Spring 2018

Permission forms will be accepted for Spring 2018 courses beginning on May 1, 2017.


Systems Neuroscience with Laboratory

In 18S at 10, Matthijs van der Meer
The primary focus of this course is the physiological basis of behavior from a systems perspective. Such topics as localization of function, neural models, and the physiological bases of sensory/motor systems, learning/memory, and spatial cognition are considered. The laboratory introduces the student to the anatomy and physiology of the mammalian central nervous system and to some of the principal techniques used in systems and behavioral neuroscience. Laboratory sections are scheduled for Tuesdays, 9:00am-12:00pm or 2:15-5:15pm. Students will be assigned to one of these two laboratory sections and must be able to attend the same section throughout the term.

Prerequisite: PSYC 6 and instructor permission through the department website.

PSYC 80.01

Neuroscience of Reward

In 18S at 2A, Kyle Smith

Much of the life of humans and other animals revolves around reward, whether engaging in basic pleasures like food and sex or enjoying more complex things like music.  This course will introduce conceptual frameworks to understand reward as a phenomenon that is distinct from other features of goal-directed behavior.  We will then discuss recent advances in neuroscience research that are helping us to understand the basic brain mechanisms that make things pleasurable, including anatomical pathways, neurotransmitter systems, and dynamics of neural activity.

Approved elective for the Neuroscience major/minor.
Prerequisite: PSYC 6 and PSYC 45; and instructor permission through the department website.

PSYC 80.02


In 18S at 10A, Alireza Soltani

Neuroeconomics is a new emerging field where a combination of methods from neuroscience, psychology, and economics is used to better understand how we make decisions.  In this seminar, we learn about economic and psychological theories that are used to investigate and interpret neural activity and processes which underlie decision making.  We also examine how recent neurobiological discoveries are used to refine decision theories and models developed in psychology and economics.  During this course, not only will students read and discuss the most current research findings in neuroeconomics, but also gain hands-on experience with experimental paradigms used in that research.

Approved elective for the Neuroscience major/minor.
Prerequisite: Instructor permission through the department website.

PSYC 83.07

The Problem of Other Minds

In 18S at 2A, Meghan Meyer

Success in a social world requires understanding other people’s thoughts and feelings. Yet, other people’s mental states are not directly observable: you cannot see a thought or touch a feeling. Nonetheless, humans are actually quite proficient in inferring these invisible, internal states of mind. How do we accomplish these mind-reading feats? This course will address this question, which is known as ‘the problem of other minds.’ We will tackle ‘the problem of other minds’ from multiple angles, relying heavily on neuroscience and psychology research, as well as a few foundational papers from philosophy. Specifically, we will address questions such as: Do specialized portions of the brain accomplish mental state inference? When do mind-reading skills develop in children and are humans the only species that can represent other minds? Why do some people, such as individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD), experience difficulties in understanding others? What leads to biases in mental state inference, such as anthropomorphism  (when people attribute mental states to inanimate objects) and dehumanization (when people under attribute mental states to humans)?

Prerequisite: PSYC 1, PSYC 10, PSYC 23, and instructor permission through the department website.

PSYC 84.05

The Power of Beliefs

In 18S at 3A, Luke Chang

How do beliefs affect clinical outcomes?  This course provides an in-depth examination of the role of beliefs and expectations in the manifestation of psychological symptoms and their treatment.  Topics to be covered include the psychological and biological bases of pharmacological placebo effects, the mechanisms underlying psychotherapy (e.g., patient and provider expectations), and also how cultural expectations impact how psychological symptoms are experienced (e.g., hallucinations, delusions, and somatization).

Prerequisite: PSYC 1 or PSYC 6; and instructor permission through the department website.

PSYC 88-91

Independent and Honors Research

See Independent Research for more info on PSYC 88 (Independent Psychology Research) and PSYC 90 (Independent Neuroscience Research).

See Psychology Honors for more info on PSYC 89 (Honors Psychology Research)

See Neuroscience Honors for more info on PSYC 91 (Honors Neuroscience Research)