Neuroscience Program Course Offerings

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COURSE OFFERINGS

270. Neuroscience.

Fall, Spring. Credits: 4.

This course examines the structure and function of the nervous system. Topics range from communication within individual neurons to higher order brain functions such as learning, memory, perception, states of consciousness, language and the regulation of motivation and emotion. Psychiatric and neurological disorders will also be discussed. Particular attention will be given to methods and research design in the Neurosciences.

Prerequisites: Biology 130 and 140, or Psychology 150.

318. Neuroscience of Brain Disorders.

Spring. Credits: 4.

Human brain dysfunction can produce a wide variety of neurological and psychiatric illnesses. While there have been many advances in understanding the underlying mechanisms of these disorders there are few preventative or therapeutic interventions, making these disorders among the most important health problems in our society. This course is designed to provide students with a basic understanding of the neuroscientific literature that addresses the causes and treatments of several brain disorders at the cellular, molecular and genetic levels.  

Prerequisites: Neuroscience 270.  

350. Neuroscience Research Methods.

Spring. Credits: 4.

This laboratory methods course is designed to expose students to a wide range of neuroscience techniques including electrophysiology, stereotaxic surgery, behavioral pharmacology, tissue fixation and sectioning, histology, immunohistochemistry, western blotting, blood and salivary hormone analysis, and various psychophysiological measures. The class will comprise short lectures accompanying longer laboratory exercises.

Prerequisites: Neuroscience 270.  

399. Junior Honors Tutorial.

Spring. Credits: 1.

Junior Neuroscience majors who are considering pursuing honors research are required to enroll in this preparatory tutorial.

Prerequisite: Permission of the faculty member who has agreed to supervise the honors candidate’s research.

451-452. Research in Neuroscience.

Fall, Spring. Credits: 1–4.

Qualified students may conduct laboratory research in neuroscience. Four credits of research may be used to satisfy one of the three breadth requirements for the Neuroscience Major. Requirements include at least three hours of work per week per credit, regular meetings with the faculty sponsor, and a formal presentation of the research product upon completion. Interested students should consult the Neuroscience Program committee.

Prerequisite: Permission of the sponsoring faculty member and the Neuroscience Committee.

485-486. Senior Seminar.

Fall, Spring. Credits: 4.

All Neuroscience majors are required to enroll in Senior Seminar during one semester of their senior year. Senior Seminar is intended to be a capstone academic experience that involves student presentations and discussions of current primary literature in Neuroscience. Students will also prepare a research paper on a current topic in the field.

Prerequisite: Permission of the instructor.

495-496. Honors Tutorial.

Fall, Spring. Credits: 4-8.

For seniors accepted into the Neuroscience honors research program.

Additional Qualifying Neuroscience Courses

BIO 375. Neuroendocrinology. (Offered through the Biology Department)
Spring. Credits: 4
This course will explore reciprocal interactions between the nervous and endocrine systems: how the brain regulates endocrine homeostasis, and how developmental and daily/seasonal changes in hormone levels bring about changes in neural structure and function. These themes will be covered in an integrative manner that includes analysis at molecular, cellular, systems, and organismal levels. Topics will include gonadal hormones and neural sex differences during development and adulthood, the hippocampal-hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal stress axis, circadian and circannual rhythms, neuroendocrine regulation of appetite and thirst, and neuroendocrine regulation of social behaviors.
Prerequisites: Biology 130 and 140

Psy 345. Cognitive Neuroscience. (Offered through the Psychology Department)
Fall. Credits: 4
This course examines the link between brain and behavior from the systems level. We will explore the major cognitive systems, including object recognition, attention, memory, language, emotion, social cognition, and executive function, as well as broad-based topics such as brain plasticity and cognitive perspectives on psychopathology.
Prerequisites: Neuroscience 270 or permission of the instructor.