What drives organisms to behave the way they do? How do organisms take in information about their environment, make sense of it and respond in a way that helps them survive and thrive? Is there really such a thing as altruism or are all living things intrinsically selfish? During the first half of the course, we will explore these questions and more through the lens of animal behavior. From this vantage point, we will reveal our shared evolutionary history and drive and make the uncanny discovery that our neural wiring is quite similar to organisms as lowly as the cockroach or hagfish. Does our hardwiring come with a cost? Do cheaters ever win? During the second half of the semester, we will take a more anthropocentric perspective as we dive into how we learn from our experiences and explore what brain injuries and life thereafter reveal about how our brains function and how we perceive the world. Does practice really make perfect? What happens when you pull an all nighter gaming or studying for a test? How can you utilize multiple regions of the brain to enhance your memory? Throughout the course, we will consider the contributions of influential neuroscientists, psychologists and ethologists such as Pavlov, Skinner, Lorenz, and Sacks, and investigate how our understanding of learning and the brain evolved over the past two hundred years. We will also design experiments of our own. Finally, for the final project we will look at how the face of brain sciences is changing and why this diversity is needed.