Professor Thad A. Polk, Ph.D.

Professor Thad A. Polk
  • University of Michigan
  • Carnegie Mellon University
Every aspect of our mental life is controlled by the brain. So if we ever hope to understand the human mind, and how it's affected by aging, by disease, and by drugs, then we need to develop a better understanding of the brain and the neural mechanisms that underlie cognition.

Professor Thad A. Polk is an Arthur F. Thurnau Professor in the Department of Psychology and the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at the University of Michigan. He received a B.A. in Mathematics from the University of Virginia and an interdisciplinary Ph.D. in Computer Science and Psychology from Carnegie Mellon University. He also received postdoctoral training in cognitive neuroscience at the University of Pennsylvania.

Professor Polk’s research combines functional imaging of the human brain with computational modeling and behavioral methods to investigate the neural architecture underlying cognition. Some of his major projects have investigated differences in the brains of smokers who quit compared with those who do not, changes in the brain as we age, and contributions of nature versus nurture to neural organization. Professor Polk regularly collaborates with scientists at the University of Texas at Dallas and at the Max Planck Institute for Human Development in Berlin, where he is a frequent visiting scientist.

Professor Polk regularly teaches on topics ranging from the human mind and brain, to cognitive psychology, to computational modeling of cognition. His teaching at the University of Michigan has been recognized by numerous awards, and he was named to The Princeton Review’s list of the Best 300 Professors in the United States.

Testimonials
"Professor Polk is a very good teacher. He is extremely methodical in presenting the case he is trying to make, backing it up with fascinating research from many diversified fields. His presentation is clear and focused."

31 Courses and Sets

List Grid

Filter
Page:
  1. 1
  2. 2

31 Courses and Sets

  1. Shocking Psychological Studies and the Lessons They Teach Sale

    Shocking Psychological Studies and the Lessons They Teach

    Thad A. Polk
    4.9 out of 5
    90% of reviewers would recommend this product
    (11)
    Save up to $200.00 Starting at $24.95 $229.95 $24.95$229.95
    In the six lectures of Shocking Psychological Studies and the Lessons They Teach, you will explore a range of ethically compromised psychological experiments from the past that have nonetheless contributed significant insight into the human condition. Dr. Polk spells out the contemporary ethical principles now in place to protect both subjects and science, but also examines why every new technological and scientific...
  2. The Learning Brain Sale

    The Learning Brain

    Thad A. Polk
    4.6 out of 5
    87% of reviewers would recommend this product
    (47)
    Save up to $230.00 Starting at $49.95 $299.95 $49.95$299.95
    How does the human brain make memories, learn a language, solve problems, and retain the state capitals? Identify and differentiate between several, major kinds of memories and what control we have over retaining and recalling them. Whether you or someone you know needs better study habits, struggles with learning a new skill, or just worries about memories fading with age, get the tools you need with The Learning...
  3. The Aging Brain

    The Aging Brain

    Thad A. Polk
    4.6 out of 5
    88% of reviewers would recommend this product
    (212)
    Starting at $149.95 Starting at $149.95 $229.95 $149.95$229.95
    Delve into the latest neuroscientific research with 12 fascinating lectures that give you a deep understanding of what happens to the brain over time. Cutting-edge science comes to life as you go down to the cellular level of the brain to discover why certain brain functions decline—and which functions stay stable or even improve—and learn what you can do to prolong your health and keep your mind sharp.
  4. The Addictive Brain

    The Addictive Brain

    Thad A. Polk
    4.9 out of 5
    92% of reviewers would recommend this product
    (94)
    Starting at $149.95 Starting at $149.95 $229.95 $149.95$229.95
    Addiction touches us all. By some estimates, 25% of Americans might be addicts. What happens when your brain is on drugs? Discover the neural mechanisms that underlie the behaviors of addiction, and see how drugs and activities like gambling can hijack the brain and lead to behavioral problems. Understanding addiction can motivate an addict to seek treatment, and can lead loved ones to see the addict in a new way.
  5. (Set) The Learning Brain & Outsmart Yourself Set on sale

    (Set) The Learning Brain & Outsmart Yourself

    Taught By Multiple Professors
    Save up to $475.00 Starting at $88.90 $599.90 $88.90$599.90
    Dive into the marvelous complexity of your own brain with this insightful two-course set. Start by mastering scientifically-proven techniques to learn and remember more effectively with The Learning Brain. Then, use insights from neuroscience to “hack” the human brain with practical, evidence-based strategies for living a better life with Outsmart Yourself: Brain-based Strategies for a Better You.
  6. (Set) Brain Myths Exploded & The Aging Brain Set

    (Set) Brain Myths Exploded & The Aging Brain

    Taught By Multiple Professors
    Starting at $349.90 Starting at $349.90 $529.90 $349.90$529.90
    Probe the fascinating world of your brain with this two-course set. Start by getting the truth about common misperceptions regarding memory, dreams, and more in Brain Myths Exploded: Lessons from Neuroscience. Then, discover what happens to your mind as you get older with The Aging Brain.
  7. (SET) How Digital Technology Shapes Us & The Addictive Brain Set

    (SET) How Digital Technology Shapes Us & The Addictive Brain

    Thad A. Polk
    Starting at $399.90 Starting at $399.90 $529.90 $399.90$529.90
    Are we addicted to digital technology? If so, how can we end it? Ponder possible answers in this illuminating two-course set. First, in How Digital Technology Shapes Us, Professor Indre Viskontas shares some of the most exciting research into this relatively new topic, providing a scientific approach to judging the true pros and cons of our interaction with technology in the digital age. Then, Professor Thad A. Polk...
  8. (Set) The Aging Brain & Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Set

    (Set) The Aging Brain & Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

    Taught By Multiple Professors
    Starting at $349.90 Starting at $349.90 $529.90 $349.90$529.90
    Delve into the many ways your mind works with this two-course set. Start by considering all the changes - good and bad - that your brain endures as you get older in The Aging Brain. Then, learn ways to end bad habits and improve your quality of life with Cognitive Behavioral Therapy: Techniques for Retraining Your Brain.
  9. (SET) Shocking Psychological Studies and the Lessons They Teach & Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Set

    (SET) Shocking Psychological Studies and the Lessons They Teach & Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

    Taught By Multiple Professors
    Starting at $449.90 Starting at $449.90 $529.90 $449.90$529.90
    In this two-course set, uncover powerful, pointed lessons on how the human brain works—and how you can actively retrain it. First, consider the significance—and ethical failings—of impactful 20th-century psychological studies that continue to influence our knowledge of human behavior in Shocking Psychological Studies and the Lessons They Teach. Then, in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy: Techniques for Retraining...
  10. (Set) The Aging Brain & The Addictive Brain Set

    (Set) The Aging Brain & The Addictive Brain

    Thad A. Polk
    Starting at $299.90 Starting at $299.90 $459.90 $299.90$459.90
    Probe the fascinating world of your brain with this two-course set by Professor Thad A. Polk. Start by looking at the potential changes-both good and bad - that may affect your brain as you get older in The Aging Brain. Then, learn how the brain processes an addictive substance and what factors can escalate an addiction with The Addictive Brain.
  11. (SET) Shocking Psychological Studies and the Lessons They Teach & The Aging Brain Set

    (SET) Shocking Psychological Studies and the Lessons They Teach & The Aging Brain

    Thad A. Polk
    Starting at $349.90 Starting at $349.90 $459.90 $349.90$459.90
    How much do you really know about the human brain? Learn the answer with this two-course set that brings together Shocking Psychological Studies and the Lessons They Teach and The Aging Brain. In the first course, consider the significance—and ethical failings—of impactful 20th-century psychological studies that continue to influence our knowledge of human behavior. After that, delve into the latest...
  12. (SET) Getting Your Legal House in Order & The Aging Brain Set

    (SET) Getting Your Legal House in Order & The Aging Brain

    Taught By Multiple Professors
    Starting at $299.90 Starting at $299.90 $459.90 $299.90$459.90
    Embrace the inevitability of aging with these practical and positive learning experiences designed to leave you empowered and prepared. First, get a practical, accessible, and encouraging look at what you need to do to secure your finances, your home, your health care, and your future in Getting Your Legal House in Order. Then, explore the control you have over your aging brain and ways you can prolong your health...
  13. (Set) The Addictive Brain & Your Best Brain Set

    (Set) The Addictive Brain & Your Best Brain

    Taught By Multiple Professors
    Starting at $399.90 Starting at $399.90 $529.90 $399.90$529.90
    Get a handle on neuroscience with this set. First, in The Addictive Brain, examine the epidemic of addiction—both physiological and psychological. Then, survey all areas of neuroscience with Your Best Brain.
  14. (Set) The Learning Brain & Brain Myths Exploded Set

    (Set) The Learning Brain & Brain Myths Exploded

    Taught By Multiple Professors
    Starting at $399.90 Starting at $399.90 $599.90 $399.90$599.90
    Our brains are mysterious machines but this two-course set gives you insights into how they function. Discover the many different and very powerful learning mechanisms at work in your own brain with The Learning Brain. Then, examine the neuroscience of everyday life, separating myth from reality, fact from fiction, and truth from falsehood with Brain Myths Exploded: Lessons from Neuroscience.
  15. (Set) The Addictive Brain & The Science of Mindfulness Set

    (Set) The Addictive Brain & The Science of Mindfulness

    Taught By Multiple Professors
    Starting at $399.90 Starting at $399.90 $529.90 $399.90$529.90
    Calm your mind with this set. First, in The Addictive Brain, examine the epidemic of addiction—both physiological and psychological. Then, study the neuroscience behind ancient wisdom practices in The Science of Mindfulness.
  16. (Set) The Learning Brain & The Aging Brain Set

    (Set) The Learning Brain & The Aging Brain

    Thad A. Polk
    Starting at $349.90 Starting at $349.90 $529.90 $349.90$529.90
    Delve deeply into how your brain works with this two-course set taught by a professor of psychology. In The Learning Brain, Professor Thad Polk breaks down how your brain processes information to help you understand how your brain obtains and retains new information. With The Aging Brain, he gives you a wealth of new insights into what happens to the brain over time—as well as strategies to mitigate the effects of...
  17. (SET) How Digital Technology Shapes Us & The Aging Brain Set

    (SET) How Digital Technology Shapes Us & The Aging Brain

    Thad A. Polk
    Starting at $399.90 Starting at $399.90 $529.90 $399.90$529.90
    Examine the frontiers of neuroscientific study with this two-course set that covers the many ways our brains evolve and age over time. In How Digital Technology Shapes Us, Professor Indre Viskontas shares some of the most exciting research into this relatively new topic, providing a scientific approach to judging the true pros and cons of our interaction with technology in the digital age. Then, in The Aging Brain,...
  18. (Set) The Aging Brain & Understanding the Brain Set

    (Set) The Aging Brain & Understanding the Brain

    Taught By Multiple Professors
    Starting at $499.90 Starting at $499.90 $659.90 $499.90$659.90
    How much do you really understand about the organ which runs your entire body? In this two-course set, get introduced to your brain like never before. Begin by considering both the negative and the positive changes your brain may endure as you get older with The Aging Brain. Then, examine how your brain works from molecular level in Understanding the Brain
  19. (Set) The Aging Brain & Your Best Brain Set

    (Set) The Aging Brain & Your Best Brain

    Taught By Multiple Professors
    Starting at $349.90 Starting at $349.90 $529.90 $349.90$529.90
    Discover the inner workings of your own mind with this two-course set focusing on the latest neuroscience research. Examine how your brain changes as you get older with The Aging Brain and understand how memory, senses, emotions, and creative thinking happen in Your Best Brain.
  20. (SET) Shocking Psychological Studies and the Lessons They Teach & Understanding the Mysteries of Human Behavior Set on sale

    (SET) Shocking Psychological Studies and the Lessons They Teach & Understanding the Mysteries of Human Behavior

    Taught By Multiple Professors
    Save up to $450.00 Starting at $57.90 $529.90 $57.90$529.90
    Psychological studies have much to tell us about how human beings behave in the world, as you’ll discover with this two-course set. In the six fascinating lectures of Shocking Psychological Studies and the Lessons They Teach, consider the significance—and ethical failings—of impactful 20th-century psychological studies that continue to influence our knowledge of human behavior. Then, in Understanding the...