Courses in Neuroscience
2310 Introduction to Neuroscience
A survey of basic neuroscience, starting with fundamentals of neuronal structures and ending with higher brain functions and their relations to mind and behavior. (Also listed as PSYC 2310.)
2110 Neuroscience Laboratory
The neuroscience laboratory provides students with a hands-on approach to understanding the scientific method through neuroscientific techniques and data analysis, including anatomical, electrophysiological and computer simulations. Students will engage in laboratory exercises as well as in solving problem sets. This course is appropriate for both non-science majors and science majors. Spring semester only. (Also listed as PSYC 2110.)
Prerequisite or corequisite: NEUR/PSYC 2310
Neurobiology focuses on the organization and function of nervous tissues and systems. The course begins with an anatomical overview, followed by an examination of neural system function at the level of signaling and synaptic transmission, sensory systems, and central system integration and control. With this foundation, the course explores brain development and plasticity. 3 class hours and 3 laboratory hours a week for one semester. Additional hours are required to monitor experiments. (Also listed as BIOL 3447.)
Prerequisites: BIOL 1312, BIOL 1212, CHEM 2319, CHEM 2119
4_90 Independent Research in Neuroscience
Independent empirical research on problems in neuroscience. May be repeated once. (The research topic must be approved by the Faculty Advisory Committee.) (Also listed as BIOL 4390 and PSYC 4395 and PSYC 4396.) This course fulfills the Senior Experience requirement of the University’s Common Curriculum.
Prerequisites: Consent of instructor and Senior standing
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BIOL 1311 Integrative Biology I
This course is designed to introduce students to the wide range of knowledge in the biological sciences and with the methods that have built this knowledge base. The course is organized around a series of topic-based modules, each of which will integrate modern biological approaches at the cellular, organismal, and population levels. Modules for this first semester course will include global biology change, sexual reproduction, the evolution of hemoglobin, or other contemporary topics. Grades for this course will be determined by exams on each module, a comprehensive final exam, and take home exercises and assignments. This course is appropriate for non-science majors and will meet 3 class hours a week for one semester in the fall only.
BIOL 1111 Introductory Biology Laboratory
This is an introductory laboratory course that provides an understanding of the scientific methods used to investigate biological questions and how the results of these studies are communicated. The semester is divided into three investigative modules in which student groups learn a technique, conduct an experiment or study, and write their results in the form of a scientific paper. Each group will also make a presentation on the biodiversity of particular groups of organisms. This laboratory course is appropriate for both non-science majors and science majors. Grades are determined from the reports and presentations. 3 laboratory hours a week for one semester in the fall only. BIOL 1311 must be taken concurrently.
BIOL 1312 Integrative Biology II
This course is a continuation of BIOL 1311 and builds on that material with a different set of topic based modules. Modules for this second semester course will include genetically modified organisms, metabolism, the evolution of birdsong, or other contemporary topics. Grades for this course will be determined by exams on each module, a comprehensive final exam, and take home exercises and assignments. 3 class hours a week for one semester in the spring only. BIOL 1212 must be taken concurrently.
Prerequisites: BIOL 1311/1111. CHEM 1318 is strongly recommended
BIOL 1212 Methods for Biological Problem Solving
This methods course for science majors develops analytical, laboratory, and field skills through small-scale exercises and investigative experiments. Biochemistry and molecular biology, organismal physiology, and ecology will be used to address the processes of experimental design and data analysis, with emphasis on calculation skills and proper application of statistics. The use of supporting organismal and literature databases in scientific investigation will be incorporated. Grades for the course will be determined by a combination of tests, problem sets, and writing assignments. 3 scheduled laboratory hours, plus 1-2 hours of follow-up laboratory work and outside reading/writing each week. BIOL 1312 must be taken concurrently.
BIOL 3432 Vertebrate Physiology
This course is a study of the principles of homeostasis with emphasis on major vertebrate organ systems. This course begins with a detailed molecular investigation of excitable membrane physiology (nerve and muscle) followed by a systematic investigation of endocrine, cardiovascular, respiratory, renal and gastrointestinal physiology. Integrative problem sets are assigned to address the complex interactions between organ systems. Laboratory experience involves experimentation with sophisticated physiological equipment and computerized data acquisition systems to reinforce concepts presented in lecture. Lecture examinations, laboratory reports, homework problem sets, and a research paper with presentation will be used to assess student understanding in this course. 3 class hours, 3 laboratory hours per week for one semester.
BIOL 3440 Animal Behavior
In this course we investigate the current state of knowledge in animal behavior, taking as a framework the “four questions” of behavior, as defined by Nico Tinbergen, one of the founders of the field: 1) the adaptive value of specific behaviors; 2) how behaviors have evolved over time; 3) how behaviors develop within an individual; and 4) the neural, hormonal, and physiological mechanisms underlying behavior. We give greatest emphasis to the first two questions, as addressed by the modern field of behavioral ecology. The laboratory focuses on developing skills of observation of naturally occurring behavior in the lab and field, and in the design and analysis of hypothesis-driven experiments. Grades are based on participation, summaries of scientific articles from the current literature each week, brief summaries of lab results, two midterm exams, and a semester-long in-depth literature review of a specific topic within the field of animal behavior. This literature review culminates in a final paper and a presentation to the class. 3 class hours, 3 laboratory/field hours a week for one semester.
Prerequisite: junior level standing or permission of instructor. MATH 1320 (Statistical Methods) or PSYC 2401 (Statistics and Methods I) strongly recommended
BIOL 3443 Developmental Biology
Through integration of information from various biology subdisciplines, course topics include the following: vertebrate body plan pattering, genetic control of the Drosophila body plan, early morphogenesis, cell differentiation, organogenesis, gamete formation, and fertilization. The laboratory follows development using microscopy and through special projects involving several animal systems, including avian. Course assessment includes in-class examinations, oral presentations, and group projects. 3 class hours and 3 laboratory hours a week for one semester. Additional laboratory hours are required to monitor experiments.
Prerequisites: at least one area B biology course; BIOL 3426 recommended
BIOL 3446 Cell Biology
Cells form the basic working units of organs and the systems that organs comprise. This course is designed to build an understanding of the fundamental processes that govern the operations of cells. Cells face challenges of maintaining boundaries, communicating with neighboring cells, transporting essential components across barrier membranes, generating chemical energy, regulating cell phenotype, and maintaining cell structure. In order to function as part of a specialized tissue or organ, cells elaborate specific subsets of organelles to dedicate themselves to performing specific functions. The course will provide the background to understand the cellular mechanisms of specialized cells, and allow one to predict the underlying cellular physiology of most tissue systems. The laboratory takes an investigative approach, introducing microscopic, molecular, and biochemical tools for studying cells. Grades for the course are to be determined by in-class examinations and laboratory reports. 3 lecture hours, 3 laboratory hours a week for one semester.
Prerequisite: At least one Area B course or permission of instructor
BIOL --91 Selected Topics
Study of a topic or field not covered by other courses. Lower division offerings will provide an introductory approach to a topic. Upper division courses will involve indepth analysis of a specific area and will usually require prerequisite courses, at the discretion of the instructor. May be repeated for credit on different topics.
CHEM 1318 Chemistry in the Modern World
Fundamental concepts in chemical science, taught from perspectives of chemistry in the modern world. The course provides multiple entry points for the study of chemical science by all students through the initial development of important concepts in a contemporary context. The content will include molecular structure, bulk properties of chemicals, and chemical change. Lecture, 3 hours per week.
Corequisite: CHEM 1118
CHEM 1118 Introduction to Analytical Methods
Emphasis is placed on the development of laboratory skills that are fundamental to experimental chemistry. Laboratory operations include the use of modern potentiometric and spectrophotometric methods of analysis as well as traditional gravimetric and volumetric procedures. Laboratory, 3 hours per week.
Corequisite: CHEM 1318
CHEM 2319 Organic Chemistry
Introduction to the basic principles of organic chemistry through studies of the structures, properties, and reactions of carbon-based compounds. Lecture, 3 hours per week.
Corequisite: CHEM 2119
Prerequisite: CHEM 1318 or equivalent
CHEM 2119 Laboratory Methods in Organic Chemistry
The laboratory stresses modern techniques for the preparation and analysis of organic compounds. Infrared spectral analyses and chromatographic separations are introduced. Laboratory, 3 hours per week.
Corequisite: CHEM 2319
Prerequisite: CHEM 1118 or equivalent
MATH 3310 Mathematical Models in Life Sciences
The course is designed to introduce basic tools to study mathematical models in the life sciences including their practical applications. The focus will be on understanding the processes, implications, and results of modeling phenomena in lie sciences in the laboratory setting or field. The course investigates exponential growth and logistic models, cooperative, competitive, and predator-prey models, harvesting models, and epidemiological models. The integrated laboratory experience consists of several experiments on model organisms such as bacteria, flour beetles (Tribolium), protists, and duckweed. In addition, human epidemiological data will also be utilized. Offered every Fall semester.
Prerequisite: MATH 1307 or 1311
MATH 3311 Probablistic Models in Life Sciences
The central topic of this course is probabilistic modeling with emphasis on biological sequence comparison and applications in functional analysis of DNA and protein sequences and their evolution. Biological experiments will be introduced to motivate new concepts and enhance understanding of the material covered. Emphasis will be on comprehending the biological and mathematical principles underlying the models introduced and applying this understanding to evaluate and interpret the biological significance of experimental results.
Basic concepts of probability will be presented, with a special attention to conditional probability. Probabilistic models and algorithms used in global and local pairwise sequence alignment will be developed. The expectation, variance, and standard deviation of discrete and continuous random variables, along with a number of common distribution functions, will be explained. Markov models and the application of discrete Markov chains in biology and biological sequence analysis will also be covered. These concepts will be used to extend the ideas from the pairwise sequence alignments to the problems of multiple sequence alignment, evolutionary distances, and phylogenetic tree construction. Offered every Spring semester.
Prerequisite: MATH 1307 or 1311
PSYC 2401 Statistics and Methods I
Instruction in measurement processes, descriptive statistics, correlational and inferential reasoning and basic statistical procedures. Students become acquainted with major procedures and issues involved in the framing of
psychological research. Instruction includes the use of computer-implemented statistical packages and the method and style of writing about psychological research.
PSYC 2402 Statistics and Methods II
Instruction in additional techniques in inferential reasoning, including analysis of variance and major nonparametric statistics. All topics are presented within the context of research design and methodology. Related statistical packages for computer-assisted analysis and further instruction in writing are included.
Prerequisite: PSYC 2401 or consent of instructor
PSYC 2330 Fundamentals of Cognition
An introduction to the principles of cognitive psychology. Topics include the development of the cognitive paradigm, attention, higher order processes in perception, language, memory, problem-solving, and human-computer interaction. Application to other domains in Psychology and disciplines will be discussed.
PSYC 3311 Sensation and Perception
Study of sensory and perceptual systems. Emphasis is on the relationship of neurophysiological and cognitive principles. Major focus is on vision (visual neurophysiology, spatial vision, form, color, depth and motion) with some discussion of psychophysical methods, audition, speech perception and the chemical senses. Demonstrations and conducting experiments are part of course.
Prerequisites: PSYC 1300, 2401
PSYC 3331 Memory and Cognition
Examination of the fundamental principles of memory and thought, the experimental evidence to support these principles, and the theoretical perspectives used to understand them.
Prerequisites: PSYC 1300 and 2402 or consent of instructor
PSYC 3333 Simulation of Neural and Cognitive Processes
The interrelations among the study of the mind, the elaboration of brain mechanism, and studies in artificial intelligence. Discussion of modern computers as a model of brain functioning with emphasis on the question of parallel versus serial processing and contemporary approaches to information processing in the nervous system. Students will gain experience in modeling these processes on computers.
Prerequisites: PSYC 1300 or 2330
PSYC 3360 Special Topics in Psychology
In depth study of theory and research within a particular domain of psychology. May be repeated on different topics.
Prerequisite: Consent of instructor