in this course. What I'd like to do for the next few minutes is begin to tell you a bit about myself. And that will lead to some additional introductory video lessons that will help orient you so that you can get off to a great start here in medical neuroscience. So let's begin by talking a little bit about myself. I found over the years that it always seems to help my learners, and it certainly helps me as an instructor, if I help explain to all of you a little bit of my own story as to how I got to be where I am today. Well, my story has a beginning, as all stories do. But in my case, it was back sometime in the last century. I won't tell you exactly when, but I was born and raised in the northeast corner of the United States in a small state, indeed the smallest state in the United States, called Rhode Island. It's a beautiful place, it's part of the region of the country that we call New England. And in my case, Rhode Island is really dominated by a beautiful rocky, coastal landscape, with the occasional sandy beach there as well too. But the ocean is near and dear to my heart, as are the cold and wet and damp winters of my youth in that part of the world. Well, it's a wonderful place to be born and raised, and I return there often to visit family and friends and some of my favorite places that I will share with you actually as the course progresses. I moved out of that part of the country, however, towards the middle of the United States to a city called Tulsa, Oklahoma, where I did my baccalaureate education at a university called Oral Roberts University. There I majored in biology, and I decided to stay on after graduating with a bachelor of science degree to pursue a master of biomedical science degree, emphasizing physiology. And it was at that point in my educational career that I was introduced to the human brain. In fact, the year was 1986, and I first met the woman that I would marry, the same year that I held a human brain for the first time. So that was several decades ago now, and in both cases, that of my wife, and that of the human brain, it was pure love at first sight. So after completing a master's degree in physiology, I was determined then to pursue a doctoral degree in the field of neuroscience. And at the time, one of the very best programs available was at Washington University, still in the Midwestern part of the United States, in the city of St. Louis, Missouri, where I pursued a PhD degree in neurobiology. Well, I received that degree in 1992, having the benefit of working very closely with professor Joseph L Price, one of the truly great neuroanatomists of our time. Dr. Price instilled in me a love for human neuroanatomy, a broad interest in all kinds of neural systems that are involved in the integrated action of the nervous system. And he was a powerful mentor for me personally as an educator. So, I owe a lot of the career that I've enjoyed these last many years to my grounding with Dr. Price at Washington University. Well from there, I finally came to Duke. And I came to Duke in 1992 as a post-doctoral fellow with my wife, who was pursuing additional medical fellowship at Duke University Medical Center. And I landed in the Department of Neurobiology as a post-doctoral fellow working under the direction, first, of Professor Dale Pervis, and then under the direction of Professor David Fitzpatrick. After several years of fellowship work, I joined the faculty at the Duke University School of Medicine. And I've enjoyed quite a long and I think successful and certainly satisfying career as a research scientist and as an educator. More recently, I have joined a institute that we have at Duke, called the Duke Institute for Brain Sciences, where I'm involved in leading the educational mission. So that's the broad overview of how I got here. Now I want to be a little bit more particular and tell you next about my life in research. So I've had a variety of interests, and I pursued a number of different domains of neuroscience research. What they all have in common is a pursuit of understanding the organization and function of neural circuits in the brain. And this pursuit has taken many forms over the years. Much of my career has been focused on the mechanisms of response selectivity in the visual areas of the brain. Now, I am truly fascinated by vision, but I see this line of investigation as revealing some fundamental principles that will apply to other kinds of circuits elsewhere in the brain, including those that serve functions other than vision. So my interests are primarily basic, at the level of understanding how the structure of neural circuits accounts for their physiology, their function. Well, this interest in the visual parts of the brain began to extend back in developmental time, and more recently, evolutionary time. So I'm interested in understanding how these kinds of neural circuits and their structure function relations develop. And you'll hear more about the research that I've been privileged to lead as we get deeper into medical neuroscience. In brief, one area of my activity has been to try to understand how what we call nature, and nurture, and self organization, interact to account for the evolved state of mature neural circuits that we have in our brain. Because of my work primarily back as a graduate student with Professor Price, I've acquired some expertise in human neuroanatomy, which has allowed me to interact with clinical colleagues doing a variety of research on patients at the Duke University Medical Center. And volunteer subjects who are participating with us in ongoing investigations of the structure, organization, and function of the human brain. So it's been a real privilege to be involved in a variety of collaborative research projects with faculty here at Duke, and colleagues around the world. As an educator, I've had wonderful opportunities to develop and to have an impact here locally at our Duke campus. As I mentioned, I am a member of the faculty of the Duke University School of Medicine, and in that role I've had the privilege of teaching students that are enrolled in our Doctor of Physical Therapy Program. I've also been involved with educating our future physicians in our Doctor of Medicine Program. And I've been involved with other kinds of learners in our School of Medicine at various levels, as well, over the years. I've also been quite involved in recent years in our Trinity College of Arts & Sciences, which is one of the main baccalaureate colleges of Duke University. There I've been involved with teaching courses in our Undergraduate Neuroscience Program, and I've also helped to lead that program as an administrator. I also teach in the graduate school of Trinity College, and this has allowed me the opportunity to contribute to the development of future brain scientists in their doctoral phase of their education. And as a member of the Duke Institute for Brain Sciences, I've been charged with helping to organize and coordinate our educational efforts, primarily as they are directed towards our baccalaureate students in Trinity College. So it's been a wonderful privilege to work across this educational continuum and hopefully have an impact on learners, not unlike yourself, who come to our residential programs here at Duke University. Well, my story would not be complete if I didn't also introduce you to my family. So here in a recent picture taken at one of my favorite places, one of those rocky coastlines in the New England region of the United States, you can see my wife and my two children. My wife is a geriatrician, meaning she's an internal medicine physician who specializes in the care of older adults, particularly those older adults near the end of their life that are dealing with dementia and other kinds of medical and neurological impairments. I have two wonderful children named Jonathan and Hannah, who are a joy and a blessing in my life on a daily basis. Well, now that you know something about me, we'll next turn our attention to understanding the scope of medical neuroscience.