Austin Lim, PhD
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About the Open Neuroscience Initiative

 The Open Neuroscience Initiative is a free to use undergraduate level neuroscience textbook. It is a collaborative effort on behalf of neuroscientists, undergraduate educators, science communicators, publishing experts, and artists.

Traditional educational textbooks can be prohibitively expensive for college students who are enrolled in neuroscience classes. By publishing the Open Neuroscience Initiative as a free to use textbook, my hope is that students will be able to use the information contained within as an alternative to other costly textbooks.

Additionally, I hope that fellow undergraduate educators will find this textbook helpful, and will consider adopting the Open Neuroscience Initiative as the primary course textbook in introductory neuroscience classes to help relieve the financial pressures that the students face.

I envision the Open Neuroscience Initiative as also serving a purpose outside of the academic setting. I believe an easily accessible textbook is a wonderful vehicle by which anyone in the general public is able to learn more about the brain.

The Open Neuroscience Initiative was conceived on May 27th, 2019. The project is still in the initial planning phases.

Teaching neuroscience? Enjoy writing about the brain? Got creative skills? Please reach out if you are interested in contributing to this project.

Project log

august 22nd, 2019: Chapter 3 “cellular anatomy’ rough draft completed

Time is moving really quickly. Only a couple more weeks of summer before I start preparing for back to school season, and this has been a sort of a fire under my butt to get working diligently with my remaining hours. Once Fall quarter starts up, I’ll have significantly less time to devote to this project.

The Cellular Anatomy chapter has been finished, and sent out to a generous editor based out of the University of Oklahoma. The chapter focuses on the structures of the neurons and the functions of the glial cells. The raw text for the draft is online for access!

August 6th, 2019: Chapter 2 “anatomy” rough draft completed

The rough draft for my chapter on the anatomy of the nervous system has been completed, and sent out to an editor!

You can find the raw text file here.

August 3rd, 2019: Chapter 11 completed

It’s been a slow process, but the first chapter of my free, open access neuroscience textbook has been written and published for public download! Check it out here:

Open Neuroscience Initiative: Chapter 11, Neuropharmacology and Drug Abuse

Planning to use this textbook in one of your classes? Has this text helped you as you prepared for your exams? Please drop me a line!

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June 25th, 2019: Chapter 11 neuropharmacology draft complete

In the past, I have tried moving away from assigning a traditional textbook using a combination of online sources from various online open source textbooks such as Psychology as a Biological Science hosted at the Open Textbook Library or Neuroscience Online at University of Texas. While both of these resources were great, I couldn’t find a good chapter on neuropharmacology or drug abuse, topics that I spent a significant amount of time in graduate school studying through the support of the National Institute on Drug Abuse training grant.

The first priority was to write up the chapter on these topics to fill in that gap. With the text of this chapter completed during the summer, I’m able to use a combination of the above resources and my chapter in the syllabus for one of the fall quarter classes I’m teaching, Brain and Behavior. As an introductory level non-majors course, lifting the burden of having to buy a textbook will (hopefully) go a long way towards lowering the cost of education.

I sent out the paper to my neuropsychopharmacology professor from grad school, Dr. Harriet de Wit. Her work in studying human drug abuse inspired me to continue studying the topic after grad school and my postdoctoral research, and I hope to be able to incorporate some questions about drug abuse into my research in the future.

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