This introductory course will explore a range of topics and issues in the study of neuroscience. Specifically, the course will focus on the relationship between neuroscience, the arts and humanities. The course will treat the humanities and sciences as partners working together on the same problems. Usually, three topics are covered per semester. Examples of topics covered include the neuroscience of emotions, play behavior, film, visual and artistic perspective, space and time. Other topics may be covered. Assignments will include weekly quizzes, class discussion and a thesis paper. NEUR 105 is a non-majors introductory course geared towards first-year and sophomore students, although others may take it. Anyone who plans to major or concentrate in neuroscience will need to take NEUR 212. This course is repeatable for credit one time. However, this course taken twice or with a NEUR special topic does not satisfy the natural sciences diversification. However, this course paired with any other NEUR course does satisfy the natural science diversification requirement.
This course will examine the brain physiology of stress and sleep, the impact of these systems on everyday human behaviors and functions, and the impact of everyday human behaviors on sleep and stress. Sleep and stress interactions with physiological systems relevant to physical and mental health will be studied. We will look specifically at the interactions of nutrition, screen use, and studying (learning and memory) with both sleep and stress, and discuss their implications for both personal behavior and public policy. This course is designed for first year students: some emphasis will be placed on discussing the neuroscience of current research on stress management, sleep interventions, study techniques, and other issues affecting and affected by college life. Student projects will include reflective engagement on the course topics and the development of techniques to apply what is learned. This course can be paired with NEUR 105, NEUR 212, NEUR 265, NEUR 275 or NEUR 291 in order to satisfy the Natural Science distribution requirement. The course is a non-majors introductory course and has no prerequesites. Anyone who plans to major or concentrate in Neuroscience will need to take “Introduction to Neuroscience” (NEUR 212). Only open to first-year students.
This course begins with a definition of neuroscience as an interdisciplinary field, in the context of the philosophy of science. After covering the basics of cellular neurophysiology, the course examines the development and organization of the human nervous system in terms of sensory, motor, motivational, emotional and cognitive processes. The neurological and biochemical bases of various brain and behavioral disorders also are examined. It is strongly recommended that BIOL 115 or 116 is taken as a prerequisite or corequisite or have an AP score of 5 in biology. This course paired with any .50 unit neuroscience course counts toward the natural science diversification requirement. No prerequisite.
This course introduces students to the basic experimental design and data analysis approaches used when conducting research in neuroscience. It will provide you with an understanding of the ways in which neuroscientists design studies, analyze data and communicate the results of their investigations of the brain and its relationship to behavior. You will be exposed to the style and language of scientific writing through reading and critiquing primary sources of scientific information. We will also discuss ethical considerations in using human and non-human research subjects, the appropriate use of common parametric and non-parametric statistical tests, effective graphical representation of data, and factors that affect the analysis and interpretation of data such as small sample size, reliability, statistical rigor and chance. This course paired with any neuroscience course counts toward the natural science diversification requirement. Prerequisite: NEUR 212 or permission of instructor.
This course will examine the emerging scientific human and animal research findings of how the brain changes during adolescence. Coverage will include associated psychological and social functioning, including cognition, multi-tasking, emotional processing, sleep and some pathologies. With an emphasis on the vulnerability and resiliency of the adolescent brain, we will examine appetitive behaviors (e.g., drug use, gambling), risky decision making, changes in and management of daily mood and the onset of some psychiatric disorders in social and cultural contexts. We will connect these to the structural, functional and chemical changes in the brain during the second decade of life. While implications for clinical treatments will also be discussed, the primary emphasis will be normal development and some diseases that emerge in adolescence. This course paired with any neuroscience course counts toward the natural science diversification requirement. Prerequisite: NEUR 212 or PSYC 100.
Can ants count? Can gorillas "converse" about the past or the future? Do crows use tools? Can dogs read human faces to detect our mood or follow our gaze for guidance or direction? These are the types of questions we will be considering in this seminar on animal cognition. We will examine how various cognitive abilities evolved in non-human animals and the purpose these abilities serve in their lives. Additionally, we will explore the implications of animal cognition for our own cognitive abilities. General topics we will discuss include memory, learning, conceptual abilities, spatial cognition, numerical competence, planning, social intelligence, communication and language, animal culture, and self awareness and theory of mind in non-human animals. This course can be used as an elective towards the neuroscience major or concentration and can be used in conjunction with another NEUR course to fulfill the natural science distribution requirement. This counts toward the biological bases requirement for the major. This course paired with any neuroscience course counts toward the natural science diversification requirement. No prerequisite.
This course is designed to facilitate our learning about the connections and interactions among neuroanatomy, brain function and psychological phenomena. We do this by studying neuropsychological disorders, as well as the basic psychological processes such as perceptions and memory. Through readings, discussions and class presentations, we will learn some of the basic principles of the brain's organization and function, as well as its ability to recover function after damage. In addition, we will learn about the nature, causes and treatment of specific neuropsychological disorders such as Parkinson's disease, Alzheimer's disease, closed head injuries, Tourette's syndrome and stroke-induced aphasia. Further, we will learn about neuropsychological assessment and the current level of research and discovery in the neuropsychology of specific disorders through student presentations. This course paired with any neuroscience course counts toward the natural science diversification requirement. Prerequisite: PSYC 100 or 101 or NEUR 212. Offered at least every other year.
Until Darwin published his theory of evolution, it was commonly accepted that a huge gulf exists between human and nonhuman animals. In this course we will examine human and animal behavior and mental activity from an evolutionary perspective — that is, from a perspective in which humans are part of the continuum of life forms that inhabit the planet. We will consider the notion that, in contrast to the usual anthropocentric view of behavior and mental processes, many of the same evolutionary, ecological and biological principles explain both human and animal behavior. This course paired with any neuroscience course counts toward the natural science diversification requirement. Prerequisite: NEUR 212 or PSYC 100 and 150. Offered at least every other year.
This course is designed to provide the student with an understanding of the physiological phenomena responsible for psychological experiences. The main focus of the course is a detailed study of the anatomy and physiology of the nervous system. This is followed by a study of the sensory and self-regulatory systems, a study of higher cognitive processing. With each new topic, the relevant anatomical and physiological systems will be discussed as they relate to the behavior under scrutiny. Thus the biological underpinnings of sleep, mood, learning and memory, motivation and other topics will be studied. This course paired with any neuroscience course counts toward the natural science diversification requirement. Prerequisite: PSYC 100, 110 or NEUR 212. Generally offered every year.
This course focuses on the ways in which the brain gathers, processes and interprets information from the external environment in order to construct an internal representation that the organism perceives to be "reality." The goal is to provide students with an understanding of the evolution, structure and function of various sensory systems as well as an understanding of how the brain interprets incoming sensations and turns them into perceptions that allow organisms to act on their environment.This course paired with any neuroscience course counts toward the natural science diversification requirement. Prerequisite: PSYC 100, 110 or NEUR 212. Generally offered every year.
This course explores the biological mechanisms of the actions and effects of both legal and illegal psychoactive drugs. The course begins with a brief discussion of the history of psychopharmacology, followed by an in-depth examination of the biological basis of drug action in the brain. We will discuss the basis of drug classification and of specific drugs, including illicit drugs such as cocaine, amphetamines and heroin as well as legal psychoactive drugs such as caffeine, nicotine and alcohol. The course ends with a discussion of the action of drugs used in the treatment of mental disorders such as schizophrenia (antipsychotics) and depression (antidepressants). This course is cross-listed with psychology for diversification purposes. NEUR 305 is recommended but not required. This course paired with any neuroscience course counts toward the natural science diversification requirement.Prerequisite: PSYC 100 or NEUR 212.
This course builds upon foundational concepts in neuroscience and biology to study key genes and signaling pathways that drive development, maintenance, communication, and plasticity of neurons and glia. Basic principles covered include differential gene expression in the nervous system, biochemical properties of ion channels and receptors and the role of regulatory/transport proteins in neurons and glia. We will apply these and other concepts to sensory, motor and behavioral aspects of the nervous system, studying both normal and abnormal development and function in model organisms. The course emphasizes understanding historical and modern experimental design and molecular techniques. Critical reading and discussion of primary literature is an integral part of this class. This counts toward an elective for the major. This course paired with any neuroscience course counts toward the natural science diversification requirement. Prerequisite: NEUR 212 and BIOL 116.
This combined discussion and laboratory course aims to develop abilities for asking sound research questions, designing reasonable scientific approaches to answer such questions, and performing experiments to test both the design and the question. We consider how to assess difficulties and limitations in experimental strategies due to design, equipment, system selected, and so on. The course provides a detailed understanding of selected modern research equipment. Students select their own research problems in consultation with one or more neuroscience faculty members. This course is designed both for those who plan to undertake honors research in their senior year and for those who are not doing honors but who want some practical research experience. A student can begin the research in either semester. If a year of credit is earned, it may be applied toward the research methods course requirement for the major. This course is repeatable for up to 1.50 units of credit. Permission of instructor required. This course, taken twice, paired with any other .50 unit neuroscience course counts toward the natural science diversification requirement. Prerequisite: BIOL 109Y-110Y and NEUR 212.
In the last 20 or so years, a formal collaboration has developed between the disciplines of neuroscience and philosophy. The interaction has led to dramatic changes in both disciplines. It turned out that philosophers have made a number of assumptions that do not withstand empirical scrutiny given the new experimental techniques of neuroscience. And it turned out that neuroscientists through this collaboration were able to identify conceptual errors in their discipline. The success of this interaction has led to a new thinking, particularly in the study of consciousness. In this course, we will be examining this collaborative literature. We will be reading only primary sources. Students will be expected to participate in the current debate. Students must have a major background in either philosophy or neuroscience. This course is the same as PHIL 395D. This course must be taken as PHIL 395D to count towards the humanities requirement. This course paired with any other neuroscience course and taken as NEUR 395D, counts toward the natural science requirement. Permission of instructor required. Prerequisite: junior standing.
This methods course teaches students the skills necessary for conducting research in biopsychology and neuroscience. Students will gain first-hand experience with a number of concepts and measurement techniques as well as an understanding of the ways in which biopsychologists and neuroscientists investigate the brain and its relationship to behavior. Students will learn to design experiments; collect, analyze and present data using computer software packages; and write a scientific paper. Permission of instructor required. Prerequisite: NEUR 212 or PSYC 200.
This is a laboratory methods course that focuses on research methods used in physiological psychology and behavioral neuroscience. The emphasis of the course will be on designing, conducting and presenting research, as well as on mastering specific laboratory techniques. The primary goal is to examine the relationships between brain chemistry and behavior. To this end, students will design and implement projects that examine these relationships using animal subjects. The course also will focus on data analysis and experimental design. Prerequisite: PSYC 100 and 150 or NEUR 212 and NEUR 305 or 347 or permission of instructor. Generally offered every other year.
This methods course teaches students the skills necessary for conducting research in sensation and perception. It will give students first-hand experience with a number of concepts and measurement techniques as well as an understanding of the ways in which sensory neuroscientists investigate how the brain gathers, processes, and interprets information from the external environment to construct an internal representation of reality. Students will learn to design experiments; collect, analyze and present data using computer software packages; and write a scientific paper. Permission of instructor required. Prerequisite: NEUR 212 or PSYC 200 and PSYC 301, NEUR 305 or 307 taken as a prerequisite or corequisite. Generally offered every other year.
This capstone seminar is required of all students who plan to graduate with a neuroscience concentration or major. The seminar is intended to bring together the knowledge acquired from courses required for, or relevant to, the concentration and major. During the course of the semester, each student will write an integrative paper with input from the instructor. Oral presentations are given in conjunction with each of these exercises. This course paired with any other .50 unit neuroscience course counts toward the natural science requirement. Neuroscience majors are expected to have completed NEUR 250 before enrolling in NEUR 471. Permission of instructor is required. Prerequisite: Neuroscience major or concentrator with senior standing, NEUR 212, and at least one 300-level neuroscience course.
Students conduct independent research under the supervision of one of the faculty members affiliated with the Neuroscience Program. This course is restricted to juniors or seniors who are neuroscience majors or have taken (or are concurrently enrolled in) courses required for the neuroscience concentration. Because students must enroll for individual studies by the end of the seventh class day of each semester, they should begin discussion of the proposed individual study preferably the semester before, so that there is time to devise the proposal and seek departmental approval before the established deadline. Permission of instructor and neuroscience director required.
This program for senior honors students culminates in the completion of a senior honors research project. The research is expected to be on a topic of particular relevance to the student's postgraduate plans. Students must select a research advisor from the faculty members in the Neuroscience Program. They are expected to have completed a thorough bibliographic search of the literature, written a short review paper and formulated some tentative hypotheses during the spring semester of their junior year. Permission of neuroscience director required. Prerequisite: 3.33 overall GPA and a 3.5 GPA in the neuroscience core courses and must have completed at least 5 units toward the major. Students enrolled in this course will be automatically added to NEUR 498Y for the spring semester.
This program for senior honors students culminates in the completion of a senior honors research project. The research is expected to be on a topic of particular relevance to the student's postgraduate plans. Students must select a research advisor from the faculty members in the Neuroscience Program. They are expected to have completed a thorough bibliographic search of the literature, written a short review paper and formulated some tentative hypotheses during the spring semester of their junior year. Permission of neuroscience director required. Prerequisite: 3.33 overall GPA and a 3.5 GPA in the neuroscience core courses and must have completed at least 5 units toward the major.
Courses that meet the requirement for this concentration:
|BIOL 359||Experimental Neurobiology|
|PSYC 200||Statistical Analysis in Psychology|