The discussion sessions are perhaps the most important part of our class. Much of your future will be spent critically reading papers like the ones we have chosen for our class. Also, your performance in the discussion sessions will make up the bulk of your grade. Thus, we are formulating some written guidelines to let you know what we expect.
Each discussion paper is to be read carefully by all students. It will make for a better discussion and you will learn more if you take these readings seriously. If it becomes obvious that people aren't reading, the instructors may start asking questions about the papers during the discussions.
After reading the paper, but before coming to class, please formulate a one-sentence question about the paper and hand this written question in at the beginning of the class. We will use these questions as an agenda for general discussion of the paper.
Each paper will have a student assigned to be the discussion leader. This student should describe:
It's appropriate, if needed, to use the overhead projector for #1-3 above. But for #4, it's better for the leader to sit down and join the group: it's easier for discussion and we all have copies of the figures anyway.
At the end of the term, a series of class meetings will be devoted to discussion of two student-selected topics germane to Brain Mechanisms of Hearing and Speech. At midterm, you will each propose and defend a topic of your choice to the class. Your proposal/defense includes both an oral and a written part. In the written part (about 6 pages), you need to cover the following points:
The oral part of the topic proposal covers much the same points as the written part, but more concisely, graphically and interactively. More importantly, you will have a chance to answer class questions at the end of your 10 min presentation. After the oral topic presentations, all written proposals will be placed on the web page, and each student and faculty will vote for one topic, not necessarily the one they selected initially. The 2-3 topics with the most votes will be selected for discussion at the end of the term.
For the discussions at the end of the term, a group of students will be formed for each topic. The group will finalize the choice of papers and present the topic together, with each student making a contribution to the presentation. A designated instructor will be available to assist each group.
Together, the topic proposals (oral and written), and your contributions to the final topic discussion will constitute a major fraction of your grade.
Below are some examples of appropriate topics that could receive our votes. Some of these are too broad and would need focusing, but they are meant to give you a starting point.
These student papers are included courtesy of the listed authors below. Used with their permission.
Absolute Pitch (PDF) (By Jianwen Wendy Gu.)
Cortical correlates of audio-visual integration (PDF) (By Erik Larsen.)
Neural Centers and Perceptual Characteristics of Auditory Short-term Memory (PDF) (By Anna A. Dreyer.)
Brain Attending a Cocktail Party (PDF) (By Adrian KC Lee.)
A Gene for Speech? (PDF) (By Carrie Niziolek.)