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Drug Addiction and Obesity: Tales of a Disordered Brain
/ PSYC 314
Drug addiction and obesity are two of the biggest health problems facing our world today. Although obesity and drug addiction are two qualitatively different disorders, recent literature suggests that they share similar neural substrates. The first third of this class will discuss the behavioral and neural underpinnings of drug addiction, the second third of this class will discuss the behavioral and neural underpinnings of obesity, and the last third of the class will discuss their interaction in many different facets. In so doing, students will learn about the animal models used to study drug addiction and obesity (i.e., intravenous self-administration, intracranial self-stimulation, conditioned place preference, conditioned taste avoidance, and locomotor sensitization) and the neurobiological techniques used to understand their underlying mechanisms (i.e., DREADDs, optogenetics, and immunohistochemistry). Utilizing these tools, students will design and conduct an empirical laboratory experiment to study these dysregulated behaviors.
Grading: no pass/fail option,
no fifth course option
presentations and participation in discussions; written assignments; weekly lab meetings will be held and empirical projects presented in a final poster session
PSYC 212 (same as BIOL 212 or NSCI 201)
Psychology majors and Neuroscience concentrators
This course is cross-listed and the prefixes carry the following divisional credit:
NSCI Group B Electives
PSYC Area 1 - Behavioral Neuroscience
PSYC Empirical Lab Course