A New Frame of Mind: Exploring the Anatomy of the Brain

A student perspective on a brain section workshop held by AUC's Student Interest Group in Neurology (SIGN), and how it's fueled his interest in neurophysiology

Written by Shalom Adams, 4th semester student

As a future physician studying the organs of the human body, your studies are never far from your mind. You start to think about which organs you find most interesting, which ones a patient can’t live without, which ones can be replaced by machines if needed, and how the body would respond. 

Brain anatomy in particular is one of those subjects that leads to countless more questions along these lines. That’s one reason why I was happy to attend a recent brain section workshop held by AUC’s Student Interest Group in Neurology (SIGN), with Dr. Gautam Ullal, Associate Professor of Neuroscience. 

The workshop was held in AUC’s wet lab, where metal trays were prepared with brain sections that Dr. Ullal had cut beforehand. The anatomy teaching assistants provided him with a camera, so that his demonstrations would show in high definition on the screens around the room. Therefore, with about four of us to a screen, we were able to view it very easily. 

From all the common brain landmarks (such as memory, vision, language, etc.), to blood supply and other functionality, the workshop covered a multitude of topics. But what stood out to me most was the enthusiasm of our professor and how he viewed his work. Dr. Ullal admired and spoke about the brain and neurology as if it were art. This really shined a new light on the subject for me and made me excited to continue my neurophysiology studies. 

After his presentation, we were able to examine the brains ourselves, while asking more questions about what we had just seen. It was a great opportunity to see our course material from a different, hands-on perspective. 

And while I came away from the workshop much more informed about the anatomy of the brain, I also can see the uncharted territory and how much more there is to be discovered. These kinds of experiences are the kind that make you grateful to be studying medicine, and excited at the prospect of gaining a better understanding of the human body and how to help patients.