Neuroscience and Behavior Program

Neuroscience and Behavior is an interdisciplinary program which applies the perspectives and techniques of both biology and psychology to the study of the brain and behavior. Neuroscientists are interested in how the interactions of brain, body, and environment contribute to animal (including human) behavior. Neuroscientists study the structure and function of the nervous system, the development and evolution of neural and behavioral systems, and interactions among behavior, environment, physiology, and heredity.

This program is ideal for those students with interests in the biological and psychological sciences. A concentration in Neuroscience and Behavior can prepare students for graduate study in biology, psychology, or the neurosciences.



Approved Courses


Neuroscience and Behavior

201a or b. Neuroscience and Behavior (1)

A multidisciplinary approach to the methods, issues, empirical findings and neuroscience and behavior literature. The course explores selected topics from a variety of theoretical and empirical models, from behavioral, evolutionary, social/environmental, physiological and cellular/molecular levels of analysis. The ways in which the different methods of analysis inform each other are a focus of the course. Neuroscience and Behavior faculty.

Prerequisites: BIOL 105, BIOL 106, PSYC 105 or PSYC 106, and PSYC 241 or PSYC 243.

229b. Research Methods in Learning and Behavior (1)

(Same as PSYC 229) An introduction to experimental and observational methods in animal learning and behavior. Laboratory experiences have included audio recording and quantitative analysis of animal sounds (bat echolocation and birdsong), operant conditioning, census taking, determining dominance hierarchies, and human visual and auditory psychophysics. Mr. Cleaveland, Mr. Holloway.

Prerequisites: PSYC 200 and PSYC 221 or PSYC 223.

Regular laboratory work. Enrollment limited.

241a and b. Principles of Physiological Psychology (1)

(Same as PSYC 241) The role of physiological systems, especially the brain, in the regulation of behavior. In addition to basic topics in neuroscience (neuroanatomy, neurophysiology, neurochemistry and pharmacology), topics may include: sensory mechanisms, motivational systems (e.g., sleep, eating, reproductive behaviors), emotion, learning and memory, language, stress and psychopathology. Mr. Bean, Ms. Christensen, Ms. Gray, Mr. Holloway, Ms. Zupan.

Prerequisite: PSYC 105 or PSYC 106.

PSYC 241 may NOT be taken if PSYC 243 has already been taken.

243a. Topics in Physiological Psychology (1)

(Same as PSYC 243) The study of the functions of particular brain structures and their relation to behavior and mental activity. In addition to basic topics in neuroscience the course focuses on such topics as: perception, attention, memory, language, emotion, control of action, and consciousness. Neural alterations related to learning disabilities, neurological and psychiatric disorders may be examined as well. Ms. Christensen.

Prerequisite: PSYC 105 or PSYC 106.

PSYC 243 may NOT be taken if PSYC 241 has already been taken.

249a and b. Research Methods in Physiological Psychology (1)

(Same as PSYC 249) The study of experimental methods in physiological psychology. In addition to exploring issues related to the ethics, design, measurement, analysis and reporting of research, laboratory topics may include: neuroanatomy, behavioral responses to pharmacological and/or surgical interventions, electrophysiology, neuropsychology, neurochemistry and histology. Mr. Bean, Mr. Holloway, Ms. Zupan.

Prerequisites: PSYC 200, and PSYC 241 or PSYC 243.

Regular laboratory work. Enrollment limited.

290a or b. Field Work (0.5to1)

By permission of the adviser and the instructor who supervises the work.

298a or b. Independent Work (0.5to1)

Library, field or laboratory projects.

By permission of the Neuroscience and Behavior faculty.

301a or b. Seminar in Neuroscience and Behavior (1)

Explorations in the primary literature of topics to be selected annually. Neuroscience and Behavior faculty.

Prerequisite: by permission of the instructor.

399a or b. Senior Independent Work (0.5to1)

Library, field, or laboratory projects.

By permission of the Neuroscience and Behavior faculty.