Sunday, 8 November 2009

Weeks 4 & 5

Over a month into the course now, and my predominant feeling is exhaustion. I can't particularly explain why, but I am bloody tired. How handy it is then, that next week is a reading week, and it couldn't have been timed better.

There isn't a great deal to report about the last fortnight. We had some interesting lectures and some achingly dull ones. We learnt a little about how computational modelling can help us to understand the brain, had another case study at the hospital, and a whole load more stats.

I got my marks back for the first statistics test as I was handing in the second assignment. I did reasonably well, considering the conditions under which I wrote the last one (see my previous entry on my late-night rewrite). The marks I dropped were, I think, due mostly to the length of time it has been since I had to do any statistical analysis, and a couple of silly mistakes. I feel a lot more confident about the second test, and it would seem that I am back into the swing of things.

My main worry now is the exam in January (the only exam on this course), which is on the neurophysiological side of the course. Of course, this stuff is bloody hard, and Marty has just put a few example questions on his website, which really put the fear into me. As I was rereading my notes on how brain cells communicate with one another, I was struck by just how easy this would be it the brain were intrinsically self-aware. My neurons are firing right now, in many different parts of my brain, as are yours, as are all of ours, all the time, many many times over. We should be experts in this. Given the frequency with which our neurons fire you could argue that it is the single most practised act any human has ever performed.

So why then is this exam shaping up to be such a struggle?

1 comment:

  1. I agree, it's pretty tiring. Especially when you look and think "what have i actually read/done" (not a lot it feels like, despite spending lots of time attempting to do it). I guess it's a philosophical issue.