PSYC 319
Neuroethics Spring 2025
Division III Writing Skills
Cross-listed STS 319 / NSCI 319

Class Details

Neuroscience studies the brain and mind, and thereby some of the most profound aspects of human existence. In the last decade, advances in our understanding of brain function and in our ability to manipulate brain function have raised significant ethical challenges. This tutorial will explore a variety of important neuroethical questions. Potential topics will include pharmacological manipulation of “abnormal” personality; the use of “cosmetic pharmacology” to enhance cognition; the use of brain imaging to detect deception or to understand the ability, personality or vulnerability of an individual; the relationship between brain activity and consciousness; manipulation of memories; the neuroscience of morality and decision making. In addition to exploring these and other ethical issues, we will explore the basic science underlying them.
The Class: Format: tutorial
Limit: 10
Expected: 10
Class#: 3735
Grading: no pass/fail option, no fifth course option
Requirements/Evaluation: six 5-page position papers and five 2-page response papers as well as participation in discussions
Prerequisites: PSYC 212 (same as BIOL 212 or NSCI 201); or permission of instructor
Enrollment Preferences: Psychology majors and Neuroscience concentrators
Distributions: Division III Writing Skills
Notes: This course is cross-listed and the prefixes carry the following divisional credit:
PSYC 319 Division III STS 319 Division II NSCI 319 Division III
WS Notes: In alternating weeks, each student in a tutorial pair will write a 5-page essay based on the assigned readings. Essays will be discussed during tutorial meetings and written feedback from the professor will be provided for each essay. At the end of the semester, students will choose one of their prior essays to revise as their final submission. Students will receive from the instructor timely comments on their writing skills, with suggestions for improvement.
Attributes: NSCI Group B Electives
PSYC Area 1 - Behavioral Neuroscience

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