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Neuroscience courses


Program Advisors:

RUPA GUPTA GORDON, Assistant Professor (Psychology)
B.S., Purdue; Ph.D., University of Iowa

IAN A. HARRINGTON, Associate Professor, Chair (Psychology)
B.S., Dalhousie University; M.A., Ph.D., Toledo

SHARA STOUGH, Assistant Professor (Psychology)
B.A., Coe College; Ph.D., University of California-Irvine

MAJOR IN NEUROSCIENCE 39 credits, including PSYC-100, PSYC-240, PSYC-246, PSYC-248, PSYC-349, PSYC-452/453 or PSYC-466; BIOL-351, BIOL-358; PHIL-329. Minimum of 12 credits electives with at least 3 credits in PSYC. Students may take additional electives. Students who complete Senior Inquiry in another major with a project not related to neuroscience must substitute an additional 3-credit elective at the 300-400 level for the SI in NSCI. Students who complete Senior Inquiry in another major with a project related to neuroscience need no additional coursework. The major requires a minimum of 18 credits at the 300-400 level.

Students may NOT major in both neuroscience and psychology (3-18-10.)

Recommended supporting courses: some or all of the following are recommended for students planning to pursue graduate training in neuroscience and may be required by some graduate programs: CHEM-121, CHEM-122, CHEM-123, CHEM-311, CHEM-312, CHEM-313, CHEM-411; MATH-219; PHYS-101, PHYS-102, PHYS-103 or PHYS-201, PHYS-102, PHYS-203. Please consult with advisor.


PSYC-100 Introduction to Psychology (3 credits)
(PS) A survey of psychological approaches to human behavior, emphasizing physiological, cognitive and social processes.

CHEM-121 General Chemistry 1 (3 credits)
(PN, I) Composition, chemical bonding and basic properties of reactivity of matter. Introduction to the basic principles of chemistry. Lecture, discussion, and three hours of laboratory weekly.

CHEM-122 General Chemistry 2 (3 credits)
(PN, I) Kinetics, equilibrium and thermodynamics. Continuation of 121. Lecture, discussion and three hours of laboratory weekly. Prerequisite: CHEM-121 or the equivalent or permission of department.

BIOL-200 General Zoology (3 credits)
(PN) Survey of animal diversity, including the evolution, phylogeny, natural history, ecology and physiology of the major animal phyla. Includes one two-hour lab weekly.

BIOL-210 Cell Biology (3 credits)
Physiology and ultra-structure of prokaryotic and eukaryotic cells, including a survey of the diversity of unicellular organisms. Emphasis on the molecular mechanisms of cell function, including metabolism, replication, gene expression, cell-cell signaling and cell cycle regulation. Includes one two-hour lab weekly. Prerequisites: BIOL-150 and CHEM-122.

PSYC-240 Statistics (3 credits)
(Q) The use of descriptive and inferential statistics, including analysis of variance, in the design of behavioral science research. Prerequisite: permission of instructor. Credit may not be earned for more than one of PSYC-240, BUSN-211, COMM-380, and SOC-230. Lab included.

PSYC-246 Research Methods (3 credits)
Introduction to the basic logic and design of psychological research, incorporating the statistical procedures from 240 and progressing through more complex statistics using SPSS. Emphasis on the interdependence of experimental design and statistics, illustrated through examination of published research. Prerequisite: PSYC-100, PSTC-240 or its equivalent and permission of instructor.

PSYC-248 Brain & Behavior (3 credits)
A broad survey of the nervous system and its contributions to a range of behaviors and phenomena including sensation and perception, homeostasis, biological rhythms, emotions, learning and memory, consciousness and psychopathology. Prerequisite: PSYC-100.

BIOL-255 Anatomy (3 credits)
(PN) Study of the structure and three-dimensional relationships of the human body. Includes one two-hour lab weekly.

PHIL-311 History and Philosophy of Science (3 credits)
(PP) Study of key episodes in the history of science, with a focus on methods, philosophical assumptions and conceptual and empirical breakthroughs. Readings from: Plato, Aristotle, Copernicus, Galileo, Newton, Darwin, Einstein, Heisenberg.

PHIL-312 Decision and Game Theory (3 credits)
(PS, Q) Introduction to decision theory and game theory, the nature of probability and utility and their use in decision-making. Examination of puzzle cases where different approaches to decision-making yield different results, and the difference (if any) between decisions, where one agent acts, and games, where the result depends on decisions by multiple agents.

PHIL-318 Philosophy of Language (3 credits)
(PH) Selected issues raised by theories of language: the relation of language to the world, meaning and reference, necessity, the language of evaluation and interpretation, ordinary and ideal languages, language games and linguistic acts.

PSYC-318 Drugs & Behavior (3 credits)
Introduction to basic pharmacological principles and how drugs impact the central nervous system. Focus on cellular and behavioral effects of drugs of abuse (stimulants, analgesics, hallucinogens) and psychotherapeutic drugs (anti-depressants, ADHD medications). Course will cover other related issues, such as drug abuse and addiction, and how long and short-term drug use affects learning and decision-making. Prerequisite: PSYC-248 or permission of instructor.

RELG-326 Medical Ethics (3 credits)
(PH) Exploration of issues at the intersection of medicine and ethics, including euthanasia, abortion, cloning, stem cell research, experimentation on human subjects, and access to health care, with special attention to Christian perspectives.

PHIL-329 Philosophy of Mind (3 credits)
(PH) Selected issues raised by theories of mind and conscious-ness: the mental and the physical, freedom of the will, the nature of persons and personal identity, theories of perception and action.

BIOL-339 Animal Behavior (3 credits)
Study of how and why animals behave from the perspectives of genetics, development, physiology and evolution. Includes one two-hour lab weekly. Prerequisites: BIOL 200, 210.

PSYC-342 Cognition (3 credits)
(I) Experimental and theoretical aspects of human learning and cognition. Topics include human learning and memory, attention, organization of knowledge, comprehension and problem solving. Practical application to knowledge acquired. Prerequisite: PSYC-246. Lab included.

PSYC-343 Sensation & Perception (3 credits)
(I) Current research and theory related to sensory and perceptual processes. Prerequisite: PSYC-246. Lab included.

PSYC-347 Learning (3 credits)
(I) Current research and theoretical issues on reinforcement, punishment, extinction, generalization, discrimination learning and motivation. Prerequisite: PYSC-246. Lab included.

PSYC-349 Physiological Psychology (3 credits)
Advanced topics and issues in physiological psychology and behavioral neuroscience. Prerequisite: PYSC-246 and 248 or permission of instructor.

BIOL-354 Histology (3 credits)
The microscopic and ultramicroscopic structure of human cells, tissues and organs correlated with function and development. Includes two two-hour labs weekly. Prerequisite: BIOL-255 or permission of instructor.

BIOL-358 Neuroanatomy (3 credits)
The structure and three-dimensional relationships of the central and peripheral nervous systems of humans, correlated with normal and abnormal function. Prerequisite: BIOL-255 or permission of instructor.

BIOL-360 Comparative Physiology (3 credits)
A comparative study and broad overview of physiological systems and adaptations among diverse animals from mechanical, morphological and cellular perspectives. One two-hour lab per week. Credit may not be earned in both BIOL-360 and BIOL-362. Prerequisites: BIOL-200, BIOL-210.

BIOL-370 Genetics (3 credits)
Basic genetic principles of heredity and variation, including transmission genetics, cytogenetics, molecular genetics and population genetics. Includes one two-hour lab weekly. Prerequisite: BIOL-210.

PSYC-452 Senior Inquiry: Research I (3 credits)
Literature review and research proposal in a selected area of psychology in preparation for PSYC-453 to be taken in the term immediately following PSYC-452. Prerequisites: junior standing and permission of instructor.

PSYC-453 Senior Inquiry: Research II (3 credits)
Students are required to carry out the research proposal prepared in PSYC-452. Includes oral presentation of results to a departmental audience at the end of the term. Prerequisites: PSYC-452 and permission of instructor. Must be taken in the term immediately following completion of PSYC-452.

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