Paula Millin has been a member of the psychology department since the fall of 2003. Her general area of specialization is the biopsychology of learning and memory, with particular interests in the behavioral pharmacology of memory, drugs and conditioning, and more recently, aging and memory. Recent research projects include a study of caffeine's effects on memory in college students and a project examining the behavioral effect of a proneurogenic, neuroprotective chemical on learning and memory in young and aged rats.
Dr. Millin teaches Introductory Psychology, Learning Motivation (and the corresponding Research Methods course), Statistics and an advanced seminar in memory with a strong biopsychological orientation. She also serves as the director of the honors program in psychology. Dr. Millin lives in Wooster with her husband Michael, a math interventionist with the Aurora City Schools. They have a daughter, Lauren, who is two and a half years old.
Areas of Expertise
Behavioral pharmacology of learning and memory, drugs and conditioning, contextual effects on memory, animal models of retrograde amnesia.
Courses Recently Taught
This course is for psychology majors (or intended majors). Students will learn to conduct a variety of statistical tests that are commonly used in psychological research. The course also builds the skills of choosing the appropriate statistical tests for particular research designs and writing and interpreting the results of statistical analyses. Students will will also learn to use the statistical software package SPSS. This counts toward the foundations requirement for the major. Prerequisite: PSYC 100 or 110 or AP score of 5. Permission of instructor by application. Offered every semester.
This course addresses the ubiquitous presence of psychoactive drugs in human culture. The approach to understanding how drugs affect and are affected by our body, brain, behavior and culture will be biopsychosocial, addressing neurobiological, behavioral and social factors that influence drug use and abuse. We will draw knowledge from basic laboratory animal research and human drug studies, as well as personal memoirs and historical summaries. This counts toward the mind and brain requirement for the major. Prerequisite: PSYC 100 or 110 or AP score of 5 or NEUR 212. Generally offered every year.
This course will provide students with a comprehensive introduction to the theories and basic principles of learning and motivation in human and nonhuman animals, with an emphasis on associative learning; namely, classical and instrumental conditioning. We will discuss how these principles can be applied to our everyday lives, from training pets and raising children, to the development and treatment of mental illness and drug addiction. You will learn the scientific methods of the discipline, as well as improve your critical thinking skills by reading and critiquing primary empirical sources. This counts toward the mind and brain requirement for the major. Prerequisite: PSYC 250 or NEUR 212. Generally offered every year.
This course addresses the ubiquitous presence of psychoactive drugs in human culture. The approach to understanding how drugs affect and are affected by our body, brain, behavior and culture will be biopsychosocial, addressing neurobiological, behavioral and social factors that influence drug use and abuse. We will draw knowledge from basic laboratory animal research and human drug studies, as well as personal memoirs and historical summaries. This counts toward the biological bases requirement for the major. Prerequisite: PSYC 100 or 110 or AP score of 5 or NEUR 212. Offered every year.
Students conducting advanced research in psychology will work with a faculty member and possibly a small group of students to conduct research in the faculty member’s research area. Students will critically analyze published research in the topic area and collect, analyze and write reports on data they have collected with a small group of students. Students will be expected to work independently and collaboratively and the course will emphasize effective written and oral communication. This course is offered only on a credit/no credit basis. Permission of instructor required. Prerequisite: PSYC 250 and related intermediate level study.
This is the first semester of the two part sequence required for senior psychology majors. Each section will have a different topic, but in every seminar students will read and discuss psychological literature, write and discuss critiques of research articles, review the literature and develop a research proposal on a topic in psychology and make a formal oral presentation to the class. This theoretical framework will lay the groundwork for the execution of a project in the second half of the practicum. This counts toward the senior capstone requirement for the major. Prerequisite: senior standing and psychology major. Offered every fall.
This is the second semester of the two part sequence required for senior psychology majors. This class features hands on experience in creating and conducting research to allow students to learn by doing. We will investigate the procedure of generating research from start to finish through the lens of theory learned in the first semester Senior Seminar. This course will strongly and equally emphasize strengthening scientific writing skills, generating research designs and quantitative reasoning and application. Along the way we will practice evaluating research designs and perfecting APA style. This course is designed to prepare you for a career in research in psychology. This counts toward the senior capstone requirement for the major. Prerequisite: senior standing, psychology major and PSYC 475. Offered every spring
Individual study in psychology allows students the opportunity to pursue research on a topic of special interest. The course is designed in consultation with a faculty mentor. The level of credit can range from 0.25 to 0.5 unit of credit and students may take more than one semester of individual study. Typically, only juniors or seniors may pursue this option. To enroll, a student must first identify a member of the psychology department who is willing to mentor the project. The student must give the department chair a written description of the project, including the nature of the proposed work and a list of references. The project should include reading and reviewing scientific literature and will likely entail a research project in which original data are collected. The student and faculty member are expected to meet, on average, once a week. The final project will likely be a paper written in the style of the American Psychological Association. Additional assignments may be required as well, including a public presentation. The amount of work required for the individual study should approximate that required of other 300-level psychology courses. It is possible for students to pursue a group project but more work will be expected for the completed project and each student will write her or his own individual paper. 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 registrar’s deadline.
This is a program for senior candidates for honors in psychology, culminating in a senior honors thesis. The course will consist of a research project in some area of psychology. A student who wishes to propose an honors project must meet each of the following three criteria: (1) the student must have a GPA of 3.7 in psychology and an overall GPA of 3.5; (2) the student must have participated in a psychology department-approved research experience (which might be research in a research methods course, independent study or summer lab work); and (3) the student must have completed a minimum of 4 units in psychology and have taken the appropriate core courses for the proposal before the senior year. To continue in honors, students must earn an A in PSYC 475 during the fall of their senior year to continue in the honors program. Students enrolled in this course who successfully complete PSYC 475 with an A will be automatically added to PSYC 498Y for the spring semester. Permission of instructor and department chair required.
This is a program for senior candidates for honors in psychology, culminating in a senior honors thesis. Students will be required to successfully complete PSYC 475 (earn an A) and PSYC 497Y. Permission of instructor and department chair required.