Intermediate Courses



Our senses are our windows to the world, and the scientific study of the senses is one of the oldest sub-disciplines in experimental psychology. This course introduces students to the fundamental workings of our senses of vision, hearing, touch, taste and smell. The course includes careful consideration of experimental methodology as well as content. Prerequisite: Psychology 1 or 6.  15S, Hughes, 11. Dist: SCI.



Learning is a fundamental process that is essential for survival. This course will approach the study of learning from three perspectives: conditioning, cognition, and neurobiology: By studying conditioning, we will explore the basic processes that underlie an animal's ability to learn. Cognitive aspects of learning will include discussions of human learning styles and techniques. Consideration of neural substrates will demonstrate the brain mechanisms that underlie the ability to learn and remember information. Throughout the course there will also be an emphasis on the methods and experiments that have lead to our current understanding of the behavioral and biological substrates of learning. Prerequisite:  Psychology 1 or 6.  15S,Bucci. 2. Dist: SOC.


Social Psychology

This course is an introduction to contemporary psychological theory and research on social behavior. Specific topics include self-presentation, nonverbal behavior, interpersonal relations, conformity, persuasion, aggression, altruism, and group dynamics. Within these contexts, emphasis is placed on the importance of both personality and situational factors as determinants of social behavior. Prerequisite: Psychology 1. 15W, Whetley, 11. Dist: SOC.


Abnormal Psychology

The goal of this course is to explore various types of psychopathology, with a focus on characteristics, diagnosis, etiology and treatment. We will examine psychopathology from a variety of perspectives and will discuss current research on specific disorders. Case histories and video footage will be used to illustrate the experience of psychopathology with the goal being to better understand the realities and challenges for those diagnosed with psychopathology. Prerequisite: Psychology 1. 14F, Hudenko, 9L. Dist: SOC.


Developmental Psychology

We will examine the social and cognitive development of children from infancy to adolescence. We will also consider the implications of psychological research and theory for parenting, and for social and legal policies that affect young children. Film and videotape materials will be used to illustrate examples of infant and child behavior. Prerequisite: Psychology 1.  14X, Scheiner, 2A. Dist: SOC.


Cognitive Neuroscience

Cognitive neuroscience is a multidisciplinary academic field that involves psychology, neuroscience, computer science, biomedical engineering, and philosophy. Methods employed in cognitive neuroscience include experimental paradigms from psychophysics, functional neuroimaging, electrophysiology, cognitive genomics and behavioral genetics. Theoretical approaches include computational neuroscience and cognitive modeling. This course will discuss about neural underpinnings of various mental phenomena including perception, attention, memory, language, the control of action, emotion, intelligence, and consciousness. It aims to provide necessary background knowledge in cognitive neuroscience to students who are interested in related scientific frontiers. Psychology 1 or 6.  15W, Meng, 2.


Cognition (cross-listed with COGS2)

An introduction to the study of thought, memory, language, and attention from the point of view of information processing. In surveying research in cognitive psychology, substantial contact is made with related cognitive sciences, such as artificial intelligence, linguistics, neuroscience, and contemporary philosophy. In the course of examining general principles of cognition, the following topics are discussed: mental imagery; concepts; reasoning; discourse; monetary and courtroom decision making; eye-witness testimony; social attribution and stereotyping; language in chimpanzees; expert systems; the relationship between human and computer intelligence; the neural basis of cognition; the relationship between information processing and conscious experience; and the philosophical foundations of cognitive science. Prerequisite: Psychology 1 or 6 or Computer Science 5.  S15, Kelley, :2. Dist: SOC.


Introduction to Computational Neuroscience

Just as scientific understanding of physics and biology has enabled creation of novel artifacts, materials, medicines and even novel organisms, so a scientific understanding of the brain will confer the ability not only to describe and characterize it but to modify it, diagnose and treat its illnesses, and eventually to imitate its operation. Computational neuroscience has as its twin goals the scientific understanding of how brain computes mind, and the engineering capability to reconstruct these identified mechanisms.  Your brain is composed of low-precision, slow (milliseconds per operation), sparsely connected (p(connection) < 0.001) computing elements, yet it far outperforms any extant computer on tasks ranging from recognition to planning. This course will introduce concepts of brain circuit computation including anatomical circuit design, physiological operating rules, mathematical derivations, and comparative networks. Prerequisite: one of: Psyc 1, 6, Bio 34, Cosc 1, Engs 20.  14F, Granger, 2A.


Psychology and Organizations

Leadership and teamwork are among the most highly prized skills in today's businesses. This course will explore the psychological underpinnings of these and other organizational behaviors, including decision-making, communication, and conflict resolution. How do we understand leadership? How do power and status affect communication in a hierarchy? How can conflict lead to creativity? We will delve into the answers with a combination of reading and discussion, in-class role-plays and exercises, and project-based learning. Our goal is to advance an understanding of why people behave the way they do in workgroups and in organizations. Prerequisite: Psychology 1.  F14, White, 9L. Dist: SOC.


Behavioral Neuroscience

We are complex organisms that perform complex behaviors. In this course we will explore the neurological underpinnings of behavior. Some topics we will cover include the neural control of life-sustaining behaviors such as eating, drinking and sleeping. In addition, we will explore how the brain contributes to the display of other complex behaviors such as aggression, sexual behavior and reward. We will use the text, primary research articles and case studies to examine the relationship between brain and behavior. Prerequisite: Psych 6 or Bio 34. 14F, 15W, Clark, 10A. Dist: SCI.


Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience

This course focuses on cellular and molecular mechanisms that underlie the development and function of the nervous system. This includes aspects of gene expression (transcription, mRNA metabolism) and cell biology (cellular transport and cytoskeleton, cell cycle, signal transduction, and signaling pathways) as they pertain to neurons and glia. Lectures supplemented by in-class discussion of primary research articles will also serve as an introduction to microscopic, electrophysiological, molecular biological, and genetic techniques and animal models used to study the nervous system and neurological disorders. Prerequisites: Psych 6 or Bio 34. 15S, Maue, 11. Dist: SCI.