Technology, Arts and Media Program header

ATLS 4529/5529-004: Neurohacking

Course Description

You either hack your own mind and brain or they get hacked for you…

Neuro: of or relating to nerves, the nervous system, and brain. see also - strength, vigor

Hacking: intellectual challenge of creatively overcoming limitations of software systems to achieve novel and clever outcomes

This course uses systems level thinking to investigate optimization of conscious human experience, potential, and creativity, focusing on integral theory - mind, body, relationships, and environment. Students will be provided with a brief introduction to neurobiology/chemistry and foundational care practices. This is followed by a deep dive into how and why exposure to modern technology is hijacking our brains and minds, and how we can regain our autonomy and sovereignty as human beings. We will explore and apply topics including, but not limited to, integral theory, behavior modification, educational neuroscience, time as a finite resource, “productivity,” technology cleansing, meditation as a technology for consciousness, flow and state experiences, sovereignty, embodiment, nonviolent communication, emergence, and resilience. Students will read and critique articles, research primary literature, and engage in thoughtful group discussions and journal reflections. The course will culminate with a research project, integrating course content into a final presentation (and possibly deliverable) focused on the students’ visions for our individual and collective future.

Learning Objectives

Students who successfully complete this course will:

  • Become familiar with basic neurobiology and neurochemistry
  • Engage in foundational care practices with lasting benefit
  • Define what optimized conscious human experience means to you
  • Investigate false dialectics and become comfortable with complexity and “gray”
  • Practice an integral perspective for addressing all problems, especially those relating to technology, design, and education
  • Develop empathic negotiation and communication skills
  • Grow in your ability to identify problems (valley crossing, rather than mountain climbing)