Spring 2021 catalog is now live!
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Making sense of what we see while watching animals closely is both an enthralling pastime and a discipline that draws on many aspects of biology. Explanations can be found on many levels: evolutionary theory tells us why certain patterns have come to exist, molecular biology can help us understand how those patterns are implemented, neuroscience gives insights as to how the world appears to the behaving animal, endocrinology provides information on how suites of behaviors are regulated. The first part of the course focuses upon how descriptive studies provide the basis for formulating questions about behavior as well as the statistical methods used to evaluate the answers to these questions. We then consider the behavior of individuals, both as it is mediated by biological mechanisms and as it appears from an evolutionary perspective. The second half of the course is primarily concerned with the behaviors of groups of animals from a wide variety of vertebrate and invertebrate species, concentrating upon the stimuli, responses, and internal mechanisms that maintain social systems and on the selection pressures that drive animals toward a particular social system.
Format: lecture/laboratory; six hours per week
Grading: yes pass/fail option,
no fifth course option
examinations, lab reports, and a research paper
BIOL 102, or PSYC 101, or permission of instructor
Biology majors and Neuroscience concentrators
satisfies the distribution requirement for the Biology major
COGS Interdepartmental Electives
NSCI Group C Electives