This course examines how experimental methods in neuroscience can be used to understand the role of nature (genes) and nurture (the environment) in shaping the brain and behavior. In particular, we will explore how neuroscience informs our understanding of psychiatric disorders such as anxiety, depression, and schizophrenia. We will investigate the biological underpinning of these disorders as well as their treatments. Readings will include human studies as well as work based on animal models. Topics will include: the ways in which environmental and genetic factors shape risk and resiliency in the context of psychiatric disease, the neural circuits and peripheral systems that contribute to psychopathology, and the mechanisms through which interventions may act. In the laboratory component of the course, students will gain hands-on experience in using animal models to study complex behavior and their associated neural mechanisms.
Format: seminar/laboratory; In Spring 2021, this course will be offered in a hybrid format. The seminar and lab will take place synchronously in-person and/or remotely. Two lab sections will be offered. If there is a need to balance sections, students may be moved into a different lab section following registration. The seminar will meet 2 (of the possible 3) days per week.
Grading: no pass/fail option,
no fifth course option
class presentations, participation in discussions, project proposal (5 pages), empirical project paper (5-7 pages), poster and poster presentation, participation in all phases of the empirical project research experience (experiment design, data collection, data graphing, data analysis) including oral and written presentation of key findings.
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