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This course will examine the functional organization of the mammalian brain, emphasizing both neuroanatomy and neurophysiology. How do specific populations of neurons and their connections encode sensory information, form perceptions of the external and internal environment, make cognitive decisions, and execute movements? How does the brain produce feelings of reward/motivation and aversion/pain? How does the nervous system regulate homeostatic functions such as sleep, food intake, and thirst? We will explore these questions using a holistic, integrative approach, considering molecular/cellular mechanisms, physiological characterizations of neurons, and connectivity among brain systems. Journal article discussions will complement course topics, providing experience in reading, understanding, and critiquing primary research papers. Writing an original literature review article will provide experience in expository writing and anonymous peer review. Laboratory sessions will provide experience in examining macroscopic and microscopic neural structures, as well as performing experiments to elucidate the structure and function of neural systems using classical and cutting-edge techniques.
Format: lecture/laboratory; In Fall 2020, this course will be offered in a hybrid format, with in-person experiences for students on campus, as well as the ability to complete discussions/labs remotely. Exact details to be announced prior to the first day of the course.
Grading: no pass/fail option,
no fifth course option
Class participation, completion of labs, literature review assignment, hour exams, a final exam
BIOL 212 (same as PSYC 212 or NSCI 201) or BIOL 205
Biology majors and Neuroscience concentrators
does not satisfy the distribution requirement for the Biology major
This course is cross-listed and the prefixes carry the following divisional credit:
NSCI Group A Electives