PSYC 316
Neuroscience of Decision-Making Spring 2024
Division III
Cross-listed NSCI 316
This is not the current course catalog

Class Details

Humans are constantly making decisions: big and small, conscious and unconscious. This seminar will explore different aspects of the decision-making process, including (1) the algorithms for decision-making, (2) the neurological basis of decision-making and (3) the psychological, social, and physiological factors that influence our decision-making. We will examine how scientific approaches can help us understand complex social issues related to decision making. For example: how can stereotypes be understood as a failure in belief updating; how does confirmation bias lead to partisanship; and how to think of xenophobia from the “explore-exploit trade-off” perspective? In this course, we will explore how the brain and its neural networks contribute to these phenomena. The laboratory component of the course will introduce the research tools for studying different aspects of decision-making, including experimental paradigms, computational models and methods of analysis. Students will apply these tools to collaboratively design and conduct behavioral experiments and will analyze neural recording data to understand the relationship between neural activity and decision-making behaviors. Over the course of the semester, students will have the opportunity to develop skills in computer programming to better understand computational models and data analysis.
The Class: Format: seminar/laboratory
Limit: 16
Expected: 16
Class#: 3891
Grading: no pass/fail option, no fifth course option
Requirements/Evaluation: Class presentations, participation in discussions, keeping a decision journal, short response papers and laboratory assignments, participation and presentation of empirical laboratory studies.
Prerequisites: PSYC 212 (same as BIOL 212 or NSCI 201) or permission of instructor.
Enrollment Preferences: Psychology majors, Neuroscience concentrators, and Cognitive Science concentrators
Distributions: Division III
Notes: This course is cross-listed and the prefixes carry the following divisional credit:
PSYC 316 Division III NSCI 316 Division III
Attributes: COGS Interdepartmental Electives
NSCI Group B Electives
PSYC Area 1 - Behavioral Neuroscience
PSYC Empirical Lab Course

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