Dr. Christopher Harris on Teaching Neuroscience


Dr. Christopher Harris (@chrisharris) is a neuroscientist, engineer and educator at the EdTech company Backyard Brains. He is principal investigator on an NIH-funded project to develop brain-based robots for neuroscience education. In their recent open-access research paper, Dr. Harris and his team describe, and present results from, their classroom-based pilots of this new and highly innovative approach to neuroscience and STEM education. They argue that neurorobotics has enormous potential as an education technology, because it combines multiple activities with clear educational benefits including neuroscience, active learning, and robotics.

Dr. Harris did his undergraduate degree in Psychology and Philosophy at the University of Warwick, where he developed his life-long love of the brain. For his graduate work at the University of Sussex and subsequent postdoctoral work at the National Institutes of Health he applied electrophysiological, optical and computational techniques to construct cellular-resolution maps of large and diverse neural circuits. He is particularly interested in reward-system, visual system, and central motor pattern generator circuits.

Dr. John Griffiths (@neurodidact) is an Assistant Professor at the University of Toronto, and Head of Whole Brain Modelling at the CAMH Krembil Centre for Neuroinformatics. His research group (www.grifflab.com) works at the intersection of computational neuroscience and neuroimaging, building simulations of human brain activity aimed at improving the understanding and treatment of neuropsychiatric and neurological illness.

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