The Neuroscience Students
I have been teaching neuroscience course at the University of Guelph-Humber since 2015 and every year students ask me about how to get more involved in my neuroscience work. Well, starting in the winter of 2019, I decided to take on 3 students to work as my podcast assistants with a specific goal of producing neuroscience episodes.
Listen to The Episodes Here
Chris M. Schiafone
In 2017, as part of my core courses for the program, I was required to take a class in Neuroscience. I was not sure how well I would do at it, as I had never explored this area, but knew that it was going to be very detailed and utilize diagrams to illustrate concepts—which posed a bit of a challenge as I am totally blind. As I progressed through the material, primarily using sound and touch to guide my learning, I realized that I was quite interested in what was being presented and chose to pursue further knowledge in the field.
While my classmates were reading charts and looking at diagrams of the human brain, neurons, and the systems of the human body, I was learning these concepts through tactile models of a neuron, as well as a model of a human brain that could be broken down into many pieces. Additionally, one class activity had me making models of a neuron out of candy. I had learned that the University at one point was enquiring about getting a human brain that was donated to science, but for some time, I did not hear anymore information around this.
One day during a lecture, it was announced that the brain was being made available for observation. When the time came, my professor approached me and asked me if I wanted to hold it…. I was excited to do it, but at the same time was not sure because this was a new experience for me, and I was unaware of what was being placed into my hand once that glove went on. But, I did it, it was one of the most interesting experiences I have had as a person who is blind. While I observed with my finger, moving around to study the shape, texture and tactile differences, my classmates stood around and observed visually.
I’m currently in 3rd year of the Psychology program at the university of Guelph-Humber. I’ve always had a passion for science and I’ve been incredibly fascinated by the human brain and it’s potential for incredible feats. My interest in neuroscience stems from that very passion and the desire to gain a better understanding of myself, the people around me and how our perceptions shape our world. I hope to make valuable contributions to the field of study that I hold dear in some way and having the opportunity to be an assistant podcaster at the Centre of Applied Neuroscience is one of the first crucial steps towards my aspirations for the future.
I am a third year student at the University of Guelph-Humber earning a bachelors of applied science in psychology. After taking a neuroscience class, I discovered I am fascinated and intrigued by the many discoveries and mysteries in the field of neuroscience. I applied for this position, as I believe that having discussions is crucial to aid in propelling scientific research, to gain a better understanding of the many underlying mechanisms, structures, systems and processes within our brains. This experience increases my knowledge and understandings of how our brains work, and its control and impact on our daily lives. Applying this knowledge is incredibly important, as my ultimate goal is to earn a doctorate in medicine, specializing in psychiatry.