There are 9 units spread over 6 weeks (with a 1 week grace period). Each unit corresponds to a chapter or two of the book Making Space: How the Brain Knows Where Things Are.
1. Vision (Week 1-2) The Ways of Light
Vision is one of the most spatial of our senses.This unit explains what light is, and how it is detected by photoreceptors in the eye. It includes a history of vision research dating back to ancient Greece, and describes the role of the astronomer Kepler in deducing how the image of the visual scene is formed on the eye. How the two-dimensional projection of the visual scene onto the surface of the retina is interpreted by the brain as a three-dimensional world is explored through examples from various artists such as Magritte and Escher. ("Making Space" Chapters 1-2).2. Somatosensory (Week 2) Sensing Our Own Shape
This unit introduces the brain mechanisms responsible for sensory processing of vision and touch, with an emphasis on the formation of sensory maps in the visual and somatosensory pathways of the brain. The implications of these maps and other neural response properties for perception of spatial location are explored, with an emphasis on object motion and contours. Experiments using electrical stimulation in sensory maps to probe their connection to perception are discussed. ("Making Space" Chapter 4).
4. Auditory (Week 4) Sherlock Ears: How Your Brain Finds Sounds
This unit turns to a sensory system for which spatial location must be inferred from indirect measurements. For vision and touch, the sensory receptors are able to measure spatial location in kind: objects at different locations activated different sensory receptors. For hearing, the brain must compare and contrast the sounds arriving at each ear to make inferences about the location of origin. This unit discusses the how this works, from the nature of sound itself to the interpretation of location-dependent sound attributes by the brain. ("Making Space" Chapter 5).
5. Brain meters for space (Week 4) Moving with Maps and Meters
This unit focuses on the concept of representation. We review maps as a form of representation, and introduce another kind of spatial representation, the “meter”. More commonly but somewhat obscurely referred to as rate coding, this kind of representation involves neural response rates that scale in proportion to spatial location – a meter whose level indicates position. This kind of code is used in movements, the sense of body position, and in the early stages of the auditory pathway. ("Making Space" Chapter 6).
6. Reference Frames (Week 5) Your Sunglasses Are In the Milky Way
Spatial locations are measured with respect to reference positions, but these reference positions differ depending on the type of sensory input. The eyes measure locations with respect to the eyes, and the ears measure locations with respect to the ears. This unit discusses some illusions related to this issue and describes brain mechanisms for translating between different reference frames. Synthesizing a sense of space across time as the body and its sense organs move through the environment requires integrating memories of the sensory input at different times and positions. ("Making Space" Chapter 7).
7. Navigation (Week 5) Going Places
This unit shifts focus in two ways: (a) it involves space on a larger scale such as traveling from one place to another, and (b) it involves a sense of one’s own position in the environment as opposed to the position of objects or events in that scene. The role of the sense of balance and one’s own movements are incorporated. Animal species that navigate long distances and how they do this are described. ("Making Space" Chapter 8).
8. Remembering (Week 6) Space and Memory
Coursera est une entreprise numérique proposant des formation en ligne ouverte à tous fondée par les professeurs d'informatique Andrew Ng et Daphne Koller de l'université Stanford, située à Mountain View, Californie.
Ce qui la différencie le plus des autres plateformes MOOC, c'est qu'elle travaille qu'avec les meilleures universités et organisations mondiales et diffuse leurs contenus sur le web.