While obtaining a Bachelor of Science in Biochemistry at Michigan State University, Dr. Sparks became interested in the nature of consciousness and mind-body dualism. Based on the belief that the brain mediated the intersection between the mind and body, Dr. Sparks took every “mind” and “brain” related course at MSU, which eventually allowed him to earn a B.S. in Psychology as well as in Biochemistry.
Dr. Sparks continued to study the brain systems involved in mediating mental phenomena, while earning a Ph.D. at New York University, focusing on the neural systems that mediate emotional learning and expression. As a post-doctoral research associate at the University of Colorado in Boulder, Dr. Sparks studied the neural changes that occur in response to uncontrollable stress and mediate the development of Learned Helplessness.
Since then, Dr. Sparks has focused on teaching and currently teaches a wide range of courses including Brain and Behavior, Cognition, Learning and Memory, Motivation, Psychopharmacology, and Physiological Psychology. Dr. Sparks maintains an avid, and active, interest in neurological explanations of mental phenomena, and will occasionally be found reading an article about consciousness.
1500 SW Chandler Avenue
Bend, Oregon 97702
Partner Institutions:Oregon State University Central Oregon Community College