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Pratik Mutha

Dr. Pratik Mutha is an Associate Professor in Biological Engineering and the Center for Cognitive and Brain Sciences at the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Gandhinagar.

He received his Bachelors degree from the College of Engineering, Pune and his Masters and PhD from the Pennsylvania State University, USA.

Pratik’s research interests lie in understanding the neural control of human movement, and disruption in this control in patients with neurological injury. This research informs the development of novel rehabilitation strategies for neurologically impaired patients, thereby creating impact outside the lab.

Dr. Mutha has been the recipient of a number of awards including the Ramanujan Fellowship of the Government of India.

Intro to Neuroscience: Brain and Behaviour

Neuroscience is by far the most exciting branch of science because the brain is the most fascinating object in the universe. Every human brain is different - the brain makes each human unique and defines who he or she is.

Stanley Prusiner, Nobel Laureate in Physiology/ Medicine


Dec 24-30, 2021

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The brain is perhaps the most complex physical object known to mankind. It is responsible for “elementary” behaviours such as walking, more “complex” processes such as learning and memory, and is, arguably, the seat of consciousness. This course is an attempt at demystifying the brain, and discussing some (but certainly not all) of the wonderful functions that this pound of flesh allows.

The course will be engaging and interactive - many historical titbits, fun examples, vivid images, and clinical cases will be shared. Students will participate in cool demonstrations related to neuroscience concepts such as signalling, perception and action. The course also involves ‘going science’ by collecting data on a simple behavioural task and trying to analyse that data to gain deeper insight into nervous system function. 

If the COVID situation permits, students will also visit the NIMHANS brain museum or a neuroscience lab.

The important areas that will be covered in this course are

  • Foundational principles- structure and signalling in the brain

  • How different circuits come together to form systems like- Vision, Touch and Pain, Movement

  • How learning and memory work- how is learning to ride a bicycle different from remembering a list of things to buy at the grocery store

  • Diseases and disorders such as Stroke, Parkinson’s disease, Schizophrenia- and what they reveal about how much we still don’t know about the brain.